In the first 26 games of the second half of this season, the Wolves are third in the NBA in both field goal percentage (.483) and true shooting percentage (.569, a stat that takes into account three-pointers and free throws). Much of that time coincides with Zach LaVine's move from combination guard (splitting time at shooting guard and point guard) to being almost exclusively a shooting guard in the starting lineup.

He's played 80 percent of his minutes at shooting guard in the second half of the season, including 97 percent in the past 17 games going into Wednesday's game at Memphis.

If this current starting five continues to not only add onto a very good offensive foundation but also nudges up its defense a notch or two, while the organization builds a more functional second unit … well, that could be the recipe, finally, for some sustained organizational success.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.