Feb 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour (13) argues a call during the third quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at the Target Center. The Spurs defeated the Timberwolves 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Littered With Bodies: A Same-Old Story

There is a fan for whom nuance is not a familiar word. You can bet exasperation is. This is a person who catches a score, sees the same story as the last time he caught a score, and determines someone must be fired because then the problem would be solved.

My favorite argument against this thinking was pointed out by Steve McPherson over at awolfamongwolves (bold and italics are obnoxious and mine):

At the beginning of the season, it wasn’t entirely clear what the starting lineup—the backbone of the 2012-13 Timberwolves—was going to be. If Brandon Roy’s knees had held up, he likely would have been the starting shooting guard. They were waiting for the return of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, but they would obviously be part of the squad that would start and finish games. Had Alexey Shved not been pressed into service so quickly by Roy’s absence, he might have stayed on the bench longer, but it’s become clear by this point that the best balance of developing the Wolves’ future and giving them a shot to win now would mean starting Ricky Rubio, Alexey Shved, Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.

That lineup has played five minutes together this season.

This would be a mind-blowing if you weren’t already aware of the injuries — even mentioning Roy at this point is to participate in a farce — but if you already were…

It gets worse. According to NBA.com, the league’s most-used lineup is the Pacers’ starting lineup of George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert. They’ve played 795 minutes together this season. Second and third on that list are the starters for the Blazers and the Thunder, who have played 764 and 756 minutes together respectively.

The Timberwolves top five most-used lineups have totalled 589 minutes this season, as shown in the chart here:

020713_Lineups

That chart is all kinds of frustration everybody should be able to get behind.

The Pacers, Blazers and Thunder all have lineups that have played 750+ minutes together so far this season while the Wolves top 5 lineups haven’t totalled 600. That’s not subtle minutiae, parsed syntax, or Latin. Find a group of guys playing pick-up basketball over their 35 minute lunch break for a single week and they will be more familiar with each other on the court than the Wolves’ healthiest lineup. Find me a more salient detail to describe the Wolves’ season.

Tags: Body Count Injuries Minnesota Timberwolves NBA News

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