FanPost

What to watch for: a list to cobble up.

(Edit: This thread is a little bit of an experiment I didn't quite know I was making at the time. We're building a list of the questions we're asking about each Timberwolf player. It started with maybe half of the text it has now, and I'm adding or editing things as people suggest them in the comments.)

Latest additions: Beasley as go-to scorer? Can Jonny be the perimeter create-your-own guy while playing a real PG? Will Webster jack up threes, or expand his offensive game? Pekovic as intimidating "enforcer" type against NBA backups? Corey's role now 6th man energy guy? Question about Love's being a leader or not.

––––

Predictions aren't as fun for me as figuring out what to watch for in a given player, or team. (How interesting is it to look back in January or February and say "Boy, I really thought they'd win 27 games this year"? You were right, or you were wrong. Even with your own prediction, there's not much more to say.)

Anyone want to help slap together the list of stuff to ask about the Wolves roster as it stands today?

Kevin Love, PF

When he "launches" a shoe, they take him to the Parthenon.

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Rebound-seeking instincts.

Attention-seeking instincts.

Starter('s minutes)? Continued 6th-man friction? Is he now a team leader, or still half in Rambis's doghouse?

Is he defensively at home? Playing team defense, or individual defense? Do pairings with Beasley still push him into awkward matchups?

"Usage"/shots – how do they look on a team where he gets a lot more minutes? (He's been possession-dominant on team USA, when he's in.) How central is he to the offense? Does the ball go through Love now?

Outside shot developing? He's said this was a summer goal (again).

Is he more aggressive with the outlets now that there are wings to take advantage? (Is this Kelly Dwyer's "derring-do"?)

Better alongside Darko (well-rounded play from both?) or Pekovic (where he's got a solid post scorer to play off of)?

The perception that his shot's blocked a ton (not particularly borne out in terms of the rate at which it happens, 9.5%, next to elite post players in the game) – how does that hold up if he's central to the offense?

 

Michael Beasley, PF/SF

I considered removing the "launch" from this.... Nah.

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Tattoos.

Potential scoring explosions.

 

Will he ever become that go-to scorer?

Three or four, on either end of the floor?

Fit in the trike?

Fits alongside Love, Darko, Pekovic?

Consistent enough as a scorer to demand floor time? What sort of relationship will he have with Rambis? Does playing time cause friction? 

Did he tell Kahn the truth about smokin' reefer?

 

 


Jonny Flynn, PG

He got the call here.... In college.

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Ability to dribble.

Hops, if healthy, and winning smile either way.

Is he a victim of THE CURSE? ALREADY? Dang.

"He simply, I think, can become one of the best on the ball defenders among point guards in the league." - D.Kahn

Health?

Setting up bigs (or anyone else) in the (pinch-)post?

Improved finishing – that teardrop he talked about? Improved trips to the line now that the rookie label's gone?

Will PGs ever get decent assist rates in Rambis's offense? Has Jonny's role changed in year two, or does Rambis continue to pare things down and watch Flynn pound his dribble? Does his PG role become narrower this year now that we have wings? Is he basically another wing scoring option now, and is that his role on a team with Rubio anyway?

Can Jonny be the team's perimeter player creating his own while playing his point role?

 

Darko Milicic, C/PF

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Good passing from high post to cutters, so-so in other situations. (Thanks, nbaplaybook.)

(Rather poor [offensive] rebounding for a center.)

How does playing time work out between Darko and Pekovic?

How much does his defensive presence matter in the context of the current roster? Is he willing to play a "garbage center" role as needed?

(Same question about rotation among bigs.)

Offensively, is an in-shape and up-to-speed Milicic a significant asset within the tricycle offense?


 

Martell Webster, SF(/SG?)

It's hard to attach a goofy picture to someone who seems like such a nice guy. (Is he a little too nice and a little not-enough-fire?)

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Will be used as a defensive mark for other teams' dominant wings, presumably.

Range shooting.

Is he really a defensive stopper, or is that just the way he was used some in Portland?

Is he prepared to emerge, at his age, on an uptempo team? Or will his offense be limited to jacking threes?

Given the handle question marks elsewhere among our wings, does Martell get a chance to definitively prove where he's at with his? Does he suit the pinch post thing well in that way?

Can he play the SG, really? (Does SG/SF matter in Rambis's offense at all anyway?) Was his position a matter of Roy's being there? He hasn't played many minutes there at all. 

The whole minutes-production correlation: complete illusion? Causality exactly the opposite of what we'd prefer?

Is he the kind of veteran presence the team needs?

Nikola Pekovic, C/PF

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Hard-nosed inside play on offense

Reasonably adept at filling holes on break, trailing, etc.

 

Fouls – particularly offensive ones, given his seeking contact as much as he does?

Basic defensive questions.

Will his physical play in any way intimidate NBA backups? Can he in any sense be a bench "enforcer" type?

 

Luke Ridnour, PG/(spot SG?)

The ring-bearing rotation's thinner than we'd imagined, but Frodo's in front for now.

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

 

Was that a salary drive we saw last season, or has he figured something out?

 

 

Wes Johnson, SF/(SG?)

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Going to give us some eye-popping dunks in transition.

Great kid. (Not as much of a kid as we'd like, however.)

Ball-handling.

Position. Can he guard twos? 

Even great-shooting wings often have wild swings as rookies. Wes?

Can he learn to get his shot at all, or is he going to be fading in and out much as he did in college?

 

Corey Brewer, SG/SF

The goat, at least, has put on bulk.

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Never the same river twice.

"Disruptive."

Probably not going to learn to dribble at this point.

Will his new role be as a 6th man energy player?

Okay, so which shot are we going to see this time Corey?

K = Eint/a^2, where K is the spring constant and the other variables are expressions of Corey Brewer's "motor." Our question is about "a" – "displacement." How far is his spring stretched if he has a new role?

Can he ever bulk up enough to match up on threes who aren't Kevin Durant skinny? To rebound and not get blown around like a dry leaf?

 

 

Anthony Tolliver, F

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

D-league type who's probably going to bust his hump.

Sense of humor seems to be intact.

I don't know much about his defense.

Does his Target Center magic continue? (The guy absolutely went off here late last year.)

What position can he force some PT in? Natural four, probably, and played the center some in G.S., but only the barest spot duty as a three last year. Is he some sort of specialty "shooting big" for tactical situations now?

 

Wayne Ellington, SG

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Range shot.

Ellington was actually an okay defender last year, for a 6'4-5"-ish rookie off guard with a so-so defensive rep.

When Jonny went down for that last night of the year, Wayne played significant PG minutes, and he actually set up the bigs better than our starting point. Is this a role he can step into in real spot minutes over the course of the year? Does he represent a possible ideal "trike" PG, in Ron Harper-esque mold? (Will he have worked on the necessary skills to do that over the summer?) 

Ability to drive. He did show this at times last season.

How does he stand for PT on the new roster, which actually has wing talent?

 

Lazar Hayward, SG

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

A hard working defensive sub sort would be his first role.

What was the nature of this pick? What did Rambis & Kahn think they  were spending a guaranteed deal on, here?

Is there a contribution he can make offensively – perhaps from three, where he shot well in his Sophomore year anyway – to encourage PT?

Might he be an example of the Wolves thinking about players to develop in (and establish a hard-nosed defensive style in) the D-league?

 

Kurt Rambis, Head Coach

Reasonably Well-Known Questions

Appears rather determined to put in the "trike": his "flow," remedial version of the triangle.

Just what is the trike? Players talk about the triangle, Kahn is frustrated to even have it come up because that's supposedly not who the Wolves are. Are the wing spots in this offense completely interchangeable? (Do wings need more handle than the Wolves can put in play with people like Webster and Brewer?) Can we extend "wings" to basically include the PG stable too?

Do PGs ever stand a chance to get decent assist rates? Is the PG slot now going to lose emphasis in the context of a team with actual wings that's running the whatever-it-is? Are PGs essentially a better-ball-handling wing type in this offense? (How does that play into courting Ricky Rubio?)

How will Rambis distribute minutes to the numerous guys who are deserving or need developing? Does he water everyone down or shaft 3-4 players for a viable minutes rotation?

Do the players with starter’s talent actually get starter’s minutes? Specifically Love v. Beasley, Beasley v. SF’s, Wes v. Beasley, Wes v. SG’s, Wes v. actually being a starting level talent, Darko v. Pek, Ridnour v. Flynn.

Can Rambis handle the egos (Love), expectations, (Webster), development (flynn, Wes) and head cases (Beasley) that arrive from the inevitable decisions on minutes and starting?

When does the Zen facade crumble, if it does?

 

(Edit: Added Rambis with questions, removed excuses.)

Tell me what else is missing, or wrong. (The correct answer to "What's missing?" probably isn't Greg Stiemsma, though I'm willing to write out the question "Are you a body to bang in training camp?" if someone wants to see it in virtual ink....) Suggest new pictures. Anything.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Canis Hoopus

You must be a member of Canis Hoopus to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Canis Hoopus. You should read them.

Join Canis Hoopus

You must be a member of Canis Hoopus to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Canis Hoopus. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker