FanPost

'11-'12 Lessons Learned


This is meant as an open thread for other people to post what they've learned about the team this year, but my thoughts are below the jump.

  1. This team's offensive success was too predicated on PnR action: I don't have the Synergy stuff to back this up, but my guess is that it was, by far, the action that generated the most offensive efficiency. This obviously indicates that they found something to latch onto schematically (which they really hadn't done since Flip was fired), but diversification would've helped them survive the lack of players to make PnR and dribble-drive work. With that said, their 3 best players thrive when that's working, so they can't go away from it.
  2. Having an abundance of good ballhandlers is a necessity: Think back to those early days when everyone thought Ridnour needed to be traded when they signed Barea; I can't imagine where this team would be without having all 3. Beyond that, they lost multiple games where too many turnovers played a primary role. It's going to be important for them to add a developmental guy to the end of the bench who can play in an emergency so that Malcolm Lee isn't pressed into significant minutes there.
  3. "Long and athletic" only work with the addition of "active": Rubio and his 6-9 wingspan turned out to be a significant factor in how they guarded. The problem with the other guys that Kahn compiled was that the 3rd factor wasn't there nearly enough. And considering what they currently have, there's still a need for productive length and athleticism.
  4. Coaching is a deciding factor when it comes to determining which average teams are playoff teams, but talent is still prominent: I bristle when people say coaching doesn't matter in the NBA, but when a team has their best players out, it doesn't matter who's coaching on many nights. Either way, it was clear that Adelman made a significant difference when the Wolves played other teams near their talent level.
  5. Elite skills may not be as important as elite athleticism, but it's closer than I previously thought: The Wolves have the guy with the best rebounding instincts in the NBA and a guy among the elite in court vision and passing ability. Maybe they can't dunk over guys, but they can be pretty hard to guard in other ways.
  6. Wild cards are necessary to have, but they need to be paired with hard-working and focused players: Barea, Williams, Beasley, and Randolph each had a moment or two in the sun, and Barea, Williams and Beasley may have won a game or two or just put a couple of them out of reach. The problem comes in when the glue guys don't provide a strong enough adhesive. Specifically, the Wolves suffered when those glue guys didn't play good team defense, didn't take care of the ball, and ground the offense to a halt.
  7. This team plays more inspired when they make "wow" plays: As long as Rubio is on this team and functioning effectively, the guys surrounding him on the court have to leave open the possibility for Rubioops. They have to be able to play, of course.
  8. Defense can win games for a team led by guys not considered athletic: Love's rebounding, Pek's ability to hold post position, and Rubio's overall disruption (especially) won some games for this team that they've since been letting slip away.
  9. When guys who can make 3 get the ball behind the arc, they need to just shoot it: For those who like Wayne Ellington, one of the things that's likable is that he's ready to shoot when the ball is passed to him. Too often, guys weren't ready and ended up making plays that didn't work and/or disrupted the flow of the game.
  10. More guys have to be able to draw shooting fouls and/or make 3s: This team obviously needs to come up with better offensive execution out of sets, but teams survive and win games they should've lost by making more free throws and/or 3s. They have guys who can do this, but when those guys are out, others have to be able to provide a semblance of that.

I might add more to my list later. What have you learned about the team from this season?

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