As statistics go, individual plus/minus is an informative one, one that hints at a player's effectiveness. But it is not the end-all, of course. It has a lot to do with how good the team is playing as a unit, how well the team is doing in general.
The Timberwolves entered Wednesday's game with Miami on a four-game winning streak. In that time, the Wolves starting lineup of D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jarred Vanderbilt, Patrick Beverley and Anthony Edwards are first through fifth best in the NBA in plus/minus.
It has already been established that the lineup coach Chris Finch has settled on the past seven games — after using five different lineups through the first 10 games — has the best net rating of any team in the league.
Atop this list, Russell.
Russell was a minus-195 in 42 games played last season, putting him near the bottom of the league in that statistic. Entering Wednesday's game, Russell was third in the league at plus-136, behind just Golden State's Stephen Curry (plus-224) and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo (plus-142).
"You got to give credit to D'Angelo,'' Finch said. "When he's on the floor good things are happening. Like, defensively, his effort, his attention to detail, taking the challenge of his matchups has been really good. I think the changes in the starting lineup have really helped balance that unit in particular. And when he's in there with the second unit, he's generating a ton of offense for those guys. So yeah, he's kind of impacting the game in all ways, really.''
Again, that has a lot to do with the team's recent success. But Russell has been working well with both the starters and the reserve.
"He has a great chemistry with them,'' Finch said of the Wolves reserves. He's such a great creator and in that unit he pushes pace, he gets to the paint. He finds his shooters; it's generally [Malik] Beasley out there. And we kind of make him the focal point of that and D'Lo does a really good job.''
- Tuesday night Beverley and McKinley Wright provided 100 turkeys to families at Hospitality House Youth Development in north Minneapolis. They were joined by teammates Josh Okogie and Taurean Prince.
- After missing four games with back spasms, Okogie was available for Wednesday's game.