clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Timberwolves Home for Next Four, Minutes Issues

New, comments

The Wolves head home for their next four games at Target Center, all are winnable. Let's go Wolves.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As I said in the comments to David's recap of yesterday's loss to the Clippers, let's file that one in the "can't win em all" bin and move on.

The Wolves now have a four game homestand upcoming, and all four are winnable. This includes Saturday night's Canis get together--don't forget I'm coming to town Friday and Saturday and hope to meet you all. Or at least some of you. Maybe. Champs in Richfield on Friday night, then I think Kieren's (?) pregame Saturday, then the game. More specifics to come.

Anyway, someone has to be ambitious around here so I'll say it: I want a sweep of this homestand. Magic, Blazers, Clippers, and Lakers, no back to backs. Go win.

Of course that would be much more feasible if Ricky Rubio is available. Apparently he wanted to play in both games on the West Coast but was overruled; hopefully he's ready to go on Tuesday. I understand and to an extent applaud the caution with him, especially after last year's surgery, but they can't be so cautious that the season gets away from them. We'll see.

This brings us to the controversy of the week: Sam Mitchell's minutes distribution. Mitchell has been committed to playing 10-11 guys a night, and only Andrew Wiggins (35) and Rubio (30) are at the 30 per game mark. Fully 10 guys who play when they are healthy are at 15.8 minutes (KG) or higher, and the focal point of the issue, Karl-Anthony Towns, who was dominant early in the season, has seen his minutes cut after just a couple of average or below-average performances. He's now under 28 minutes per game on the year, which seems...meager.

The Wolves also have played the most minutes in the league without a starter on the floor, which is in large part because they start a low minutes player, but still, the hockey lines method seems to be something Mitchell is comfortable with.

What to make of this?

I'm gonna hew to a middle of the road position here. I think it's wise to limit minutes when you can; it's a long season, they have a lot of players to sort through, injuries have been a problem for this team for years, and there is no reason to run guys into the ground early. So philosophically I think it's the right thing.

Practically and tactically I do think Mitchell goes a bit too far. While Rubio has been unavailable many nights which clouds the issue, I'd like to see him up around 33 minutes a game.  32 a night for Towns is still moderate number for a star rookie, and I'd like to see him there.

Most significantly, the all subs lineups scare me. With Martin in the starting lineup (not that he's doing much), it leaves the 2nd unit with a rather unwieldy combination of guys who don't quite know what their doing. I'd like to see more integration of some of the starters with the reserves, which is where Towns could get a few more minutes, with either Gorgio Dieng or Nemanja Bjelica.

At any rate, I'm not ready to scream bloody murder here, but I think there are useful tweaks that could be made.

No time for history this morning all, sorry.

Today's musical birthday is Billy Idol, born in 1955.