How much longer will Chris Finch stay witthe starting leup a
ผู้เขียน: | เวลา:2022-11-18 18:09 | เรียกดู:

Timberwolvescoach Chris Finch spent the first 11 games of last season tinkering with his starting lineup until he finally found the one that would kickstart the Wolves season:Patrick BeverleyDAngelo RussellAnthony EdwardsJarred VanderbiltandKarl-Anthony Towns.

Through 13 games this season, Finch has stayed with his lineup of Russell, Edwards,Jaden McDaniels, Towns andRudy Gobert. After he threw his hands in the air in disgust when Russell blew a defensive assignment in the fourth quarter against theMemphis Grizzlieson Friday night, Finch sat Russell down and may be forced to consider making a change to try to get this team going.

Russell spent the final 4 minutes, 41 seconds on the bench against the Grizzlies, a situation similar to when he watched the stretch run of Game 6 of the Wolves playoff series against Memphis. Russell had four points on 2-for-8 shooting in 26:33 on Friday night, a 114-103 loss that dropped the Wolves to 5-8.

The missed shots are forgivable, even if Russell is shooting a career-worst 37.7 percent from the field and 29.9 percent on 3s (even aftera little 8-for-19 boomletin the previous two games). Finch has stayed with Russell to this point in an effort to give him a chance to gain some confidence when he sees the ball go through the basket. But the defensive lapses have been getting more glaring by the game, culminating in his worst effort of the season on that end against the Grizzlies.

The Wolves were lingering around the edges of contention for most of the game, an improvement in the competitiveness and intensity that simply werent there in losses to theKnicksandSunsthis week. They were down 11 with five minutes to play whenJa Morantthrew a lob toSanti Aldamafor a 109-96 lead.

Russell was in no mans land, providing no value whatsoever. Towns didnt exactly react quickly to challenge it, either. Watch Finch throw his arms up and motion towardJordan McLaughlinon the bench, a clear indicator of who he felt was most responsible.

Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz)November 12, 2022

Just was looking for defense, somebody who could get into the paint, Finch said. Just trying things at this point in time.

Russell has said multiple times this season that it is too early to judge what this group can do. They need time to play together and learn each other, and Russell has one of the most difficult jobs in the starting five. He has to try to get Edwards, Towns and Gobert their touches offensively while also looking for his own shot. It hasnt gone well. Russell is flailing early this season, with poor defense, a broken jumper that hasnt been good for much longer than just this season and live-ball turnovers that are leading to easy buckets for the opponent.

Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz)November 12, 2022

The telegraphed or ill-advised passes have been a staple of Russells game this season. He is coming off of a season in which he averaged a career-high 7.1 assists per game. But the chemistry with Gobert on the pick-and-roll is nonexistent and he has at least one slow-reacting pass per game that gets picked off for an easy layup.

Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz)November 12, 2022

When Finch made the changes to the starting lineup last season, the answers emerged over the first 10 games to make it fairly obvious. Vanderbilts rebounding and activity and Beverleys on-ball perimeter defense and overall tenacity were exactly what Russell, Edwards and Towns needed. It took a couple of games for the lineup to mesh, but once they did, the Wolves were a problem. They went 42-29 the rest of the way to make the playoffs for the first time in four years.

The options this season arent as clear cut. McLaughlin runs the team at the pace Finch wants and gets everyone involved. But he is shooting as poorly as Russell (38.9 percent from the field and 11.1 percent from 3) and his size presents defensive challenges as well. Finch turned toKyle Andersonat the point for stretches in Memphis, and he played it pretty well. He had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists against the Grizzlies.

Its something we were able to get to tonight, something weve been trying and wanting to do more of, Finch said. Thought he looked pretty good out there.

nice find, nice finish

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