Keys to the Wolf Den: Triangle and Run-N-Gun Offense Evaluation

Timber WolfAnalyst IIJanuary 8, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 28: Jonny Flynn #10 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates after being fouled late in the fourth quarter by the New Jersey Nets at the Target Center on October 28, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Nets 95-93. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images)
Genevieve Ross/Getty Images

When it comes to certain topics, I choose not to dive into numbers and statistics, and just let the game speak for itself.

Watching the Golden State game, I've come to truly appreciate the triangle offense, and it satisfies me that the Wolves have a half-court offense that can be effective. In fact, I would like to say it's better than the Wolves running pick and rolls at this point.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are being coached by Kurt Rambis, a head coach known for his defensive schemes and running the triangle under "Zen Master" Phil Jackson, coach of the NBA defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers.

In my personal perspective, the reason why the Wolves run the triangle is because they simply don't have the talent to "put it all on the floor."

Making cuts, setting screens, moving the ball, and taking what the defense gives you basically sums up the triangle offense and it requires a lot of reads from the defense. More often then not, it gets the Wolves a high quality shot, the problem is simply turnovers and efficiency.

The Wolves currently run a triangle offense that includes Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Wayne Ellington, and Corey Brewer as the main offensive weapons.

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Besides that, the Minnesota Timberwolves have incorporated pick and rolls into the offense very well, the problem is the offensive execution.

The Minnesota Timberwolves just do not have the talent to run the triangle to the best of it's ability, because of inexperience and lack of organization at times.

Does this mean the Wolves should run pick and rolls?

I don't think so.

After all, even Al Jefferson has gotten into a groove. In his last five games, he's averaging 20.8 PPG and 9.4 RPG, and this is huge for Minnesota, seeing that he's their very best offensive weapon.

United we run?

The Timberwolves can run the basketball, but the problem is more often than not, the Wolves cannot utilize their best defensive weapons (Corey Brewer) to turn the ball over and get on fast breaks.

Corey Brewer plays the passing lanes extremely well, and it shows when he's not helping defend in the low post, he's able to use his length and quickness to deflect passes and run the fast break, but a lack of a shot-blocker makes that hard for the 6'9'' "former Gator."

Jonny Flynn, the Timberwolves starting point guard, is not great defensively, to say the least, but whenever he gets a steal, he's able to push the ball and his teammates follow. His inconsistent defense, however, as well as a lack of a shot-blocker inside, makes it very hard for the team to run when it is inbounding the ball.

Kevin Love is no slouch on defense, but his lack of athleticism hurts, and Al Jefferson has the defensive attention span of a knight picking his nose in a war.

The triangle offense has been effective, and the Wolves are scoring with more efficiency and it is boding well for them. Corey Brewer has stepped up, Al Jefferson and Kevin Love are almost impossible to stop together offensively, and Wayne Ellington is slowly looking like the Wolves best rookie, it's nice to see.

It's going to be interesting to see who the Wolves add in the draft next season to compliment the young core they have.

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