FanPost

Thanksgiving

"It’s always darkest just before the dawn." -- Proverb, Unknown Origin

"It’s always darker still just after the release of a new Twilight movie." -- Ol’ Weird Harold, Canis Hoopus

From NBA General Management for Dummies, 2012:

Step 1: Acquire (and/or don’t trade!) banana sandwiches.

Step 2*: Do math -- add players who can consistently provide average or even slightly above league average production on the court (e.g., Andrei Kirilenko) while subtracting below average or dookie-level producing players (e.g., Wes Johnson).

Step 3: Say grace (or not) and then feast on opponents.

*Step one is the most difficult and important part of this formula for NBA success, but the not-so-fuzzy 5th Grade math imbedded in step two just as critical.

_________

Until this past summer, the howling void that constituted "leadership" in the pre-Rick Adelman era Timberwolves’ front office repeatedly got left behind the rest of the class for failing to grasp the simple concept embodied in the step two excerpt from Dummies.

Then everything changed.

Beasley, Johnson, Randolph, Webster, Tolliver, Ellington and the human smallpox blanket formerly known as Darko Milicic were either traded or let go.

In came Budinger, Kirilenko, Schved, Roy, Cunningham, Stiemsma, Amundson and the stunning realization that even though the beloved magical unicorn was expected to miss the first few months of the season, our eight-year run of basketball futility/hilarity/putridity might finally be over.

Then it all began to go horribly wrong.

Knuckles went down before the season even started. Then we lost Barea, Roy, Budinger and Pekovic before the end of game number seven. Then we lost home games to the Charlotte Bobcats, winners of seven basketball games all last year, and the Golden Low Hanging Fruities.

(CUE: all-too-familiar early season sense of basketball-related despair and thoughts of next year’s draft)

Screw that.

This year is different. This year, and particularly this Thanksgiving week, I choose to be grateful and remain optimistic because it could all be a lot, lot worse.

How much worse?

Consider this … Wesley Johnson, if he continues his current trajectory of per minute production in Phoenix, will not surpass Knee-Roy’s 5-game assist total with the Timberwolves this year until game number 51, which is about the time Knee-Roy should be ready to give it another go. Out of kindness, I will not even bring the replacement 2-guard production also received from Budinger and Schved into the equation.

boom.

Consider this … Michael Beasley has a 36.2 shooting percentage this year. Not surprisingly, 75 of the 150 shots Beasley attempted through his first 10 games with Phoenix were launched from distances of 3 to 23 feet (32%). Only 40 of the remaining shots came at the rim (60%) with the other 35 being launched from three-point land (26%). Meanwhile, supercool’s AK47 replacement is shooting a ridiculous 59.7 percent on 77 shot attempts through 9 games. Also not surprising, 40 of Kirilenko’s 77 shots came at the rim (70%) while18 were launched from beyond the three-point line (46%). Also noteworthy, AK has attempted only 17 shots (36%) from distances of 3 to 23 feet, as compared to Beasley’s 75.

boom.

And consider this …

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The Replacement-eds

GP

PER

TS%

eFG%

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

ToV%

ORtg

DRtg

WS

WS/48

Darko Milicic

1

-30.0

.000

.000

12.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

66.7

0

107

-0.1

-0.808

Wes Johnson

5

0.4

.250

.250

13.4

9.5

0.0

2.5

16.7

59

111

-0.1

-0.182

Michael Beasley

11

10.1

.416

.390

9.8

15.1

0.9

2.2

14.6

86

112

-0.5

-0.074

Anthony Randolph

1

13.9

1.000

1.000

21.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

50.0

91

109

0.0

-0.006

Wayne Ellington

9

16.1

.599

.580

4.2

13.9

1.0

0.5

1.9

134

106

0.6

.204

Martell Webster

7

12.2

.591

.514

9.2

11.3

0.7

1.5

15.6

108

104

0.3

.107

Anthony Tolliver

7

3.2

.377

.339

8.6

1.4

2.0

0.0

15.3

72

103

-0.1

-0.064

The Husker Du-Stuffs

GP

PER

TS%

eFG%

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

ToV%

ORtg

DRtg

WS

WS/48

Greg Stiemsma

9

7.6

.422

.375

11.5

5.1

1.2

7.0

17.8

80

97

0.0

.008

Chase Budinger

6

17.8

.604

.550

8.5

12.1

2.3

1.5

16.9

107

100

0.4

.146

Andre Kirilenko

9

21.2

.671

.649

13.2

15.5

2.1

4.5

21.6

114

97

1.3

.191

Dante Cunningham

9

16.5

.555

.541

14.2

6.9

2.0

1.0

6.0

116

101

0.8

.170

Alexy Schved

9

17.1

.504

.438

7.7

33.0

0.8

2.4

14.6

105

104

0.5

.122

Brandon Roy

5

8.9

.368

.314

6.6

31.0

1.3

0.0

15.1

89

105

0.0

.011

Lou Amundson

6

3.1

.219

.143

13.5

2.1

3.1

4.3

30.5

54

95

-0.1

-0.051

boom.

Cheers, cheer up and have a happy holiday.

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