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Wolves in Boston, Mitchell Solidifying Rotations, Rubio Dominating

The Wolves are on the 2nd night of a back to back tonight against the Celtics in Boston.

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolves are in Boston tonight to face the Celtics on the 2nd night of a back to back. Two straight wins--over the Kings at home and yesterday against the Nets in Brooklyn have us feeling a little better about our beloved puppies, and Sam Mitchell seems to be honing his rotations into something workable.

With Nemanja Bjelica's recent struggles, Mitchell has turned to Gorgui Dieng for more minutes next to Karl-Anthony Towns, a pairing that is showing some real promise. Dieng has been playing much better basketball of late than he did to start the season, when it seemed like he was in a funk. Now he's finding the range on his jumper and seems much more active around the basket defensively.

Meanwhile, the re-insertion of Tayshaun Prince into the starting lineup seems to have perked up the team's defense in recent games, and it's hard to argue with the numbers--Prince appears to have a real positive effect on the team when he's out there, and the Wolves best 5 man unit is the current starting five, whereas replacing Prince with Martin produces a starkly negative outcome.

I asked this in the comments yesterday, but given that, how aggressive in either the trade or free agent markets should the Wolves be in trying to find a similar but younger player to replace Prince (hopefully someone who can also take and make three pointers)?  Those players don't grow on trees, but it seems that a defense first, relatively low usage wing is a good pairing for Andrew Wiggins, especially when you have guys like KAT and Dieng who can score playing up front.

Mitchell is also playing LaVine with either Ricky Rubio or Andre Miller more and more as the games go by, and relying on him to run the 2nd unit less and less. This is a good thing, as LaVine needs to learn to play off the ball. This is also reducing Kevin Martin's minutes, which is not hurting.

Finally, Ricky Rubio has been playing spectacular basketball over the last three games, and he completely dominated yesterday's tilt in Brooklyn despite shooting 1-6.

Hopefully the team continues to gel and play better, with tonight's game in Boston followed by a Spurs-Pacers-Spurs schedule that's going to be tough.

Elsewhere, Kyrie Irving made his season debut for the Cavs, playing 17 minutes in an easy win over the hapless 76ers. It will be interesting to see the Cavs re-integrate Irving into a team that has been going fairly well to start the season.

Derrick Williams was robbed of over half a million dollars worth of jewelry, apparently by two women he picked up at a club. I always find the "rich guy acts dumb and gets taken" story to be fairly amusing, so I laughed.

I know we all love KAT, and this isn't a new thought, but:

the fact that you can credibly compare him to Tim Duncan is worth repeating every now and then.

Today in History

1620: Mayflower lands at Plymouth
1784: John Jay becomes first U.S. Secretary of State
1864: Sherman conquers Savannah, GA
1891: First game of basketball played by students in Springfield, MA
1898: Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium
1919: Anarchist Emma Goldman deported to Russia 
1921: Supreme Court rules labor picketing illegal 
1925: Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin premieres in Moscow
1937: First full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premieres
1978: John Wayne Gacy arrested in Des Plaines, IL
1988:: Terrorist bomb on Pan Am flight over Scotland kills 258. Known as the Lockerbie disaster
1991: USSR formally dissolves as 11 republics sign treaty forming short lived Commonwealth of Independent States

Today's musical birthday is pianist Andras Schiff, born in 1953

Have a great Monday.