Jamaal Tinsley was unable to find a home in the NBA last year, but at 33 years old, he’s not ready to give up professional basketball just yet. From the looks of things, he shouldn’t have to. On the 2nd of this month I watched Tinsley score 17 points on 5-9 and dish 7 assists in a 107-96 LA D-Fender victory over the Sioux Falls Sky Force. The numbers don’t jump out at you, especially against D-League competition… but had you seen this game, Tinsley’s play would have left you feeling like he still belongs in the big league. I was hoping like hell someone would youtube the highlights so I could write about this performance. I couldn’t have done it without a video because no one would’ve believed how easy he was making it look out there. Fortunately, youtuber MRat731 came through. Watch Jamaal treat the D-League floor as if it’s the asphalt at the Rucker. The flashy stuff begins at 6:30…
Did you all take note of that And1 Mixtape move at the 8:00 mark? Yes, that really happened in a professional basketball game on NBAtv. I couldn’t believe my goddamn eyes when he did that sh!t. From that point on he was straight clowning on ‘em. Observe the crosses, behind-the-back passes, and one-on-one breakdowns that left defenders looking silly. The Shammgod inside the closing minute of an 11-point game? Icing on the highlight cake. The ref clearly called that offensive foul out of pitty for the poor bastard trying to salvage his knees and ankles during that sequence.
Before someone goes and tries to piss on my Tinsley parade, no, he wasn’t impressive solely because of a few flashy plays. In the eyes of an NBA franchise in need of a PG he impressed by running the team that won the game, and won it easily. Tinsley was in control of this game at all times. He dictated the pace, the flow, and who took the shots. He created all sorts of good looks for his teammates and just generally played an outstanding game of basketball… even more outstanding than the statistics and highlight plays would suggest.
Tinsley may be getting up there in age, but his game still belongs on an NBA floor. I have no doubt about that. Even as I check his stats and see that he’s made just two shots in his last two games, I still have no doubt. His team is 3-0 and he’s averaging 8 assists per. Good stuff.