Keys To the Wolf Den: A Young, Still Growing, Al Jefferson's Potential

Timber WolfAnalyst IIMarch 9, 2010

The Minnesota Timberwolves' star Al Jefferson is a big man with many jokes and often playful demeanor, but make no mistake that when it comes to his game, Al Jefferson will recover from his torn ACL injury 100 percent and be back to his old 20-10 ways, with higher efficiency and better passing abilities.

That being said, many announcers and critics always say a "young" Al Jefferson. People forget that "Big Al" is only 25 years of age and has a legit chance of being an All-Star sooner rather than later.

Just a season ago, Big Al was averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game, and although his numbers have taken a spike, his potential has still yet to be reached.

For Wolves fans, imagine a low post beast who uses his immense basketball I.Q to outwork his opponents without having the ball in his hands, using his immense frame and impressive footwork to work on the low block from the left side (his non dominant side) or using his nine-foot standing reach wingspan to block shots at a better clip than what he already does?

Yes, a 20 point-10 rebound beast such as Al Jefferson has much more to work on, so one has to question when Al Jefferson enters his prime, just how good will be?

Stats wise?

I'd say a solid 22 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, with a field goal percentage of 54 or higher, with a free throw percentage of 75 percent.

Al Jefferson already has shown flashes of his potential being realized. Al Jefferson has shown a better attention to detail when it comes to passing out of the double teams and drawing charges. At times, he's shown the tendencies to outwork his opponents without the ball, and that is truly when he's at his best.

In his latest game, he scored 36 points on 15-for-21 shooting, hit 6-for-7 free throws, and grabbed 13 rebounds (four offensive), two assists, and two blocks in 38 minutes. These are the types of games that would be considered "the norm" for an Al Jefferson in his prime. In this case for this season, this type of game was considered "outstanding".

The topic of discussion has been trading Al Jefferson during the offseason, I as a Wolves fan would love to see Jefferson as a Wolf for the remaining of his career, but more often than not, Jefferson will be moved unless he can make significant strides to his all around game to further compliment the triangle offense.

Thanks for reading!