Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 key takeaways from Wolves in preseason

Head coach Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)
Head coach Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns
D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images) /

Takeaway No. 3: Minnesota Timberwolves’ truly versatile offense

There’s no questioning the talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Wolves.

At the same time, Minnesota’s offense has been inconsistent at best over the past several years. Part of that can be blamed on injuries, but the previous coaching staff occasionally overcomplicated matters for a roster that doesn’t need too much prodding in order to score points.

With Towns as the focal point, the Wolves can choose to play almost any version of offense that Finch so chooses.

In the half court, Towns can play in the low post or mid-post, acting as a fulcrum of sorts. Edwards is a dangerous cutter and an improving shooter with unlimited range. Russell and Beasley are dynamite catch-and-shoot threats from the perimeter. McDaniels is an average shooter and improving cutter who is beginning to emerge as a versatile offensive weapon.

The Wolves can play pick-and-roll with Edwards or Russell handling and Towns as the screener. They can play out of horns sets, with Towns and *insert almost anyone else* at the elbows, allowing Edwards to get downhill and Russell/Beasley/McDaniels/Prince/Beverley to spot-up around the perimeter.

Minnesota is a dangerous transition team, too. Nobody wants Edwards rumbling toward them in the open floor. Beasley does his best damage in transition, both at the rim and outside the arc. And Russell is still one of the league’s most creative and opportunistic passers.

Most of the wings are versatile on both ends of the floor, which will allow Finch the ability to mix and match. Last year’s roster included players like Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez, who were essentially locked into the 1 and 4 spots, respectably. Now, the top three point guards on the roster (Russell, Beverley, and Jordan McLaughlin) can play reliably off the ball. Hernangomez was replaced by Prince, who can play both forward spots.

The versatility and improved shooting on this team is notable, and it was clearly on display in four short preseason appearances.

dark. Next. Wolves encourage with preseason ball movement

Here’s hoping it carries into Wednesday’s opener against Houston and beyond…