Recently I was part of a discussion that looked at the average age of the Minnesota Timberwolves to see if they really were the youngest team in the league. Then it became what their record looked like in relation to other, similarly young teams in the league. What we found isn't what I'm going to talk about here.
No, what you'll see below the jump is the answer to a different question. To a response in that discussion that said "experience matters over age and this team has plenty of it". But that made me wonder: do they?The short answer is no. The long answer is interesting, or at least it was for me. Here is the numbers from the Timberwolves roster page on their website:
Michael Beasley 2
Corey Brewer 3
Wayne Ellington 1
Jonny Flynn 1
Lazar Hayward R
Wesley Johnson R
Kosta Koufos 2
Kevin Love 2
Darko Milicic 7
Nikola Pekovic R
Luke Ridnour 7
Sebastian Telfair 6
Anthony Tolliver 2
Martell Webster 5
Now, for anybody wondering, these don't include the current year. So what you're looking at is a team with 3 rookies, 2 sophomores and 4 3rd year players. That means that 9 of the 14 players on the roster have less then 3 years of experience in the NBA and of those 9, 6 are in the regular rotation (Beasley, Love, Flynn, Johnson, Pekovic and Tolliver, forgetting about injuries).
That in itself is interesting but there's more. Darko, for instance, has only played roughly 2000 more career minutes then Love despite having 5 more years in the NBA. So does he really have 5 years of extra experience, all things considered?
Moving on, if you average out those numbers you end up with 2.7 years of experience per player on the roster. That's...incredible. Forget youth; this means that the average player on this team is just over half way through their rookie contract. That's kind of impressive when you think about it. But, again, let's look at this further.
Let's assume that Telfair, Ellington, Hayward and Koufos are more or less out of the rotation. Averaging out the remaining 10 players still only equals 2.9. Keeping this going, let's take out Darko because, like I mentioned, his 7 years is a little deceptive. We end up with 2.4 with those 5 gone. And just for fun, let's take out Webster and Ridnour as well. After that we get 1.4. So that means between Flynn, Johnson, Brewer, Beasley, Love, Pekovic and Tolliver, there's only an average of 1.4 years of experience per player. Again, that's an incredible amount of inexperience for any team, especially considering all of these guys are more or less in the main rotation.
What am I trying to say with this? Honestly...I'm not sure. A lot will probably look at this like some sort of long winded excuse for losing. But there's a growing negativity sweeping the Wolves fandom and, I guess, this fanpost is an attempt by me to maybe give people a little optimism with their coffee. This team is young, but more then that they're inexperienced. Is it tough to watch the kinds of losses we, as die hard fans, have? Hell to the yes. But it's part of the process. They're still growing, learning, and as much as it might suck only patience will see real results.
Oh, and this is my first fanpost so please...be kind. Hope you enjoy :).