To me, the most important issue with the Wolves is their lack of competitiveness on a consistent basis. With that in mind, I decided to create a 0-10 scale of competitiveness to evaluate the team on a game-by-game basis, categorized by the effort level of various former Wolves players. The scale is below the fold.
The general criteria:
1) Energy: This one's pretty self-explanatory (do they chase down loose balls and rebounds, move their feet defensively, etc.)
2) Intelligence: Let's call this the Ryan Hollins Test that weeds out the guys who show great vertical leaps buying every shot fake and trying crazy dunks
3) Discipline: Sticking to the gameplan
4) Sense of the Moment: Basically, a guy's ability to stop runs by taking it to the hoop and making FTs/knocking down shots/stepping up on defense
So with all of that in mind, here's the scale. Feel free to quibble with the selections, but I stuck to guys who were good enough to play, which kept Ndudi Ebi off this system. The ratings are based on specific players but are meant to indicate the type of play the whole team showed in any given game. I'm going to use this scale to evaluate the team's performance from here on out (e.g. "they had a McCants game" and encourage others to do the same.
0 - Michael Olowokandi: Not intelligent or disciplined play with no sense of the moment but occasionally energetic
1 - Rashad McCants: Not intelligent or disciplined, capable of seizing the moment but not likely to on a consistent basis, rarely energetic
2 - J.R. Rider: Somewhat energetic, capable of seizing the moment in very rare situations (like playing at Golden State for Mr. East Bay Funk), but generally not intelligent or disciplined on the court
3 - Chuck Person: Seems energetic and disciplined with some sense of the moment but only channels those things for personal gain
4 - Ricky Davis: Somewhat energetic, some sense of the moment, can be disciplined with the right challenge (see his D on Steve Nash when the Wolves snapped Phoenix's 20-plus-game win streak), mostly unintelligent play
5 - Wally Szczerbiak: Energetic and disciplined when things are going well, has a sense of the moment but unlikely to consistently seize it, not enough intelligent play
6 - Sam Cassell: Discipline and energy vary, strong sense of the moment, generally intelligent, lack of discipline and energy turn some easy wins into close wins where they have to make a big play that might not have been needed if they'd played hard the rest of the game
7 - Terrell Brandon: Intelligent, disciplined, stable energy that doesn't turn a win into a loss but might not turn as many losses into wins as they should, sense of the moment is good but not acted upon enough to turn some losses into wins
8 - Mark Madsen: Generally intelligent, extremely energetic, disciplined, but not likely to step up in big moments (see the '04 loss to Memphis when Mad Dog missed an open layup that would've sent it to OT)
9 - Kevin Garnett: Intelligent, extremely energetic, disciplined, sometimes steps up in big moments but not always
10 - Sam Mitchell/Terry Porter/Fred Hoiberg: have a strong sense of the moment, competent in big spots, always intelligent, never undisciplined, stable energy with the ability to ramp it up at the exact spots that can turn losses into wins.
So far, I'd say the Wolves games have mostly been Szczerbiaks or McCantses. Thoughts on the scale and the current team's place in it?