Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
It's no secret the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled--starting games this season. There've been far too many games that in the first quarter or half--that the Wolves get down by double digits, forcing them to make a big comeback in the second half--something they've sometimes been able to do--other times...not.
The obvious thing that could be changed to fix this? Adjusting the starting lineup. If you read HOWL regularly (anyone....anyone....) you may have read the story I did on Wesley Johnson this season. He's the first-and-foremost candidate to be moved to the bench. Wes is currently the team's starting small forward. The biggest thing right now--is they finally have a variety of options at that spot. Michael Beasley & Martell Webster are finally healthy and either would be a big upgrade at that starting three spot!
If I was Adelman, I think I'd start Martell Webster at small forward. I like Michael Beasley coming off the bench. If Martell started--your second unit could be: J.J. Barea, Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley, Anthony Tolliver/Randolph & Darko Milicic.
That, of course brings us into the next position that could use a change: CENTER! Darko Milicic returned to the lineup after missing three games with an illness--Wednesday vs. the Pacers. He played 18 minutes, had 4pts, 3rebs, 1stl & 1blk.
During those three games Darko was out--Nikola Pekovic started at center. In Pek's last four games, he's averaging 25.5mpg, 11.3ppg, 9.5rpg and shooting 55%. The totals of those stats? 102 minutes, 45 points, 38 rebounds & shot 21-38 from the field.
Pekovic may be a downgrade as a defensive center, BUT he's a 100% upgrade as an offensive center! Nikola is simply a BEAST in the low-post. Proof of that? In that game vs. the Lakers, Pekovic was pushing around the 7-foot 290lb. Andrew Bynum. In the final quarter, the Wolves had Pek on the bench and had Randolph playing center. Bynum said, following the game--Thank God, they took Pek out when they did (I am paraphrasing a bit). When a top-two center says something like that--it shows that this 26-year-old Pekovic, could be something special.
Now, Adelman has to give him the starting center job. Because--let's face it, he's earned it! So let's take a look at what the depth chart would look like with these changes...
That's an awesome starting unit--a great backup unit and even the third string looks formidable. This team isn't lacking depth and I think with these changes--it will help the starting five--while still maintaining an effective second unit! Do I think, Adelman will make these changes before Friday's game vs. the Nets? I don't know--but I do know it's got to be in the back of his mind! He's well-aware that his current starters--simply aren't getting the job done. Wait and see...I suppose!
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