Now that training camp is finally here, the media scene has exploded with coverage, and some of it is actually insightful and some of it excellent quote-finding.
The Hoopus community's own McCleak has done a fantastic series of posts that you can find in the FanPosts section on the right. Well played sir.
Offensively, guard Randy Foye is the key. He missed the first 43 games with a knee injury, during which Minnesota went 8-35; once he was available, they were 14-25. Foye played on raw ability and confidence for that half-season. The challenge to him now is to perform like a real point guard, to get teammates shots before he goes looking for his, rather than as a release valve when his own maneuvers fail.
"I think we're going to score points" coach Randy Wittman said. "I think the X factor is how we perform defensively."
That means, first and foremost, Jefferson, a heavy lifter on offense who was permitted to lighten his load too often at the other end. How he and Love man their battle stations will determine how much time they spend on the court together, which in turn could determine how successful this Wolves team will be.
"I had to find out, because all these guys were going into their free agency," Wittman said of a process in which the team decided to re-sign Gomes, Telfair and Smith and let players such as Gerald Green and Kirk Snyder go. "It wasn't coaching, per se. We played through a lot of ups and downs with people. We had to play guys even if they were struggling, because I had to find out who they were and if we wanted to move forward with them."
Wittman: "When we're not doing things the way we should be doing them, somebody has to have the courage and ability to step up and say something, other than me."
Jefferson, the team's best player, on Monday vowed he will be the one to do so. He said he was too quick to criticize teammates last season and too slow to offer support and encouragement, qualities he said he will reverse this season.
"Being the Number One guy was something I got a chance to experience again for the first time since high school. But there's a lot of things I have to get better at, like being a leader, picking up my teammates," Jefferson said. "I averaged 21 and 11, but we won (22) games, so that really don't mean nothing. I'd rather average less points and less rebounds, but we make the playoffs. That's the Number One thing for me."