Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking the Most Efficient Defenders of the 10-11 Season

Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IMay 28, 2011

Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking the Most Efficient Defenders of the 10-11 Season

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the worst teams defensively during the 2010-11 season.

    Using 82games.com, I have pulled together a formula to decipher just how efficient each player on the Wolves was on defense.

    Of course, there are variables to how these numbers ended up. Different lineups and strategies definitely could have factored into it, but it's safe to say that since the testing period is over a full season, that these should be considered fairly accurate.

    In order to qualify, the player must have played 20 percent of the season's total minutes and be on the season-ending roster, so that means that Sebastian Telfair, Anthony Randolph, and Corey Brewer are not eligible.

    With all that in mind, thanks for reading!

10. Martell Webster, +5.9

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 110.8

    DEF/100: 116.7

     

    It's safe to that Martell Webster is one of the worst defenders in all of basketball.

    Coming into Minnesota, speculation ran that he actually could guard opposing players, and it's now known that he has totally let the team down in that aspect.

    He has to be the worst defender on the team, and that includes the walking "I don't care" that is Jonny Flynn.

9. Jonny Flynn, +1.5

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    Genevieve Ross/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 112.1

    DEF/100: 113.6

     

    Speak of the devil, Jonny Flynn has the potential to become a good player in the NBA, but until he learns to limit his turnovers and play some real defense, that will not happen.

    When Jonny was on the floor, the team gave up 113.6 points per 100 possessions, second worst on the club, only better than Webster.

    Flynn is a main contributor to the Timberwolves' lack of perimeter defense, and it'd be nice if he decided to pick up the slack at some point.

8. Wesley Johnson, +1.4

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 111.7

    DEF/100: 113.1

     

    Now this is a shocking spot to see this guy.

    After all, Wesley Johnson is supposed to be the team's best backcourt defender, right?

    A slump of a rookie season is something that Wes can overcome, and hopefully he does so in the coming years. I mean, we all know he's a solid defender when he's on.

7. Kevin Love, +0.9

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 111.8

    DEF/100: 112.7

     

    We all know Kevin Love's biggest weakness is his defense, so seeing him this low on the list is expected.

    Make no mistake, it was Love's rebounding and shooting that got him an All-Star nod last season.

    If he wants to become the top-tier player I know he can be, he must improve his on-ball defense. Too many times last season he was burned one-on-one.

    Defense aside, doesn't that offensive number look a little low to be true?

6. Wayne Ellington, +0.1

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 112.4

    DEF/100: 112.5

     

    Wayne Ellington (surprisingly) is the highest shooting guard on this list.

    He has a balanced game and is average on both sides of the floor.

    If he can improve his D a bit he'd be a formidable force off the bench.

5. Nikola Pekovic, +0

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    OFF/100: 112.4

    DEF/100: 112.4

     

    Nikola Pekovic gave up the same amount of points per 100 possessions on both sides of the hardwood.

    However, we know that Niko is not very talented on offense, so his D must have been a bit above average.

    Although he might not be a Wolf next season, Pekovic's ceiling is one that could factor into how well he plays one-on-one defensively in the post.

    His size (6'11, 245 pounds) definitely says good things for his future.

4. Luke Ridnour, -0.4

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 112.6

    DEF/100: 112.2

     

    Since Luke Ridnour is not a solid defensive player, this spot on the list might be confusing considering how he played this season. 

    Perhaps this high ranking means Ridnour is one of the more efficient offensive players on the team.

    Another logical explanation has to do with how much he holds the ball and sets up the offensive possession.

    See! Factors do help create the outcomes of this slideshow!

3. Darko Milicic, -2.6

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 113.5

    DEF/100: 110.9

     

    Darko Milicic primes his game on his defensive prowess since, you know, he isn't the shooter everyone made him out to be prior to the 2003 NBA Draft.

    He averaged two blocks per game last season and played effective defense in the post, maintaining a starting position in the lineup in all of his 69 games.

    Darko, at only 25, is having a revival in Minnesota, mostly because of what he does defending big bodies in the paint.

2. Michael Beasley, -2.7

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 114.0

    DEF/100: 111.3

     

    Although he is not spectacular on defense, it should be noted that Michael Beasley is underrated in the aspect.

    He did give up the third least points per 100 possessions among the member of the Timberwolves roster.

    That has to count for something. 

    However, we should expect an improvement for the B-Easy next season, and it is at that point we may be able to declare him a scary player.

1. Anthony Tolliver, -3.8

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    OFF/100: 113.7

    DEF/100: 109.9

     

    No one can deny Anthony Tolliver is a solid defender, but to see a 3.7 differential makes me want to call up David Kahn and sign this guy to a long-term contract.

    Tolliver is a good post defender and a tremendous lock-down baller.

    He shouldn't be placed on his fifth different team in the last four years, so let's make him a keeper, Minnesota.