GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another Day, Another Disappointment

It's been two games since I've posted, and two embarrassing losses.

The Dallas game has one of the wierder box scores you'll see. Check out the field goal attempts and makes:

Minnesota: 33-67 (49%)
Dallas: 30-85 (35%)

The Wolves took fewer shots and made more. They even had a 9-point edge late in the game before completely collapsing. The main problem as I see it, is that they have as many offensive rebounds on the last possession of the game (2) as they did for the rest of the game.

That's right. 47.5 minutes, 31 missed shots, 2 offensive rebounds, and 0 second chance points.

In the end, it was good offensive rebounding by the Mavs the did them in. Both teams had trouble making jumpers, but Dallas took control by pummelling us on the offensive glass. The sad thing is that had we done a mediocre job on the offensive glass for the first three quarters, we would have had a 20-25 point lead and would have won easily.

The Wolves did a decent job on the defensive glass against the Bucks, but still only managed 6 offensive rebounds--making a grand total of 10 in two games.

I still see this team as having enough talent to do well this season, especially given their weak division. If the Wolves can actually start getting offensive rebounds with sacrificing too much on defense, they will start regularly beating teams by 20 points. I think it's part of Casey's style to play a more conservative defensive game with emphasis on not allowing fast breaks and getting back on defense.

This seems to be a decent enough strategy, but some more balance would be good. Attacking the boards more aggressively will obviously lead to more shots. This in turn will lead to two things on the defensive end. First, it will take a bit of pressure off of them since they will be scoring more points. Second, it means that the Wolves will spend less time on the defensive end. Playing offense well is much less tiring and spending a disproportionate amount of time on defense can take it's toll physically on a team. It can also take it's toll mentally if it means the Wolves continue to lose close games in which they have done a lot of things well.

I think a good approach to this would be to start telling some of our non-scorers to start crashing the boards. EG is an obvious candidate for this, but I think Hassell is another good one. He's not a particularly strong offensive player and will often be guarded by off guards that are poor defensively (like Redd last night). He's not particularly tall but he can jump well. Since he's not an offensive threat with the ball, he can probably break free from his man and create a bit of chaos on the glass.

On a Totally Unrelated Note

I was watching the end of the Phoenix/Denver triple overtime game tonight and I may have found a pair of announcers that are the worst in the league. The Denver guys were truly awful. It was like going into a bar and finding two random drunk guys to commentate the game. They spent the majority of the time bitching about the officiating.