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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz were coming off one of the most disheartening losses in Denver and, maybe more importantly, lost their starting point guard - Mo Williams.
Against the Suns the Jazz used their veteran backup to control the game and give the team a look they haven't had for years. Jamaal Tinsley got the start and got everyone involved in the game as the Jazz won 94-81.
Tinsley got his first start this season - only his third start in the past three seasons - and looked to get the ball to his playmakers, something pretty rare in today's game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tinsley is just the fourth player to have at least 14 assists but not score any points in the past 25 years.
And according to his teammates, especially Marvin Williams, that is the kind of player that Tinsley is.
"They are two different point guards," Marvin Williams said comparing Tinsley to Mo Williams. "Mo's got a great ability to score the basketball. His shooting ability is definitely a gift. So obviously he's a little more offensive-minded, I think, than Jamaal is. Jamaal is kind of a pass first, pass second, shoot last kind of guy. They are just two different point guards, but they are definitely both fun to play with."
The different abilities the two point guards have was brought up by a couple of the players. Gordon Hayward talked about that as well.
"Both do a tremendous job of running our team," Hayward said. "They do different things. It's good to have, when both the guys are going, we can get one in the first group and one in the second group."
The professionalism of the man who was known as "Mel Mel the Abuser" came up a lot after the game. Head coach Tyrone Corbin spoke in detail about it.
"I just respect his professionalism," Corbin said. "All the time he's been here he's always been ready when we called on him. He's done everything we've asked him to do and I really appreciate him."
Jamaal is kind of a pass first, pass second, shoot last kind of guy.
Marvin Williams brought up what Tinsley was doing during the game to help the Jazz's lone rookie.
"That's the definition of a pro," Williams said. "I talked to Kevin Murphy and you tell Kevin Murphy to look at that performance and not be able to play as much as you want to or as much as you'd like to and your starting point guard goes down and he steps in. That's some body that's been in the league a long time and somebody who takes his job very seriously."
This is a player that was in the D-League two years ago, riding the bench most of last year and now will control the point guard duties for as long as Mo is out.
Mo has a strained right abductor, which shouldn't sideline him for too long, but this is what Raja Bell had last season, or a form of it. Bell's was worse, but it shouldn't have taken him as long to recover.
Expect Mo back in the next few games, but for now the assists will be up and the points and shots will be down from the point guard position.