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D’Angelo Russell reacts to Ryan Saunders putting him on Timberwolves’ defensive lineup

Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell, Ryan Saunders

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat were in a back-and-forth game on Wednesday. With the game tight late in the fourth quarter, you might expect an offensive-minded player like D’Angelo Russell to be subbed out for the sake of defense.

However, Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders put his trust in the newly acquired Russell, and the 24-year-old point guard took notice.

“I’ve been in situations throughout my career where teams have made that sub and went all defensive lineup, no hiccup, no weaknesses, I would say. For him to trust me and to believe I would be there to execute, that’s just our chemistry growing,” D’Angelo Russell said of Ryan Saunders, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

The move paid off as Minneosta ended up with a 129-126 victory to improve to 17-40 on the season. Russell scored 27 points, dished out six assists, and grabbed five rebounds in the win.

The Timberwolves acquired Russell at the NBA trade deadline in a blockbuster deal that sent former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors.

Minnesota is now Russell’s fourth team in his five-season career. However, in four games with the Timberwolves, the former No. 2 overall pick is averaging 23.8 points, 8.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from deep.