Watching the Wolves over the past week, I’ve been struck over and over both by the team’ curiously shaped, oddly angled roster, as well as the crafty ways in which Rick Adelman has managed to patch it all together. In recent games we’ve been treated to such curiosities as: Kevin Love guarding Pau Gasol; Luke Ridnour checking Metta W. Peace (and Paul George and Anthony Morrow and Deron Williams); Martell Webster doing his honest best on Kevin Martin. These are not exactly dream matchups; the fact that the Wolves have managed to win two of those games speaks highly both of the team’s level of investment and their coach’s ingenuity.
Friday night’s game in Newark offered more for Adelman to puzzle over. Inserting Ridnour into the starting lineup at the off guard has, at the very least, allowed Wesley Johnson to slide over to his natural wing position, where he plays his best defense and is saddled with significantly less ball-handling responsibility (a good thing). But, drawbacks. As we’ve discussed/lamented many times over, the lineup of Rubio, Ridnour, Johnson, Love and Darko/Pekovic is conspicuously lacking in a bona-fide NBA shot creator and scorer. Enter Michael Beasley and Jose Barea who, theoretically at least, ought to be able to inject energetic one-on-one scoring into the mix.