After the break, though, he played 76.5 percent of his minutes with Rubio, and the Wolves offense overall clicked into gear, averaging a scintillating 110.2 points per 100 possessions with Rubio and LaVine working together a mark that wouldve been the NBAs second-best over the full season. With Rubio setting the table, LaVines game soared at the two. go to my siteAs NBA.coms John Schuhmann noted , the post-All-Star, with-Rubio LaVine turned in an effective field goal percentage (which accounts for 3-pointers being worth more than shots inside the arc) that wouldve trailed only certified marksmen Stephen Curry and J.J. Redick over the full season. take the leap from highlight-reel curiosity to real-deal contributor on a serious team, LaVine will have to carry over his strong finish to 2015-16 while making massive strides on defense, where ESPNs Real Plus Minus statistic has graded him as one of the NBAs worst defenders at his position in each of his two pro seasons. If he shows improved awareness on that end while continuing to scorch the nets on catch-and-shoot opportunities and knifing to the rim past off-balance closeouts, LaVine could cement himself as one of the leagues most explosive young players in games that actually count. Best-case scenario: Towns and Wiggins take to Thibodeaus teachings instantly and eagerly, making the first of many All-Star appearances. Rubio keeps everyone organized on both ends of the floor, and the Wolves find enough long-range shooting from LaVine, Rush, Nemanja Bjelica and/or elsewhere to create enough interior space and driving lanes, keeping Minnesota a top-10-caliber offense. Thibs leverages all that length, youth and athleticism into a meteoric rise up the defensive charts, as Minnesota goes from one of the leagues five most permissive units to one of its 10 stingiest. Led by Towns who joins LeBron , KD and AD as the only 21-year-olds in the last decade to finish in the top-five in MVP voting the Wolves return to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, putting the fear of God into the Wests elite and announcing loudly that the future is now.

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