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Andrew Lawrence
October 26, 2009
THE LAST time Al Jefferson was this svelte was 2006--07, when he had his breakthrough season with the Celtics. After bulking back up to 293 pounds last year to better bang with the likes of Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal, the 6'10" Jefferson shed 31 pounds this summer to adapt to first-year coach Kurt Rambis's transition-based offense. The attack will also feature elements of the triangle (the system Rambis taught for 10 years as a Lakers assistant) and hinge on speedy guards Ramon Sessions and rookie Jonny Flynn's pushing the ball. "We're giving them the freedom to dictate what we do offensively without calling a lot of plays," says Rambis.
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October 26, 2009

14 Minnesota Timberwolves

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Offensive rebounds per game by power forward Kevin Love during his rookie season. The only player who pulled down more was the league's leading rebounder, Dwight Howard of the Magic (4.3).


I'm not sure what the plan is here, but it looks as if they have a good foundation with point guards. Ramon Sessions doesn't have a major weakness. He's a solid shooter and a pretty good pick-and-roll guy who can penetrate, and he has a knack for getting it out to the shooters. His aggressive mind-set helps him; you have to be a risk taker.... Jonny Flynn has court presence and is willing to take over the game. With the floor spaced like it is in the NBA—and the fact that [defenders] can't put their hands on him—he'll get the ball in the middle with the chance to use his quickness and strength. This league is made for a guy like him.... I wonder how their up-tempo style will work with Kevin Love, because he's more of a beefy loper. If they're not going to have him running with them, they'll have to get their wings on the break. But somebody has to rebound and outlet, and that's a strength of Love's; I've seen him take the ball from out of the basket and chest-pass it the length of the court.... Ryan Hollins is one of the better athletes in the league at the center position—or any position, really. The problem is he doesn't have a feel for the game.

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