Saturday, October 15, 2022

Zach Lowe's NBA League Pass Rankings


ESPN - "Lowe's League Pass Rankings: The top 10 must-watch teams this season"

10. Dallas Mavericks
9. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Minnesota Timberwolves

"The Wolves ranked first in pace and second in scoring efficiency after Jan. 1 last season. They have one blockbuster young star in Anthony Edwards, fast becoming a three-level scorer as his confidence soars on pull-ups and step-backs.

Edwards wants to dunk people into oblivion -- the bigger, the better. He flies at the rim as if he thinks he can dunk through humans -- that they will disintegrate beneath him.

One of the league's keenest offensive tinkerers -- Chris Finch -- must figure out how to mesh Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert in an unusual double-center look that has to work given the Wolves traded everything short of the old Metrodome baggie for Gobert.

Finch will get creative on defense, too. On some nights, the Wolves might flip-flop matchups -- slotting Towns onto centers, and stashing Gobert elsewhere so he can act as roving shot-blocker. We might see glimpses of last season's blitzing defense as a surprise adjustment.

Kyle Anderson weaponizes his slowness; defenders stumble ahead of his elongated moves, allowing Slow-Mo to saunter through creases. He snatches some of the league's cleanest live-dribble steals. Jaden McDaniels still seems like a blank canvas, and looms as Minnesota's swing factor. Jaylen Nowell jacks and struts with a gunslinger's bravado. How will D'Angelo Russell -- on an expiring contract -- respond if Finch yanks him for Jordan McLaughlin in crunch time again?

The Wolves relegated their gaudy neon green to the trimmings on this pristine new jersey:

Standing ovation for the fangs extending down off the "M" and "V."

PSST: Towns' averages in 11 postseason games: 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 3.5 turnovers (gag!), and many, many silly fouls. He has three single-digit scoring games, plus a dud in last season's play-in. It's time."

7. Milwaukee Bucks
6. Boston Celtics
5. New Orleans Pelicans
4. Denver Nuggets
3. Memphis Grizzlies
2. Golden State Warriors
1. Brooklyn Nets

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