Anthony Davis‘ 50-point outburst against the Minnesota Timberwolves is just another sign that Head Coach Ryan Saunders may need to tweak his starting five to match-up with two-big lineups.
Following Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers’ absolute massacre of the Minnesota Timberwolves, during which Davis shot 16-of-20 from inside the paint and the Lakers scored 70 of their 142 points within the painted area, it is time for the the Wolves to begin using a bigger starting lineup to match up with teams like LA.
While Robert Covington is a capable power forward who can stretch the floor, he is also undersized for the position at 6-foot-7 and is much better as a perimeter defender than he is at defending 7-footers in the post, as evidenced by his defensive real plus-minus rating this season:
Many fans and analysts believed before the season that the Wolves would utilize a couple of different starting lineups this year, one with RoCo as the starting stretch-four and another with Covington on the wing and a traditional big like Jordan Bell, Gorgui Dieng, or Noah Vonleh next to Karl-Anthony Towns.
However, the coaching staff has been unwilling to bend from their philosophy, seemingly refusing to start two-big lineups regardless of the opposing team’s roster. Due to this refusal, Minnesota has struggled mightily against bigger, stronger lineups throughout the year.
As opposed to last season, when veteran Taj Gibson consistently held down the power forward spot, the Wolves may benefit from Ryan Saunders choosing to alter their starting lineup in order to match up better with opposing teams.