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Musel's Wolves Musings: Small Forward, Big Decision

Updated: 10/30/2013 6:06 PM
Created: 10/30/2013 5:24 PM KSTP.com
By: Benjamin Musel

With forward Chase Budinger out to begin the season, there seems to be a question about who starts. I personally thought that, and even with a healthy Budinger, forward Corey Brewer should be the starter. Not that he is the better player  -- he’s not -- but because he’ll add some much needed defensive tenacity to the starting lineup.

It’s a nod to how Oklahoma City used Thabo Sefolosha back when they had guard James Harden or even last year when they had guard Kevin Martin. Now that Martin is here in Minneapolis the same principle should be used. Forward Kevin Love is the first option on offense, Martin will probably be the second option and center Nikola Pekovic is a close third.

Derrick Williams echoed this opinion earlier this week when stating that if he did start he’d have to focus on defense and rebounding since he wouldn’t be a top option. On the second unit, Williams would be a top option along with guard JJ Barea. It’s my belief that Williams would be best suited with the second unit where he has the opportunity to shine where he can best and that leaves Brewer to start for defensive purposes.

I don’t know whom coach Rick Adelman is planning on starting at small forward most nights -- he seems to not know either. I guess I just assumed that with Budinger out the decision would be a no-brainer and Brewer would have been named to the starting lineup early on.

Maybe Adelman is more worried about the second unit’s defense than he is letting on. That worries me a little because this team’s defense won’t be its strength, and spreading the offensive punch throughout the entire length of the game seems to give the team the best chance of winning games throughout the season.

The Timberwolves should be limiting Brewer’s shots by playing him with the first unit and encouraging Williams' ability to shoot by making him the focal point of the second unit.

Who knows… Maybe Adelman will throw everyone for a loop and start rookie Shabazz Muhammed or even Robbie Hummel. If that happens, we’ll know that the coach truly doesn’t believe that Williams will ever work as a small forward.


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