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Just messing around, getting triple doubles
Future: An Alternative to Winning or Losing – Minnesota Timberwolves
December 11, 2011Posted by on
Did you know that Wesley Johnson (24), a rookie last year, is older than Kevin Love (23) and Michael Beasley (22)? Or that Beasley’s older than Ricky Rubio (21) and Derrick Williams (20)? The T’Wolves’ core is filled with youth, dreams and ceilings that reach beyond the firmament. To realize Kevin Love’s 30-30 game is to tip-toe into our past and dance with Moses Malone. To load up on youthful assets like David Kahn has done is put to faith in the future and bank on the development of at least one of Beasley, Johnson, Rubio, Anthony Randolph or Williams to partner with Love’s already historic body of work.
Being so bad for so long (last year, six teams had more wins (57 or more) than the Wolves have had over their past three years combined (56 total)), has helped Minnesota stockpile players who are barely old enough to drink. The front line is already established with a diverse threesome who can produce stats, but have struggled to generate wins. The backcourt, mostly point guard, is more mysterious. It’s not quite as confusing as crop circles, but Jonny Flynn, Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio give new Coach Rick Adelman options at the point. I picture a training camp where point guard front runners rotate on a daily basis like Republican Presidential candidates jockeying for position. With any luck, Kahn will throw the whole situation into chaos by drafting Marquis Teague to compete for the position in 2012.
Beyond the potential starters, Minnesota has elements of intrigue coming off the bench. Randolph perennially inspires stargazers to grab hold of isolated visions of potential and extrapolate them into 82-game projections punctuated by big, bold IFs. While the performances across his first three years as a pro have been marked by more valleys than peaks, it feels like we often forget this kid is just 22.
Then there’s Derrick Williams—Minnesota’s reward for being a terrible team yet again in 2011. Williams is an explosive combo forward; a strong rebounder with a slow, but accurate jump shot. Sometimes we see guys devour inferior competition in college, then get to the pros and look ordinary when faced with the world’s finest. Derrick is better than ordinary, but is he quick enough to guard Nicolas Batum? Is he beefy enough to bang with Serge Ibaka? Fortunately, Minnesota can ease him into these questions and peers like Love and Beasley can help provide the answers he seeks.
When winning’s not an option, an exciting underdog with a white hero to latch onto, a quadruple double threat and a previously post-hype Spanish point guard becomes an acceptable substitute. T’Wolves fans won’t have a lot of team success to celebrate this year, but the individual will be at the forefront many times over.