Declining Standards

First of all, let's forget the bumbling coaching and awful front office for a second.  Tonight's game featured an embarrassing effort by the players.  This was one of those late-season NBA games that makes you wonder if fans would have a chance in filing a class action lawsuit against David Stern for ticket fraud.  Awful, uneventful, and next to zero effort.  Hooray!  

The Wolves gave up 71 points in the first half and it was over about 6 minutes before the midway buzzer.  They "made it close" in the 2nd half for a little while but it was too little too late and it was well after the Jazz had taken their foot off the accelerator...before they put it back down and pushed the game back to nearly a 20 point differential.  

Anywho, that is about all the actual game deserves in terms of a recap; let's take a blast from the past:

"The ups and downs, we just couldn't find any consistency. After 40 games we were in another of our inconsistent times.

"There was no huge watershed moment where 'this' happened or 'that' happened. It was your basic two steps up the hill and two steps down. We were never able the entire year to establish a style of play we could bank on. We'd get close, you saw signs, and we'd backslide."

 

That was former GM Kevin McHale after firing former head coach Dwane Casey after he won more games in 40 contests than the Wolves will likely win all of this year.  Now, plug in what you know about this current squad and see what happens.  

Are there any ups?  Is there any consistency?  Where is the watershed moment?  How many steps down have they taken?  Have they established a style of play they can bank on?  

What else is there to root for now that the double-double streak is over? 

Dwane Casey was a better coach than Kurt Rambis and he was axed for FAR less than what the Zen Apprentice has gotten away with during his embarrassing tenure with the Wolves.  Casey has the 2nd highest coaching win percentage in team history (.434).  He got the most out of a squad that gave him nothing in terms of respect from the get-go and was not backed up in his efforts by the front office, ownership, or the local press.  Kurt Rambis has the 2nd lowest coaching win percentage in team history (.213).  His team runs a nonsensical offense that has not only failed to produce results on the court, but has also led the equally inept POBO to create a roster ("these are Kurt's guys") for what doesn't work.  Long, athletic, triangle, whatever. Rambis has now coached in 151 games at the head of the Wolves bench and he's won 32 of them.  He  shouldn't be allowed back on the plane. Then again, the Wolves do not seem to have any standards so I'm sure he'll be with us the rest of the season, maybe longer.  

When McHale made his comment about inconsistency, the Wolves were 20-20.  It's been downhill ever since.  They've gone from 32 to 22 to 24 to 15 (15!) wins to likely another sub-20 win season.  The reasons for them doing so have been obvious and, amazingly, consistent (the predictability of their failure has been the only consistent thing in the post-KG era).  This is the reason why most games look exactly like all of the other ones and why all of the game wraps seem to point in one direction: It's because that's what the team does and to ignore it is insane...probably just as insane as continuing to pay money to follow a franchise that refuses to do anything different in order to win.  The reason for all the negativity is because the team has consistently declining standards and they continue to push any chance of winning further and further and further off into the future.  Any talk of a non Kevin Love silver lining at this point should be placed in a Fan Post called Mrs. Lincoln's Play.  

Last year was an unmitigated tanking fraud.  This year might actually be worse (or, at the very least, more foreboding) in terms of actual basketball.  They used cap space on Pek, Darko, and Tolliver while trading for Webster.  They drafted 2 wing players who play about as well as the wing player they drafted late in last year's first  round.  They do not have a starting quality point guard despite pumping 4 draft picks (Rubio, Flynn, Lawson, Calathes) and 2 free agents (Sessions, Ridnour) into the position.  Even with a better coach and if everything "works out" they will be left with a star (Love), a 6th man/gunner (Beasley), and a bunch of 7th-12th men (at best- just how bad of a GM is David Kahn when this team would be sub-Cleveland--probably historically awful--without a McHale pick? How much of their "improvement" this season can be tied to a single player?).  After allllllllllllll of those assets, they're still pointed in the wrong direction.  Don't pretend like you don't know the reasons why.  It's the cooking and the shopping. The people who put together this tasty meal are going to be allowed to serve desert and, amazingly, there are still some fans who seem to be looking forward to digging in when it's brought to their table.  

This team has been in a downward spiral for a few years.  It claims to have made some major adjustments but anyone who has been paying attention can clearly see that the changes are, at best, cosmetic.  If you expect something different next year with the same people running the team, you're fooling yourself.  Their coach can't coach and their GM doesn't know the first thing about professional basketball.  At least McHale had some positives to his record.  Kahn and Rambis have none.  Instead, they have oodles of evidence that point in the opposite direction.  There are supposed to be positives in this situation?  It's a joke and it has been for a while.  The only way to view it otherwise is to take the same path of declining standards as the team. 

Glen Taylor allows this nonsense to happen.  I don't know what anyone is supposed to do about that other than Glen Taylor.  It's the cooking and the shopping and the guy who asks a bunch of incompetent short order cooks to make him a gourmet meal. 

Good luck with that. 

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