Wolves Aren’t Bad, They’re Young

25Nov07

It’d be easy to say that the Timberwolves are bad, but that simply isn‘t the case. At 1-10 on the season, it’s easy to make that assumption, but if you look closely, you’ll see that they aren’t bad, but simply a young team struggling to finish off games.

They’ve been close in nearly every single game, and if games only went three quarters, they may be above the .500 mark. Unfortunately for them, games are played with four quarters, and each time the fourth quarter starts, the Wolves seem to fall apart.

So far in eleven games, their average margin of defeat is nine points. But, even this number is a little deceiving.

Take the Lakers game for example. The Wolves were leading, or down by a few baskets up until the last four or five minutes in the game. Then, they went on a slump, the Lakers built a bigger lead, and the Wolves ultimately gave them about six more points on free throws to cap off the game.

This has been the story in more than a handful of games this season.

The Wolves leading, tied, or right in the game up until the final five minutes of the game. They go cold, and give the other team a run. They then finish the game by fouling, making the final score look worse than the game really was.

With experience, the Wolves should improve with their late game mishaps. The most recent game against the Hawks might have been one of the Wolves best and worst games of the season, and it really showed how being young, not bad is the reason for losing.

After one half of play, the Wolves lead the Hawks by 18 points, with a score of 63-45. Al Jefferson was perfect shooting, and had 18 points and 11 rebounds. It seemed as though there was no way they could blow the game, but inexperience helped them do just that.

They came out cold in the second half, and scored just 12 points in the third quarter. The Hawks scored just 19, so they still lead by 11 going into the final quarter.

In the final quarter of play, things just got worse. The Hawks outscored the Wolves 30-12, and the Wolves lost by a final score of 94-87. Effectively blowing an 18-point halftime lead.

The reason for the lost wasn’t because the Wolves are bad, but because they don’t have a lot of chemistry or experience. The Hawks effectively shutdown Jefferson with triple-teams in the second half, and the Wolves didn’t know how to handle it. They should have found other ways to score, but they just didn’t know how.

As they play more together, and get Foye back as a late-game weapon, the Wolves should improve. It might be easy to get upset with the team at times, but eventually they’ll play the second half like they do the first, and pick up some victories.

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5 Responses to “Wolves Aren’t Bad, They’re Young”

  1. 1 David

    As a lifetime Celtics fan (dating back to Cousy), I was intrigued by this posting. The last couple of years the comment made by the fans and coaches was that the Celtics did not know how to finish games. That it was just because the Celtics were young. Many times fans were saying, “if we could just stop the game after three quarters.” Now, the Wolves are saying the same thing.

    Is it youth?

    In part, some of it is youth. There is however an intangible that is missing, and will always be missing. The young former Celtics players know how to lose. They’ve done a lot of it the last couple of years. The Wolves players have also been losing a lot the last couple of years. And Brewer is not the answer.

    The key will be to get a franchise player that will come in and turn the attitude of the team around. Until that time, the Wolves will be doomed to play as good as the Clippers or worse. Until the franchise gets that player, the Wolves will be stuck in the lottery.

    That’s not to say the Wolves do not have young talent. They do. But if players do not remember or learn how to win, they find ways to lose, and soon just come to expect that. Let’s hope that McHale can make a huge trade in his favor. Otherwise, let’s hope that the next LeBron can be found for him in the draft. If not, look at the history of the Clippers, and realize that this will be the Wolves for years to come.

  2. 2 Who

    They’re not so much young as they are bad. Really bad. Maybe two-four players on that team will be there in two years. Maybe less.

  3. Take a look at nbablogs.info Almost all NBA blogs from each team.

  4. i agree they our young 2003-2004 was our best season


  1. 1 Celtics 24/7 » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 11/26

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