Timberwolves Get A Lesson From Los Spurs On Exploiting Mistakes To The Fullest
"I guess that was acceptable, guys."
There has been much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over the past few weeks about the continued struggles of the Minnesota Timberwolves to win either close games or games versus the better teams in the league. While there has been some silliness about team unity and guys not joining huddles (not good, but not why you lose the game), the reasons for these struggles are not based in narrative, but in personnel and system.
Ricky Rubio and the Ripple Effect (Point Guard O Series)
Last night in twitter convo with Alex from Gothic Ginobili, he pointed me to this post concerning the best game theoretic way to maximize the value of an offensive possession. (Warning, wonky!) A subtle point of the post is that even if a given option in a play isn't an especially effective means of scoring, having that option as a threat at all increases the overall play's effectiveness.
It's time for the New Year's addition of the PPPpodcast at WhereOffenseHappens Theater brought to you by bad puns and worse stutters (sorry, I was especially bad about it this week...) With a special guest appearance at the beginning! Rob and talk about the future for Andrew Bynum and Andre Miller following their "conduct detrimental" suspensions as well as ponder the Timberwolves late game foibles. Podcast below the jump for listening and/or downloading pleasure. Enjoy!
After enjoying the Fightin' Stevenses whoop up on the Quittin' Woodsons (how long til they become Firin' Woodsons?), Rob from PPP and I sat down to record a podcast, which I've embedded after the jump. Even though I'm posting the here, it's still the Points Per Possession Podcast at Where Offense Happens, sort of like Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High, but with millions less in sponsorship revenue. Hey Rob, CTC?
Kevin Love is a player at the bleeding edge of the basketball analytics movement. Is he a borderline MVP candidate or a marginally above replacement stat whore who doesn't contribute wins? I'm not going to begin to untangling that thicket advanced math and even more advanced online invective, but I will look into the most obvious hole in the KLove4MVP sign wavers' arguments. By reputation, the man plays very little defense. Though his reputation as a pylon is overblown, it is only just so.
Monday's Pacers-Wolves game was meant to be some kind of early season test for both teams. Are the Wolves for real this year? Can the Pacers actually beat someone good during their creampuff early season schedule? I don't think these narratives are particularly useful, in part because the results of one game are a pretty poor barometer of that kind of stuff. However, a matchup like this can serve as a laboratory of sorts in that Minnesota's high powered offense (though down to 10th in PPP after this game) ran into Indy's staunch D. Obviously, on the night, the
Pacers' D won out, but I'm less interested in the what than in the how and the why? How did Indiana defend Minny and why did it work? Taking some specifics from the game illustrate eight main reasons why Indiana's defense is so rightly feared.