All Things 2021-2022 Minnesota Timberwolves In-Season Thread

Iceland12

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One other note. Last night Ja Morant, a very good player and a guy that the network guys keep telling us "can get anything he wants" had 11 points.

That was on 4-13 shooting. Though he did have 8 rebounds and 15 assists.

That is a very strong performance. Though, being a long time Wolves fan, was pretty surprised all the talk wasn't about the 4-13 part. 😊
 

Iceland12

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Desmond bane is on fire for 2nd game in a row, yet he keeps getting wide open looks

Unreal wasn't it? He's a much better player than most of us thought. Here's a note you might enjoy. Something I didn't realize either. It's from today's game story in the Strib

"The Wolves allowed Desmond Bane to score 34 points on eight threes, but Bane didn't hit a three in the second half until the final buzzer. Their defense again kept Ja Morant from torching them, with Morant scoring just 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting.
"Bane, you give him a little bit of light and he knocks it in. He's a tough cover," Finch said. "But they are as Ja goes. We did a good job of putting our body in his way."

 

short ornery norwegian

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watching this series has reinforced an opinion for me.

Good teams play team basketball. Yes, they have star players, but the stars work together as part of a team system.

The Wolves are a collection of individual talents. when times get tough, they don't play team basketball.

Saturday night, in one of the Wolves' final possessions of the game, you had 5 guys standing still on the court with one guy dribbling down the clock before launching a 3-pointer that missed. No movement, no sets, no system.

Until they learn to play as a team, I don't see the Wolves winning playoff series.
 


Iceland12

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watching this series has reinforced an opinion for me.

Good teams play team basketball. Yes, they have star players, but the stars work together as part of a team system.

The Wolves are a collection of individual talents. when times get tough, they don't play team basketball.

Saturday night, in one of the Wolves' final possessions of the game, you had 5 guys standing still on the court with one guy dribbling down the clock before launching a 3-pointer that missed. No movement, no sets, no system.

Until they learn to play as a team, I don't see the Wolves winning playoff series.

Good point. Hate hero ball myself. Question is though, did you see them winning 46 games last November?
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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The problem is he's in his 7th season. He is who he is. He's not changing. If they can get adequate value I'd still trade him.

This is where I am at too. I gave him a pass in the Butler year because of the rift between the two. He's gone through a lot the last 2 years and this is his team now. He has the talent around him to win playoff games. I thought we'd see a more grown up, mentally tougher version of him, who wants to dominate in the biggest games because he has the talent to. He was good last night, but mostly disappears when good teams frustrate him. That hasn't changed, and it's not likely to.

If he ever wins a championship, it'll be because he's the 3rd wheel with 2 other stars that are better than him. It's not much different than Love and KG. Guard play is what wins you games in basketball.
 

Iceland12

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McLaughlin was YUGE!
Jordan McLaughlin had never before made four three-pointers in an NBA game.

He had also never starred in a playoff game two days after playing as many minutes as Crunch.

One of the best things about Timberwolves coach Chris Finch — other than, you know, his coaching — is his self-deprecating honesty.

He didn't play McLaughlin, his backup point guard, on Thursday night as the Wolves blew leads of 26 and 25 points.

He did play McLaughlin on Saturday night, and McLaughlin was the most efficient offensive player on the court, as the Wolves defeated Memphis 119-118 at Target Center to even their playoff series at two games each.

Could Finch explain why he didn't play McLaughlin on Thursday?


"Sometimes," he said, "you do stupid things."

In an alternate universe, Finch did play McLaughlin in Game 3, McLaughlin provided just the kind of shooting and efficiency the Wolves needed to hold the lead, and Minnesota would be trying to close out the series in Game 5..


 

jamiche

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The problem is he's in his 7th season. He is who he is. He's not changing. If they can get adequate value I'd still trade him.
“Adequate value?” You have to look past his annoying immaturity. He’s a great player. Getting adequate value for a great player is trading KG to the Celtics for seven players and one playoff appearance in 15 years. We trade DLo, ride with KAT and live with the frustrations.
 

Bad Gopher

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watching this series has reinforced an opinion for me.

Good teams play team basketball. Yes, they have star players, but the stars work together as part of a team system.

The Wolves are a collection of individual talents. when times get tough, they don't play team basketball.

Saturday night, in one of the Wolves' final possessions of the game, you had 5 guys standing still on the court with one guy dribbling down the clock before launching a 3-pointer that missed. No movement, no sets, no system.

Until they learn to play as a team, I don't see the Wolves winning playoff series.
Well, this series has also reinforced an opinion of mine: championship teams have outstanding complementary players. Bane is an example. You drive for show (Morant), and you putt for dough (Bane, et. al.). The reason the Wolves are competing at the level they are is because they have a relatively deep and well rounded cast of complementary players.
 



GopherWeatherGuy

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“Adequate value?” You have to look past his annoying immaturity. He’s a great player. Getting adequate value for a great player is trading KG to the Celtics for seven players and one playoff appearance in 15 years. We trade DLo, ride with KAT and live with the frustrations.

The Wolves didn't have Ant and DLo when they traded KG. They had Ricky Davis and Randy Foye.

Do you think the Wolves can win a championship with Town's annoying immaturity? I don't, and if you can't win a championship with that player, then why keep them around?
 

TruthSeeker

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The Wolves didn't have Ant and DLo when they traded KG. They had Ricky Davis and Randy Foye.

Do you think the Wolves can win a championship with Town's annoying immaturity? I don't, and if you can't win a championship with that player, then why keep them around?
The Wolves didn't have Ant and DLo when they traded KG. They had Ricky Davis and Randy Foye.

Do you think the Wolves can win a championship with Town's annoying immaturity? I don't, and if you can't win a championship with that player, then why keep them around?
They can if Towns isn't their best player.

Ant took one step forward this season. If he can take a leap forward next season, and he becomes the top player on the team, then you can win with Towns.

With that said, I don't think Ant will ever get there. At best, Ant will be the 2nd best player on a championship caliber team.
 

Iceland12

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The Wolves didn't have Ant and DLo when they traded KG. They had Ricky Davis and Randy Foye.

Do you think the Wolves can win a championship with Town's annoying immaturity? I don't, and if you can't win a championship with that player, then why keep them around?
They can if Towns isn't their best player.

Ant took one step forward this season. If he can take a leap forward next season, and he becomes the top player on the team, then you can win with Towns.

With that said, I don't think Ant will ever get there. At best, Ant will be the 2nd best player on a championship caliber team.

After trading Garnett, the Wolves went 14 years before they made the playoffs again.

If Marbury stayed, and the team was allowed to mature together, who knows how things would have gone? When the Wolves traded Garnett they had come off 3 years of not making the playoffs, but making them the 8 years before. Taylor met with Flip who told him he wasn't sure what he could do with the team to make them better.

Glen then told McHale to fire Saunders and see what he could get for Garnett. The Wolves should never make that mistake again.

They need to keep this nucleus together and see how it all shakes out. Towns doesn't need to be THEE team leader, he just needs to a great player on the floor. Yeah, Edwards may be the answer to solving that problem.

"Blowing it all up" again? Would be a bad basketball decision and an absolutely horrible business one.
 
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Ope3

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After trading Garnett, the Wolves went 13 years before they made the playoffs again.

If Marbury stayed, and the team was allowed to mature together, who knows how things would have gone? When the Wolves traded Garnett they had come off 2 years of not making the playoffs, but making them the 8 years before. Taylor met with Flip who told him he wasn't sure what he could do with the team to make them better.

Glen then told McHale to fire Saunders and see what he could get for Garnett. The Wolves should never make that mistake again.

They need to keep this nucleus together and see how it all shakes out. Towns doesn't need to be THEE team leader, he just needs to a great player on the floor. Yeah, Edwards may be the answer to solving that problem.

"Blowing it all up" again? Would be a bad basketball decision and an absolutely horrible business one.
I think your timelines are a little off. When Garnett was traded it was after 3 straight years of missing the Playoffs and 2 more coaching changes. Flip was fired in 2005 and McHale named himself interim coach, who was then followed by Dwane Casey for a year and a half. Randy Whitman was up next and then KG was dealt to Boston (2007 offseason).

I agree, blowing it up now would likely be a bad move. KAT is a top 10-20 player, odds of getting back equal value is slim to none.
 
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jamiche

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Well, this series has also reinforced an opinion of mine: championship teams have outstanding complementary players. Bane is an example. You drive for show (Morant), and you putt for dough (Bane, et. al.). The reason the Wolves are competing at the level they are is because they have a relatively deep and well rounded cast of complementary players.
If you are equating complimentary players with role players, Bane is way more than a complimentary player. He's one of their core guys. If complimentary player means he's below Ja in the pecking order, I would agree.
 

Iceland12

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I think your timelines are a little off. When Garnett was traded it was after 3 straight years of missing the Playoffs and 2 more coaching changes. Flip was fired in 2005 and McHale named himself interim coach, who was then followed by Dwane Casey for a year and a half. Randy Whitman was up next and then KG was dealt to Boston (2007 offseason).

I agree, blowing it up now would likely be a bad move. KAT is a top 10-20 player, odds of getting back equal value is slim to none.

Looked and you're right. They had missed the playoffs for 3 years, not 2. So it was 14 years not 13 between playoff apperances. Fixed it. Thanks.

Memory can be tricky. 😊
 

TruthSeeker

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You cannot tear the team apart yet, at least not Ant and Towns. If Ant gets get to or exceeds Towns' ability, then you've got a heck of a duo.

What can be changed is all players surrounding those two.

DLO isn't the long-term answer. He's just not good enough and never will be.

They also need another big man who is good defensively and on the glass.
 

Iceland12

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You cannot tear the team apart yet, at least not Ant and Towns. If Ant gets get to or exceeds Towns' ability, then you've got a heck of a duo.

What can be changed is all players surrounding those two.

DLO isn't the long-term answer. He's just not good enough and never will be.

They also need another big man who is good defensively and on the glass.

Agreed. They certainly need to get a big man who can do those things well.

On Russell? Problem is right now Russell is very important to the team. Not only how well they've played when he, Towns and Edwards play together and are healthy, but they don't really have a dependable back-up PG now.

Never been a fan of Russell. He's been in the league 8 yrs now and has had what 2+ good years? They'd need to get a very good PG back plus match-up salaries. He's making $31 million next year.

Would like to see him traded. Just glad I don't have to put it together.
 

ecoperson

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They can if Towns isn't their best player.

Ant took one step forward this season. If he can take a leap forward next season, and he becomes the top player on the team, then you can win with Towns.

With that said, I don't think Ant will ever get there. At best, Ant will be the 2nd best player on a championship caliber team.
Curious why you think Ant can't 'get there.' He is still a 20 years old kid! With a little more maturity, I think he can take a more steps to being great.
 

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I don't view trading KAT as tearing the team apart. He turns 27 at the beginning of next season and has 2 years left on his deal. He'll likely be eligible for the super max extension when that expires. Are you willing to give KAT 4 more years at 50 million from 29 - 33 years old, when big men break down fast in the NBA at that age? Especially if you think he's not the lead player on a championship team?

If the answer is no, then they're likely going to have to move Towns in the next year or two anyways. I would do it this offseason while his value is high, this is a pretty deep draft class, and there will be multiple solid bigs in FA that will be cheaper and can replace him, along with what you net in a trade for him. They could still easily be a playoff team next season without him.

I'm higher on DLo than most here, mainly because he's a great passer and a better leader than Towns. His contract is a non issue to me because it expires after next season. DLo, Ant, and Beverly were the reason they beat the Clippers in the play in game, not KAT.
 

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Curious why you think Ant can't 'get there.' He is still a 20 years old kid! With a little more maturity, I think he can take a more steps to being great.
Most players who reach Towns' level get their Win Shares to 10+ for a season within three seasons, maybe 4. Ant hasn't reached 5 Win Shares yet in a season.

If Ant wants to truly ascend to the top echelon of players, then he needs to increase his 3% by another 4 or 5 percentage points and get his overall FG% rate to 50%.

He also needs to rebound and create a little more while upping his defense.

He's not a finshed product, and I think he'll make the all-star team a few times. However, to win it all, he needs to become an MVP caliber player. I don't see that happening, but it could happen. It's worth waiting to see.

Two all-stars can get you a few rounds deep. An MVP caliber player and an all-star can make the finals.
 


short ornery norwegian

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one of my issues with the Wolves is the inconsistency of the 'big 3.'

Ant, KAT and D-Lo are all capable of having really good games. but when they have a bad game, it's really bad.

Somehow, they have to find a way so, when they're having an off night, they still find some way to contribute.

in other words, if KAT is having an off night, he still needs to come up with, say, 12-15 pts and 7 rebounds. His off nights cannot be 4 points and 2 boards. Same with Ant and D-Lo. The floor has to be higher.

As the team is constructed, they can survive an off night from 1 of the 3. but if 2 of the 3 have off nights on the same night, they're toast.
 

jamiche

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I don't view trading KAT as tearing the team apart. He turns 27 at the beginning of next season and has 2 years left on his deal. He'll likely be eligible for the super max extension when that expires. Are you willing to give KAT 4 more years at 50 million from 29 - 33 years old, when big men break down fast in the NBA at that age? Especially if you think he's not the lead player on a championship team?

If the answer is no, then they're likely going to have to move Towns in the next year or two anyways. I would do it this offseason while his value is high, this is a pretty deep draft class, and there will be multiple solid bigs in FA that will be cheaper and can replace him, along with what you net in a trade for him. They could still easily be a playoff team next season without him.

I'm higher on DLo than most here, mainly because he's a great passer and a better leader than Towns. His contract is a non issue to me because it expires after next season. DLo, Ant, and Beverly were the reason they beat the Clippers in the play in game, not KAT.
DLo has averaged 13 pts/game during the Memphis series. He had a nice game against the Clips, which makes sense. He rolls deep about one out of every five games. He's a top 15 pg, that's about it. KAT is either the third or fourth big man in the league depending upon how you feel about Gobert's two foot offensive range.

If you are going to trade KAT to take advantage of this year's draft that means you have to do business with one of the crappy teams to get a high end maybe. It also means you have to take some players off of their crappy roster, even with multiple teams involved. No thanks.

Paying KAT $50M/year from ages 29-33 is risky. Another way to look at it is he's probably going to generate a higher than $50M/year value the first 2-3 years of the contract, then it gets dicey.

DLo's $30M contract with one year left is pretty valuable to other teams this off season. They could probably get a good to very good player and a mid to late first rounder for him.
 

ecoperson

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Most players who reach Towns' level get their Win Shares to 10+ for a season within three seasons, maybe 4. Ant hasn't reached 5 Win Shares yet in a season.

If Ant wants to truly ascend to the top echelon of players, then he needs to increase his 3% by another 4 or 5 percentage points and get his overall FG% rate to 50%.

He also needs to rebound and create a little more while upping his defense.

He's not a finshed product, and I think he'll make the all-star team a few times. However, to win it all, he needs to become an MVP caliber player. I don't see that happening, but it could happen. It's worth waiting to see.

Two all-stars can get you a few rounds deep. An MVP caliber player and an all-star can make the finals.
I see the deficiencies in his game but I think that he can improve in these areas. He has the athleticism for some quality D... does he have the heart... does he make it personal?

I am less concerned with the 3 pt % as a goal and see it improving on its own as a result of a different goal. I would like to see Ant go to the basket more versus settle for 3s. It will lead to free points at the line AND cause the D to sag back a half step to stop the drive thereby giving him a better look at a 3 pt shot. The step-back 3 is pretty when it is goes in but there are not a lot of Hardens in the world.

An MVP type player needs to be efficient and smart. Ant has the tools but can he grow into the mindset of a cagey veteran before his time?
 



GopherWeatherGuy

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DLo has averaged 13 pts/game during the Memphis series. He had a nice game against the Clips, which makes sense. He rolls deep about one out of every five games. He's a top 15 pg, that's about it. KAT is either the third or fourth big man in the league depending upon how you feel about Gobert's two foot offensive range.

If you are going to trade KAT to take advantage of this year's draft that means you have to do business with one of the crappy teams to get a high end maybe. It also means you have to take some players off of their crappy roster, even with multiple teams involved. No thanks.

Paying KAT $50M/year from ages 29-33 is risky. Another way to look at it is he's probably going to generate a higher than $50M/year value the first 2-3 years of the contract, then it gets dicey.

DLo's $30M contract with one year left is pretty valuable to other teams this off season. They could probably get a good to very good player and a mid to late first rounder for him.

It's not only about scoring with DLo in this series though. He's their best facilitator, and his defense has improved this season.

I already posted the stat earlier where the Wolves only scored 8 points total when DLo wasn't on the court in game 3. If you throw out game 2 where the entire team was awful, DLo has the highest average +/- among the starters at +7. Kat is +5.7, Bev is +5.3, Ant is +.3, and Vando is -2.3.

He's currently 3rd in assists so far this playoffs. He's been the vocal leader on this sidelines. I think we all agree 30M is too much for him now. If they were to part with him after this season, I think it would be difficult to find another passer as good as him right now.

Let's say they could extend him after next season for 20-23 million per year. I'd rather pay that long term for him, than double that amount for Towns.
 

TruthSeeker

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It's not only about scoring with DLo in this series though. He's their best facilitator, and his defense has improved this season.

I already posted the stat earlier where the Wolves only scored 8 points total when DLo wasn't on the court in game 3. If you throw out game 2 where the entire team was awful, DLo has the highest average +/- among the starters at +7. Kat is +5.7, Bev is +5.3, Ant is +.3, and Vando is -2.3.

He's currently 3rd in assists so far this playoffs. He's been the vocal leader on this sidelines. I think we all agree 30M is too much for him now. If they were to part with him after this season, I think it would be difficult to find another passer as good as him right now.

Let's say they could extend him after next season for 20-23 million per year. I'd rather pay that long term for him, than double that amount for Towns.
Not me. Towns' Win Shares are a dozen or more. DLO is lucky if he gets to 5.
 

Iceland12

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Thinking that since this is the 1st time since 2004 that they've even won 2 playoff games, that they should keep the core 3 together next year and see how it goes.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Not me. Towns' Win Shares are a dozen or more. DLO is lucky if he gets to 5.

Win shares is a nice statistic and Towns is an elite offensive big man. But like most statistics, it's not the end all to be all. Most of the players who have been at the top of that list each year, haven't won championships.

KAT was 3rd in the league in WS the last time they were in the playoffs with Butler. Butler was the main reason they jumped up that season, not KAT.

I think they can build a tougher, smarter, deeper and more well rounded team without KAT. But there's a 98% chance that KAT, Ant, and DLo are all still playing here next season.
 




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