Is this time for a Minnesota Timberwolves Tall Ball lineup?

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves roster is not just loaded with All-Star players. This is a roster ripe with young stars. And now, it seems, the Timberwolves roster boasts an insane number of skyscrapers.

In the NBA, there is a distinct advantage for taller players in many regards. As long as tall players can maintain the handle on the basketball, tall players can pass and shoot with fewer challenges in their line of sight than their shorter counterparts. And with a back-to-the-basket, tall players have a far greater chance of scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots.

So bigger is better, in many ways.

But one of the problems with a Tall Ball strategy is defense. Bigger players have longer dribbles, and that creates opportunities for smaller players to reach in and steal the basketball. Curiously, the Timberwolves may have found a cheat code to negate that weakness.

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You see, both SF Jaden McDaniels and rookie SF Leonard Miller possess some crazy ball-handling skills. Toss star SG Anthony Edwards into the mix, and you’ve really got something:

Does a Tall Ball lineup guarantee great things for the Minnesota Timberwolves? Of course not. What it does is create one more challenge for opposing teams, perhaps unlike one they had played against before. In the 2022-23 NBA season, the starting five of PG Mike Conley Jr., SG Anthony Edwards, SF Jaden McDaniels, PF Karl-Anthony Towns, and C Rudy Gobert played rather well together.

They competed in just seven games together, and just 75 minutes overall. But they managed a 106.4 offensive rating and an impressive 100.0 defensive rating, good enough for a positive 6.4 net rating.

Will Miller be a significant factor for the Timberwolves this season?

How many minutes of playing time will rookie F Leonard Miller see this season?  Perhaps not as many minutes as we’d like. Still, he will have his opportunities. And from what we have seen of the young man, he will certainly make the most of them.

Of course, this Timberwolves roster has other skyscrapers as well. The Timberwolves roster boasts 6-foot-10 center Luka Garza, who is playing on a Two-Way contract this season. The team is also welcoming back sixth-man Naz Reid, who stands 6-foot-9 as a versatile plug-n-play in any of the three front-court positions.

The Timberwolves roster boasts swiss-army knife Kyle Anderson, who also stands 6-foot-9 but who has been called upon to fill in every position for the Timberwolves rotations. And then there is 6-foot-8 forward Josh Minott, who returns from a rookie season more determined than ever to make a positive impact for the Timberwolves this season.

Not only does the Timberwolves roster boast three All-Star players on this roster (could Jaden McDaniels make it four?), but this team also boasts an incredible abundance of talented young players. Now, the Timberwolves have a new and undeniable advantage, as the team is bursting with skyscrapers as well.

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Is this time for a Minnesota Timberwolves Tall Ball lineup? To be completely honest, with so many talented tall players on the Timberwolves roster, I don’t see how this team can possibly avoid it any longer.