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  1. #61
    I'm seeing so much potential to our second unit if we dump Hill and sign Larry Sanders. Can you imagine?

    Tyus/Dunn
    Bazz
    Stephenson
    Belly
    Sanders

    Might actually be somewhat of a threat from time to time and with Dunn in, you'd have solid man to man D at 3 out of 5 positions.


  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    Wigs has 1 reb and 1 ast in 1st half. Finishes with 31 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast!, 2 stl's. How good would he be if he were engaged 4 qtrs?
    I thought this was Drew's best all around game of the season. He just looked more in control and quietly confident. His defense is really good when he is covering guards. His length just literally blankets a lot of those matchups. And I was happy to see Thibs start to use traps with him. I think Drew got a couple steals off them. Finally, I'm amazed at how his handle continues to improve. He is navigating the lane through traffic on his drives to the hoops, and he's not turning the ball over when he's trapped up front. I know the metrics aren't kind to him, but anyone who saw that game would swear he's a budding superstar.


  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by stlouiswolf View Post
    I thought this was Drew's best all around game of the season. He just looked more in control and quietly confident. His defense is really good when he is covering guards. His length just literally blankets a lot of those matchups. And I was happy to see Thibs start to use traps with him. I think Drew got a couple steals off them. Finally, I'm amazed at how his handle continues to improve. He is navigating the lane through traffic on his drives to the hoops, and he's not turning the ball over when he's trapped up front. I know the metrics aren't kind to him, but anyone who saw that game would swear he's a budding superstar.
    There was a play in the 2nd quarter where Wiggins passed the ball, got it back, and passed to bazz down low and i had to check my vision. I was thinking man if this guy could pass like that it opens a whole new world to this offense. I hope we see more movement on offense out of this team. Getting pretty tired of the iso offense. Not that fun to watch. Great win. Stephenson in one game showed this team what its like to play defense. I hope it rubs off on them. Great fit. Sign him for the rest of the year. If anything thing its another piece to package in a trade.


  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    Thibs says "Tyus is a really good team defender. He needs work man to man though."

    I'll take it.

    Thibs says "there is a very big difference between college and the NBA and the players don't understand that." No bleep!
    It can be nothing but good for the kids' ongoing growth that they now have a coach with the credibility and authority to call out Wiggins after that statline last night, and THAT second half performance:

    Thibs: "Our best players have to lead. They have to play D. They have to. It's a must." Said Wiggins "has to do more."
    Wiggins was spectacular down the stretch last night, at both ends, against a team that's reeling a little right now, and isn't great defensively even at their best, but that's legitimately good, and has two guys who are end-game killers.

    His two best plays were the last two, that cross-court pass on the move to create Tyus's three (big shot by Jones, but Wiggins created the look), and then the final defensive possession where he snuffed out DeRozan and forced him to pick up his dribble outside the arc (where DDR's not really a threat to shoot against a contest), and then initiated the switch onto Lowry after DDR passed (Lance took almost a full step toward Lowry after Wiggins had already followed the ball and switched to him, making it clear that the switch wasn't Lance's call) and forced Lowry into a terrible off-balanced shot at the buzzer.

    Even on the play a little earlier where DDR blew by Wiggins and scored over Towns (who fouled him, the Wolves were lucky to get the benefit of the doubt on that non-call), all three guys involved were part of the breakdown, not just Wiggins; Lance blocked Wiggins off of the line he wanted to take around the screen, without Lance actually doing anything to slow the ball, and DeRozan is too good to give that kind of opening. Towns also needs to see that the P&R coverage got screwed up in front of him, and get to help position a half-step faster.


  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by LA_33 View Post
    It can be nothing but good for the kids' ongoing growth that they now have a coach with the credibility and authority to call out Wiggins after that statline last night, and THAT second half performance:



    Wiggins was spectacular down the stretch last night, at both ends, against a team that's reeling a little right now, and isn't great defensively even at their best, but that's legitimately good, and has two guys who are end-game killers.

    His two best plays were the last two, that cross-court pass on the move to create Tyus's three (big shot by Jones, but Wiggins created the look), and then the final defensive possession where he snuffed out DeRozan and forced him to pick up his dribble outside the arc (where DDR's not really a threat to shoot against a contest), and then initiated the switch onto Lowry after DDR passed (Lance took almost a full step toward Lowry after Wiggins had already followed the ball and switched to him, making it clear that the switch wasn't Lance's call) and forced Lowry into a terrible off-balanced shot at the buzzer.

    Even on the play a little earlier where DDR blew by Wiggins and scored over Towns (who fouled him, the Wolves were lucky to get the benefit of the doubt on that non-call), all three guys involved were part of the breakdown, not just Wiggins; Lance blocked Wiggins off of the line he wanted to take around the screen, without Lance actually doing anything to slow the ball, and DeRozan is too good to give that kind of opening. Towns also needs to see that the P&R coverage got screwed up in front of him, and get to help position a half-step faster.
    Good stuff. Wiggins has shown the ability to improve aspects of his game so there isn't any reason to think he won't improve defensively too. You keep reminding me...we're young. I try to take that to heart. For me it's like an old prayer, Lord grant me patience...but hurry.


  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    He should be playing behind Bazz and Lance. Rush stinks.
    He brings much less to the table but that may be a good thing. Maybe even instigated to an extent. He still makes open shots or at least has the cred to avoid his man cheating elsewhere. So he can be a silent fifth starter who doesn't get beaten that much in the boards and defense and max the opportunities for AW/KAT to start the game hot. If you put a different player he may mud the roles again while Rush off the bench would be even less useful. A 3&D with size would be even better but that's not in the mix yet.

    The heavy minutes of Tyus also got me thinking about two distinct possibilities: a) stealth tank, already discussed or b) lame duck strategy. The Wolves were reading horribly the Raptors offense so Thibs subs in the man who is an obvious mismatch. Raptors inmediately tried to start exploiting advantage vs. Tyus but at the same time this kind of strategy- which is of little use in the long run, as just serves to dumb down the game momentarily- means that some of the Raptors guys get frozen (the ball will go to certain guys matched with Tyus), their game balance goes away and the Wolves can read their offense even if they are at a disadvantage, they can predict to an extent the half court movement. It's a trap!

    The previous game he tried a variation of the same stuff going with four smalls- midget ball- maybe to try to disrupt the discipline of the Grizzlies, who moved the ball well and chose their shots in a nice rythm. They just didn't blink and executed perfectly, though.

    Maybe those aren't Jedi tricks and he just goes with what he has but I could see him trying some desperate stuff to correct the general predisposition to defensive disaster. All those 110+ points games have to kill him inside.


  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    He brings much less to the table but that may be a good thing. Maybe even instigated to an extent. He still makes open shots or at least has the cred to avoid his man cheating elsewhere. So he can be a silent fifth starter who doesn't get beaten that much in the boards and defense and max the opportunities for AW/KAT to start the game hot. If you put a different player he may mud the roles again while Rush off the bench would be even less useful. A 3&D with size would be even better but that's not in the mix yet.

    The heavy minutes of Tyus also got me thinking about two distinct possibilities: a) stealth tank, already discussed or b) lame duck strategy. The Wolves were reading horribly the Raptors offense so Thibs subs in the man who is an obvious mismatch. Raptors inmediately tried to start exploiting advantage vs. Tyus but at the same time this kind of strategy- which is of little use in the long run, as just serves to dumb down the game momentarily- means that some of the Raptors guys get frozen (the ball will go to certain guys matched with Tyus), their game balance goes away and the Wolves can read their offense even if they are at a disadvantage, they can predict to an extent the half court movement. It's a trap!

    The previous game he tried a variation of the same stuff going with four smalls- midget ball- maybe to try to disrupt the discipline of the Grizzlies, who moved the ball well and chose their shots in a nice rythm. They just didn't blink and executed perfectly, though.

    Maybe those aren't Jedi tricks and he just goes with what he has but I could see him trying some desperate stuff to correct the general predisposition to defensive disaster. All those 110+ points games have to kill him inside.
    You can not be that "stealth". He has 1 rebound and 1 foul in 20 minutes last night. And his defense was anywhere from horrible to kind of adequate.

    Totals in 3 starts since Zach got hurt:
    77 minutes
    10 points on 3/12 shooting.
    2 FTAs
    7 rebounds
    2 assists
    1 steal
    3 turnovers


  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    You can not be that "stealth". He has 1 rebound and 1 foul in 20 minutes last night. And his defense was anywhere from horrible to kind of adequate.

    Totals in 3 starts since Zach got hurt:
    77 minutes
    10 points on 3/12 shooting.
    2 FTAs
    7 rebounds
    2 assists
    1 steal
    3 turnovers
    Yeah, that's pitiful no matter how you slice it. But think about it as:

    1st unit Rubio ballhandling, KAT/AW volume, other two sacrificial lambs.(maybe swapped in the future for real players)
    2nd unit Lance and Tyus ballhandling, Bazz and whomever else if hot- volume, everybody else also sacrifice.

    Seems like a good attempt for balance considering the team has too many 10 ppg wannabees. It's like taunting the youngsters into hard mode from minute one. They aren't developed enough to make more present starting talent matter but they surely can ride the hot hand. Also with the sacrificial lambs around looking above the shoulder before every shot is a thing of the past. They perceive more opportunities and the trend in the league is to give open bar to the stars, the Wolves are lucky to have one chance outside and other inside.


  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    You can not be that "stealth". He has 1 rebound and 1 foul in 20 minutes last night. And his defense was anywhere from horrible to kind of adequate.

    Totals in 3 starts since Zach got hurt:
    77 minutes
    10 points on 3/12 shooting.
    2 FTAs
    7 rebounds
    2 assists
    1 steal
    3 turnovers
    I'm not exactly agreeing with pagliatti here, and he's obviously been bad in these last three games, but three games is still three games. That's too small a sample to judge anything from, and you know that.

    In the two starts in mid-January, he averaged 11.5 pts, 3.5 threes, shot 47% from the field and 54% from three, 3.5 reb, 2 asts, 2.5 stls, 2.5 blks, and only 1 TO. He was excellent in those games, as the Wolves beat two WC playoff teams.

    The last three were loses against a playoff team (MEM) and the hotest team in the NBA (MIA has won 12 straight), and a win against the EC 3-seed.

    Unadjusted (i.e. D-rating) the Wolves have also been more than a full point better per-100 possessions on D when Rush has played, while LaVine (and Wiggins) drag them down almost 2 points/100 poss (to be fair, Shabazz has the best D-rating among Wolves wings who have played at least 20 total minutes, and Tyus is a positive vs. the overall team number, too, and neither of those guys are good defenders, so it requires tons of context...) He's not great defensively, but Zach is awful (in spite of the high effort).

    In terms of the starting group, if Shabazz was just a little more willing to keep the ball moving, and maybe also slightly more willing to focus on D, he'd be the obvious choice to start next to Wiggins. He might end up being the best option anyway, if he keeps knocking down threes at 45%. But it seems clear that while Zach is out, Thibs wants a shooter and role-player usage from the wing opposite Wiggins, and Rush is as close to a 3-and-D guy as the Wolves have.

    Despite good numbers on <80 attempts last year, Lance just isn't enough of a threat as a shooter to provide much spacing, and his ball-handling/playmaking is more valuable when Ricky isn't on the floor (and when a pure, blackhole finisher like Shabazz is) esp. with Thibs obviously wanting to keep developing both Towns and Wiggins as playmakers, too.

    So yes, Rush is suboptimal, which is why he was available to the Wolves at reasonable money in the first place, but there's a lot to be said for starting a guy like Rush as a 5th-option role player, while bringing a better wing/wings off the bench, in this case Bazz and Lance.


  10. #70
    The 3 games is a small sample, of course. As are the 2 earlier games.

    My concern is Rush really hasn't been much of a player since his injuries, and I think people got a little too worked up over 2 decent games. And I don't think Rush is good and/or valuable enough to play ahead of guys who are more likely to be here next year.


  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    The 3 games is a small sample, of course. As are the 2 earlier games.

    My concern is Rush really hasn't been much of a player since his injuries, and I think people got a little too worked up over 2 decent games. And I don't think Rush is good and/or valuable enough to play ahead of guys who are more likely to be here next year.
    Sorry if I wasn't clear, my point in posting the other two game averages was that it's all a tiny sample, and who knows if either of those samples predicts anything.

    The thing that isn't a small sample is that he shot 41% from three last year on 157 attempts (granted, on a team full of bigger threats, so he was presumably always open) and more broadly he's at 40% on over 1,2000 attempts for his career. Opponents know that, and guard him at the arc, which is what creates the spacing, and the spacing itself is probably more valuable than any of his actual offensive production, good or bad.


  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA_33 View Post
    Sorry if I wasn't clear, my point in posting the other two game averages was that it's all a tiny sample, and who knows if either of those samples predicts anything.

    The thing that isn't a small sample is that he shot 41% from three last year on 157 attempts (granted, on a team full of bigger threats, so he was presumably always open) and more broadly he's at 40% on over 1,2000 attempts for his career. Opponents know that, and guard him at the arc, which is what creates the spacing, and the spacing itself is probably more valuable than any of his actual offensive production, good or bad.
    Thibs just wants to dictate the terms on both sides of the court, as any coach of any age. The point offensively is pretty clear, if the role players shoot it will hurt you a lot:

    Rubio- Shooting more threes and open midrange
    Rush- 3FGA
    Bjelica-3FGA
    Gorgui- good % from midrange, he starts trying a corner 3 here and there.
    Tyus and Bazz also let it fly from 3 without much issue.

    If the rival coach forces the ball into role players Thibs counters with high % shots and specially three pointers. The idea is not only more makes but to desincentivate their defense to drop the ball from AW/KAT hands. Overhelp and it hurts.

    So, if you put Bazz with the starters or any other particularly prolific player, they would try to have him fed while KAT and AW get empty minutes; all while the bench gets considerably worse,too. That seems to be the plan lately, great production regardless of being reckless with the volume from those two building blocks and hopefully someone gets to the party on the open looks or when one or both first in the pecking order sit.

    You can't get the best Bazz and respect the pecking order at the same time, your option 1A and 1B are primarily scorers. Bazz can lead the bench while Lance opens the can.

    Rush, Bjelica or even Gorgui getting 20 points will be outliers. Some team overplay elsewhere and they have a couple too many good looks and feel like it. But raw stats from those players should be looked with pause. Unless you pay them a kingdom.



 

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