Side note Wolves fans: Sorry...PC was down for a few days. Trying to get a mac!
The season is over, thank God.
The Minnesota Timberwolves went through an extremely tough season, filled with disappointment and embarrassment, with some of the worst defensive efforts I've seen in my life, and some questions were answered in bulk.
The Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn said multiple times that this would be a season where the Wolves would analyze exactly what they have as a team. As far as things that the Wolves do best? Not many.
A few good things:
- The Wolves play at the third fastest pace in the NBA, despite having two star power forwards that are slow.
- The Wolves rebound the ball pretty well on both backboards.
- Corey Brewer has shown he can shoot the three-point shot, and made significant strides, and is probably going to be one of the Wolves better passers in the triangle offense.
- Wayne Ellington proved to possibly be the Wolves best rookie, shooting nearly 40 percent from the three-point line, and since January 1st, has been the second best three-point shooter in the NBA.
- If anyone deserves credit for keeping the Wolves head up high for anything, it's definitely Kurt Rambis. He has kept their chin up very high, and the Wolves showed flashes of good ball plays in their wins against the Utah Jazz (2), the Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Dallas Mavericks.
- Darko Milicic can play and Kevin Love is probably the best rebounder in the league.
- Al Jefferson is shooting the same percentages that he did last season, but is getting four minutes of less playing time.
- The Timberwolves GM and owner wants to win, and wants to win now. David Kahn, the Wolves GM feels that the Wolves need their own "Brandon Roy", if that doesn't scream out Evan Turner, I don't know what does. The Wolves have a 40 percent chance of landing Turner or Wall.
- Despite all the losing, the Wolves are much more fun to watch.
Now for the bad:
- Worst defensive team I've seen in a long time.
- Al Jefferson has probably regressed permanently, but has stated he wants to be an All-Star player, and will be working with Hakeem Olajuwon over the off season. Huge testament of his character.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves' starting point guard Jonny Flynn isn't a true point guard. He can probably be effective in a heavy pick and roll system, but true point guards can play in any system.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves lack some serious talent, particularly a go-to scorer to get them out of bad situations.
- Corey Brewer and Darko Milicic cannot carry this Minnesota Team alone on the defensive end.
- Youth= Inconsistency
There are many more bad things to be said, but let's move on.
In as little as I can say it, with the utmost respect I can say it is, the final verdict on the Wolves is that they were horrible.
Absolutely horrible, dismal, and embarrassing. It dosen't help to have your point guard of the future over in Europe in question of even suiting up as a Wolf. It also didn't help to have your only All-star caliber player regress incredibly. It also didn't help that the Wolves ran a completely new system that takes years to master.
Um, the Randy Foye and Mike Miller trade? Would I do it all over again and trade those two players for the Ricky Rubio contract? Absolutely, as you can see they did arguably worse for the Wolves then they did for the Washington Wizards.
Let's move on.
Mr. Stiemsma, or the "Vanilla Gorilla" is a D-League call up, but not just any old D-League player.
Stiemsma appeared in 45 games, 44 starts, for Sioux Falls during the regular season, averaging 8.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and an NBA D-League-best 3.6 blocks. He scored in double figures 24 times, recording 11 double-doubles and one triple-double, when he scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked 10 shots in a 107-105 victory over the Springfield Armor in Sioux Falls.
Some of his better games:
- 24 points, 10 rebounds, 8 blocks VS. TUL
- 23 points, 13 rebounds, 7 blocks VS. BAK
- 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks VS. SPG
- 15 points, 14 rebounds, 7 blocks VS. DAK
The guy is a blocking machine, however you want to chop it up.
Looking at some footage, there are some good things I've noticed:
- A true center, a big body, a defensive specialist, and will fit next to a great post power forward post presence.
- Alters an incredible number of shots if they aren't blocked.
- Knows his role, doesn't play outside of his skill set.
- Decent lateral quickness, very mobile, can run the floor very well.
- Relentless and powerful.
- High energy/intensity and intimidation, plays with passion.
Now for the bad:
- His reflexes are slow, so Pau Gasol or Al Jefferson would score on him one on one, so a weakside shot blocker would be ideal.
- Gets in foul trouble
- A complete offensive liability.
- Developing basketball I.Q, much a work in progress but has made strides since his days in college.
His upside? Joakim Noah.
He's signed up through the 2010-2011 season, and he might be a throw in or he might be that fourth big that the Wolves need to add that can anchor a defense. He can play both positions which is great and has good size. The Wolves are going to play him in the 2010 NBA summer league, so it will be interesting to see how he does.