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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day

 
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 11:39:34 AM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


I don't recall any discussion that ever resulted in a consensus of Klay Thompson sucking.

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Post #: 2351
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 12:06:58 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.
Post #: 2352
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 12:09:38 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

26 assists on 28 makes for GS.

That's pretty good...

I think I heard 36 on 40 later …
I love how that team plays basketball.
Stars or not. The ball movement is incredible.
I'm glad to see the games best team still values that. Over iso.


And honestly, it looked like they were coasting through the game - only turning up the intensity from about a 4 to a 7 when we'd make a run. Durant was probably live=tweeting while in the game...

Jerebko was the only guy playing like the game mattered.
Post #: 2353
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 12:21:17 PM   
SoMnFan


Posts: 85206
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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.

AHA!
See!
DL says he SUCKS!!!!!!
I knew it!
Post #: 2354
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 12:29:11 PM   
David Levine


Posts: 65253
Joined: 7/14/2007
From: Las Vegas
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.

AHA!
See!
DL says he SUCKS!!!!!!
I knew it!


SUCKS!!!
Post #: 2355
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 4:03:33 PM   
David Levine


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Joined: 7/14/2007
From: Las Vegas
Status: offline
Things could not have gone much worse for interim coach Ryan Saunders since the All-Star break. In the team’s first practice after that extended absence, Saunders seemed energized, noting that he’d spent extensive time with the folks in the Wolves analytics department. Without casting aspersions on his predecessor, Tom Thibodeau, he inferred that there would be a greater emphasis put on 3-pointers and that some of the team’s existing defensive schemes would be tweaked as much as possible.

In the 13 games since then, the Wolves’ 3-point offense has not statistically varied that much, with slightly greater accuracy from long range before the break (35.2 percent vs. 33.5 percent) on essentially the same volume — 28.5 3-point attempts per game before the break and 28.7 afterward. But on defense, the Wolves are getting roasted by the long ball.

From the left corner, opponents are making exactly 40 percent of their treys — 22-for-55 — and that, believe it or not, is Minnesota’s best defensive resistance from deep. From the right corner, the accuracy is 41.9 percent on 26-for-62 shooting. The real killer is how opponents are shooting from the supposedly less-desirable area above the break — 139-for-335, or 41.5 percent.

Put it all together and the Wolves have yielded the most 3-pointers, 188, by allowing the highest opponent 3-point percentage, 41.4, of any team in the NBA since the All-Star break. If you couple that with the Wolves’ traditionally low usage of the trey in their offense (they are a mere 8-for-30 from the right corner since the break), you get a whopping differential of 62 3-pointers between Minnesota and their opponents over the past 13 games, an average of 4.8 fewer 3-point makes per game.

https://theathletic.com/870807/2019/03/19/timberwolves-exhausting-time-questions-scott-layden-karl-anthony-towns-ryan-saunders/
Post #: 2356
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 4:19:50 PM   
Steve Lentz


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Joined: 7/19/2007
From: Omaha
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.

AHA!
See!
DL says he SUCKS!!!!!!
I knew it!


Thompson plays DEFENSE. He allows Curry to defend lesser players and keeps him fresher longer.
They help each other on offense. I love my Creighton guy Korver, but he isn't near the defensive player Kyle is.

< Message edited by Steve Lentz -- 3/20/2019 4:21:36 PM >


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Post #: 2357
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 4:32:09 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Steve Lentz

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.

AHA!
See!
DL says he SUCKS!!!!!!
I knew it!


Thompson plays DEFENSE. He allows Curry to defend lesser players and keeps him fresher longer.
They help each other on offense. I love my Creighton guy Korver, but he isn't near the defensive player Kyle is.


Klay is a passable defender that gets hyped up by the media because the team he's on is loaded with good defenders.

I think you significantly underrate Korver. He's slowed down some the past few years, but he's been a surprisingly strong defender for a long time. He's actually rated significantly higher than Klay by the defensive portion of both RPM and PIPM (they're not perfect, but about as good of stats as we have for measuring defensive effectiveness) for each of the past 5 years+. Interestingly Korver also continues to be one of the best wings in the game at boxing out.

Korver has never been a great athlete or particularly quick, but his BBIQ is off the charts and he's a way more well rounded player than people give him credit for.

(Actually I think I need to rethink my "Klay would be Korver on another team" take. I don't think he would've been as good as Kyle.
Post #: 2358
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 5:01:52 PM   
Steve Lentz


Posts: 32548
Joined: 7/19/2007
From: Omaha
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: Steve Lentz

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

Not to ruffle any feathers, but …. didn't we have a week-long debate in here a couple years back, and the consensus was that Klay Thompson sucked?
Or at least, wasn't worth the cost?
That was one I never understood.
You didn't need a whole lot of BB IQ to know that kid was gonna be one helluva player. And looky what happened.


Klay is great, but I do think its fair to say that he's also somewhat a product of that system.

I think he's an elite catch and shoot player and as good as anyone at moving without the ball, but playing with guys like Curry, Durant, Green and a crew of unselfish terrific passers helps hide that he has very little ability to create offense for himself or others.

I think if he spent his career elsewhere, he probably has more of a Kyle Korver type of career.

AHA!
See!
DL says he SUCKS!!!!!!
I knew it!


Thompson plays DEFENSE. He allows Curry to defend lesser players and keeps him fresher longer.
They help each other on offense. I love my Creighton guy Korver, but he isn't near the defensive player Kyle is.


Klay is a passable defender that gets hyped up by the media because the team he's on is loaded with good defenders.

I think you significantly underrate Korver. He's slowed down some the past few years, but he's been a surprisingly strong defender for a long time. He's actually rated significantly higher than Klay by the defensive portion of both RPM and PIPM (they're not perfect, but about as good of stats as we have for measuring defensive effectiveness) for each of the past 5 years+. Interestingly Korver also continues to be one of the best wings in the game at boxing out.

Korver has never been a great athlete or particularly quick, but his BBIQ is off the charts and he's a way more well rounded player than people give him credit for.

(Actually I think I need to rethink my "Klay would be Korver on another team" take. I don't think he would've been as good as Kyle.

It is extremely hard to measure overall defense. I just looked up NBA Advanced Stats for General defense and it has Klay rated #77 and Korver rated #137. I watch Korver a lot and he IMO has really slowed down defensively. I watch Klay get matched up against other teams best shooters more often than not. I think match ups are pretty important when determining defensive performance. I I feel dirty talking about this because Korver has been one of my favorites his whole career.

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"Here comes Diggins"!
Post #: 2359
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/20/2019 5:19:16 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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Korver is 38 years old. He shouldn't be as good of a defender as a guy in his prime like Klay - yet he's still, at worst, comparable.

In the end, because of situation and media bias, Korver will go down as one of the more underrated defenders of his time, while Klay will likely always be overrated on that end.

They really are kind of shockingly similar players. For their careers (Per36), they're almost identical in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Neither guy goes to the line much. Klay is the better shooter inside the arc, Korver better outside.

Neither creates offense on their own, neither almost ever puts the ball on the floor. They're two elite shooters that are as good as anyone that has ever played at moving without the ball. Its rare for either guy to hit an unassisted shot.

The only real differences are Klay shoots A LOT more and Korver has been the better defender.

Klay has spent his entire career in a position that Korver could only dream of being in - and that is what is going to ultimately (and unfairly) color people's perceptions of both players careers.

http://bkref.com/tiny/eDaxK
Post #: 2360
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/21/2019 11:17:15 AM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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Dane Moore@DaneMooreNBA
Derrick Rose, Robert Covington and Jeff Teague have all been shut down for the year by the Timberwolves, per the team.

Covington — aggravated the bone bruise in his knee
Rose — bone chips in his elbow
Teague — inflammation in his foot that has him in a boot
Post #: 2361
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/21/2019 1:11:51 PM   
SoMnFan


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I sure wish Covington would have stayed healthy
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/23/2019 9:15:27 AM   
twinsfan


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I need to apologize to the board for my idea of trading for Covington and Saric. It appears we received damaged goods in Covington. I liked the idea of trading for a defensive stud, but if he can't stay healthy, it's a bad trade. Looks like a bad trade. I wonder if there is any recourse against the Sixers for trading us damaged goods?

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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/23/2019 11:03:03 AM   
David Levine


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quote:

ORIGINAL: twinsfan

I need to apologize to the board for my idea of trading for Covington and Saric. It appears we received damaged goods in Covington. I liked the idea of trading for a defensive stud, but if he can't stay healthy, it's a bad trade. Looks like a bad trade. I wonder if there is any recourse against the Sixers for trading us damaged goods?


Dumb.
Post #: 2364
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/23/2019 9:44:17 PM   
Steve Lentz


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Joined: 7/19/2007
From: Omaha
Status: online
Towns isn't improving our draft chances. Another monster game.

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"Here comes Diggins"!
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 9:50:42 AM   
Bill Johanesen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Steve Lentz

Towns isn't improving our draft chances. Another monster game.



I read too that if he is voted 3rd team All-Star by the writers at the end of the season then he gets an additional $30 m over five years added to his contract. Kemba, Beal, etc are in similar boats.

Lose lose!

< Message edited by Bill Johanesen -- 3/24/2019 10:02:04 AM >
Post #: 2366
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 9:53:50 AM   
Bill Johanesen


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Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 9:59:48 AM   
Bill Johanesen


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Fun stat: Wiggins and Towns have a combined 'dead cap' of over $300 million. Just a comparison to some of the Vikings dead cap figures. Baseball is probably crazy like that too.
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 12:05:37 PM   
ruffenach

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen

Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.

KAT is finishing strong and learning how to be a dominant player. Kat deserves his contract. For Wiggins, the Wolves competed against themselves. That is Grandpa Glenn's fault and no one else's.
Post #: 2369
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 2:07:13 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen

Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.


I think Gobert has a strong chance to get it ahead of KAT. He's the best player on that team - especially with Mitchell not being as good as he was as a rookie.

And I think Vucevic has a solid shot. His team is currently only 1 game out of the Playoffs. If they make it - or just miss it right at the end, it'll sway some votes.
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RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 5:21:51 PM   
bohumm

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen

Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.


I think Gobert has a strong chance to get it ahead of KAT. He's the best player on that team - especially with Mitchell not being as good as he was as a rookie.

And I think Vucevic has a solid shot. His team is currently only 1 game out of the Playoffs. If they make it - or just miss it right at the end, it'll sway some votes.

Agree with your thoughts, but KAT is a popular player with the media/public, and he shows up on highlights quite a bit. I think it will come down to how voters view team success as a factor as well as weight given to offense vs defenses.
Post #: 2371
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/24/2019 5:29:44 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: bohumm

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen

Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.


I think Gobert has a strong chance to get it ahead of KAT. He's the best player on that team - especially with Mitchell not being as good as he was as a rookie.

And I think Vucevic has a solid shot. His team is currently only 1 game out of the Playoffs. If they make it - or just miss it right at the end, it'll sway some votes.

Agree with your thoughts, but KAT is a popular player with the media/public, and he shows up on highlights quite a bit. I think it will come down to how voters view team success as a factor as well as weight given to offense vs defenses.


Its tough to make an All-NBA team without making the playoffs. I don't think anyone has in at least a few years.

And the media tend to really steer into the idea that its the best player's fault when his team misses the Playoffs.
Post #: 2372
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/25/2019 8:21:56 PM   
Bill Johanesen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: bohumm

quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen

Then there's third-team center, which is where Karl-Anthony Towns comes in. If Towns makes the third team -- Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are likely locks for the first two teams -- he triggers a $31 million bonus in the contract extension he signed last fall. This is an older rule that has been around for a while, known as the Rose Provision, for players who've signed max contract extensions coming off their rookie contracts.

Three years ago, Anthony Davis was in the same position as Towns. If he made the All-NBA team he would've triggered a $23 million clause in his contract. He missed out by three spots -- injuries had limited him that year -- and didn't get the money.

Davis went on to be All-NBA first team the past two seasons -- in other words, if life was fair he'd have gotten that money -- but with his trade demand and the New Orleans Pelicans' choice to slash his minutes, he likely won't make the team this season.

That opens a spot for Towns, and it's not lost on him. Over the past 10 games, Towns is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 33 points and 13 rebounds. Again, he can honestly say it's part of a (failed) playoff push. But Towns knows what's at stake. He has competition from players such as Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond and Nikola Vucevic.


I think Gobert has a strong chance to get it ahead of KAT. He's the best player on that team - especially with Mitchell not being as good as he was as a rookie.

And I think Vucevic has a solid shot. His team is currently only 1 game out of the Playoffs. If they make it - or just miss it right at the end, it'll sway some votes.

Agree with your thoughts, but KAT is a popular player with the media/public, and he shows up on highlights quite a bit. I think it will come down to how voters view team success as a factor as well as weight given to offense vs defenses.


Its tough to make an All-NBA team without making the playoffs. I don't think anyone has in at least a few years.

And the media tend to really steer into the idea that its the best player's fault when his team misses the Playoffs.



They will blame Butler and sympathize with Towns.
Post #: 2373
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/26/2019 5:38:10 PM   
David Levine


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From: Las Vegas
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Marc Stein Newsletter:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

All signs point to Minnesota retaining Ryan Saunders as its coach.

This is despite the Wolves’ 14-19 record and fade from playoff contention since Saunders replaced Tom Thibodeau on Jan. 6.

The abrupt timing of the coaching change was largely attributed to the hope that Saunders — after the Jimmy Butler trade saga suffocated the Wolves for the season’s first two months — would still have time to steer Minnesota to a second straight playoff berth. The Wolves will instead miss the playoffs for the 14th time in 15 seasons, but a steady stream of injuries has been an undeniable issue for the league’s youngest coach.

On top of extended absences for the veteran guards Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague, Robert Covington — one of two projected starters Minnesota acquired for Butler from Philadelphia alongside the struggling Dario Saric — has yet to play a single game under Saunders because of a knee problem.

Saunders, who turns 33 in April, is known to have a strong relationship with the All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, who has played some of the best basketball of his career since the departures of Butler and Thibodeau.

The growing expectation around the league is that the credit Saunders will get for his impact on and the buy-in from Towns will more than offset ownership’s disappointment about returning to the draft lottery.

Greater uncertainty in Minnesota surrounds the future of General Manager Scott Layden.

Rumbles persist that Glen Taylor, the Wolves’ owner, remains interested in bringing his former point guard Chauncey Billups back to town to run the front office. Yet skepticism also persists about Taylor’s ability to make an offer attractive enough to lure Billups from his analyst job at ESPN.

Calvin Booth, a Denver executive who the Nuggets hired away from the Timberwolves before the 2017-18 season, is increasingly mentioned as a strong candidate to replace Layden if Taylor does make a change.

No issue, mind you, is more pressing for the Wolves than getting more out of Andrew Wiggins. Only one season into a four-year, $148 million extension, Wiggins is shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor, sports a Player Efficiency Rating well below the league average of 15.0 (11.9) and would appear to have a top contender for the league’s most untradable contact.
Post #: 2374
RE: Wolves 2018 Game Day - 3/27/2019 8:41:37 AM   
TJSweens


Posts: 29639
Joined: 7/16/2007
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Let's be honest. The Wolves would had to have lost just about every game for Ryan Saunders not to get the job permanently. You knew it was pretty much a done deal when Taylor brought back all of Flip's old trained monkeys to mentor the younger Saunders. Taylor will, no doubt, point to the loss of RoCo and others to injury as excuses for Ryan. All we can do is hope that young Ryan turns out to be a surprisingly good coach. If he turns Andrew Wiggins into a good and productive player, I may nominate him for coach of the decade.

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Baseball must be a wonderful game to survive the fools who run it. - Harold Kaese
Post #: 2375
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