Troy's down, possibly for surgery, and this team needs to win games now.
If he has surgery on his ankle, it's over. Since his first injury (the high ankle sprain against Indy in the preaseason of 03), he has not been the same. In flashes, maybe he has resembled his former self, but over the long haul, he has been very different. His game is jump shooting now - he invented the term "heat check". He gets in the game and starts jacking up shots. It's not the way he should play, and it's not the way he used to play. He doesn't fit with the team at all. Hey sucko, if we wanted someone to go in there and jack shots up we would just put McCants in. He's good for 10 right off the get. Troy can't hang with the decent shooters, and he's lost both the confidence and stability of his ankles to make any drives into the lane. In short, he is literally a shell of his former self.
Signing him to the contract looks like an idiot move now, but you can't really say that at the time. First of all, he's not breaking the bank (makes about half as much as Wally). Secondly, coming off an ankle surgery, you can never say for sure if a player is "done". Sure, there is more risk that they will be slowed and have reoccuring injuries, but that's no reason to just give up on him. I don't think the signing was terrible, but it certainly didn't shake the world. In the end, if Troy had stayed healthy, it was entirely reasonable to pay him 6 million a year to be a solid backup.
And if I walked down the street this afternoon and found a hundred dollar bill, I'd have a hundred dollars to my name.
Now it's just bad. If he has surgery on this ankle, that's it, lights out, Terrell Brandon and Michael Williams here we come. Troy is signed until 2010, and during that final year he will make 6.7 million. And make no mistake about it, he WILL NOT contribute anything else to the Wolves if he has surgery on that ankle. I've seen how drastically different his game is now, just after the first surgery. If he has the second, he's going to be nothing.
So allow me to sigh and look down at the bottom of a drained New Castle from MacKenzie and say.... it was good seeing you again, Troy. Too bad you had to be all broken and stuff. But don't worry, we're used to it around here.
Now then, the other point is that the Wolves need to Win Games Now.
No more "waiting for the new guys to gel". No more tinkering with the lineup. Banks, Hass, Buckets, God and Mad Dog. Go. That's your team. Eddie and Blunt are the first off the bench. Run McCants in there to spell Ricky, and AC for Banks. Go. Just get this done. Frahm, Jaric, and Dupree don't need to play at all. In fact, AC doesn't need to play that much either. The point is there is no more need to tinker. You've got your guys. Get at them.
The reason I say it in this way is because we should have easily beaten Cleveland on Wednesday night. Nobody played horribly, and Cleveland was junk in stretches. So why did we lose? Well, it was a combination of sucking when it mattered and bad officiating. And the team looked like they knew each other and knew where the offense was supposed to be going. The turnovers (7!) were good to see, and the way they flowed was good. In fact, I'm still at a loss as to why they couldn't win that game by 10 points. And James had an off night too... Let's not dwell.
The point is that it's go time. 4 games before the all-star break: Utah, NOOCH, Toronto and Seattle. All four are winnable games. In fact, I will state right now (in the context of losses to Cleveland, Golden State and Portland still haunting): if the Wolves don't win all 4 of these games, they are headed for the lottery. Ok, maybe that's a bit rash, but that's what I'm feeling right now... if they can't take care of these 4 teams, there is little hope as to how they can overcome some better teams.
Oh, and by "headed for the lottery", I mean "you're welcome, Clippers".
Dr. Dre - Surgery (lyrics)