Under Ryan Saunders, the Timberwolves were already in the NBA's top 10 in pace, averaging 101.2 possessions per game. Playing up-tempo on offense was a goal of President Gersson Rosas' when he came into the team two years ago.
But under new coach Chris Finch, the Wolves want to play even faster than that, and that was one of the most noticeable differences between Saunders' tenure and the first two games of Finch's.
In their two games under Finch, the Wolves averaged 103.8 possessions. If they maintain that pace, that would be fast enough for second in the league.
But those numbers don't tell the full story of playing with pace in the NBA. It's not always about how fast a shot goes up, it's also the speed of the ball movement that may lead to a shot deeper in the shot clock.
"We don't want to confuse playing with pace with shooting quickly," Finch said. "It's not the same thing. We want to play with pace and make quicker decisions. We don't care if the shot comes with four seconds on the shot clock. But if it's a good one and it's open right away, we'll take that too."
But the Wolves are playing faster, too, and that adjustment in speed might have shown up for them on defense. The Bulls shot 59% Wednesday in an overtime victory over the Wolves, while the Bucks shot 54% on Tuesday in a blowout win.
"I wouldn't say we're out of shape, but we got to get used to playing at that speed," Wolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt said. "The first half we're running and gunning, everybody's energy is up. It slows down a little bit and we have that one period of time where we let them go on a little run because we either get lazy or fatigued at a point."
Vanderbilt, who had 16 points and six rebounds against the Bulls, added the quicker pace seems to suit him more, especially as he tries to fight on the offensive glass, one of his strong suits.
"Previously I was kind of just in the dunker [role] and I wasn't in much action or involved," Vanderbilt said. "It is great offensive rebounding position. But it's a little tougher when you're down there and I'm just fighting with 7-footers trying to get rebounds as opposed to flying in, get a better angle to grab some of the boards."
But when the Wolves don't get the offensive rebound on misses, it can lead to trouble.
Karl-Anthony Towns referred to a number of shots the Wolves took Wednesday as "fast-break starters" for the opposition.
"We're taking them so quick and with such pace that by the time we shoot them they're long misses that are coming right to people that are starting a fast break," Towns said. "And that can contribute to our defensive lapses`recently in the last two games. But at the end of the day, we can't make excuses."
Towns said practice time should help with that, and the Wolves have two days off before their next game in Washington. It's a needed break after a hectic week.
"Your defensive transition starts with the shot selection," Finch said. "We've been preaching to them. It's only a short amount of time and we'll get there."