FanPost

Third Generation Salvation?



  Winter may be colder than usual this year, unless of course, the NBA lockout is resolved and Timberwolves fans throughout the north once again have a distraction from the weather, and at this point a deal couldn't reached soon enough to completely satisfy die-hard NBA  fans.  In the meantime, we're stuck in limbo prior to the most anticipated Wolves season in recent memory.  With Rick Adelman's basketball genius at the helm, it seems the potential for this squad is limitless at times like these; when negotiators continue to negotiate, and speculators are left with nothing to do but speculate.

   After the previous lockout, Adelman was able to improve the Sacramento Kings exponentially with a young Jason Williams at the point; while that was the most recent project in Adelman's coaching voyage, he was also able to tap into much potential with his other guards, one of which was in a Timberwolves uniform for several years--Terry Porter.  Without further ado, let's take a look at Porter's career and how significantly he benefited from Adelman's prescense in the early stages of his respective career.

Terry Porter - PG - Portland Trail Blazers

    Terry Porter's career started with the Blazers and in just his sophomore season he was the starting point guard in Portland; but not until fourth season, the arrival of Rick Adelman, did Porter really begin to blossom as an all-around perimeter threat in the league.  In Porter's early years shooting struggles were his most obvious flaw (sound familiar?), as he shot just .310 3P% in his first year and .217 3P% in his second year (first year as starter), then an improvement to .348 3P% in his third year.
    As would be the case for Adelman a few times throughout his lengthy career, once he began coaching the young point guard, fans saw noticeable improvement in Porter's deep game and his PER (Player Efficiency Rating).  In 1988-89, Porter's fourth year in the league, he shot .361 3P% and also improved from 14.9 PPG to 17.7 PPG, where it would approximately remain for Porter's remaining years in Portland, peaking in 1992-93 at 18.2 PPG.  Although his PER dropped from 18.1 to 17.7 and his assists from 10.1 APG to 9.5 APG in their first year together, the young guard's overall game would see solid improvements in the long run.  
    The following year, 1989-90, Porter's PER would escalate from 17.7 to an even 20; once again Porter's APG would drop from 9.5 in 88-89 to 9.1 in 89-90, but nine assists per game is consistently an elite assist total in the NBA.  
    Continuously, in 1990-91 Porter's PER would rise again to a career-high 21.7, showing proof that Adelman was able to harness Porter's remaining potential and make him into an elite level NBA point guard and a two time all-star (both during Adelman-era).

  Now, if Adelman was able to help Porter's game twenty years ago, It will be interesting to see if Adelman and Porter (who is reportedly going to be joining Adelman as a Wolves coach), will be able to harness the Spanish sensation, Ricky Rubio's potential, and lead the Timberpups to the promised land.

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