I received this email today:
"midwest sports rubes is due for an editorial about t-wolves basketball, especially now that they have fallen to .500, trail seattle by 8+ games, are standing in 8th place in the west, and couldnt beat the lakers even with kobe benched. -cuz"
My cousin knows me well. He knows me well enough to know that this Wolves slump makes me sick to my stomach. He knows me well enough to know that I have an opinion on it. And most of all, he knows me well enough to know that it makes me so mad that I don't really want to talk about it.
I'll start by comparing the Wolves, or what I think the Wolves should be, to toilet paper. Yep. Toilet paper. You know the commercial I'm talking about. "Charmin Ultra, Less Is More." The old adage "addition by subtraction" I think applies well to the Wolves right now.
Less Is More. Less players, less complicated defense, less quick shooting, less settling for outside shots, and less selfish play.
If you look up and down this team at players, stats, minutes played, etc. it's tough to figure out what's wrong. They are averaging more points per game (+3.8 ppg), more team assists per game (+.3 apg) and more rebounds per game (+1 rpg)... but that's because they have to, because they are also giving up 7.1 more points per game than last year.
Besides giving up more points per game I cannot find one stat that will support why the Wolves are an absolutely horrible team right now.
So where do I take this?
The thing that set the Wolves apart from everybody else last year is that they weren't like them. Simple right? They were a team that played defense as well as they played offense. They moved the ball around the parameter until the found the best lane or the best shot. They took the outside shot when they had it and they nailed it. They were unselfish. They knew that KG was the leader of the team and nobody questioned it. They played the game that Flip coached, they didn't question, they played together and they won.
This year they are just like everybody else. They play bad defense. They don't move the ball around enough. They take bad shots too quickly. They play selfish. There are too many guys who want to be the man instead of letting KG do his job. And they are questioning every move that Flip makes because they were all good players on a great team last year who somehow perverted their success into thinking they were all great players on a great team so they should all be a part of how the team wins this year.
My opinion on this team? Only two people matter: KG and Flip. As harsh as this sounds, everybody else on this team means nothing. Unfortunately there's only three guys on the court who seem to buy into this philosophy: KG, Flip and, ironically, Wally. I don't love Wally, I don't even particularity like him as a player that much, but Wally gets it right now. He understands that he's not KG and he never will be. He might even understand that he'll probably never be a Spree or a Cassell, but what he does understand is that as long as he plays his hardest, works on his defense, shoots his open shots and makes a good fraction of them, he's going to be an impact player on this team with a consistency that Spree and Cassell have never dreamed of.
Look, Wally's not going to save the world. He's not even going to save the Wolves. But (as much as I hate to say this) if all of the players on this team would take Wally's lead, who takes his lead from KG, and work hard and keep their head in the game, the whole team would be better off.
Gleeman and The Geek #337: Wild Card Postgame Show
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