The Timberwolves have many new parts after a busy trade deadline, bringing in Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell, among other pieces. The core of the team looks more promising after the roster acquisitions, though there have been some issues with the players getting used to one another.
“They’ve got to be loud, and it’s uncomfortable,” head coach Ryan Saunders said, as Chris Hine of the Star Tribune relays. “But that’s our biggest thing we have to improve upon at the moment.”
The team isn’t bickering nor are there any sort of chemistry issues — this is not the drama of a year ago. The squad simply doesn’t know each other well and the communication on the court has been off, something evident by Minnesota’s 139-123 loss to the Mavs on Monday.
“That’s what great teams do,” guard Josh Okogie said of learning to communicate better. “And if we want to be a great team, we’re going to have to go through that, being able to hold everybody accountable. I think we do a great job of that on the court. When somebody messes up, we address the issue and then it’s dead after that. We all like each other, so we all know it’s coming from a good place.”
Russell, who came to the team in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and a pair of draft picks, has dealt with various injuries this season and the team is being very cautious with the former No. 2 overall pick. The guard being in and out of the lineup has definitely contributed to the team not meshing. Yet, the franchise’s plan to have Russell healthy heading into the offseason won’t change.
“I trust what they do,” Russell said. “Performance team is great here. Performance team is running professional sports nowadays. They’re way more educated than I am in that aspect.”