Timberwolves starting lineup picks up where it left off
ผู้เขียน: | เวลา:2022-11-22 15:05 | เรียกดู:

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Timberwolves starting lineup picks up where it left off

Karl-Anthony Towns, Patrick Beverley, DAngelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Anthony Edwards have formed one of the leagues most potent lineup combinations.

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DENVER When Patrick Beverley exited the game against Miami with a left adductor strain Nov. 24, it took one of the leagues best five-man lineup combinations out of commission temporarily: Beverley, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jarred Vanderbilt, DAngelo Russell and Anthony Edwards.

Beverley missed the next six games and when he returned, Russell was out for the next two. The Wolves went eight games before the starting lineup was back together again and when it did reunite, the Wolves won Sunday in Portland.

Health and availability are precarious things in the NBA especially with some teams facing many COVID-related absences, so the Wolves need to take advantage of the times they have this starting unit available.

Of five-man lineup combinations, the Wolves regular starting lineup still has the best net rating in the league (plus-50).

Coach Chris Finch said the group complements each other on both ends of the floor. On defense Beverley and Russell enable everyone else to just fill their roles without trying to compensate for anyone else.

Pats really good on the ball, and D-Lo is really good off the ball, Finch said. That allows us to cover a lot of ground. And then, everyone else has pretty much been their normal selves. Thats been the key on the defensive end.

On offense, Beverleys ball-handling ability takes pressure off Russell for being the main facilitator and Beverley can absorb some of the early defensive pressure in a possession and not Russell.

The amount of movement Pat creates for us is something that doesnt show up on the stat sheet but its incredibly important and makes a big difference, Finch said.

The lineup also helps take pressure off Edwards offensively. Russells shotmaking attracts attention away from Edwards, and Beverleys presence eases the burden on Edwards to be a creator. Edwards doesnt have to do as much when hes on the floor with this unit.

He can still be super-effective, Finch said. He doesnt have to try to handle and create for himself, and create for others. It just kind of lessens his burden.

Russell has the highest net rating of any regular rotation player when hes on the floor (9.4) and the Wolves struggle the most in terms of that statistic when Russell is off the floor (minus-13.6).

Russell credited his improvement on defense this season to some of his fellow starters.

I never heard my name in defensive conversations until this year, Russell said. So they have a super effect on that. Watching Vandos tenacity. Hes selfless. He plays hard for the ball. He plays hard offensively, defensively. You know youre gonna get that effort from him. And then weve seen Pat do this for some years. Hes credible, hes been there.

In the frontcourt, Finch has liked how Vanderbilt and Towns play off each other offensively with Vanderbilts ability to space the floor helping Towns find room to operate.

Weve been playing better with certain concepts in that, Finch said.

If only they can keep that band together without interruption.

Chris Hineis the Timberwolves reporter at the Star Tribune.

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