To coach Chris Finch, one play was the "signature" moment in the Timberwolves' 138-95 romp over the Grizzlies on Saturday.
With the Wolves leading 14-10 in the first quarter, Memphis forward Jaren Jackson Jr. grabbed a defensive rebound and tried to pass to guard Ja Morant.
Wolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt came from behind Jackson and knocked the ball away, fought off Jackson for the loose ball and then dished to an open Anthony Edwards, who knocked down the first of five first-quarter three-pointers to ignite the Wolves' runaway victory.
Vanderbilt isn't going to fill up the boxscore with points, but he makes his mark just about everywhere else. On Saturday he had only five points, but also 10 rebounds, three steals, three assists and two blocks. Five of his rebounds were offensive.
Hustle plays, rebounding and defense have been the 6-9 Vanderbilt's specialty, and it's why he has earned a starting spot.
"Let's talk about 'Vando.' He's first-team all defense if you ask me," Edwards said. "Hardest worker in the NBA. Never stops. The best teammate to have."
Vanderbilt, 22, is in his fourth NBA season, but he only got major minutes for the first time a year ago. With that experience comes wisdom and there's more to Vanderbilt's hustle, especially as it pertains to offensive rebounding, than just pure effort.
Vanderbilt has seen his teammates shoot so much — and miss so much — in practices and games since coming to Minnesota two seasons ago that he knows where they tend to miss.
"I kind of weirdly know where they might miss from studying them and watching them shoot the ball," Vanderbilt said. "Just a mixture of instincts and just watching the rotation of the ball, I kind of know. Just find that open gap when I do get the offensive rebound."
There are some general rules to offensive rebounding Vanderbilt follows — such as when a player shoots and misses from one corner, the ball usually ends up on the opposite side of the rim — but knowing his teammates' tendencies provides another data point he can use in the moment.
"It's all about where people generally miss and watching my teammates and knowing how they shoot and what type of shot it's going to be," Vanderbilt said. "And it's me trying to get to my position and at that point using instincts and effort to win that battle."
These skills have helped make Vanderbilt one of the most efficient offensive rebounders in the NBA. Of players who average 20 minutes or more, Vanderbilt ranks eighth in terms of offensive rebounding percentage (10.6%). That means Vanderbilt alone grabs more than 10% of all potential offensive rebounds when he is on the floor and a Wolves player misses. In terms of raw numbers, he averages 2.5 offensive boards per game, 24th in the league.
"With instincts and effort, just by going you'll get a lot of them," Vanderbilt said.
Earlier this season, Vanderbilt might try to force up a shot in a crowd after those rebounds. Now he is looking for his teammates along the perimeter, because open looks from deep after an offensive rebound have some of the highest expected points per possession rates in the NBA.
"Vando has a pretty good sense of where people are on the floor a lot of times, so his passing is sneaky good," Finch said. "It may not always look smooth, but he knows what he's trying to do."
That is to contribute to winning any way he can, with every boxout for a rebound and every dive on the floor for a loose ball he can make.
"You just trust him," guard D'Angelo Russell said. "You trust he's going to make a play, you trust that he's going to get the offense going around him. You trust he's going to make the 50/50 [play]. You trust he's going to have our back defensively."