I alluded to this in the point about Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns needing to mesh well, but it’s important enough to explore all by itself for a moment. Tom Thibodeau needs to not kill his starting lineup. This is a total double-edged sword, I realize.
Thibodeau will need to play his starting lineup, or best lineup combination if that isn’t exactly the starters, a good chunk for the Wolves to actually win games. But, to actually win a lot of games throughout the season, Thibodeau can’t kill his prime lineup either.
The Timberwolves need to find just the right mix of playing time to really succeed this season. The bench is simply weak and not deep, but the bench really does need to work out of their minds if the Wolves want to be a top four team in the Western Conference.
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This, of course, is a worry because it has been a headline for a while that Thibodeau overplays his starters and runs them into the ground. While, I don’t think teams should be taking a Greg Popovich approach by resting players for games as a whole, there is a happy middle ground between the Pop and Thibs style.
It’s all easier said than done, but the Wolves will need the studs to have energy when the playoffs roll around. Towns and Wiggins have never been to the playoffs, so that means they’ll be playing many more games than they are used to.
We’ll make it easier on Thibodeau. Whoever made the formula for how long Nikola Pekovic could play on the court deserves a second chance on a formula that actually works. Let that person take a crack at the formula to say how long Thibodeau should be playing his starters.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will kickoff their season on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. The season kicks off on October 18.