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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll

 
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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 9/30/2010 4:48:34 PM   
Stacey King


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Sounds like Beasley frustrated Wade to no end last season.

------------
Miami paper:

It was probably the defining theme of last year's postseason, possibly of the past two Heat seasons entirely, Dwyane Wade struggling to get through to his younger teammates to the point of exhaustion.

It was Michael Beasley, of course, who caused most of the stress because it was Beasley who was required to do more for the Heat to succeed, and it was Beasley who was infuriatingly inconsistent at the most crucial of times.

Wade didn't even want to talk about Beasley anymore, and he flat said so. About the only other subject that made the Heat's franchise player as frustrated during his first seven years in the league were his string of injuries early in his career, and even that probably didn't compare.

TOUGH TO TEACH

Guiding youngsters, especially youngsters with entirely different approaches to the game, wasn't in Wade's comfort level. It wasn't his strength, and frankly, Wade never truly perfected that skill in the two or so years that he had to be mentor and superhero (heck, no one's perfect).

But that's all gone now. Beasley's gone. Daequan Cook is gone. Dorell Wright is gone (though Wade may have preferred Wright stayed, given how close they were off the court).

Now, Wade's back in the comfort level he had been in his first four years. He's surrounded by veterans. About the only Heat regulars who might require any significant guidance are Mario Chalmers, who's still finding his NBA self, and Joel Anthony, who's about as low-maintenance as it gets.

It's the way Wade prefers it. No extra burden to teach. No inconsistencies that make his job hard to predict.

Being a quiet, lead-by-example superstar isn't a crime. There's no NBA rule that says the older you get, the more wisdom you must impart. And now that LeBron James, arguably the loudest guy in the league, is Wade's teammate, he can fall back into his usual role.

''The last couple of years I've learned how to teach,'' Wade said. "I'm not the loudest guy. My voice is not as loud as Bron's. It allows me to stay within my personality of leadership and not go outside that box, which I had to do for a couple of years.''

Wade didn't like living outside that box. It's actually a testament to his patience that he was able to collect himself as often as he did and not lash out at Beasley during the past two seasons.

He tried the supportive, pressure-free approach for most of the time. But finally in last year's playoffs, he put it squarely on Beasley, saying the team needed more from him, that he needs to study the game better, that he's essentially wasting his talent. That was just after the first loss to the Celtics. After the next couple of games, Wade said he was just tired of talking about it, tired of asking more from Beasley.

It was clearly a source of frustration, and it was a minor miracle that Wade was able to average 33 points on 56 percent shooting against the Celtics in those five games despite it.

(For the record, Udonis Haslem did much of the mentoring of Beasley, and it does speak to Beasley's growth that he attended Haslem's mother's funeral despite having been traded and officially being free of South Florida.)

After that series, Wade promised he was done with first-round playoff exits for a long time. Part of that translation was, ''I'm done having to teach.''

Enter LeBron. Enter Bosh. Enter Juwan Howard and Eddie House and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Miller, four guys with double-figure years of experience each.
Post #: 7001
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 9/30/2010 8:01:44 PM   
Matt Lang


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IOW, Wade couldn't handle the pressure so he had to bring in a bunch of all-stars to try and take a shortcut to the title
Post #: 7002
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 9/30/2010 9:31:50 PM   
Bruce Johnson

 

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Can we do that here in Minnesota?

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Post #: 7003
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 10:10:35 AM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz

Really?

Even talent-wise, I don't think Beasley's in the top 3 in that draft. I'd take all of Rose/Westbrook/Randolph over him for "talent". And DEFINITELY for actually showing it on the floor.


I digress after two years none have shown as much scoring and rebounding as Beasley. I like Rose and Westbrook but I am very happy we got Beasley for nothing. Has any of the draft picks from that year done anything in the playoffs yet? That is how you measure it. As much on paper as it seems Beasley was helped by Wade I think he hurt him more than anything.

Skillz everytime you talk about the T-wolves it seems you are talking from a Laker Championship Soap Box. You stated that Wolves are your second favorite team but the GM sucks and Beasley wasn't a good pick up...should I go on? :) It doesn't seem like you like it when something positive is going on with the organization. I see things as moving in the right direction.

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 10/1/2010 10:34:01 AM >


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Post #: 7004
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 11:21:17 AM   
djskillz


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Just because I'm not a homer for the Wolves doesn't mean I don't like them. I just don't like the direction of the franchise/team, and haven't for some time now. I think there have been some good moves; the Beasley move for peanuts is one of those. But I think they're putting all their eggs in one basket with Rubio. If he's not a superstar, this team isn't going anywhere as currently constructed IMO. I don't see a single guy with a great shot at being a "star" on the whole roster right now. That's disconcerting with the number of high picks the franchise has had for many years now.

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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 11:59:00 AM   
David Levine


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Yikes.

Al Jefferson Reports to Camp Overweight

Posted: 10/1/2010 3:47:00 AM
Source: Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune


Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson weighed in at 280 pounds for camp. That is 15 pounds more than Jefferson was listed at just four days ago.

Asked today about Jefferson's shape, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan would only say that several players were not in ideal shape.
Post #: 7006
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 1:01:50 PM   
David Levine


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Another report from the scrimmage:

quote:


9.29.10
On the last day of Timberwolves training camp at Mankato, the team held a public scrimmage for their fans to see. The game was sold out and the arena was about 75% full of excited fans. All players and coaches were in attendance (including Jonny Flynn, who was playing cheerleader for the black team). Glen Taylor was there as well. The first and third quarters were set up to be 10 minutes long, and the second and fourth were 8 minutes each. The teams were set up as follows (with the starting five listed first):

White Team:
Luke Ridnour
Kevin Love
Darko Milicic
Wes Johnson
Martell Webster
Wayne Ellington
Maurice Ager
DerMarr Johnson

Black Team:
Sebastian Telfair
Mike Beasley
Nikola Pekovic
Corey Brewer
Lazar Hayward
Kosta Koufos
Anthony Tolliver
Jason Hart
John Thomas

(note that Nikola Pekovic switched teams after each quarter, because of the uneven numbers).

Instead of telling you play-by-play what happened, I’m going to highlight what I saw as important, things and players that stood out, and storylines I saw developing.

Nikola vs. Darko: The game started with Nikola Pekovic going up against Darko Milicic for the tip. Darko reached it first, easily and knocked it back to his team’s side. That would be pretty much the only time that Darko outshined Pekovic for the night. Pekovic could surprisingly get up court as fast as anyone and will definitely be able to play this high-tempo offense that is constantly running. And although Darko looked much leaner than last year, he really disappeared throughout the game. Nikola is a huge guy, with soft hands and a nice touch on the ball. I could easily see the two playing together on the court. Nikola ended with 14 points, Darko with 3.

Wes Johnson: Wes Johnson went up against fellow rookie, Lazar Hayward, for most of the evening. Lazar had a solid, but pretty quiet night against Wes. The astonishing part of the scrimmage was how quickly and quietly Wes was racking up points. He made a few shots here and there, nothing special or outstanding. However, by the end of the game I was shocked to hear that he had accumulated 14 points. Wes is by far, BY FAR, going to be the best mid-range jump shooter on this team. He did start out the night by hitting a three. But, other than that, Wes was automatic from inside the three-point line. Wes is a well-poised guy who takes his shot when he can get it and is surprisingly a solid defender.

Lazar Hayward: That brings me to Lazar. Lazar was another guy who I didn’t notice very often during the game. He ended up with 8 points for the game. Lazar will be a solid back up coming off the bench. As many people have noted, he is an extremely hard worker and solid defender. He very much reminds me of Wayne Ellington (who by the way ended the game with 3 points).

Mike Beasley/Kevin Love: I was interested to see how Beasley’s over-the-top joking attitude translated during a game situation. He made a few jokes here and there to teammates, but had a very serious demeanor throughout the game. Beasley is clearly the fan favorite and the potential spark for this team. He brings the energy. Beasley led both teams with 21 points. Beasley went up against Kevin Love most of the night. He clearly did a nice job defending Love, because Kevin ended with only 5 points. The most noticeable thing about Beasley is that he certainly does like to create his own shot and he will find a way to do so, even if the opportunity isn’t there.

Anthony Tolliver/Kosta Koufos: All I can say about these guys is WOW, talk about giving it their all. Like most people, when I found out Kosta was included with the trade, I figured they would be a quick trade or cut away from getting rid of him. However, you can quote me on saying, this guy has talent. He, out of the three true centers playing, got the most rebounds, had the best inside passes, and slammed it home the most times. Now, I understand that this isn’t exactly a real game scenario, but he made me remember his name. And that’s more than Maurice Ager can say. Anthony Tolliver, who most remember from the “Decision: Part 2” was the other player that surprised me the most. Tolliver can shoot it. Other than Wes Johnson, Tolliver shot and made the most mid-range jump shots. He took on leadership qualities while on the court that I didn’t see from others. The effort was there and it paid off, he ended with 15 points (second highest on the team).

Luke Ridnour/Sebastian Telfair: I must start off by saying that this is going to be the best competition in camp. Sebastian, I believe, can be the point of this running team. He had a handle on the ball the entire night and he weaved passes in and out. Luke, on the other hand, had the shot that Sebastian didn’t. Luke made a handful of shots off his back foot. Based off of what I saw, I thought things ran smoother with Sebastian, but it was one game, so who knows. Sebastian: 6 points, Luke: 12 points.

Martell Webster/Corey Brewer: These two guys were the biggest disappointment to me. I had no clue Martell was even in the game for the first two quarters. Corey lost the ball a few times and missed most of his shots. Webster started to warm-up in the second half and finished with 12 points. Corey…. Didn’t and finished with 9.

Biggest Surprise: Anthony Tolliver. This guy either had the night of his life or he should play. He was exciting to watch and brought the much-needed energy. He can play defense and best of all; he can shoot. He was all over the floor (making 3’s and jump shots, lay-ups and slams) the entire game.

Biggest Disappointment: Corey Brewer. He didn’t look like he wanted to be there and wasn’t in to the game like the rest. He scored points, but lost the ball a few times and really just lacked energy. He doesn’t act like he’s in a competition to start.

Offensive Play of the Game: The black team got a quick rebound and brought it up the court on a fast break. Lazar handled the ball, as Beasley ran towards the basket. Lazar threw it up high in the air; Beasley flew off the ground and grabbed the ball with one hand. He went down to slam it home, as the fans watched in anticipation, and it bounced off the rim straight up in the air. Even though this play didn’t actually work, it was EXCITING. These types of plays didn’t happen last year for the Timberwolves.

Defensive Play of the Game: If you didn’t know already, Nikola Pekovic is a giant guy. Nikola was on the offensive end, getting ready to shoot a wide-open 5-footer. Out of nowhere, Wes Johnson came in and BLOCKED HIM. Yes, Wes Johnson blocked Pekovic. It was one of those; wow did that just happen, moments.

After the game, all of the Timberwolves sat down at tables and signed autographs for 20 minutes. What looked to be Michael Beasley’s little girl, was sitting in his lap. All of the players were very friendly towards fans (giving their shoes and armbands). But, I have to say, after that 20 minutes was officially over, there were only two players who stayed and signed. And those two, who were extremely fan-friendly, were Kosta and Martell Webster. Glen Taylor was down on the court talking to fans as well, which I’m sure only happens in Minnesota.

Overall: The potential of this team really lies in Michael Beasley and how he decides to live his life. We have talent, don’t get me wrong, but there is superstar potential in this guy. The team is defensively improved from last year. But, even more importantly, the guys that we brought in can actually shoot! This is a running team with big guys that can keep up, wings that can make the shot, and guys willing to put the effort in and value defense. However, with that being said, if no one steps up as THE GUY, we’ll be an average team with a lot of heart.

Lastly, the final score was Black 77, White 67.


http://www.twolvesblog.com/201009303112/minnesota-timberwolves/articles/t-wolves-intra-squad-scrimmage-recap.html
Post #: 7007
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 1:35:13 PM   
djskillz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Levine

Yikes.

Al Jefferson Reports to Camp Overweight

Posted: 10/1/2010 3:47:00 AM
Source: Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune


Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson weighed in at 280 pounds for camp. That is 15 pounds more than Jefferson was listed at just four days ago.

Asked today about Jefferson's shape, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan would only say that several players were not in ideal shape.



Wowza. No way is Sloan gonna stand for that. I still expect him to have a big year and improve a lot defensively under Sloan. Defense is 90 percent will. And Sloan will instill that in Al, or he'll be riding the pine.

_____________________________

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 1:56:07 PM   
David Levine


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It'll be interesting to see. He's a guy with poor lateral movement and he wants to play 10 pounds heavier than he did last year:

quote:

Two sixty five is what I played at last year. And that didn't work out too good playing the 5 spot. I wanted to get up to 275 as my playing weight. Right now, I'm 277. That's the weight I want to play in. That's the weight the GM agreed on. I think I'm a lot better at that weight, as far as playing there in the paint. Because a lot of guys were just pushing me around last year at 265. Even if I'm at the 4 or the 5. I think 275 is where I need to be.
Post #: 7009
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 1:59:23 PM   
djskillz


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Ya. Definitely will be a question mark, DL. If Sloan can't get defense out of him, no one can.

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"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 2:14:48 PM   
TJSweens


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Al is still 10 lbs lighter than he was prior to blowing out his ACL. He dropped 30lbs to ease the strain on his knee while he rehabbed. Last year he played underweight and it hurt him IMO.

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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 3:39:24 PM   
David Levine


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I'm not sure how much it hurt him. Al is a guy who avoids contact on offense and defense, so maybe weight doesn't matter that much to him.

I guess being heavier may make it harder for people to back him down if he decides to try to deny position. I'd think being lighter would make him a little quicker to the basket on offense (and put less strain on his knees and ankles).
Post #: 7012
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 3:57:31 PM   
TJSweens


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I don't agree with that assessment of his play David. He did have a harder time backing people down and he pretty well got swept off the blocks defensively where he previously would try to hold his ground. The bottom line is that I don't know that 280 means he is out of shape when he used to play at 290lb with no complaints about his conditioning.

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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 4:03:00 PM   
djskillz


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Whatever weight he's at, he's basically comparable to Amare Stoudamire defensively. He needs to improve dramatically in that department to ever be a truly impact player.

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RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 4:08:20 PM   
David Levine


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I don't think people complained about his conditioning - just his lack of mobility. And he has had multiple knee and ankle injuries in his pro career which extra weight is never good for.

I totally stand by my comment that he avoids contact on both ends of the floor. His lack of both personal fouls and free throw attempts are testament to that. Also how few charges he takes (for example, Al has taken 8 more charges over the past 3 years than Ryan Hollins did last year alone). He'll get the occasional weakside shotblock, but but he actively avoids defense.
Post #: 7015
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 4:10:15 PM   
David Levine


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quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz

Whatever weight he's at, he's basically comparable to Amare Stoudamire defensively. He needs to improve dramatically in that department to ever be a truly impact player.


The big difference is that while neither plays any defense, Amare has the tools to be a stud defender - and if he would've come into the league under any different coach he just might be.
Post #: 7016
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 4:43:04 PM   
djskillz


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Yep.

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Post #: 7017
Beasley per minute - 10/1/2010 7:42:37 PM   
kgdabom

 

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For what it is worth I have been reading from other Wolves fans that Beasley has better per minute numbers than Carmelo Anthony did his first two years. Also a better per. They make this same comparison against a number of other recent high draft picks and emerging stars. So maybe all Beasley needs is the minutes. You can read these on the ESPN Wolves message board.
Post #: 7018
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 8:42:09 PM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz

Just because I'm not a homer for the Wolves doesn't mean I don't like them. I just don't like the direction of the franchise/team, and haven't for some time now. I think there have been some good moves; the Beasley move for peanuts is one of those. But I think they're putting all their eggs in one basket with Rubio. If he's not a superstar, this team isn't going anywhere as currently constructed IMO. I don't see a single guy with a great shot at being a "star" on the whole roster right now. That's disconcerting with the number of high picks the franchise has had for many years now.


Oh not being a homer is putting it very lightly. No one likes the moves made before last year...but how do you know if these players are going to turn out?

Beasley, Johnson, Webster, Tolliver, Love, Pekovic, Flynn, Hayward, Bejelica, etc. I like basketball, I like the wolves, and I can see the talent level improved....but to be sure about that many young guys....we are moving in the right direction.....start enjoying the ride and get off the Lakers Championship Soap Box. This team is way better this year with or w/o Rubio.....

Being objective is not being a homer....

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 10/1/2010 8:43:17 PM >


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Post #: 7019
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 9:00:01 PM   
djskillz


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Being objective is stating that this is an improved roster, but still not a very good one. Still not even a playoff roster, let alone a championship-contender. I expect more from a team that has had so many high picks over the last few years.

It will take some time to be sure, but it's tough to be too optimistic right now.

_____________________________

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
Post #: 7020
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 9:14:29 PM   
Matt Lang


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quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz
... a team that has had so many high picks over the last few years.



To be fair though, none of those high picks were *really* high. The highest was #3 for OJ Mayo. We've not had any #1s or #2s
Post #: 7021
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/1/2010 9:42:32 PM   
djskillz


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Sure. I still expect more though.

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Post #: 7022
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/2/2010 2:15:34 AM   
pdiercks

 

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Thanks David, nice report on the game.  I enjoyed your take on how everyone looked.
Post #: 7023
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/2/2010 3:51:33 AM   
Matt Lang


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quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz

Sure. I still expect more though.


Like...?
Post #: 7024
RE: Wolves Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll - 10/2/2010 8:54:29 AM   
kurt bilben


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matt Lang

quote:

ORIGINAL: djskillz
... a team that has had so many high picks over the last few years.



To be fair though, none of those high picks were *really* high. The highest was #3 for OJ Mayo. We've not had any #1s or #2s



Trust me Matt, having the #1 pick is highly overrated!
Post #: 7025
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