If receiving playing time was solely based on scoring, Tyshawn Taylor might’ve finally cracked the Brooklyn Nets‘ rotation with his 16-point outing in Tuesday night’s 111-106 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.
But unfortunately for Taylor, basketball, like anything else, is layered with multiple dimensions. One of those, most especially for a point guard, is ball security, which read like a foreign language to the second-year reserve in the first preseason game on the schedule. Brooklyn turned the ball over a whopping 24 times in the nation’s capital. Seven of those turnovers were placed in Taylor’s stat line.
A point guard doesn’t get tagged the hero or villain of a game depending on the final outcome the way a quarterback usually does in football. His team isn’t dependent upon him in the same manner. Seven turnovers from Taylor in one game, however, is just as unacceptable as all of Eli Manning’s three-interception games for the drowning New York Giants.
It cannot happen. There are no excuses for it from the young point guard, even in the preseason. Only the NBA’s elite scorers/distributors can be excused for having such a disastrous night because of how great they are on almost every other night.
Rookie head coach Jason Kidd has to get in Taylor’s ear and preach to him that he must take the care of the ball as if his job is dependent on it because that’s the truth of the matter. Taylor displayed scoring ability like this last season when starter Deron Williams went down with ankle issues, but turnovers kill, especially against the teams that gallop down the floor and turn them into points in a matter of maybe two blinks of the eye.
On the bright side, Taylor did have six assists. He wasn’t shamefully awful, but turnovers should never outnumber a point guard’s assist total.
Taylor needs to remember that he’s competing against a veteran – Shaun Livingston – for the backup point guard spot. More sloppy games like that this preseason will have him sitting around either in the D-League or on Brooklyn’s bench, desperately awaiting another opportunity.
There’s plenty of talent there that you would imagine Kidd wanting to use out of choice, and not out of necessity. Taylor just has to take better care of the ball to have a shot at gaining his trust.