The reason Chris Finch is adamant in keeping D’Angelo Russell on the Timberwolves bench
With a 16-43 record, D’Angelo Russell and the Minnesota Timberwolves are not going to make the playoffs this year. They’ve struggled all season long, as they’re a relatively young roster still trying to figure things out. However, they’ve won four games in their last 10 games. Not the best, but it’s at least an improvement the team can focus on in the final stretch of the season.
Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch has made some lineup changes, one of them being D’Angelo Russell coming off the bench. Russell is a solid scoring guard that plays well everywhere he’s gone. But his play hasn’t translated to wins. For that reason, Finch aims to keep Russell coming off the bench for the rest of the season, per the Star Tribune.
“In general the second unit has been really good and D-Lo has been a part of that,” Finch said. “He’s been able to create and out there with a defensive-oriented lineup that can get stops and get out and run and do things that benefit him and everyone else.”
With the Timberwolves bench squad being so defensive-focused, it has allowed Russell to focus on scoring, while the other four players play lockdown defense. It’s a strategy that makes sense, as it puts D’Angelo Russell in a situation that lets him play to his strengths as the main scoring asset on the court. Finch explains his reasoning:
“If you take him out of the second unit and put him in the starting unit, you have to rejig many of your rotations in general. Obviously, you don’t want to leave yourself exposed.”
In the starting lineup, the Timberwolves have plenty of scoring with Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Josh Okogie. Adding Russell into that mix creates turmoil, as each player would be fighting for the rock. Even though they’re one of the worst teams in the league, the decision to have Russell come off the bench is a brilliant move made by Chris Finch. Look for Minnesota to be an improved team next year, as this young roster continues to adjust to the NBA.