Game 1 @ Minnesota (0-0)
Projected Starting Lineup
1. Jonny Flynn | 6’0″ | 185 lbs | No Regular Season Stats
Jonny Flynn is a small (height wise) PG, but his strength prevents him from being abused in the post. A quick guard you need to keep out of the paint, which is his strength. Good scorer and passer when he gets in the paint. Doesn’t factor much on the boards, no need to worry about him getting rebounds.
2. Corey Brewer | 6’9″ | 188 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Kid built in from the CDR mold. A lottery pick who has struggled during his first couple years in the league. Starting to look like he gets it, having a strong showing this preseason. Strong defender. Held opponents 4.8 percent below usual production last year. Not an offensive force, poor shooter, and he doesn’t usually finish when getting in the lane. We could probably match CDR on Brewer.
3. Damien Wilkins | 6’6″ | 225 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Capable 3 point shooter, who struggled from 2 last year. Average defender. Minnesota’s version of Jarvis Hayes. We can’t let him get open looks, but other than that, he shouldn’t be too much of a factor.
4. Ryan Gomes | 6’7″ | 240 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
One of those PF/SF hybrids who was supposed to be playing SF this year before the injury to Kevin Love. Doesn’t really like to go inside as he gets most of his shots from the outside. He is a good shooter who can hit the 3 when he is open. A weaker defender.
5. Al Jefferson | 6’10” | 265 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Al Jefferson turned into a terrific scorer and rebounder before getting hurt last year. It seems that he is starting to learn how to play the position. Coming off ACL surgery and a quick rehab, so that may lead him to be hesitant. Poor instincts on the defensive end, he doesn’t really help well. He can sometimes get bodied by bigger centers.
G. Ramon Sessions | 6’3″ | 190 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
A terrific true point off the bench. Had the 12th best assist rate in the NBA last year. Like Flynn he is best when he gets into the lane, and when he does he can either dish or score. Not the best outside shooter, so give him room and let him shoot.
G. Wayne Ellington | 6’4″ | 200 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
A terrific shooter. Can’t leave him, or help off him on penetration.
F/C. Ryan Hollins | 7’0″ | 230 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Got some playoff minutes and performed well last year. A shot-blocker who is the Timberwolves defensive big man. Limited strength and size allows him to be thrown around. When the ball goes up, get your body into him and box out, he won’t get the rebound.
G. Jason Hart | 6’3″ | 180 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
A third point guard who should only get minutes if Flynn or Sessions is in foul trouble.
F. Nathan Jawai | 6’10” | 280 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Played in 6 games for Toronto last year getting 3.2 minutes a game…that’s all I got…
F. Brian Cardinal | 6’8″ | 240 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Generic end of the bench white guy.
G/F. Aleksandar Pavlovic | 6’7″ | 235 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Pavlovic had one break-out year a few years ago but he has seen his minutes decrease since. A good option off of the bench.
C. Mark Blount | 7’0″ | 250 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
Journeyman who was with the Heat last year.
C. Oleksiy Pecherov | 7’0″ | 234 | No Regular Season Stats
Outside shooting big man in the Andrea Bargnani mode.
F/C. Kevin Love | 6’10” | 260 lbs. | No Regular Season Stats
With quick PGs, they like to penetrate and either kick or finish. They have a solid shooter in Ellington who will probably stand on the wing while the penetration happens. Expect Jefferson to get the ball a lot, before his injury, Jefferson had one of the highest usage rates in the NBA, getting the ball on 30% of the Wolves possessions last year.
The Wolves are smallish in the frontcourt, so they like to pressure the guards so that they can’t make an easy pass into the post.
Keys To Victory:
Keep the ball out of Jefferson’s hands. Take advantage of the small frontcourt and attack the glass. Keep the Wolves quick PGs out of the lane. Don’t let Ellington get out. Get the ball to Brook inside.