EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. - They say there are three kinds of lies, one of which is called statistics.
But sometimes, numbers do mean something.
The Elias Sports Bureau crunched opening-day rosters and concluded the Timberwolves are the NBA's youngest team in age, second only to Memphis in years experience.
It has shown painfully, glaringly in a 1-6 season start that includes four road losses by an average of 30 points.
The Wolves added more size, athletes and better shooters in another dizzyingly active offseason that has introduced 10 new players to their fans.
They also grew even younger by trading away 25-year-old Al Jefferson and adding 21-year-old Michael Beasley.
And, as inconceivable as it sounds after last season's 15 victories, thus far they have been even less competitive than a season ago. In resounding road losses, they often have seemed, both physically and mentally, boys competing against men.
In Sunday's 120-94 loss at Houston, they faced an injury-ravaged, winless Rockets team playing without its top two point guards and with a part-time Yao Ming, and still were no competition for an opponent that could put 30-somethings Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Yao on the floor together.
They went meekly into the night, except for Anthony Tolliver's flagrant foul on Chase Budinger when he became one more Rocket to stream toward the basket.
Did David Kahn, the team's president of basketball operations, and coach Kurt Rambis badly miscalculate just how young they made this team? "No," said Rambis, who told players when training camp opened that they formidably faced their own individual inexperience and lack of time playing together. "I've been around so long that I know it takes time. Weeks are not long enough. Months are not long enough. It just takes a long time for guys to connect so they are playing in a very cohesive manner.
"Right now, we have a young, inexperienced team and if anybody thinks that's going to get turned around quickly and that it's going to happen magically overnight, they're sorely mistaken. It just does not work that way."
But does it work this way -- down 20 in the first quarter at Memphis, a franchise-record 42-point loss at Orlando -- if this team indeed is markedly better than a season ago?
Both Kahn and Rambis cite as reasons injuries to Jonny Flynn, Martell Webster and now Luke Ridnour as well as a murderous early schedule that now takes them into Staples Center on Tuesday against the undefeated and two-time NBA champion Lakers.
"Obviously, I wasn't expecting the huge losses," Rambis said. "When you consider the caliber of teams and individual talent we're playing and the time they've spent together. ... A team like Houston, even if they have injuries, has a foundation of who they are and they can always go back to that foundation.
"Several of those players have been together on the court for years, and we don't have that. We have several weeks together as a team."
Rambis also is asking his young, inexperienced team to play an intricate passing system that he says does not need simplification and modification, just time to learn.
"There's nothing that we're doing that's complicated," Rambis said. "This is all stuff that they know. Young players just have trouble being consistent."
Rambis insisted upon a guaranteed four-year contract when he accepted the job in August 2009 to protect himself against a building job he considered then, and still does, years in the making.
Asked if he hears the clock ticking, Rambis directed the questioner to Kahn, who said, "I don't like that we haven't been competitive on the road, and I recognize it needs to change, but I don't have a clock. We have to demonstrate over the next several weeks that this will stop.
"If anybody deserves the blame, it would be me -- and certainly not Kurt -- because I chose to have these players on this team."
Kahn spoke in terms of weeks to see progress from a team he says needs to get "healthier, a little bit more experience, a little less demanding schedule, more cohesive, more organized, less new."
Rambis looks at the bigger picture and speaks in terms of years.
"I wish it would happen faster," he said. "I know fans are frustrated. The players are frustrated, players are angry. But so much of it is just like life. They've got to grow up, they've got to mature as ballplayers. They've got a lot of learning to do."
Im trying to find just the right joke or gif about him stating the obvious, but there is just toooooo many to choose from.
They're missing 2 starters, give them a break.
I think it falls on Darkos shoulders.
Being the best player to ever play the game isnt good enough.
He needs to be better.
Uh bobster, are you or are you not a member of the Darko fan club? If you are a member you may have just committed a serious violation. At the very least you will be put on probation.
In terms of Kahn, yes he is an idiot, there is no denying it. They have so many wing players it's ridiculous. I would love to see Webster traded once he gets healthy. I've always really liked his game and I don't want to see him on the T-wolves.
Is this the same T-Wolves team that fooled alot of folks during the preseason,into thinking they'll be much IMPROVED?
In my Vincent Price's Laugh aaaaahahahahahahhahahahaha
we can look to the fact that they had like 15 draft picks the last 2 years and have one starter to show for it and he's hurt.....and I actually defended the 2 PG picks at the time but after this years draft I am slapping myself for ever defending this man....
I think Webster's absence is being overlooked by a lot of people; he was primed to come in and be a leader on this team as a veteran but is out with injury. Rambis is still an awful coach, but Martell should help restore some focus/energy to the lineup.
WEBSTER MAKES THEM A WINNING TEAM?
Ninja you crazyyyy
maybe if they would have chosen Cousins or Jennings or Curry when they had a chance then things would be better....
not wasted a first round pick on Lazar Hayward......
Haha where does it say they would be a winning team? Minnesota has no chance of that out West, but Martell would at least help them be more competitive than they are right now. I really hope Rambis is gone when (if) Rubio comes over.
Rudeboy i swear that i hate you so much
I better be nice to you Leroy a/k/a LilP-Nut..Becuz you Bout to BLOWUP!!!
Keep Spitting them Bars..
Let me list why He trades OJ Mayo for Kevin Love when he already has Al Jefferson...why create a log jam at Pf/C...oh yeah he wanted to trade Al because his contract was too large...At the very least if he didn't like Mayo he could have drafted Brook Lopez...
Then He draft's Ricky Rubio knowing he'd never come over to play for the Wolves, like ever...Then Draft's another inferior Pg in Flynn when Jennings, Curry and Holiday would have been the smarter picks...Then he drafts a 3rd pick only to trade to Denver for a wasted pick...Now Lawson looks like the best pick they made from that draft and he's not even on the Team...
Then he dratfs Wesley Johnson and 3 other Sf's and trades for Beasley when they could have used Demarcus Cousins or even Greg Monroe...
Trades Al Jefferson for what, a second round pick ??? Trade your best player for a useless pick...
Tells the Media Darko is his best starter and spitting in the face of Love, Beasley and Flynn
All those picks and Moving Al could have and should have gotten the Wolves more talent than they have...
I don't know who their scouts are but they should be fired...For thinking Flynn would be better than Jennins, Holiday or Curry...Also thinking they needed Love over Mayo with no players on the perimeter was awful...Both Teams wish they could make that trade go away...
Its easy to say now that he shouldve drafted Curry or he shouldve drafted Jennings...then again the Grizzlies probably shouldve drafted Jennings or Curry too. The Thunder shouldve drafted Tyreke Evans. The Pistons shouldve drafted Carmelo or Wade. 22 teams shouldnt have passed on Rajon Rondo. 30 teams shouldnt have passed on Gilbert Arenas...See how annoying that is??
Turn back the clocks to last years draft. He drafts Rubio then Drafts Curry...everyone would say, they are gonna be way to small. He drafts Jennings, everybody says the smae thing as when they took Flynn. I think there were alot of people who thought Flynn was going to be a legit stud in the league, and he may still be...he played one season...in a real offense that isnt just endless pick and roll like Curry and Jennings. There were questions about both curry and Jennings coming into the draft, funny how people forget that so easily.
Kahn has made some moves that havent worked out, but in his defense, he didnt get dealt a great hand. Rip him all you want, but there is a clear plan in place regardless of it works or not. The plan is to load up on shooters and when Rubio gets here have him run the show.
Maybe if he wouldve taken Cousins, he wouldve turned out to be a fat ass and not try and Jennings wouldve sucked in an offense that is systematic. I wouldve expected better from Midwestbball scout. For a guy who seems pretty knowledgable about the ins and outs of basketball, there were some pretty dumb statements made.
Could things be different for the Wolves? Yeah. There are alot of moves that they couldve made and they would be contenders now...just about every team in teh NBA can go back 10 years and make different moves and see things turn out differently though. Thats the business.
What Did Kaun do to you??? Did he tell you he loved you and that he's sorry for being the worst GM in the NBA...
Why would he come over, to ruin his reputation playing for the laughing stock of the NBA...what would Rubio be gaining coming over to play for the T'Wolves...Nothing...He's a Superstar overseas, he'd be another Euro Bust unless he somehow leads that Wolves squad to a respectable 8th seed out West...That's not happening...I love it when T'Wolves fans swear Rubio is coming over when he has 0 incentive to do so...Why hasn't Fran Vasquez come over to play for the Winning/Championship contender Magic??? It's because he's pampered and treated like a Hall Of Fame Talent over there, same as Rubio...
Rubio gets almost as much Spanish booty from the ladies as i do! #ballin
To be some run of the mill NBA player that get's extorted by women all the time...
The whole point is that Rubio wouldn't just be another run of the mill PG, he'd be the face of a franchise along with Kevin Love and be playing in the best L in the world. Also, you can't blame Kahn for not assuming that his franchise sucks and a player who nominated for the draft wouldn't want to play for him, heck, the Raptors may as well just not bother drafting studs at all with that mindset. Kahn cops a lot of flak, but this is a young team, give them time to gel this time around before you judge them.
Good job Scare Crow...way to sound smart.
Khan didnt tell me he loved me though.
As I said earlier, regardless of if it has worked out or not, he isnt just making moves out of nowhere like people think. He's built a team that had no talent and no real future and has turned that into a team that at least has some pieces that can provide a foundation. Their biggest weakness right now is that they dont have a legit number 1 guy or a guy who can create for other players. They have a ton of guys that can run and shoot (Webster, Johnson, Beasley, Ellington), but none really create for others very well or besides Beasley can really create for themselves...Rubio would do that. They dont have an alpha dog still, but they are also very young and should be in position to potentially add that type of player in the near future via the draft. He has a plan in place. Is it working right now, not really, but they are missing some important ingredients even from the incomplete roster that they have now (Flynn and Webster).
He is the GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves, no Free Agents want to go there, so he has to manufacture everything through the draft or trades. Not an easy task. Pat Riley hasnt done that. His christmas came in July with Bosh and Lebron. Danny Ainge didnt do that. He traded nothing for KG and Ray Allen. We dont have the luxery of an icon to draw others in, so he has to everything the hard way. Thats not really the way of the NBA anymore.
Have things gone perfectly for Khan? No. Am I saying he is an awesome GM? No. Is he a bit of a tool? Hell yeah. But at the same time, people need to use their brains and look at the whole situation and search for the reasons behind things happening, not just jump to final judgement.
Why hasnt Fran Vazquez come over? Maybe its cuz a guy named Dwight Howard is sitting in the middle of the paint and he wouldnt really play. Maybe its cuz he's a whimp. Maybe its cuz he's a coward. Maybe he knows tat he wouldnt be very good anyways. Why dont you ask him, then you'd be finally asking good questions. Rubio wouldnt have to worry about not playing for sure, maybe he isnt very good, but there are alot of people who know alot more then you and are actually paid to have an opinion who say he is going to be pretty good.