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Wolves beat Pacers 104-91

'Sota goes back to basics, downs the league's best defense without 2 of its top 3 scorers

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Things to try:

  1. Run the Pek and roll as the #1 option. Let Rubio be an actual playmaker, get Pek the easiest looks his body type will consistently get. Use Martin and Love (aka our best shooters) as actual shooting options
  2. Play Turiaf more. Even when Pek returns, Turiaf should be the first big off the bench. Adelman likes Inferno, and hey, I like him too. He's a hard worker. He knows his limits. But Turiaf is a better rebounder, facilitator and shot blocker (the guy already has 10 more blocks than anyone else on the team despite missing over half of the season so far) and pretty much never attempts anything but a layup or dunk, so he's not going to hurt us with missed shots. He does, as a center, what Adelman wants his centers to do. He's the closest we have to a low usage big who checks the boxes on defense.
  3. Stop with the hockey lineups. The bench run that usually happens at the end of the third heading into the fourth is killing us. Absolutely killing us.
  1. Rubio ran the hell out of the pick and roll with Love and Turiaf en route to a career high 17 assists (which also ties the franchise record) Love shot the lights out. Turns out if you let your best playmaker have the ball, he'll make plays. Who knew.
  2. Turiaf played 30 minutes, and although his statline was a modest 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks, his impact was massive. He moved on offense. He moved on defense. He filled in the gaps and took advantage of the opportunities and didn't need his number called at all. Tonight was a very good example of the high usage/low usage dynamic I think this team needs to set up next to Love (who, by the way, happened to put in 42 points on 64% shooting against the league's best defensive frontcourt. No big deal, right?)
  3. Love, Rubio and Budinger were all on the floor to end the 3rd quarter. Bud and Turiaf were both on the floor to start the 4th. We ended the third quarter up by 10. We were up by 12 by the time Love checked back in, and Indy never got any closer than that the rest of the way.

Ok. Rubio is a good NBA player. I'd argue great even, bad shooting and all. But he has to have the ball. These last few games without Martin have been vindication for him, of sorts, as he's now averaged 12 points and 11 assists (and 5 FTA) over the last 5 tilts (compared to 9-8 and 3 FTA the rest of the year)

Think about that. Our 2nd and 3rd leading scorers are both out and his assists have gone up.

I said it earlier this year, and I still believe it: Rubio's 'decline' this season is on the Adelsystem. Too much lateral movement off the ball, too much taking turns. If you just keep it simple....give him the rock, set a pick, and let him go straight at the hoop...he amazeballs. Ricky in motion puts the defense in motion puts the offense in motion, and then you get this

And this



GDG, you are my new hero.

(and dude. When you even get Hubbie Brown excited, you know you done something)

And look at how simple that is. Look at how flyin' flynnin' simple that play is. Pick, two dribbles, pass, dunk. It's Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. It's Steve Nash and Amare. It's Stockton and Malone. The Wolves have been gifted a kid who drops dimes in the side pick and roll. Use that.

Oh, and remember that thing about using Love off the ball in the Peja role?

No dribbles. Danny Green. Catch, square up, fire.

Everyone's a Rubioption. Break down the defense, then you got Love in one corner, Chase in the other, and Ronny making a run at the hoop. Awesome awesome basketball.

This is why I completely believe you can build a contender around the Rubio/Love duo. Tonight was a perfect showcase of it. When you let Rubio do his thing, he is a franchise point guard. And we already know Love is a franchise big man. I mean, if you think about the Wolves you saw tonight, then replace Corey and Turiaf with Kyle Korver and Tyson Chandler? That's a serious basketball team.

(Nate had the right idea all along with the 'throw money at DeAndre Jordan' thing. Low usage rebounding/Rubioop center)

At any rate, this was probably the most fun game we've had all season. Even with just Love, Rubio and spare parts, we played like a super awesome basketball team. I feel like the team stumbled, by accident, into the team they were meant to be all along, and I hope they're smart enough to realize it's a 100% sustainable gameplan.