Minnesota Timberwolves starting point guard Jeff Teague recently spoke about the rotations that head coach Tom Thibodeau has used this year.
According to Teague, more players on the bench deserve a chance to show their potential and the starters could use more rest.
It’s no surprise to hear this, considering Minnesota’s starting lineup has been used extraordinarily often. The four-man lineup of Teague (who missed 11 games this season), Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson has still played more minutes together than any other combination in the league. The only real shock here is that Teague was willing to say it publicly, especially considering his back-up Tyus Jones has played very well when given significant minutes (including when he started in place of Teague).
Towns, 22, leads all centers in distance traveled on the floor with 174.8 miles so far this season. That’s over 15 miles more than Anthony Davis, who has the second-most distance traveled at the position. Teague isn’t the only one saying this in Minnesota; Gibson made some similar statements last month:
Gibson, 32, ranks in the Top 5 in distance traveled (170.7 miles) among all forwards in the Western Conference. He has said the bench often does not get the minutes they deserve.
Wiggins has the second-most miles traveled among forwards (176.2) in the West. Minnesota forwards Wiggins and Gibson have thus far been on the court together for an astonishingly high 30.1 minutes per game.
Jamal Crawford commented earlier this season that he expected to play more often for the Timberwolves.
He spoke with us about the way the starting rotation is used in Minnesota (via HoopsHype Podcast):
“Any competitor wants to be out there playing, but we just have to go with the flow, try to make the starters as good as possible and do our best to help the team whenever we are out there. For us [on the second unit], we just try to help each other collectively and help make the team better. That’s all we can really do: be ready when our number is called.”
While most teams tend to use shorter rotations in the postseason, there are two sides to the coin for the Timberwolves. They’ll have chemistry together, sure, but there is also worry about fatigue considering their usage.