Sunday, September 4, 2011

Timberwolves Next?

If the Lynx can turn it around, maybe the Timberwolves can, too. Or should I say, maybe the Timberwolves can, too?

Because, frankly, the assertion is questionable. Sure, Kevin Love's emergence as an NBA all-star is 1 building block. And if Rick Adelman is indeed interested in the Wolves' coaching job, and if the Wolves are smart enough to accept their good fortune and offer the guy the job, that's building block number 2. Trust me, he's the guy you want.

But, meanwhile, Michael Beasley shows no signs of maturing just yet, and the 2 new guys are, well, new guys, and it's crazy to expect new guys to be real difference-makers in the NBA. I'm referring here to #2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams--hey, Kevin Love could be gone as a free agent before he's ready to assert himself--and Ricky Rubio.

My main point is to note that Rubio is not exactly ripping it up in Europe right now. Spain is 3-0 in the European championships, though a loss to host Lithuania today is not unlikely. Rubio is the back-up point guard behind Jose Calderon. Here's Ricky's line:

vs. Poland 16 minutes 0/5 FG 2 steals 2 turnovers 0 points
vs. Portugal 18 min 2/4 FG 4 reb 2 assists 1 turnover 1 steal 5 points
vs. Great Britain 21 min 2/5 FG 1 reb 4 assists 0 turnovers 2 steals 4 points

3 games (avg.) 18 min 29% FG (57% 2FG, 0/7 3FG) 2 reb 3 assists 1 turnover 2 steals 3 points

Leading scorers in the Euro tournament are:

1. Tony Parker, France 28
2. Pau Gasol, Spain 23
3. Dirk Nowitzki, Germany 22
4. Antonio Bargnani, Italy 22
5. Luol Deng, Great Britain 21

From the Timberwolves' roster:

Bojan Bogdanovich, Croatia 14 pts 4 reb 1 assist
Nikola Pekovic, Montenegro 11 pts 6 reb

If the NBA season started today, the starting lineup would probably be Darko Milicic, Kevin Love, Michael Beasley (unless hurt), Luke Ridnour (ahead of Rubio) and Wes Johnson. The bottom line is, you better hope the Wolves sign a superstar coach because unless I am mistaken this is the same lineup as last year. Right now Ricky Rubio has to go into the category of not-ready-for-prime-time.

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