No real revelations in this post, just wanted to sum up some of my steps for success and put some numbers to them. I don't think they are incredibly out of reach and if all of this happens, I think we turn into a 40-45 win team. And that's without Rubio. If we play like we did last night, I think we're a 20 win team. And there will be no Rubio.
Mplax's Steps for Success:
- First and foremost, Skittles needs to go to the hoop. If Beasley wants to be a superstar in this league, I can 100% guarantee you he will not be able to do it with the midrange shot as his primary weapon in his arsenal. I'm just saying, rainbows come after the storm. Rainbows are also associated with Skittles... We just found our Skittles. Did we just get through the storm? Drive drive drive! 10/10/10 is no revelation for what he needs to do to succeed, but if it works as a motivation tool, great!
- Kevin Love needs to be on the court WITH Beasley. We can't be successful as a team if our two best guys are playing 24mpg each. Not only with Beasley, but Kevin Love NEEDS to be on the court!
- Wes Johnson needs to shoot 35%+ from range. He's a good player and he puts forth a good effort. I don't think he's a tremendous defender like many are saying, but I think he is more than adequate. Once the shooting comes, he'll set up the rest of his game. Not the other way around. On a sidenote, Wes has to learn how to put the ball on the floor while he is not playing games.
- Darko, in addition to maintaining/improving the passing, needs to improve his hookshot. I'd also like to see that quick spin move to the hoop get a little bit of development. He has too many tools not to shoot at least 50%. Somehow, I feel as if this, and a re-increased FT rate, could be developed though his aggression. Not taking the ball to the hoop every time he touches it, not that kind of aggression. The kind where he plays smart, but goes hard at his man when he posts up. If he averages 4FTA per game, I think we're going to be looking pretty good at the C spot. Any more than that would be frosting on the cake.
- Sebastian Telfair needs to take 5 shots or less per game. I love the guy when he is in, but I hate when he starts trying to take over the offense. That's not his game and it most likely never will be (wouldn't that be great it Telfair, the most unexpected of our bunch, is the one that finally meets the expectations?). Keep on creating and wreaking havoc on the defense (I love his slashing ability, creates opportunities when he goes to the hoop, just not when he finishes), keep playing that pestering defense. But PLEASE don't take more than 5 shots in a game, less after Jonny comes back and you have less time. If Bassy stopped shooting so much, he'd easily be the best 3rd stringer in the league, and even among the tops of the 2nd stringers (possibly better than a couple starters... but I won't go quite that far).
- Wayne Ellington should be average at least 3 3PA per 36. I love his added ability to take it to the hoop, but shooting is his best skill. His best skill just happens to be the second most efficient shot in the league (next to FTs). If Wayne is even slightly open, Wayne needs drayne it.
- Kurt Rambis needs to play proper rotations. I don't think he was tanking last year, but I think he was messing with his lineups to try to motivate people. It was an... interesting... experiment. But it didn't work. It's time to give us the best chance to win.
- We need to cut it out with the SSOL Suns offense that I saw in our first game. Ridnour would quickly bring the ball up the floor and put up a three. To his credit, he shot well. But I don't want to be seeing this all year. And when Ridnour didn't do it, someone else would. I don't want to see poor shots being taken less than 10 seconds into the shot clock. If nothing better comes, I'd rather watch an iso play with the last 5 seconds of the clock.
- When Webster comes back, I want to see Wes come off the bench as the 6th man and have a rotation of Wes/Webster/Beasley/Wayne as our 2/3 rotation. As much as I love Brewer, he's obviously the odd man out if he doesn't improve by leaps and bounds. For Webster, I want to see some good (not even spectacular) defense at the 2/3. I also want to see him stay consistent with his threes and continue to improve his ability to put the ball on the floor. I guess from Webster, I am expecting the most in terms of the number of areas, but these are already things he is clearly capable of doing. I just want him to make slight improvements in response to the increased role.
- When Jonny comes back, I want to see him give a crap on defense. If he plays like he did last year, yet improves his defense to even slightly below average, I'll be happy. If he plays exactly like he did last year, I'll take Bassy. I also don't think it's a stretch to ask him to increase his efficiency a little. The refs should be a little kinder to him on his drives now that he isn't a rookie and if the Wolves improve overall the calls should come with it, to an extent. This, itself, should help him out. But I'd like to see him take a step forward as well. The assist to turnover ratio is absolutely something that he needs to improve. The only way I don't think this is if we use him with Wayne (as our PG :) ) and let Jonny focus more on scoring and Wayne more on running the Triangle offense (Can Jonny play the Kobe role for our second unit?)
- Pekovic has to stay on the floor. This will come in time, but once he can stay on the floor and develop some sort of rhythm, he is going to annoy teams like crazy. I, for one, can't wait to see this!
- Generic statements about defense
- 10/10/10 for Beasley, I guess, is a good way to sum it up
- 30mpg+ for Love
- 35% or more from range from Wes
- 4FTA+ for Darko
- 5 or less FGA for Telfair
- 3 or more 3PA for Ellington
- Kurt has to prove he's a good coach
- No SSOL Suns offense. Take smart shots
- Slight improvements across the board for Webster
- Jonny has to be our second unit's Kobe to Wayne's DFish
- 5 fouls or less for Pekovic :)
What else do you think we need to see. Which of these is the least realistic? Which is the easiest to attain? Which will help the most? The least? Which would be the most fun to see? Are Wayne and Jonny the perfect second unit guard combo? Can they play each others' roles?