Wolves vs. Green team grades

Well, I should be studying. I should have been studying for the last 2 1/2 hours, but we had the TWolves on TV! And now what's my excuse? Talk about the Twolves I watched for the last 2 1/2 hours. Teachers will understand that, right?

AK47 - A+

28 Minutes 13 Points 2/3 FG's 9/10 FT's 7 Rebounds 5 Assists 2 Steals 1 Blocks 1 TO's

Wow. This could be the best move of the NBA offseason by any team (besides Lakers). The talent, BBIQ, skill, determination, and being good at basketball gap between AK and last year's group is unmeasurable. The whole Durant=AK - Wes Johnson equation looks to be 100% correct. He did everything while he was on the floor within the offense, and it was gorgeous. I was most impressed by his ball handling and (behind the back) passing.

Kevin Love - A
31 Minutes 24 Points 8/16 FG's 7/7 FT's 8 Rebounds 2 Assists 1 Steals 0 Blocks 3 TO's

Shot a good percentage. Hit all his free throws. Cleaned the glass. Had a great pass to Pek for a dunk. We've seen it all before from Love, and he did not disappoint. Towards the end of the game he started showing isolation scoring. Granted it wasn't against an NBA team, but I can't pick the opponent. He looked good in all aspects of the game.

Brandon Roy - A

25 Minutes 19 Points 4/8 FG's 9/10 FT's 4 Rebounds 0 Assists 1 Steals 0 Blocks 0 TO's

There was some vintage BRoy tonight. When they showed his pre-injury highlights he looked a little quicker and like he covered more ground on his spins and fadeaways, but this does not mean he can't be effective. He drilled some spot up corner 3's from RUBIOOOOO!!!! (Okay, wait until January. It will happen. A lot.)

The Godfather - A-

26 Minutes 10 Points 4/10 FG's 2/4 FT's 9 Rebounds 2 Assists 1 Steals 1 Blocks 1 TO's

I would give him a B, but I fear what he will do to me. He made some good plays. He got the chair pulled on him and fell over. His scoring wasn't as efficient as it needs to be. He needs to start hitting his FT's around 75% again. I liked his help defense. Even if he doesn't get up high to block shots, guards do not want to run directly into Pek. He will be very effective if he can rotate quick enough.

Luke Ridnour - D

21 Minutes 3 Points 1/7 FG's 1/2 FT's 1 Rebounds 1 Assists 0 Steals 0 Blocks 2 TO's

Luke never really had it tonight. None of our guards did. Green team's guards outplayed us. We need Ricky bad. I feel like he should be able to play from the bench. Just put his chair close enough to the court so he can have his feet inbounds. His defense will be sorely missed.

JJ - C-

20 Minutes 11 Points 4/4 FG's 0/0 FT's 1 Rebounds 7 Assists 0Steals 0 Blocks 3 TO's

In his defense, he was on the floor with no other ball handlers for a good portion of his playing time. He was just pissing me off to watch play. He was Flynn-esque in his ability to bring the ball up court and dribble without passing. He was on the court with Shved for a chunk of time and it seemed like every time he would actually pass the ball to Shved (like twice), Shved set him up for a wide open 3. You are the PG. PASS THE BALL.

Air Bud - B

16 Minutes 8 Points 3/5 FG's 0/0 FT's1 Rebounds 0 Assists 1 Steals 1 Blocks 1 TO's

Budinger knows this offense like the back of his hand. He will be an asset off the bench this year. He plays within his limits and is deadly from the corners. Perfect role player.

The Inferno - A

13 Minutes 11 Points 5/6 FG's 1/2 FT's 4 Rebounds 0 Assists 0 Steals 0 Blocks 0 TO's

I feel like I'm handing out a lot of A's here. Dante for Wayne Ellington was a fantastic trade. I like him more than Tolliver already. His 18 footer is razor sharp. He had a HUGE putback dunk and a sweet alley oop. He plays within his limits, does his job, and will make DWill expendable (if DWill doesn't make DWill expendable). I think his only miss was at the end of the shot clock.

Sweet Lou - D-

5 Minutes 0 Points 0/1 FG's 0/0 FT's 2 Rebounds 0 Assists 0 Steals 0 Blocks 1 TO's

His only shot was absolutely terrible if I remember correctly. It was from like 18+ feet. I yelled at him through my TV as he took it and told him to never ever shoot the ball again. It's not what he is on the team for. His only shots should be dunks. I did not like what I saw tonight.

Steamer - B+

7 Minutes 0 Points 0/0 FG's 0/0 FT's 1 Rebounds 0 Assists 0 Steals 1 Blocks 0 TO's

He was everything I expected. He also took a charge. Played solid D. Didn't try to do anything on offense, and I don't want him to. This is a theme with the grades. Don't go outside of your strengths because you will be heavily docked.

Shved - C+

14 Minutes 5 Points 2/3 FG's 0/0 FT's 1 Rebounds 2 Assists 0 Steals 1 Blocks 0 TO's

Shved was much too timid tonight. JJ kinda locked him out of the offense. I want Shved to be much more active on O. He looked good when he had opportunites, tons of creativity and court vision and good skip passes. He needs demand the ball more. He should heavily involved in the offense, and he looked disengaged. He drained a sick 3 though at the end of the game.

Caged Tamed Sedated Dead Lion - F-----

14 Minutes 1 Points 0/3 FG's 1/2 FT's 5 Rebounds 1 Assists 0 Steals 0 Blocks 2 TO's

Derrick didn't look like an NBA player tonight. He didn't even look like an Israeli Super League player tonight. He looked like a player that should have his name mentioned with Wes Johnson and Jonny Flynn. I had flashbacks of them tonight. I am glad he only got 14 minutes, because I didn't want to watch any more of him. He had an alley oop pass.

So, what conclusions can I jump to after 1 preseason game against a team that isn't in the NBA?

  • The Wolves strength will be Love, AK47, and Pek on the front line. These 3 will wreak havoc on opposing big men. They will draw tons of fouls. It won't be sexy high flying basketball. It will be meticulous demolition of team after team, led by Adleman.
  • This Wolves team will play some of the most fluid and most fun to watch basketball. I am looking forward to seeing the passes come from a Rubio-Shved-BRoy-AK-Love lineup. No defensive rotations will be able to keep up with their passing. 3 guys who can space the floor. I cannot wait.
  • Derrick Williams should be traded. I don't think he is as bad as he played tonight, but there is nowhere for him to play on this team. Love, AK, Dante, and Bud all play his positions, and they do them much better than he does. A scoring 6th man should not replace Love or AK anyways. Even if there is an injury to one of those guys, BRoy sliding to the 3 or Amundson playing the 4 are looking like better options. If I could get any pick 15 or under for him I would do it. Otherwise something like Tony Allen's expiring, Jared Dudley, or Anderson Varejao would be robbery. Sadly, I don't think his value is even that high.
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