Is Zach LaVine about to become a starter again?
The Timberwolves don't hit threes and don't get out in transition, so the theories are flying around of how they can get better at those two aspects of the game.
Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press has his own theories, derives from some possibly self-unaware Sam Mitchell quotes:
LaVine is hitting 36 percent of his long balls and is averaging 21.5 points per 36 minutes, though his decision-making his rightfully come under question time after time. If LaVine were to enter the starting lineup, though, who would he replace?
Ricky Rubio? No way.
Kevin Martin, who has been shooting better of late and is the only guy consistently making a regular volume of threes? Sure, but the team could end up getting worse just because of LaVine's sketchy decision-making.
The real story here comes in Mitchell's quotes, talking about the lack of spacing and three-point efficiency in the offense. Mitchell has been put in an awkward coaching position this year running an offense that wasn't originally his, but the Wolves attack doesn't exactly encourage looks from beyond the arc.
Even when running conventional plays for three-point shots, you'll see someone like Tayshaun Prince standing a foot or two inside the arc for no give reason. It makes the offense so much less efficient and scrunches spacing that much more. If the Wolves want to make an adjustment, maybe they'll be better off fixing those aspects of their schemes. And for all we know, that's exactly what Mitchell was referring to.
“I've got an idea right now,” Mitchell said. “But I want to sleep on it and make sure.”
Will it be Zach LaVine starting at shooting guard instead of Kevin Martin? That was the plan in training camp before Mitchell decided to play LaVine as the backup point guard.
Mitchell pointed out that there is only one player on the Wolves squad who is a legitimate three-point shooting threat: LaVine.
“We've got one guy shooting in the 30s three-point shots,” he said. “There's just no space. For whatever reason, we're not a running team. We don't run enough. When you've got to play halfcourt basketball and you don't have shooters to spread the floor, it just makes it tough. That's not going to change.”