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Video: Timberwolves beat the Pacers on a beautiful backdoor cut

Nov 9, 2012, 11:41 PM EDT

Rick Adelman AP

Chase Budinger really, really likes playing for Rick Adelman. He openly gushes about the opportunities Adelman’s corner offense creates for him, and how the principles of Adelman’s system mesh perfectly with his ability to shoot 3-pointers and make decisive cuts.

With all the talk today after Mike Brown’s firing, it’s hard not to look at the Timberwolves early success with a certain level of awe. Even with no Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love (and Brandon Roy for the second half due to knee soreness), Adelman just continues to plug and play, and the Wolves keep winning games with good passing and smart play off the ball, even though they’re severely lacking in individual talent in the traditional sense. No one can break down a defense, they only have one post threat (Nikola Pekovic) and their bench is a hodgepodge of journeymen (Dante Cunningham) and unproven young guys (Alexey Shved). Despite all that, it’s clear that this is a roster that has fully bought in, which is more than you can say for about half of the teams in the league, it seems.

Back to tonight. After Indiana’s George Hill hit an incredible, step-back 3-pointer to tie the game, the Wolves were left with four seconds to make something happen. These are the situations where a coach can truly shine, and there isn’t a better coach at drawing up a sidelines out of bounds play with the game on the line than Adelman. It helps when a defender falls asleep, but it’s hard not to give Adelman credit for ingraining that principle in Budinger’s head — if you see the back of your defender’s head, go. And that’s just what Budinger did to win the game for the Wolves on a beautiful, heads up play:

  1. johnmindiola - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    That was a fun game to watch. It’s almost like someone forgot to tell the Wolves bench players that they’re backups. It’s early, and they’re streaky, but the Wolves are finishing games this year, something they’ve struggled with for a long time. Nightly highlight reel when Love and Rubio are back.

  2. lemfaxx - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    Simply perfect play

  3. qwertify - Nov 10, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    I think its more of an ugly defense rather than a beautiful backdoor cut. The Pacers lost their focus defensively. They were all looking at Kirilenko waiting for him to make his move, while doing so they forgot about who they should be guarding

  4. metalhead65 - Nov 10, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    the wolves always play the pacers like they are in a game 7 of a playoff series. maybe if they focused on playing other teams half as hard as they do Indiana they would not suck.

    • Justin - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Pacers: 2-4 Wolves: 4-1. They been playing hard every game this year bud

  5. Justin - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I know Dante Cunningham has been a journeyman up until this point but he has been brilliant for the early part of the season. That trade shipping out Wayne Ellington for Cunningham by Kahn is looking like highway robbery so far this year.

  6. anarchopurplism - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Pavers were defending the isolation….”hero ball” and they get beat by a pass oriented high school play

    Geez, you’d think we’d get kudos from Indiana folks!

    Nice play…..if the cut gets defensed, jack up a jay.

  7. observingii - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Getting Cunningham on a swap and paying him just $2 million has to be the steal of the year!

  8. minnesotablizzard - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    You cannot overstate the importance of the Russian imports so far this season.

    AK-47 has been a true leader and I give a ton of the team defensive credit to him on the floor. You can see him helping other players out on where to be on defense and his hustle and effort are contagious. He also looks like a great teammate as you can always see him on the bench talking with Pekovic, Shved, and others about strategy in the game. As a t-wolves fan AK-47 has been a real treat, seeing competent savvy veteran wing play around here for the first time since….. Sprewell? maybe ever?

    Shved’s really settled down since his first game in which he had the Beasley look on his face of utter confusion. Luckily, it was just his nerves for his first ever NBA game. Shved’s ability to score and create has saved us multiple times in the 4th quarter already this season. Shved also had he exact same things said about his defense before coming over as Rubio did, and Shved has shown just as Rubio did that he can use his length to give him a buffer on defense and throw off the offensive player.

    After last nights game I’m ridiculously excited for the Rubio-Shved back court pairing experiment that Adelman is bound to try at some point during the coming games. Not only will it be a fun, talented, creative pairing, it will be a marketers dream.

  9. indianaviking - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Or if you are a Pacers fan…”we lost the game on a f***ing layup?!?”

  10. scalfor3 - Nov 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    That was some terrible defense. Good job by AK47 to recognize Green had lost him and capitalize but still…damn

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