January 10, 2006

Something's Gotta Happen

What I thought at the beginning of the season was that the Wolves would hover around .500 all season and maybe make the playoffs. Well, the .500 prediction was a good one, although becoming hard to swallow. I'm still having a hard time adjusting from the expectations that were set two years ago when the Wolves made their run into the Western Conference Finals (It still hurts to wonder what would've happened had Sam been healthy). Last season was murder. Watching Sam and Spree loaf around all season was really hard to watch. Watching Deadzo coach a team that should've been manned by Flip Saunders (hey, he owns the best record in the league) was like watching a corpse having sex with a blow up doll. They were equally as talented last year as the season before, but KG was the only one that cared. This season, in that regard, is a breath of fresh air and yet still hard to watch. It's tough to watch a team that, for the most part, tries and has fun playing basketball, struggle.

Like I said at the beginning, I expected to watch this team struggle. New coach, new system, new focus. Not to mention a new point guard, injuries healed, and adjusting to life without Spree and Sam who created such problems in the locker room that it may take the whole season to fix them. It's clear that Casey's system is working, but it's also clear that the players are still adjusting to it - especially on offense. Marko has not adjusted as quickly to his starting role with the club as we would've hoped. He still looks lost sometimes, or like he's going to cry because it's so hard. He's played very inconsistantly which has choked the offense as of late. Wally had a rough start to the year but has regained his deft shooting touch from everywhere. Casey has been playing Hassell sporadically which has affected his game. When he's playing good minutes, his production is good, but it takes him a little time to get himself a rhythm. The rotation has been paired down, which is good, but a lot of the guys look like they don't know how much they're going to play each night and it's certainly taken a toll on the team offensively. The team doesn't have an identity, or much of one other than their stingy defense. Are the a tough team? A finesse team? We all know they can play defense, but it doesn't seem like they're playing with an edge. They care about the games, that's obvious, but it's like they are still trying to get used to the new attitude and until they do, the edge they need will not be there.

So what can they do? They need to get another scorer. Another playmaker. Someone to help define this squad as a team. Ron Artest would certainly bring a positive edge to the team on the court. His offcourt antics and general insanity may be too much for Wolves locker room right now. Another guy who would help define our Wolves would be Paul Pierce. He's clearly a great scorer, he rebounds, passes, and even defends - a little. He wants to win and he wants to do it now. Boston looks like they're trending more and more towards a total youth movement, which may mean Pierce is becoming more available. He would give us an incredible #2 scoring option next to KG, but if we have to give up Wally to do so, it may not fix our need for a third scorer. We might be able to dump Kandi and Troy in the deal too. Kandi, Troy and a 1st round pick for Pierce would be an amazing deal. Of course the corpse on our end wouldn't do it, even if Boston would. I'd take Ricky Davis at this point. Or what about Flip Murray in Seattle? Damien Wilkins even. Something has to happen, otherwise the Wolves are looking at hovering around .500 for the next 5 years and KG won't take it.

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