11-36, looks pretty ugly right? This record is currently held by the youngest team in the league, but what I'm going to focus on isn't the age, it's the mileage, chemistry and experience that has plagued this team.
Overall, the Timberwolves have been competitive. 14 games have been decided by five points or less, and the Wolves have only won two of those games. Please consider that if the Wolves were to have just won six more of these close games, their record would stand at 17-30. Not too shabby but definitely something worth noting.
Where is the problem? Looking at some of the statistics that the players are posting. Love is averaging 22 points and 15 rebounds, Beasley is averaging 20 points and six rebounds, Darko averages around nine and six, Wes Johnson has come on as of late, Luke is averaging 12 points and six assists, what exactly is the problem here?
Is it head coach Kurt Rambis? It's easy to put the blame on the coach, and because this is not a 11-36 team, it's all on the coach right? President of basketball operations will be the first to say that Kurt Rambis is right for the job, and it's becoming more and more clear that he still is the guy for the job. His player development has been good for this team, but even so the Wolves stand to be one of the worst players in the league.
He has put Love in a system that has made him a budding all star, he has put the ball in Beasley's hands in the right spot, but what is the problem with all young teams? Inconsistency, period. But the Timberwolves have a huge huge huge problem that goes well beyond Kurt Rambis, and that's the turnovers.
Now I know what many are thinking. Many are saying that the triangle offense, or as Rambis calls it, "flow offense" is the problem, and while that very well could be the case, I highly highly doubt it. For a quarter, the Wolves can run the offense which is just passing the ball around finding the open man and it will run to perfection. In another instance, the ball will stop moving and players will try to do too much on their own, and because the Wolves aren't a team filled with marquee players, it just doesn't work.
Back to the turnovers department, a lot of fans and analysts will probably use an uneducated opinion based off of the media to say that the Wolves need a coaching change and that will probably be enough to get them over the hump. Simply put, getting another coach means another system. But the problem isn't the system (triangle), it's the players.
Here's your next argument. Running a variation of the triangle offense needs to have a Kobe esque or Jordan-esque player to make it work. Here's my argument, and it has nothing to do with game flow and it doesn't require a court board to draw up plays. Every single team needs a player like that, and quite frankly, the best players can play in any system. So when I say "it's the players", a lot of people think I'm referring to the actual "talent". As in, the Wolves don't have any players! No, the Wolves currently have 15 players on their roster, we mean they don't have any talent.
See when we say, "it's the players", we aren't actually talking about the players, we are talking about the talents the players have. Whether it is too high or too low, whatever the case may be, we say things and we don't exactly know what we are saying. The Wolves have plenty talent, so let's go back to it again, "it's the players" that are losing the games. How are they losing the games?
They lose the games in a number of ways like any teams, but the biggest downfall again are the turnovers, but its the way the Wolves turn the ball over that absolutely stupifies me.
Case 1: Jonny Flynn dribbles up past mid court, takes two dribbles, left and right, and let's the ball go out of bounds. Not one bit of pressure from the defense at all.
Case 2: Nikola Pekovic is posted up, Martell Webster drives and dishes the ball off on a nice no look pass, and Pekovic fumbles the ball, another unforced turnover.
We could go forever with these cases, but it's incredible to me to actually look at the Wolves and see the dumb mistakes that they make. Think about this, the Wolves actually have smart mistakes, and that's how dumb they appear to be at times. The turnovers are the primary reason why the Wolves are such a bad team, and you can call them a bad team because they make countless dumb turnovers.
With turning the ball over, you give the other team extra possessions to score and more than half of the time, being a sub par bad defensive team accompanied with turnovers and you have got a recipe for disaster.
The Wolves have turned the ball over so many times, and I'm willing to bet that a 4th are unforced.
What I'm trying to say is even if you were to bring in another coach, these same exact players will make the exact same turnovers that they have been committing, because they simply are too inexperienced to play 48 minutes. Take into consideration that the Oklahoma City Thunder are now arguably an elite top eight team in the NBA, they started 3-29 just two years ago with Kevin Durant and company.
Looking around the Thunders infamous SBNation site "Welcome To Loud City", there was a great piece of writing that I'd like to share with you on our beloved Wolves.
"This statement will sound like a tautology (and perhaps it is) but the best way for the Wolves to win games right now is to win games. What I mean is, all it's going to take for the Wolves to experience a winning streak is to close out a game like this past one. When we look back at the Thunder a year ago, there wasn't any difference in talent during the 2009-10 season between before the All-Star break and after the All-Star break.
In fact, exactly one year ago, their record stood at 24-21, a record that would have kept them out of the playoffs. What changed though was the Thunder began to figure out all of the little details that go into winning basketball. They went on a nine game win streak, began to see themselves as a playoff caliber team, and finished up the season 26-11. Over the course of a season, everything changed. It can happen to the Wolves too; they just need to get a taste of how it is done".
I think there is a lot of truth in this statement. The Wolves haven't exactly experienced serious winning. A win streak could do it some good, but turning the basketball over less will do them some great.
This just comes with chemistry and time within the team.
It's that simple, give this team time, and see what they can do.
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