What do the Wolves need to compete?
Outside of having KLove stay longer, what is it that the Wolves don't have now that they could realistically fill to make them relevant in the playoffs? Their current team SHOULD get them into the playoffs (esepcially in the east), but they're missing something to make them a team to watch out for. What are they missing?
There were lots of talks on how their per 100 possessions score margin was that of a 50 wins team. They had an top 10 Off and Def rtg for most of the year, though the defensive number got worse in the last month, but at least it's still average. They just were awful in close games and allowed many comebacks. They lost tons of games they should've won. With average performances late in close games they probably would've made the playoffs. At this point I don't know how much it has to do with their personnel. It was uncanny. Of course this roster is far from perfect. They lack shooters and they've had spacing issues; their bench is flat out awful and when Kevin Love sits they just can't score; they don't have anyone able to create offense off the dribble except for Rubio and Barea and that's why Adelman had to play JJ that much even if he was a pain in the azz most of the times. They could definitely improve, but I think they should've done better nonetheless, I mean you can't just throw away as many games as they did.
They need their young guys to develop and actually see minutes, they need Kevin Martin aka guy who will never make a pass gone and to stay healthy. They have no defensive presence and need to put Mbah a moute sp? In the starting lineup for defensive purposes. The team can score, they just can't defend inside or out.
Not true, they've been a top 10 defense all season long before collapsing in the last month after all playoffs hopes were gone. They lack rim protection and Brewer is too much of a gambler on defense, but they have a solid scheme and guys that execute it well, they're not gifted at all, but they haven't been bad on defense (they ended with the 15th def rtg after being horrible in april). Obviously they might use some upgrade, they lack strong individual defensive players (except maybe for Rubio), but as a team they weren't bad at all.
I wonder what their defensive stats are like in crunch time, in games I've watched their inability to get stops at the end of close games has cost them.
Good point, they've been terrible late in games, especially fouling at an unsustainable rate that cannot be explained only with intentional fouls inflating the number. But they've struggled in crunch time on offense too. I don't remember where I read the numbers now, but any article about their struggles down the stretch has them, so I guess it will be pretty easy to find them. It's really uncanny, it seems like there were two different teams playing the same game.
Pretty sure I read they are one of, if not the single worst team in the NBA in crunch time this season.
I think they should stay the course until at least mid-way through next season. Then re-evaluate based on performance.
I really think they'll be a 50 win team next season. If it becomes obvious that they're not in the playoff race, then trade Love before the deadline.
I think they should make an offer for Patty Mills this offseason. He's a much more efficient scorer (10% better fg) than Barea and could get much needed buckets from the backcourt. Hes probably the best pure jacker off the bench right now in the league.
I'm backing Rubio to get his own fg above 40% next season too. He has been able to do that after the All Star break.
Keep Pek and Dieng...makes a nice combo at centre.
improve their perimeter defense. Rubio, Martin and Brewer seemed to take turns getting shredded on a nightly basis. I don't know if it's the risks Rubio and Brewer take, but they were just too easy to attack at the PG,SG and SF positions this year. If they can move some bad contracts at the guard position and bring someone in to compete for minutes - maybe draft Ennis, Stauskas or LaVine at 13. Obviously their strategy hinges completely on what they decide to do about Love's future.
be in the eastern conference
If I was them I would try to trade Pek for a swingman. Dieng looks like he could be an above average starting center in the league with the potential to be a top 5. Pek will be hard to move because of the contract he just signed but I think that is the best play for them as a team.
But if your the wolves and you really believe you have no chance of keeping Love past next year then I think you keep Pek and see how him and Dieng work at the 4 and 5.
The Wolves need what most teams need in the NBA, a player or three who excels under pressure particularly at the end of the game. It would also benefit if some of the players can make some significant gains such as Ricky Rubio developing his jump shot. Adelman also needs to give his younger players playing time when deserved like Gorgui Dieng who has played great once given a real chance.
The Wolves have struggled to keep their players healthy. Pek has missed a total of 28 games, Martin has missed 14, Budinger 41, and Turiaf about a third of the season. Pek and Martin are starters, while Budinger was a 20 mpg shooter off the bench, and Turiaf the prime backup Center.
The bench has been abysmal. Wolves starters generally build up a good lead, then sit to start the second quarter. It usually takes the reserves about 3 minutes to blow whatever lead has been handed to them. With Budingers injuries over the last two seasons the Wolves have nobody on the second unit that can shoot. Because the second unit has been so awful the starters have to play heavy minutes, and have really shown a lot of fatigue late in the season.
The fact that the Wolves are in the West, and have the NBA's worst travel schedule (having a lot of long flights) can't be helped.
If the Wolves could either draft a wing player who could shoot, or package that draft pick and one or more of their current wings in a trade for a better wing, that would help.
Who believes Kevin Love (the only reason people even know Minnesota Timberwolves exist) is a MAX CONTRACT player and pays him like one instead of saying he's not and then paying Pek (a center who is good offensively but not good enough that no one recognizes that he can't play defense) the money that should of been spent on K. Love who is leaving for absolutely nothing in 15 unless they trade him and at this point people are going to buy low because they know Love isn't going back to Minny.
^^ Kevin Love was offered an extension by David Kahn. Flip offered Pekovic his contract. Had Flip been GM when it was time to offer Love an extension, he'd be locked in at the five year max and we wouldn't be having this conversation. David Kahns decisions continue to kill the timberwolves.
They have players not interested in playing defense, give up easy baskets throughout games, and, not surprisingly given this state of being, cannot get stops at the end of close games. Teams that do this deserve to be in the lottery. Hanging big numbers on terrible, awful, no clue teams is not an accomplishment beyond the fact it took Minnesota half of a decade and a near $70 payroll to get beyond it. There is no SHOULD here with regards to the playoffs. This was a year where Denver and the Lakers opened the door to playoff spots because of their injuries, and they are going to finish 10th in the West. If it is all about winning, there is no added value to playing fast and having games played in the 110s and 120s as opposed to the 80s and 90s. If anything, it works against you. It helps perception from November to April because everyone loves seeing a nice pretty stat line and high scoring games are fun to watch, but once the playoffs start nobody remembers the teams that aren't there.
First, they need to realize that Kevin Love defensively in unable to do anything. Playing him next to Pek is terrible because no one is protecting the basket. I always put an athletic C on the Timberwolves in 2K because those 2 just give up too many buckets.
Second, Ricky Rubio has to be a role player. Not your 2nd best player. Anyone that averages below 40% shooting and doesn't force the defense to play on him is a problem. That same player for all of the steals he gets shouldn't be out there getting thrashed defensively either. He doesn't provide enough for that team to be better than what they are. Him on the Pacers makes sense, him on the Wolves? Abosolutely not, he's not going to provide what they need and that's consistent scoring. (It's crazy to me that he's going to command around $8 Mil a year with his production on a non-playoff team.
Third, they need to get an idenity. Do they want to be a run and gun team or a physical one? They need to figure out (should have already done this) how they're going to build around Kevin Love and the answer isn't always through the draft. They of course have to overpay for players since its in Minny, but overpay for the players that will fit in with what you trying to do. Having only one player in your starting line up that can contain their man is a problem. If you going to build around a player that is uncapable of playing defense then you need players around him that can.
Just need Rubio to be able to shoot like Steph Curry :P
I think they do need to rebuild through the draft. We've seen what happens when you try to bring FA's into MN. I give Flip credit for trying to put some talent around Love, but Brewer is a great 6th man, Bud is a decent bench player but injury prone, and Kmart is too old and too bad at D to try to build around at this point. The Wolves biggest problem is we haven't drafted well until last year. I actually like both last years picks I think Gorgei should start and Bazz should get decent minutes off the bench. I love Pek, but he can't play next to K Love it's just too bad defensively. I'd try to trade Pek for another 1st if possible (maybe Suns 17th I think they could really use Pek). With our pick I like what they have on this site. I don't know if Jerami Grant is ready to play the 3 in the NBA, but I would love him and Gorgei defensively around Love. Then with the other pick I would love if they could get James Young if he declares (honestly I don't think he'd fall that far I can't believe they have him so low on here). If he wasn't there I'd want a big that could play with Love or Gorgui like Adreian Payne. And then find any way possible to get rid of Barea. I don't know what we'd do for backup point play Shved for all I care just not Barea. Well, maybe not Shved either, but maybe we could find a 2nd round guy, I actually like Kane too. Obviously this would be best case scenario, but that would be a roster I feel like could make the playoffs, maybe even win a series, and definitely be a team that could grow together.
Starters: Gorgui, Love, Jerami Grant, K Mart, Rubio
Bench: Turiaf, Adreian Payne, Shabazz, Brewer, Bud, Kane
The biggest problem with this would be the PG situation. Rubio needs to get better if this team is going to make the playoffs in the west.