Hi folks, hope you’ve all made it through another week in one piece and are enjoying your second cup of coffee like I am. We’ve got a few Timberwolves related notes to tackle, and then we’ll get to the good stuff at the end. Let’s get to it.
- Malik Beasley wants more minutes. I love Malik’s energy, passion, and desire to win. I love that, even after playing 37 minutes yesterday, Beasley was begging for more minutes in his postgame press conference. There’s a delicate give-and-take here, though. I don’t think Beasley needs to average more than 37 minutes a night, but the 32.2 he’s currently averaging aren’t enough either. The Wolves desperately need to be chasing wins, unless they really are going to “Stealth Tank” like our good friends Dane Moore and Britt Robson have suggested.
That would be painful to watch, but I’d get it, I guess. Either way, what I’m getting at is, while players like Jaylen Nowell have been impressive in a reserve role, the Timberwolves have reached the point of the season where their best players should be playing 35ish minutes on a nightly basis.
- Ryan Saunders MUST get more creative with Josh Okogie. I love JO, and I truly do think he’s an important part of this team moving forward. I’d be fine moving him if the right deal came along, but I don’t think he’s a totally lost cause either. With that said, Minnesota can’t keep sticking him in the corner on offense and expecting good things to happen. NBA defenses are so good at rotating and recovering that they’ll make sure as many possessions end with an Okogie three as possible, which has manifested itself the past few games. They’re making it way too easy for opposing defense to get away with ignoring JO.
I know there are calls to start Jaden McDaniels, and I understand why, but I think the more sensible solution for everyone involved would be to start Okogie. Then, have Gumby come in early as the first sub and get some extended run with the starters before the rest of the bench lineup comes in. Okogie is a valuable on-ball defender, and Minnesota doesn’t have anyone else on the roster who can do what he does on that end.
Where Okogie makes sense offensively on this roster is as a screener with the starting lineup. When D’Angelo Russell eventually returns to the lineup, Okogie should be setting a ton of screens both on-and-off-the-ball. If his defender is going to defend him like he’s Ben Simmons, the player JO screens for is going to have a ton of real estate when they turn the corner or curl/flare off the screen. Okogie is not a good offensive player, but he is also not being put in a position to succeed on that end of the floor.
- The shot distribution among the starting lineup is something to keep an eye on. In their ideal starting lineup, the Wolves have four legitimate scoring threats on the floor with Russell, Beasley, Anthony Edwards, and Karl-Anthony Towns. That’s awesome in the sense that it should* make the offense harder to guard, but it can also raise potential issues if the big fella isn’t getting as many FGA as he needs. It’s too small of a sample to make much of it yet, but in his first two games back KAT has registered 16.5 FGA per game to Beasley’s 18, and Edwards 15. You’d probably like to see KAT and Beasley’s numbers flipped, but it’s understandable because of how hot Beasley was last night.
With that said, that’s without Russell’s presence in the starting lineup, and Ricky Rubio is only taking 6 FGA per game in KAT’s brief return. It’s not an issue yet, so I don’t want to act like the sky is falling, but I’m just curious to see how Ryan Saunders ensures KAT is the one leading the team in field goal attempts, because Russell, Beasley, and Edwards will not be shy to get their shots up.
- Valentines Day is tomorrow, which means many of you will either be making brunch, or ordering/going to get brunch. With this in mind, it is important to remember that biscuits and gravy are absolutely, undeniably the best brunch food/combo. Sure, it might not look as pretty as your fancy eggs benedict or omelet, but come on. There is no better way to start your day than with the taste of a delicious, savory sausage gravy with fresh, buttery biscuits. Enjoy biscuits and gravy with a nice cup of locally brewed coffee and you’re set for a great day. For those of you in Minnesota, Uptown Diner (Minneapolis) and Kay’s Kitchen (Saint Cloud/Saint Joseph) deliver some truly outstanding biscuits and gravy.
While we’re on the topic of brunch, don’t short yourself this weekend. You deserve some form of potatoes with your biscuits and gravy too. Whether it’s the classic breakfast potatoes, your shredded hash browns, or the hash brown patties, you deserve it, and you really can’t go wrong with any of those. Potatoes come from the ground, and are technically classified as a vegetable. That’s called taking care of yourself. Pair your biscuits and gravy with some hash browns or breakfast potatoes, and prosper as a result.
Have a great weekend, everybody.