Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell, fed up with the way his team is playing on defense, vowed Tuesday to make changes.
He wouldn’t say what he would change; he said he’d sleep on it. But, when it comes to a team dominated by youth still learning how to play in this league, what significant changes can Mitchell make at this point?
We’ll see tomorrow, when the Wolves play in New York.
Mitchell was clearly at a low point after the 112-100 loss to a Denver team that entered Target Center as the 25th-best shooting team in the league and proceeded to shoot 56.2 percent.
So what might Mitchell do? Well, perhaps you’ll see more of the defensive-minded Tayshaun Prince. Or maybe Mitchell will go in another direction. Maybe, with the team in dire need of a shakeup, he’ll finally move Zach LaVine into the starting lineup at the two guard and hope his chemistry with point guard Ricky Rubio will kick-start the Wolves offense.
Meanwhile, here are some final thoughts on the game:
--LaVine is still learning – especially on defense – but his scoring ability from the two guard spot is undeniable. After scoring 28 in Phoenix Sunday he came back with 20 tonight. I think his minutes need to rise into the 30-something range.
--Rubio seemed very, very down after tonight’s game. He called the Wolves defense lazy. He worried that the young players weren’t learning the NBA game fast enough. Rubio had 13 points with nine assists and four rebounds tonight.
--Andrew Wiggins turned up the aggression on offense, scoring 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting.
--Nemanja Bjelica still seems lost in the mix. He had four three fouls and two points in 17 minutes tonight. He’s still too hesitant to shoot on offense.
--What is it about former Wolves players playing well against Minnesota? Tonight it was Randy Foye, who scored 19 points. Seventeen of those came in the second quarter, when the Nuggets took over the game for good.
That’s about it. Jerry will pick up the team in New York.