FanPost

T-Wolve's System is Doomed

I fully believe that the only way for the Wolves to compete in the NBA is to have a "System".  Waiting for lottery luck to furnish a can't miss savior is not a strategy.  Getting sufficient talent via free agency is a pipe dream - thanks to the salary cap we can't over-pay for legit talent and thanks to our climate we are a bottom 5 free-agent 'destination'. 

However, for System to be the answer, it must be significantly different than what other squads are doing.  Other teams need to feel squeamish and frustrated when faced with the Wolves system for it to be of any use.  And in basketball, this is quite rare.

The best examples of basketball system I can think of that genuinely disrupted more talented teams and allowed lesser talents to triumph:

The Pistons hard nosed defense - The beauty of this system is that most NBA players don't like defense.  Offense and scoring are fun - defense is work.  So most teams and coaches take the path of least resistance.  Detroit went to an extreme focus on defense that made them unique, gave them identity, and fully frustrated teams used to playing against blase defense - not defense with a purpose. 

SSOL - This is the exact opposite of The Pistons.  D'Antoni realizes that defense is work and no fun, so focus on just offense at a fast pace.  The beauty of this system is that EVERY player likes this pattern of play, so even opposing teams get sucked into the frenzied pace because it's fun.  But since the other team isn't used to the pace they quickly tire or aren't as sharp at that speed - whereas the SSOL team is playing in their comfort zone.  I would argue this system has been overly copied and is not longer significant competitive advantage.  Enough teams now employ some sort of high pace that encountering it isn't all that shocking or disruptive to the other team.  I would also argue that a number of teams half-ass SSOL by trying to 'balance' speed with something else - thus not creating a truly disruptive system.

Full Court Press - Nobody does this except in desperation, but it has worked, especially in college.

Princeton System - All those back door cuts.. again successful at the collegiate level.

 

Is the triangle a disruptive system?  I'd argue no.  When opposing teams face the triangle, it is not the triangle that confuses and confounds them - it is Jordan, Kobe and Shaq's individual talents that confound the other team.  The Phil Jackson triangle is little more than "Talent" masquerading as system.  I don't mean to be hard Phil - even superstar talent needs to be harnessed, but it seems that the issue is one of psychology - one of getting the superstar to involve, share and trust teammates - and the triangle 'system' is merely a means to that end.  I believe Phil is a great NBA coach - but based on psychology (and talent)  more than system.  Whereas I also believe Larry Brown is a great NBA coach - but based on system, and certainly not pyschology!

 

So where does that leave the Wolves?  It leaves them building a team around a system that isn't disruptive in a market that can't compete for high level talent.  Essentially, the wolves have a system that provides little or no competitive advantage while being one of the bottom 5 destinations for free agent talent.  This means lots of high draft picks, followed by teams improving to .500 or so, followed by massive free agent desertion, followed by high draft picks, lather, rinse, repeat.

At some point the 'savior' may come along during one of the 'high draft pick' stages - but again, this is not a strategy.

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