Game 14: Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves

Interesting stuff today to say the least. Fans (or at least more than a few) will be getting their first extended look at Ricky Rubio, which means we will get to hear the inevitable “we shoulda taken Ricky instead” comments.

The reality is that the Kings are not the Wolves or vice-versa. And just before you think it’s good to be the Wolves these days, fans are happy that the Wolves are 4-8 and playing competitive basketball.

The Wolves are 9th in DRtg at 100.7 points and 21st in ORtg at 101.4 points.

The Kings are 29th in ORtg at 96.2 points and 28th in DRtg at 108.5 points. (This is terrible basketball I can believe in!)

 

Required Reading

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune talks about the recent loss Minnesota had to Atlanta. Zgoda writes a different piece about Rubio for today’s Star-Tribune paper.

Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune quotes Wolves F Anthony Tolliver on the potential of the Wolves.  

Canis Hoopus takes a look at whether the Wolves have really improved their talent level. (If you don’t already, I suggest checking out Tim Allen’s game preview when he gets it up. It will be well worth your time if you have a sense of humor. If not, just skip it.)

A review of the David Kahn trades from TWolves Blog. Also in the piece is what kind of trades the Wolves should make.

How statkeepers do effect the stat sheet from Zach Harper of A Wolf among Wolves.

James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom has an excellent piece on Jimmer Fredette.

It turns out Jimmer is too nice. You can watch him ask for the ball. With the clock winding, you can almost hear the please and thank you. His teammates act accordingly, passing to the other guy, the one who is yelling at them, not the guy who is asking politely.

The coaches tell him to be more aggressive, first Paul Westphal and now Keith Smart. They know his potential, but similar to Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins, they have yet to figure out how to fully harness or unleash Jimmer’s talents.

Jason Jones of the Bee writes the obligatory “Jimmer needs to be more aggressive” piece:

“Looking for his shot a little bit more would be better for him, but I think he’s trying to fit into a team,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “But I’m telling him all the time: ‘Be you. Don’t try to be this point guard and average 10 assists – just be you and shoot when you have to shoot. The team understands that.’ “

If you don’t see the difficulty of coaching NBA players after reading a quote like this, you’re insatiable AND impossible. From Jones Bee Blog post:

“We’ve got to get our vision,” Smart said. “That’s something that we haven’t had. I’m used to guys seeing the whole floor. A guy’s open, they find him. I’m finding out now and trying correct is that we get a tunnel and we see straight to the basket and not seeing with the peripheral vision.”

And, later:

“We have a lot of isolation players,” Smart said. “Guys that have been conducive to getting the ball and standing around make a play for themselves. I’m trying to get them to still have that ability but yet don’t do it unless you see the check offs first.”

Stathead Final Thoughts

This is a bit of foreshadowing for a later post, but the Kings have exactly one guy with a positive differential of ORtg to DRtg (higher ORtg than DRtg in otherwords), and one guy who has an above average TS%. (League Wide Avg TS% is 52.4% right now.) Thankfully, it’s one guy who holds that distinction. Unfortunately, Jason Thompson has a 112 ORtg and a 109 DRtg which isn’t going to wow anyone. And, to top it off, his team leading TS% is a whopping 54.4%.

Real Final Thoughts

I’m beginning to think the issue isn’t finding out what this team doesn’t do, but find out what it can do well on a consistent basis and go from there. This is an elementary approach, true, but it’s not like the Kings are playing high-level fundamental basketball right now. At this point, I’d settle for these guys keeping their diaper pin pinned while dribbling or just even playing. Or jogging. Or putting their uniform on. I’m not very picky when it comes to this. I’m just not interested in watching a grown man’s diaper fly off in the middle of a NBA game.

The game is at 5pm PST, on CSNCA, and probably will make you want to throw up in your designated puke while watching Kings basketball bucket. Grand times these are aren’t they?

Go Kings.