For everyone else still stunned over the Minnesota Timberwolves' owner and general manager downright daring the franchise's best player to leave for free agency in two years, Kevin Love promises to be a professional, promises All-Star performance and productivity. Over the organization's refusal to designate him as the cornerstone, though, there come no promises of forgiveness from Love. No assurance it won't chase him out the door and out of the franchise forever someday.
"But much of Love’s declining efficiency stems from the kinds of shots that he’s now taking. He has accepted the venerable prerogatives of the No. 1 option: the right to demand the ball in isolation; the right to shoot contested, off-the-dribble midrange jumpers; the right to stare down his defender, vision tunneling as seconds tick off the clock and teammates stand and watch. These things can be magnificent and valuable, but they’re a far cry from the Kevin Love we once knew. "
"Our coaches will work with the guys through the summer and into the fall, which I think will help rookies like (Derrick) Williams and (Malcolm) Lee. Wes (Johnson) didn't have the year we expected him to have, but maybe with the coaches over the summer, they can work on his shooting."
Here's an interesting article that is a combination of Bill's world and Adrian's world. It says that Kahn and Adelman do not hate each other, that Kahn was the force behind the hiring of Adelman, and that Adelman will have major control over personnel decisions. Adrian's world: Rick hates David and has major control of personnel decisions Bill's world: Rick and David get along just fine and Adelman does not want control of personnel decisions. As a great towel once said: "I have no idea what's going on." The source here is Kerry Eggers from the Portland Tribune. My understanding is that he's been a bit of mouthpiece for Kahn in the past.
Basketball Reference's blog has an interesting post where they rank players according to how well the do offensively (which includes things besides scoring) against good defenses (top half) and bad defenses (bottom half). Our boy Kevin Love does really well against good defenses, he's in the top 10. Lebron looks good, very good and Rose does the best against good defenses. [I saw this first on Ball Don't Lie but I link to the basketball reference blog]
"I think everybody has reasons for why they conduct the business in the way they want to conduct their business," Rambis said in his first public remarks about the situation since the season ended April 13. "If you’re asking me if that’s what I would do, no, that’s not how I would handle things. But everybody’s different."
Ricky Rubio would prefer to know if there will be a lockout before committing to joining the Timberwolves for next season. The NBA's labor agreement expires June 30. The Timberwolves would prefer to know before the draft whether the 20-year-old point guard, their top pick from 2009, will buy out his contract in Spain. The draft is June 23. "That is the question," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Monday. "He's asking how that (lockout) might affect him, if we don't play or if we will play. And our answer is, 'We won't know the answer to that question. You're going to have to make your decision before that.' "We (NBA owners) are negotiating with the players right now. We're hopeful we'll play. But I don't want to guarantee him that because there's no way that I know that." It would cost almost $1 million for Rubio to buy out his FC Barcelona contract. NBA rules prohibit a team from spending more than $500,000 toward a contract buyout. The Wolves are expected to contribute the limit. "It's up to him to either pay them or finance it or whatever he can do," Taylor said of the remainder of the buyout. "He has given us indications that he's very interested. But until he signs, I'm really hesitant to say anything. "But he's met with our guys, and it's been very positive. He's asked the right questions." Taylor said his basketball people tell him Rubio is a "very gifted kid who has a lot of basketball knowledge but probably has to work on his shooting and defense. That's what they say. But they say that about every kid, I guess." Rubio's team is in the playoffs. Taylor, the chairman of the NBA board of directors, will leave Tuesday for New York to continue labor negotiations with the players association. Ball Don't Lie also comments on the article (PiPress, Walters)
The Portland Trailblazers have "parted ways" with newly-named GM Rich Cho. Suggestions at Blazers Edge are that (stop me if you've heard this one before, TWolves fans!) Cho wanted to blow up the roster, and Paul Allen thinks the Portland players are plenty good just the way they are. see the story in the FanPost section! Link in headline (this was inspired by Ebomb)
This organization is a complete disaster. Someone needs to step up and make Glen an offer he can't refuse. Is it you? It's certainly not me, although I do have over $20,000 in my 403b. But,...
see the comments section where Zgoda writes: "I'm fairly certain the Wolves brass consider Rubio a better prospect than Irving and no matter what they might say should they somehow get the No. 1 pick, I'd expect them to fully try to trade the pick to the highest bidder." EDIT: Again, this is pretty congruent with the feedback I've been getting. Which, of course, begs a very obvious question - Who in the hell trades the first overall pick away???
I remember reading a year or so ago that the Wolves used StatsCube as their stats-service. Well, here's a chance to get an idea, unless this version is restricted, of what they had access to. Welcome to NBA.com StatsCube StatsCube lets you run your own deep, custom analysis on NBA players, teams and matchups. It's built on top of the official NBA play-by-play data that is tracked courtside during every game—this includes every point, rebound, assist, steal, block, turnover, missed shot, foul and substitution, the point in the game when each one these events occurred and which players were on the floor when it happened.
"He didn't have the season where he regained all of his confidence," Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said. "There's a lot more to his game that he didn't show this year. "That's going to come over time. After having spent so many years whatever he went through to lose that confidence, it's going to take a while to get it back." Rambis was asked if he's convinced that potential is still there and if the team still has the patience to wait for it. His hands fidgeted and he paused for six seconds and answered, "Yes."Rambis on Darko and Darko on Darko: Star Tribune
From the article: Kahn, in his second year with the Wolves, remains determined to build a winner. He expects his team to contend for a playoff spot next season. "I think what's important is that we have a first-class organization, that we build a winning program — and we have a lot of work to do in that area — but I still see there are brighter days ahead, and that we'll be able to attract our fair share of high-quality players," Kahn said.
Asked if he thinks Rubio has NBA game, Love said: "Oh yeah, and NBA confidence. That's what exuded from him. He was sure of himself and that's a big part of the game, having the confidence to go out there and compete against guys every night. I thought he was a tremendous passer and he's a guy who has the size to play at the 1 [point guard] at the NBA level. more in the article...
What still strikes me as lame is the idea of a double-double. That's not why Kevin Love is brilliant. That's just an easy cut off. Dale Davis got double-doubles. So does Jose Calderon(notes). Jamie Feick had a few of them, back in 1999-00, and Brendan Haywood(notes) managed a good chunk of them during his time in Washington. All you need is 10 of one thing, and 10 of another. Kevin Love doesn't do that. The guy averages nearly 21 and 16, and while you can bring up pace and missed shots on Minnesota's side of the court (though those are mitigated by the defensive rebounds Love doesn't get when he and his teammates poorly defend and the shots go in), what does that take Love down to? 19 and 14? The guy is amazing, full stop. And in a context where we constantly bring up the "where would the Bulls be without Derrick Rose(notes)?" ideal, well, where would the Timberwolves be? Negative 23 wins?
"He gets a lot of numbers," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who wondered how Love got invited to the All-Star Game over Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge while playing for the Western Conference's worst team. "He's a guy that really goes after rebounds, gets all the missed free throws and the ones at the end of quarters. He gets a lot of numbers. It's quite significant."
It's from a Sid article, but it's a strong statement from Moor that these two will be back next year. In the first paragraph Sid writes that Moor told him Rambis and Kahn will definitely be back. Then the Moor quote: "When we hired Kahn and Kahn hired Rambis, we promised them three years to develop a winning team," Moor said. "We figure it would take at least that long to turn the program around. We feel they are making progress despite their record." Hilarious. Remember all the discussions we've had on this site about using advanced stats vs. using per game stats or wins and losses to evaluate the team and its players? By any of these metrics the Wolves are not making progress. Conclusion: To reach the conclusion that this team is making progress the wolves front office is using super-advanced stats that us regular folk can't even imagine.
Quotes: I fear that the Wolves' losing culture is so pervasive that everyone in the Wolves' organization, from owner Glen Taylor on down, has lost sight of what it takes not only to win, but to function in a competent workplace, that they have all become comfortable with the dubious concept of barely visible, incremental improvement. There was a strange moment at the end of the first half Monday: Rambis came to mid-court to instruct his defense as the Rockets prepared for the last possession. Love rushed over to him, explaining that he had two fouls and should be pulled from the game. Rambis didn't react. Love stepped out of bounds, next to Rambis, and pleaded his case, and Rambis finally started screaming "AT!'' for backup forward Anthony Tolliver to replace Love.
dropstep linked to this first in the news update from today and it probably doesn't deserve a fanpost. It's just the same old debate about Love's playing time. But the article contains what is, by far, the best quote of the new NBA season. And, well, I could not pass up the opportunity of making a post with this headline. "You have to be on crystal meth not to give Love more minutes on that team,'' one scout told me. "It makes no sense.''
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jonny Flynn, recovering from hip surgery in July, has been cleared for limited practice after meeting with Dr. Marc Phillippon on Monday in Vail, Colo.
Twolves write up: The easiest prognostication for the season is placing the Wolves last in the Northwest Division. But reports of GM David Kahn's cluelessness are exaggerated: This year's roster is longer, quicker and much more to coach Kurt Rambis' liking than the 15-win squad of a year ago. Stealing Michael Beasley from Miami, drafting silky scorer Wes Johnson and belatedly giving Kevin Love the minutes and respect he deserves are on-the-court positives. Now if only Darko Milicic, Love and Serbian rookie big man Nikola Pekovic can offer up a semblance of resistance when defending the paint. He's also got a bit on Beasley and Al Jefferson.
Here are the lowest career winning percentages Rambis winning percentage with wolves 18.3%(82 games)Rodgers winning percentage with wolves 18.9% (111 games)Sid Lowe winning percentage with wolves...
"BARCELONA, Spain (AP)—Ricky Rubio(notes) has accomplished a lot in his young career, he just hasn’t shown he’s ready to make the jump to the NBA. The 19-year-old point guard has already played in an Olympic gold-medal game, won a European Championship with Spain and led his club team to the Euroleague title. But the Spaniard went scoreless in an exhibition game between his FC Barcelona team and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, falling flat in his first big opportunity to silence critics after his disappointing performance in the world championships."
link found via A Wolf Among Wolves. Excellent video breakdown from NBA playbook on Darko's passing ability. Conclusion, Darko is OK, but not as good a passer as Love or definitely Vlade Divac. Good stuff.
The story beings with the third Photo in a 21 photo series on team USA in Spain that features Kevin Love. The caption reads: "Many of the players haven't been to Madrid before and are excited about shopping, soaking in the local culture and tasting the delicious food." Photo 5 again features Love with the identical caption, while photo 4 does not feature Love and does not mention food. Are the Team USA writers associating Kevin Love with eating vast quantities of small plates? Will Kevin Love return to the NBA at around 300 lbs? But my theory is eviscerated by photo 7, which features the same caption but with a photo of C. Billups. Also is that Twolves assistant GM Tony Ronzone in photo 6? I wonder if he's talking with Love about the new roster.
"Isiah Thomas wants to get back in the NBA as a general manager, but until then, he'll be a consultant to the New York Knicks while still coaching Florida International. Thomas told ESPN.com Friday that he accepted a more formal and unique consulting position with his former employer, where he will help Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh make decisions on draft picks, trades and personnel decisions." wow. wow. wow. I can't even begin to image the howling that would ensue if Kahn hired Thomas. Kahn!!!
This link is an excellent description of the main ingredients of a successful fast break. Featuring nice videos on outlet passing and lane filling.
Kevin Love gets a well deserved mention for his prodigious outlet passing.
I can't wait for Rubio. Le'ts go get him and bring him back here. Who's with me?
fanshots, where fanposts go to die.
while returning my encyclopedia to its position deep inside my asshole, I came across this article on Truehoop. It's about the Logo and his hatred of statistics. Of course, he changed his mind....
No. 4 Minnesota Timberwolves Need: The Wolves have three main holes to fill: They need an organizing force at point guard, a wing scorer and some help in the paint defensively. Ricky Rubio is their point guard of the future, unless he is moved for someone similar (and then Jonny Flynn becomes a serious Sixth Man Award candidate). Corey Brewer improved dramatically in his third season, but will never be a big-time scorer (especially when he's playing at the 2). And Darko Milicic showed flashes of starter talent after he arrived, but he's a long way from a sure thing. The Wolves would love Turner, who's a perfect match for Brewer, but they would settle for Wesley Johnson. Value: Chad is going with Johnson currently, but I don't love his upside or his long-term prospects here. This is where the Chicago camp hurts Cousins. If he had shown up in great shape and with added polish, he'd be a lock for this spot, even if it's not a great fit. But he didn't, and now it's a scramble. Johnson would help the Wolves, but they'd still need a high-scoring wing. If they acquire one, Brewer and Johnson would battle it out at the 3, and Brewer has three years of experience and a better defensive future. Johnson would be an excellent backup, but that's a high price to pay for the No. 4 pick. Al-Farouq Aminu gets into the equation, as his ability to score around the basket gets utilized well in the triangle. His upside suggests more value here, so he'll have his chances at this spot. Need Insider to read the entire article. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/blog?name=nba_draft&id=5217958 But here's what he had to say about the first pick in the draft: The best prospect in this class, when character, maturity and talent are all mixed in, is clearly John Wall. If DeMarcus Cousins had Wall's head and polish, he'd be in the mix here. But Cousins showed up fat in Chicago, clinching the deal for Wall. The fact that Wall seems ready to take on the burdens of being a superstar, loves to pass and is a competitive jet -- meaning he'll be fun to play with -- is an added bonus.
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