FanPost

2012-13 Wolves Season Simulation in the Works, Help! (Poll)

Over the past month, I've been playing around with whatifsports.com in an effort to simulate a Timberwolves season with various potential rosters. Now that the wolves roster seems to be pretty solidified for this up coming season I though I would begin my official simulation. Before I do this I want to get some agreement with CH on what we want to see. Taking into account the following observations I have made regarding Rick Adleman's coaching and minute distribution I have come up with a couple possible rotations to use for my simulation.

With this simulation, I plan to record the stats and record of the 2012-13 Timberwolve's roster as they play against the Timberwolves 2011-12 NBA competition. This puts them up against legitimate NBA competition and the 66 game season is a large enough number for a projection, but significantly less tedious than a 82 game season.

If you are not familiar with whatifsports.com it simulates games based on the stats of individual players in specific seasons giving anyone the opportunity to match up, say Jordan's Bulls against this last seasons Heat team, or to replace Lebron with Jordan and see if the 2011 Miami Heat would be better.

The Daily Norseman did something similar to this back in anticipation of Brett Favre's first season with the vikings, to attempt to illustrate how the combination of Favre and Adrian Peterson would actually benefit both players. Kind of got the idea for this from that.

The roster I've created uses individual stats from recent years. All returning wolves play will be based upon last years play. Andre Kirilenko will be played by 2010-11 Kirilenko. Chase Budinger will be played 2010-11 Budinger as that season he played in Rick Adelman's system. Alexey Shved will be played by the rookie Manu Ginobili, who seem in someways to be relatively similar players. I then took some optimistic license in using 2009-10 Brandon Roy, as he now claims to feel much better than he did in the 2010-11 season, but do not expect his 21.5 PPG to repeat itself because he will be budgeted considerably less minutes. And there we hit the point where I ask for help. I cannot decide how I want to ration out the minutes for this roster, so I have come up with two options for 2012-13 rotations that I would like you to choose from ... but first, I want to share something regarding the great Rick Adleman.

{If you get too bored with this go ahead and scroll down past the jump and put your two cents in on the poll}

Adleman has never voluntarily played with a rotation of players that was more than 8 or 9 players. Last year we saw an anomaly in what wolves got minutes because of injuries and the condensed season. Looking back at three of Adelman's best seasons as a coach, the 1991-92 Trail Blazers, the 2001-02 Kings, and the 2007-08 Rockets we can see a similar distribution of minutes. We also se a similar cast of characters. I'm not saying these characters are identical in name, skill or style but their roles are very clearly defined. Basketballreference.com provides the tables regarding minute distribution and player production.

The 1991-92 Trail Blazers:

This team finished the regular season with a 58-24 record and lost to Michael Jordan and the bulls in the NBA finals.

Totals

Glossary · SHARE · Embed · CSV · PRE · LINK · ?

RkPlayerAgeGGSMP ▾FGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%FTFTAFT%ORBDRBTRBASTSTLBLKTOVPFPTS
1 Terry Porter 28 82 82 2784 521 1129 .461 128 324 .395 315 368 .856 51 204 255 477 127 12 188 155 1485
2 Clyde Drexler 29 76 76 2751 694 1476 .470 114 338 .337 401 505 .794 166 334 500 512 138 70 240 229 1903
3 Jerome Kersey 29 77 76 2553 398 852 .467 1 8 .125 174 262 .664 241 392 633 243 114 71 151 254 971
4 Buck Williams 31 80 80 2519 340 563 .604 0 1 .000 221 293 .754 260 444 704 108 62 41 130 244 901
5 Kevin Duckworth 27 82 82 2222 362 786 .461 0 3 .000 156 226 .690 151 346 497 99 38 37 143 264 880
6 Clifford Robinson 25 82 7 2124 398 854 .466 1 11 .091 219 330 .664 140 276 416 137 85 107 154 274 1016
7 Danny Ainge 32 81 6 1595 299 676 .442 78 230 .339 108 131 .824 40 108 148 202 73 12 70 148 784
8 Alaa Abdelnaby 23 71 1 934 178 361 .493 0 0 76 101 .752 81 179 260 30 25 17 66 132 432
9 Robert Pack 22 72 0 894 115 272 .423 0 10 .000 102 127 .803 32 65 97 140 40 4 92 101 332
10 Mark Bryant 26 56 0 800 95 198 .480 0 3 .000 40 60 .667 87 114 201 41 26 8 30 105 230
11 Wayne Cooper 35 35 0 344 35 82 .427 0 0 7 11 .636 38 63 101 21 4 27 15 57 77
12 Ennis Whatley 29 23 0 209 21 51 .412 0 4 .000 27 31 .871 6 15 21 34 14 3 14 12 69
13 Danny Young 29 18 0 134 16 40 .400 3 10 .300 10 14 .714 0 9 9 20 6 0 5 6 45
14 Lamont Strothers 23 4 0 17 4 12 .333 0 2 .000 2 4 .500 1 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 10

This shows that seven players (from Terry Porter to Danny Ainge) played nearly all 82 games and more that 1500 minutes, while three others (Alaa Abdelnaby to Mark Bryant) played a number of minutes that puts them in, clearly evident second category.

The 2001-02 Sacramento Kings

This team finished the regular season with a 61-21 record and lost to Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'neil and the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

Totals

Glossary · SHARE · Embed · CSV · PRE · LINK · ?

RkPlayerAgeGGSMP ▾FGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%FTFTAFT%ORBDRBTRBASTSTLBLKTOVPFPTS
1 Doug Christie 31 81 81 2798 338 735 .460 90 256 .352 206 242 .851 74 300 374 340 160 25 164 209 972
2 Mike Bibby 23 80 80 2659 446 985 .453 51 138 .370 155 193 .803 37 185 222 403 87 15 134 133 1098
3 Peja Stojakovic 24 71 71 2649 547 1130 .484 129 310 .416 283 323 .876 72 301 373 175 81 14 140 120 1506
4 Vlade Divac 33 80 80 2420 338 716 .472 3 13 .231 209 340 .615 205 466 671 297 79 94 158 229 888
5 Chris Webber 28 54 54 2071 532 1075 .495 5 19 .263 253 338 .749 150 396 546 258 90 76 158 181 1322
6 Hedo Turkoglu 22 80 10 1970 290 687 .422 63 171 .368 167 230 .726 63 300 363 163 57 31 81 184 810
7 Scot Pollard 26 80 29 1881 197 358 .550 0 0 115 166 .693 188 377 565 53 70 76 68 202 509
8 Bobby Jackson 28 81 3 1750 334 754 .443 79 219 .361 149 184 .810 82 169 251 164 73 11 93 145 896
9 Lawrence Funderburke 31 56 1 722 115 245 .469 0 3 .000 34 56 .607 76 122 198 32 11 18 33 65 264
10 Gerald Wallace 19 54 1 430 75 175 .429 0 7 .000 23 46 .500 49 40 89 27 19 6 22 46 173
11 Mateen Cleaves 24 32 0 153 30 68 .441 2 8 .250 8 9 .889 1 7 8 25 7 0 27 9 70
12 Chucky Brown 33 18 0 92 10 27 .370 0 0 1 2 .500 10 23 33 6 2 4 5 12 21
13 Brent Price 33 20 0 89 9 27 .333 4 15 .267 9 13 .692 4 4 8 9 3 1 10 13 31
14 Jabari Smith 24 12 0 71 6 21 .286 0 1 .000 6 12 .500 2 12 14 6 2 4 2 12

18

This teams shows a cut and dry 8 man rotation in which those 8 players all played over 1500 minutes, and with the exception of Chris Weber's 54 games, this group played in nearly every game that season.

The 2007-08 Houston Rockets

This team finished the regular season with a 55-27 record and lost to the Utah Jazz in the First round of the playoffs

Totals

Glossary · SHARE · Embed · CSV · PRE · LINK · ?

RkPlayerAgeGGSMP ▾FGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%FTFTAFT%ORBDRBTRBASTSTLBLKTOVPFPTS
1 Shane Battier 29 80 78 2907 265 619 .428 139 369 .377 75 101 .743 131 276 407 155 77 90 78 196 744
2 Rafer Alston 31 74 74 2526 364 924 .394 143 407 .351 98 137 .715 28 232 260 392 98 18 160 139 969
3 Tracy McGrady 28 66 62 2440 548 1307 .419 86 295 .292 245 358 .684 42 297 339 387 68 30 160 91 1427
4 Yao Ming 27 55 55 2044 432 852 .507 0 2 .000 345 406 .850 172 422 594 129 25 111 183 171 1209
5 Luis Scola 27 82 39 2024 345 670 .515 0 3 .000 157 235 .668 174 351 525 106 60 19 105 235 847
6 Chuck Hayes 24 79 44 1575 113 221 .511 0 3 .000 11 24 .458 132 295 427 91 85 43 62 212 237
7 Luther Head 25 73 17 1379 206 477 .432 79 225 .351 66 81 .815 18 117 135 138 44 9 70 75 557
8 Bonzi Wells 31 51 7 1124 175 412 .425 8 38 .211 111 174 .638 63 197 260 80 51 24 76 113 469
9 Carl Landry 24 42 0 711 135 219 .616 0 1 .000 72 109 .661 96 111 207 21 17 7 26 98 342
10 Dikembe Mutombo 41 39 25 619 43 80 .538 0 0 32 45 .711 68 131 199 5 11 48 17 55 118
11 Aaron Brooks 23 51 0 608 93 225 .413 36 109 .330 42 49 .857 13 43 56 87 13 5 44 69 264
12 Mike James 32 33 1 537 79 226 .350 24 74 .324 33 42 .786 11 41 52 54 17 2 29 44 215
13 Bobby Jackson 34 26 5 498 88 210 .419 28 82 .341 24 32 .750 10 61 71 63 13 2 28 37 228
14 Steve Novak 24 35 0 264 49 102 .480 34 71 .479 3 4 .750 4 31 35 6 2 3 4 17 135
15 Steve Francis 30 10 3 199 19 57 .333 4 17 .235 13 23 .565 8 15 23 30 9 5 14 25

5

Even though this was a team that had issues with injury (Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming) the base of an around eight man rotation is certainly there.

What does this tell us? Nothing we didn't really know, right?

That's kind of true, This isn't rocket science after all, it's just me showing my evidence for my assumptions. From these teams and tables we also can assume/assign players roles.

The eight man rotation appears to be what Aldelman generally goes for. This is most perfectly evident in the 2001-02 Sacramento Kings. From this I combine the assumptions made by the people at EA Sports when creating the NBA2K series, of what defines minutes break down of the Star, Starter, Sixth Man and Role player roles.

In my experimenting with NBA2k11, NBA stars expect at least 36 mins/game, NBA Starters at least 30 mpg, 6th men at least 22 mpg and role players at least 10 mpg.

A thing that is interesting to note, is that it Adelman assigns significant playing time to a certain kind of player: the Terry Porter, Doug Christie, Shane Battier type player. Of course in all of these seasons the teams star(s) played limited minutes (Drexler missed games, so did Stojakovic & Webber, so did McGrady and Yao), but still I think my slightly intentional data manipulation proves a point. The "role starter" is something that Adelman has valued.

So rotations look something like this:

Pos.

Trail Blazers

Kings

Rockets

Wolves

Gaurd

Terry Porter***

Mike Bibby

Rafer Alston

Ricky Rubio*

Wing

Clyde Drexler *

Doug Christie***

Tracy McGrady*

Brandon Roy

Wing

Jerome Kersey

Peja Stojakovic*

Shane Battier***

Andrei Kirilenko***

Post

Buck Williams

Chris Webber*

Luis Scola

Kevin Love*

Post

Kevin Duckworth

Vlade Divac*

Yao Ming*

Nikola Pekovic

6th

Cliff Robinson **

Bobby Jackson**

Luther Head

Chase Budinger**

7th

Danny Ainge

Hedo Turkoglu **

Bonzi Wells

Alexey Shved

8th

Alaa Abdelnaby

Scot Pollard

Dikembe Mutombo

Luke Ridnour

Bench

Robert Pack

Laurence Funderburke

Carl Landry

J.J. Barea

Bench

Mark Bryant

Gerald Wallice

Aaron Brooks

Greg Stiemsma

Bench

Wayne Cooper

Mateen Cleaves

Bobby Jackson

Derrick Williams

Bench

Ennis Whatley

Brent Price

Steve Novak

Dante Cunningham

*= star player **= important bench player ***= workmanlike-defensive-minded-unselfish-ball-handler

What sticks out to me is how stacked the Wolves appear. Roster Spots 5-12 (outside Rubio, Love, Kirilenko and Pekovic) are fighting for playing time. Not many teams are this deep to the twelfth man, am I right?

It could be that I just don't know how good Mateen Cleaves and Ennis Whatley were, but with my 22 year old eye, Cunningham and Willaims are pretty good #'s 11 & 12.

What is Rick Adleman going do with this depth? Does he stick with a 8 man rotation? It's tough for me to think he would do anything different. However, the depth of this Wolves team gives him some ridiculous versatility, in match ups and different line ups.

I give you Two Options to collectively choose from:


Option 1: The "Eight" Man Rotation


Before Rubio (first quarter of simulated season):

PGs: mins SGs: mins SFs: mins PF: mins C: mins

Ridnour: 24 Roy: 26 Kirilenko: 26 Love: 34 Pekovic: 34

Barea: 16 Shved: 8 Budinger: 18 Kirielenko: 6 Love: 6

Shved: 8 Budinger: 8 Roy: 2 Williams: 3 Stiemsma: 8

Barea: 4 Shved: 2 Cunningham: 3

Cunningham/

Williams

Totals: Love (40mins), Pekovic (34mins), Kirilenko (32mins), Roy (26mins), Budinger (26mins), Ridnour (24mins), Barea (20mins), Shved (18mins), Stiemsma (8mins), Williams (3mins), Cunningham (3mins)

With Rubio

PGs: mins SGs: mins SFs: mins PF: mins C: mins

Rubio: 28 Roy: 26 Kirilenko: 26 Love: 34 Pekovic: 34

Ridnour: 16 Shved: 12 Budinger: 18 Kirielenko: 6 Love: 6

Shved: 4 Budinger: 8 Roy: 2 Williams: Stiemsma: 8

Barea Barea: Shved: 2 Cunningham:

Cunningham/

Williams

Option 2: The Deep Bench Rotation

Before Rubio (first quarter of simulated season):

PGs: mins SGs: mins SFs: mins PF: mins C: mins

Ridnour: 24 Roy: 26 Kirilenko: 26 Love: 34 Pekovic: 28

Barea: 16 Shved: 8 Budinger: 16 Kirielenko: 4 Stiemsma: 16

Shved: 8 Budinger: 8 Cunningham: 6 Williams: 8 Love: 4

Barea: 4 Shved: 2 Cunningham: 2

With Rubio

PGs: mins SGs: mins SFs: mins PF: mins C: mins

Rubio: 28 Roy: 26 Kirilenko: 26 Love: 34 Pekovic: 28

Ridnour: 16 Shved: 8 Budinger: 16 Kirielenko: 6 Stiemsma: 16

Shved: 4 Budinger: 8 Cunningham: 6 Williams: 8 Love: 4

Barea Barea: Shved: 2 Cunningham: 4

This rotation essentially just balances the minutes a little bit more, specifically putting Greg Stiemsma on the Court more.

Please help me choose which option to use on the poll below:

Side conversation topics:

In my experiments, I do not see much room for the likes of one of the Ridnour/ Barea back up PG duo, or of Derrick Willams in this rotation. While these players would not make a trade that would be loaded with Value for the Timberwolves, would you think it may be in the Timberwolves best interest to move on back up PG and Willaims for a future pick?

What line up are you most excited for this season? Rubio/Bud/AK47/Love/Pek? That's just one awesome option!

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