Flip Saunders re-ignited the discussion about his love, or lack thereof, for the three pointer when he took to Twitter on Sunday and then the radio yesterday to express his love of the three, and take a shot at "bloggers" while he was at it, an always sound strategy in the face of criticism (that he wasn't actually getting at the time).
I sincerely hope that his tactics will change to favor more threes over the outrageous number of mid-range jumpers the team took, but his rantings were misplaced. The numbers are the numbers and the history is the history.
Ultimately what matters here is that the Wolves have to get better. Most of this, like it always is in the NBA, is down to the players. Staying healthy, getting better, integrating new guys. But to the extent that tactics are relevant, it's hard to argue in favor of the offense we saw from Flip last season, and that we've seen throughout his career. We've been through it a million times and there is very little need to rehash it here, suffice it to say that his teams have consistently eschewed the most efficient shots in the game -- at the rim and behind the arc, in favor of less efficient shots. While this is defensible on any single possession or even in a particular match up, it is not defensible over the course of a 15 year coaching career.
All of which, of course, distracts from the biggest problem of last season, which was the historically bad defense.
In other words, there is a lot that needs fixing with the Wolves, and if Flip is going to continue to be the main mechanic, we'll have to see it to believe that the things within his control will change for the better. Getting defensive in August isn't a good look.
You know what is a good look? The Minnesota Lynx with new center Sylvia Fowles. The Lynx are 15-4 and atop the league, and have won three straight since the All-Star break and the addition of Fowles, who is rounding into shape and having a positive impact on the team. She's averaging 14 and 6 in her first few games of the year, and things should only get better from here.
Maya Moore meanwhile has scored 20+ in 11 straight games, two off the league record held by Diana Taurasi. She was once again named the Western Conference Player of the Week last week, and leads the Lynx in L.A. tonight against the Sparks.
The game will be on ESPN2 at 9:00 pm CDT, so it's a chance to see the Lynx without Live Access.
The Lynx got a visit from WNBA legend and current USC coach Cynthia Cooper while practicing yesterday; here she is with Maya Moore:
Finally, the Wolves officially announced the signing of Andre Miller yesterday, though of course we knew about it last week. Here's some text from the press release with some career info on Miller:
Miller, a 6-2 guard, averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 assists in 15.5 minutes per game over 81 contests between Washington and Sacramento last season. He began the season in Washington, appearing in 51 games before being acquired by Sacramento on Feb. 19 in exchange for Ramon Sessions.
Over his 16-year career, Miller has played for seven organizations (Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Denver, Philadelphia, Portland, Washington and Sacramento) and averaged 12.8 points and 6.7 assists over 1,265 games. Between 1999-00 and 2012-13, he played in all but six contests over a span of 14 seasons, including playing every single game in 10 different seasons. With Cleveland in 2001-02, he led the NBA in both assists (882) and assists per game (10.9), both franchise records.
Originally selected with the 8th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1998 NBA Draft, Miller ranks first among active players and ninth in NBA history in assists (8,437). He also ranks T-5th among active players in games played (1,265) and ninth in minutes played (39,807). Miller is one of just eight players in NBA history to tally at least 16,000 points and 8,000 assists in a career.
Today in History
1558: First printing of Zohar (Jewish Kabbalah)
1693: Dom Perignon (allegedly) invents Champagne
1821: First edition of the Saturday Evening Post published
1855: Bartlett's "Familiar Quotations" published
1873: First clash between Custer's 7th Calvary and the Sioux
1892: Lizzie Borden arrested for murder
1914: Britain declares war on Germany, Germany declares war on Belgium, U.S. declares neutrality.
1916: Denmark sells Danish West Indies (including Virgin Islands) to U.S. for $25M
1944: Anne Frank (and family) arrested in Netherlands
1962: Nelson Mandela arrested in South Africa
1984: Prince's Purple Rain album reaches #1
Today's musical birthday is Louis Armstrong, born in 1901 (d. 1971)