ORIGINAL: David Levine
Moore & Perez: What the Hell Is Going on in Minnesota?
There is a lot of really good stuff here. Some excerpts:
Matt Moore, Senior NBA Writer for The Action Network: There’s this theory in social psychology called terror management. Effectively, whenever someone’s aware of their own mortality, they express their core values more strongly. That’s what we’re seeing with Tom Thibodeau.
In two seasons under Thibs, the Wolves have ranked 26th and 22nd respectively in defensive rating. There is talk of internal discord within the front office and locker room, and Karl-Anthony Towns still hasn’t signed his extension. I talked about a lot of this stuff with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic this summer and none of it sounded good. So with that much internal strife and the team’s wildly disappointing slide last season, there’s a lot of tension in the building.
Thibs is turning to his security blanket: Past success. The 2010-11 Bulls were the most successful team of Thibs’ career, and like a lot of coaches in that position, he’s opted to cling to that security blanket — even if that era was seven to eight years ago.
It’s hard to see how he doesn’t realize this is a bad idea. That Derrick Rose, despite a good playoff series against the Rockets, is a shell of himself. That Deng can barely play. That Joakim Noah, should he join the crew, also can’t get on the floor. This is a roster built around guys who just aren’t the players they used to be. For all the talk of wanting to bring in leadership and change the locker-room dynamic, you’re also bringing in a crew of guys who will remember their past success in the current context rather than as an anachronism.
We’ll get to the jokes later, but, there is only one explanation here for me, and it’s Thibs’ attempt to squash any locker room trust issues.
The Andrew Wiggins vs. Towns vs. Jimmy Butler vs. Thibodeau vs. Old Bulls regime of players Royal Rumble is the worst-kept secret in the league right now. Thibs is bringing in guys he has been in the trenches with, and what appears to be the only guys he wants to be in the trenches with moving forward. Like, what is going to happen after either this fails or all these old dudes retire? Thibodeau going to The Big 3 with them, too?
What does this mean for Towns’ extension?
MM: It continues to be weird that this isn’t done. The money is clear; the Wolves are never going to let him just walk as a free agent. So if Towns is hesitating, it seems that there’s some uncertainty on his part to give the Wolves the leverage of him on a five-year deal if trade talks were to develop.
What do you think this locker room is going to be like?
MM: It will smell of money and Bengay, and will operate with a very clear dichotomy of the young dudes and the old guys. Like Chicago in 2016-17 and other teams before it, creating this kind of separation between the old guys and the young dudes rarely works well. It increases division and entrenchment. Not great.
To me that all sounds like the teachers in a Peanuts comic strip. Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah.
Deng and Rose are both solid vet minimum signings.
< Message edited by kgdabom -- 9/14/2018 1:44:39 PM >
"So let it be written.
So let it be done."