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Timberwolves guard Luke Ridnour provides quality depth at both guard positions
According to Mark Stein of ESPN.com, Minnesota is the No. 14 team in the NBA. Stein mentions how "(Kevin) Love and his overhauled supporting cast are must-see."
They key point is the new-and-improved depth of the 'Wolves. The team featured a forward-heavy roster last season, but they now possess a more balanced roster.
Every good playoff team needs balance. The Orlando Magic tried for years to win by making a lot of three-point shots. The Los Angeles Lakers have recently tried winning with overwhelming size.
Both teams failed, the Lakers just recently, and watched more balanced teams like Oklahoma City and Miami battle in the finals.
Minnesota may have finally found its balance. It is talented at every position, and has a great mix of youth and experience.
At point guard, the 'Wolves feature Jose Barea, Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour.
Barea is the team's spark plug, and brings a jolt of energy off the bench. Rubio is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. When he returns, he will use his rare floor vision to make opposing defenses look foolish.
The main guy, until Rubio returns, will be Ridnour. Ridnour averaged almost 12 points and five assists per game. But more importantly, his 1.8 turnovers per game stat shows he knows how to handle the ball. When Rubio returns, Ridnour is versatile to switch to shooting guard.
Shooting guard is the position that is most improved from last season. The additions of Brandon Roy and Alexey Shved may give the Timberwolves the most depth they've ever had at the position. Chase Budinger will also add a three-point specialist to the position.
At forward, Kevin Love leads a deep group that includes Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger and Derrick Williams. And everyone except Budinger can rotate at either the small or power forward positions.
Lastly, Nikola Pekovic and Greg Stiemsma will own the center position. Nikola averaged 14 points per game, and collected about seven rebounds per game. If Pekovic can recreate his 2011-12 production, Minnesota will have one high-powered starting five.