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Back to Earth

I hope you took a chance to bask in 5-straight wins yesterday, because this week we play the Heat and the Suns. Sure, neither are setting the world on fire lately (Miami is 5-5 in their last 10, Phoenix 7-3), but both are still upper-echelon franchises in this league.

I know there are much more advanced stats to answer the "how did we do it" question that naturally follows a 5-game win streak from a bottom 10 team, but here's the simple look at what teams we've beaten look like, and what teams we've lost to look like:

  • DayBW: Days between games
  • Home: A home game
  • OW%: Opponent's winning percentage as of 1-12-09

Again, I know there are better stastistics to draw conclusions from, but I think there are a couple worthwhile points here:

  • 5 of our 11 wins have come on the road. I think this is a combination of a young team learning to rely on each other in hostile environments and veteran leadership from guys like Kevin Ollie, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins proving to be valuable.
  • While our wins have come with more rest than our losses, it's not a huge disparity. Having a solid 9-man rotation (10-man when Ollie was healthy) works when you can count on the 8th, 9th and 10th guys to provide quality minutes.
  • The biggest warning sign in these numbers is that our wins are coming mostly against bad teams. But I think the silver lining is more telling: beating teams that we "should" beat was not a given in the beginning of the year. A month ago, this team would give up mid-game at the drop of a hat. We're still a lottery team, but we're learning to walk; the running will come later.

I'd also recommend checking out Hoop Springs Eternal this morning for a couple more thoughts on how the Wolves still need to improve.