FanPost

Kahn, up-tempo, and winning

I felt that Kahn was pretty clear about WHY he wanted an up-tempo style of play. In critiquing Kahn, we need to make sure we critique HIS reasons for wanting such a style instead of resorting to "up-tempo doesn't win" arguments (though I love Wofenstein's analysis of this simplistic argument).

 

Kahn's stated reasons for wanting the up-tempo style:

 

1) The fans love it. This is a statement of fact, though we'd all agree that fans love winning more than they love a style. Kahn's been nailed for this reason - but it seems clear that the second reason he gave was the core of the matter.

 

2) The players love it. More specifically, Kahn believes that the best way to attract top free agents to MN is to have a style of play that excites the players. We don't have the draw of a big market. We don't have the draw of a historic NBA franchise. We don't have the draw of an exotic local. We don't have the draw of a history of winning. We don't have the draw of a marquee player (not since KG). So Kahn has to create some sort of draw. His decision: play a style of play that top players will want to be a part of.

 

In Kahn's mind, then, the team with the best players usually wins. The only way to get the best players in MN is to have a style of play that they'll embrace. If you combine that with the ability to pay more due to salary-cap space, and you have a recipe to attract top free agents or keep your own top free agents (e.g. Love).

 

Kahn may very well believe that the team MOST likely to win a championship is the team that plays at a slightly slower pace with terrific defense. But if he doesn't believe building such a team is POSSIBLE in MN, then he has to resort to the best alternative - a highly efficient, up-tempo team that attracts stars and retains top free agents.

 

Is Kahn right? Only time will tell (though I'd love to have one of the contributors analyze whether up-tempo teams have any advantage in signing top free agents or retaining their own).

 

Personally, I'm skeptical but excited to see the experiment play out. I'm rooting for him to be right. I just believe that we'd have a better chance of winning by following the paths of teams like Detroit or Dallas (though McHale seemed to follow this approach and didn't get anywhere - but the Joe Smith fiasco certainly was a handicap).

 

Thoughts?

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