Thursday, October 16, 2008

NBA Weekly

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves have started the preseason with a 3-1 record and while we shouldn't look too much into the preseason, I think the TWolves have a chance to be a solid team this year. Now when I say solid, I'm only talking about close to a .500 record, but still that would be a vast improvement over what they have been over last season where they won just 22 games. I could easily see them winning 35-40 games this season and maybe even more. Most people would probably think I am crazy for saying this, but check out their roster of players: Al Jefferson, Mike Miller, Kevin Love, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Rashad McCants, Corey Brewer, and Rodney Carney. Now this isn't a mind blowing roster, but with Big Al Jefferson they certainly have a low post stud and Mike Miller is a consistent scorer from the 2-spot. Jefferson averaged a healthy 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds a game last season and Miller averaged 16.4 points and 6.7 rebounds a game and you might be surprised to hear that both of them shot over 50% from the floor. If you throw in Kevin Love, who has a great basketball IQ and should be able to shoot well from the floor, the Wolves have 3 pretty damn efficient offensive players. Rashad McCants quietly had a solid season last year averaging 14.9 points and shooting a respectable 45% from the field. McCants should prove to be a solid 6th man off the bench. Throw in the intangibles that Ryan Gomes brings to the game , along with his 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds and the TWolves should have no problem putting up points this season. By the way, Gomes has come into the preseason pretty ripped and truly looks like a SF now instead of a tweener who was trapped with a PF-like body.

I expect the Wolves to be a very efficient team offensively, but a lot of that will also depend on the PG play of Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair. Telfair is more of a true PG, but he can't shoot and his small size hurts him on the defensive end of the floor. Foye played well after the All-Star break last year, but is not a true PG at this stage of the game. In some ways, they compliment each other, so the TWolves may be able to use both effectively in stretches throughout their games. If either one of these two exceed expectations at the PG position then the TWolves will have a great chance to win 40 games in my mind.

The other role players on the team will certainly be useful off the bench. Craig Smith is a beast down low (just ask Andres Nocioni and Tyrus Thomas), who also shoots it very well from the floor at just over 53%. Corey Brewer has shown some progress on the offensive end in the preseason averaging 14 points a game so far. We already know that he has the length to be a strong defender in the NBA, so if his offense continues to develop he should be a solid contributor to this team on a nightly basis. Defense happens to be the teams biggest weakness, so if a strong defensive player like Brewer continues to improve offensively, it could be best for the TWolves to get him as much playing time as possible to help them out defensively. Truth be told, the defense might be better this season simply because they will have Jefferson and Love attacking the defensive boards every night. Don't underestimate the defensive benefit of holding the opposing team to just one shot attempt.

I believe that Minnesota can beat anybody in the NBA on any given night, outside of the top 10 or so teams. That leaves about 20 other teams that they can match up with quite well. So while it may seem crazy, I think the TWolves have a good chance to be close to a .500 team and they certainly will be competitive on a nightly basis at the very least.

Other NBA News:

- Sebastian Telfair has been suspended for 3 games following an incident that occurred in 2007. By all accounts, Telfair has been a model citizen since his 2007 gun incident.

- Warriors guard Monta Ellis has been suspended for 30 games without pay because of his moped incident that caused his to injure his ankle. Ellis was going to miss the games anyway due to to the injury, but now he won't be getting paid either.

- Eddie Jones has decided not the play this season, because he does not want to play for the Indiana Pacers.

More: NBA Weekly

No comments:

Post a Comment