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Rookie Mistakes

I don't know a whole lot about the NFL.  What I have picked up from listening to KFAN and AM1500 is that Brad Childress is a terrible coach, Jay Cutler pouts, and that a sign of a good skipper is how well he prepares his team for the next opponent during a bye week.  Two weeks is apparently a long time to prepare for a single team and this stretch of the clock affords good coaches a nice chance to pick apart the weaknesses of their upcoming foes. 

The Wolves entered tonight's game against the Rockets with four days of rest.  Four days of prep.  Four days of being able to prepare something unique for the Houston squad.  They came out and performed like they always do.  Most disturbingly, the team engaged in some of the same old structural failings that have plagued it all season long; namely, by refusing to realize that there is such a thing called the three point line and it must be defended.  

With 3 minutes to go in the game when I started writing this recap, the Rockets have attempted 28 three pointers and made half of them.  We don't need to go into the historical evidence for Rambis' approach to three point defense.  At this point it's simply a given: he doesn't believe in math.  He is willing to take his high paced team out onto the floor and allow opposing teams to shoot three pointers to their hearts content.  Amazingly, it's not working. It never has. 

The Wolves give up a whopping 38.5% behind the line to their opponents.  They allow opponents to jack up 20.5 three pointers per game.  Unsurprisingly, they are 26th in the league in eFG, allowing opponents to shoot an eFG of .512.  

Of course, despite all of Darko's block% to the contrary, they don't have much of an interior defense, so I guess...well, at some point you'd figure that the coaching staff of this team would try something different.  After all, there are only so many times you can bang your head against the wall expecting something different.  There also does not seem to be a limit to the number of backcuts and slashes the team's guards give up, but that's another story altogether.  (UPDATE: You know, after thinking about it for a while and checking some numbers, interior defense is about the last defensive problem this team needs to think about.  Wings and guards top the list by a long shot.) 

Something different is not what this coaching staff has to offer.  They're not going to change.  They're not going to play to the strengths of their players.  For all of Jonny Flynn's struggles, maybe they could try some isolation plays or some dedicated pick and roll action whenever he's out there.  If there is one area of Wes Johnson's game that seems to be promising, it is his ability to catch a pass and put the ball on the deck for an immediate drive.  Why not try some Dribble Drive Motion?  Why not play 4 out 1 in with Darko on the low block?  Why not try some different lineups against a team with a 6'6" center?  Sorry, this team is going to continue doing what it has always done, all the while expecting different results.  

At what point does it become obvious that the head coach of this team is every bit (if not more) the rookie and as unexperienced as its players? 25-101.  That's the record.  

Some positives:

  • Wes Johnson showed some life and aggressiveness tonight.  On offense, at least. 
  • Jonny Flynn showed some moments of competency. 
  • I hear the halftime show was interesting. 
Oh well, I guess we'll keep on keepin' on with what we're doing.  What they're doing.  Why try something new, especially when given 4 days to come up with something interesting? 

Until later.