Advanced Scouting: T'Wolves at Mavs

NBA scout Kyle Leath offers his 'how-to's' on beating the Timberwolves. Minnesota's strengths, weaknesses and habits ... It's an NBA-level scouting report on the Mavs opponent, an every-game-day exclusive on

TWolves at Dallas Mavericks, 730 pm at AAC

TWOLVES 7-10 MAVS 11-7

F- Wes Johnson F- Shawn Marion

F- Kevin Love F- Lamar Odom

C- Darko Milicic C- Brendan Haywood

G- Luke Ridnour G- Delonte West

G- Ricky Rubio G- Jason Kidd

TWolves Defense:

• They stress Man-to-man.

• Guards do not close the gap a lot of time on perimeter shooters, looking for the drive instead.

• Will show/recover on ball screens. Milicic is slow on his recovery.

• Single the post on the block. Guards will jab down but they do not do much doubling when ball is entered to post.

• Guards can be posted. (Kidd can take advantage.)

TWolves Offense:

• Half-court set is primarily a 1-2-2 set with the post at the elbow and shooters starting in corners

• Will establish strong side and set down screens for weak side wing to come off

• Use post to run mid pick/rolls.

• PG dribble entry to the wing with strong side zipper cut by wing. Good way to get post on block.

• Curl strong side wing back to corner. Try to get him clean or a switch on post.

• Transition is triggered by Rubio. He is not the fastest PG around but a deadly passer. He'll can transform any transition into a break and easy bucket:

• Will run drags and double drags (using one or two post to set mid ball screen) in early offense.

• If you trap the mid pick/roll, the post do a great job of rolling hard to basket and guards do a good job of hitting them.

• Love will always be around for backside rebounds of missed shots, he must be blocked out. An increase in intensity from Lamar Odom would be helpful here.

• Like to clear out into a two-man game with guard and Love posted low.

• Love will pick/pop for 3-point shot. He averages (5) attempts per game and is shooting 36%.

TWolves Stat Check:

• Kevin Love is 5th in Scoring at 24.9/gm, 1st in Double-Doubles with 16 and 2nd in Rebounding at 13.9/gm.

• Ricky Rubio is 6th in Assist at 8.5/gm.

How to Beat the TWolves:

• LOVE – Keep him off glass. If shot goes up he automatically goes to weak side of rim. Know he can step out and shoot it.

• TEAM DEFENSE – Make them score out of a set, not transition or early offense. Use the Mavs team's strength of playing good half-court defense.

• PHYSICAL – Outside of Love not a real physical team, especially on perimeter. Take guards into lane. Love, though, is not just a bull to the weakside of the rim, and not just clever about it, but also has "want-to'':

• DEPTH – Beasley and Barea have been out so bench is a bit thin. This is a constant theme for Dallas: Win the game when the opponent starters are on the bench.

Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games.

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