Last spring, Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose were pushed into a backcourt situation they were unfamiliar with — playing alongside each other. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau had repeatedly discussed the benefits of playing two point guards but hadn’t gone to the look much until signing Rose.
Since then, most of Jones’ playing time has come with Rose on the floor.
So far, so good.
In 220 minutes together on the court this season, lineups featuring Rose and Jones were outscoring opponents by more than five points per 100 possessions entering the Wolves’ game Monday night against Houston. The two point guards are part of Minnesota’s best lineup of late — the bench unit of Jones, Rose, Dario Saric, Robert Covington and Gorgui Dieng that’s often blitzing opponents.
Jones said he and Rose complement each other on the floor.
“We’re both just trying to play winning basketball, we’re both just trying to make the right plays and I think we feed off one another because of the extreme energy and the extreme passion,” Jones said. “That gets me going. We’re just trying to play basketball and trying to make plays.”
Rose shared a similar sentiment, saying he and Jones are unselfish players. The former league MVP is fond of Jones’ game.
“I think he’s a hell of a player,” Rose said. “I think he’s a smart player, and if anything I want him to shoot while he’s out there and be more aggressive, but I think that’s going to come the more we play together.”
Andrew Wiggins won’t be the only one in his family playing basketball in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Wiggins and the Wolves will take on Charlotte at Target Center at 7 p.m. Seven hours earlier, the Gophers women’s basketball team will play Incarnate Word at Williams Arena. Incarnate Word features junior guard Angelica Wiggins, Andrew’s sister.
She has started five games this season for the Cardinals, averaging 7.6 points. She went to junior college out of Hopkins High School before landing at Incarnate Word, which is 0-8 this season.
“She was very happy to get the opportunity to play in Minnesota again,” Andrew said Monday. “My family gets to see her.”
He’ll see his sister, as well, but likely won’t attend the afternoon game, for fear of it interrupting his game day routine.
Incarnate Word is a private university in San Antonio. Wiggins had a chance to visit his sister on campus when the Timberwolves played the Spurs in San Antonio at the start of the season.
The Chicago Bulls announced the firing of coach Fred Hoiberg on Monday morning. Hoiberg took over the reins in Chicago in 2015 after Thibodeau was fired from the same position.
“It’s a tough business, and I hate to see that for anyone,” Thibodeau said Monday. “It’s one of the bad parts about the business when you see a coaching change. Fred is a good man, and of course I wish him well going forward.”