Leading by seven with 10 minutes to play Wednesday, Jarrett Culver launched an open 3-point attempt from the corner.

Culver then proceeded to stare as the ball clanked off the iron and Memphis grabbed the rebound. While he was doing that, Grizzlies’ guard Grayson Allen, who had been covering Culver, was sprinting the floor down to the opposite corner.

Other than Culver, Minnesota largely ran back on defense, but no one picked up Allen, who got and hit an easy corner triple to bring Memphis to within four.

“He just leaked out behind us and we weren’t in position to get a body on a body,” Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders said.

That was part a 14-0 run that sparked the Grizzlies’ comeback victory, and it has been a problem for Minnesota all season.

Saunders and president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas have said time and again the Wolves want to be an up-tempo team. Yet opponents continue to run circles around Minnesota.

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Memphis scored 12 fast-break points to Minnesota’s zero on Wednesday — in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies are one of the NBA’s best at getting out in transition, even while missing young stars Jaren Jackson and electric point guard Ja Morant. Memphis gets out in transition on 17.3 percent of its possessions, compared to just 12.5 percent for Minnesota, the fifth-lowest mark in the NBA.

The Wolves are scoring just 16.1 points a game in transition — again, fifth-worst in the NBA — while surrendering 24.5 points a game in transition, second most in the league. That 8.4-point differential in transition accounts for most of the team’s minus-10.1 point average differential overall this season.

The opposite was supposed to be the case. Minnesota was supposed to get up and down and out-run teams with youth and athleticism. That was part of the allure of playing relatively small. Sure, the Wolves might get beat up on the interior, but they’d make up for that with their pace.

Instead, games like Wednesday’s have played out. Minnesota tied a franchise record by surrendering 80 points in the paint, and also gave up one critical fast-break bucket after another.

Part of the issue is Minnesota can’t get enough stops; it’s hard to start a fast break when you’re pulling the ball out from the net. In addition, two of the Wolves’ best offensive players, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, aren’t known for playing at a high tempo. Russell is literally known for his deliberate style.

“You can meet in the middle with that a little bit. Pace isn’t just north-south. Pace is east-west, too,” Saunders said. “Moving the basketball with tempo. Attacking on pick and rolls. D’Angelo has been one of the better point guards operating out of pick and rolls in this league for a while here. So we need our bigs getting down the court quickly, too, so they can get into those drag screens, hook screens a little bit earlier so we can still play with that tempo.”

On the few possessions Minnesota does play with pace, the Wolves are liable to make mistakes. They turn the ball over on 14.9 percent of their transition possessions — seventh-worst in the NBA.

Defensively, the Wolves go back and forth between not being able to match up in transition and not getting back whatsoever. Not only does Minnesota allow its opponents to get out in transition on 18.2 percent of possessions (third-most), but those possessions result in 1.18 points per trip down the floor (sixth most).

So, if you make the effort to run with the Wolves, it will almost certainly pay off. Everyone knows it.

“I know we need to do a better job of sprinting back in our first three steps, especially,” Saunders said. “We have to be back because it’s on the scouting report now.”

And if the Wolves are going to be so bad in transition going both ways, as has appeared to be the case thus far, what’s the point of going small?

The Wolves are getting crushed by opponents who hammer the offensive glass, with the fourth-worst defensive rebounding percentage (70.1) and seventh-most second-chance points allowed (14), and are allowing a league-high 54.7 points in the paint per game.

At the moment, small ball isn’t doing this team any favors. The problem is, the Timberwolves don’t have the personnel to go big.

“It makes it where you have to make other rotation combination decisions,” Saunders said. “If there’s no production out of certain areas, then you’ve got to look elsewhere.”