The Timberwolves let me down again

I guaranteed a friend of mine who works for the Minnesota Timberwolves that the team would improve by at least 10 games this season.  I don’t think he really believed me then, and he certainly won’t believe much I say from here on out. 

There’s no chance the Timberwolves will get to the 25 wins I predicted.  I didn’t think it was possible for the team to be as bad as it has been for a second straight season when it has one of the NBA’s best players on its roster.  That’s very, very hard to do. 

But once again the Timberwolves are going to do it.  The secret ingredient is negative win producers.  Somehow, season after season, the Timberwolves lead the NBA in the production of its “Most Harmful Players”.  I really don’t understand it, to tell you the truth.  I would blame Rambis and his inappropriate use of the Triangle offense, but Luke Ridnour is having a decent season, and so is Anthony Tolliver.  So why did the bottom fall out for Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic?  Why have they played so terribly?

I think Beasley has had the worst “full time player” season — under my system — since the system’s origin.  He was incredibly destructive to Minnesota’s chances of winning.  His defense is ridiculously bad, especially his scoring defense, and his offense is inefficient and nonproductive and he shoots way too much.

Another player who flopped historically was PG Jonny Flynn.  I know he was injured, but he was just brutally bad.  I think he is the first player with over 700 minutes of action to post a -4.00 or worse Marginal Win Score.  He really did nothing well.  The clock is ticking on his career.

Its a shame because all the Timberwolves have to do is find average players to surround Kevin Love and they have a playoff team.  The model they ought to use is the Houston Rockets of the early 1980s.  That team went to the NBA Finals riding the back of a Love-like player named Moses Malone.  Of course, the team was sub 0.500%, but it shows what a monster rebounder can do. 

This Timberwolves team, though, needs to be exploded.  I’d keep a few parts, like probably Anthony Randolph, but the rest of the team can just go.  Start over.  They almost have to do so.

  WS oppWS MWS W% W__L W>0.5%
Love 22.79 9.66 6.56 1.616 15.2__(-5.8) 10.5
Tolliver 10.71 9.12 0.79 0.638 2.4__1.3 1.1
Ridnour 7.29 8.95 -0.83 0.362 2.4__4.3 -0.9
Johnson  4.65 8.89 -2.11 0.143 1.0__5.8 -2.4
Brewer 3.63 8.32 -2.34 0.104 0.6__5.0 -2.2
Webster 5.74 9.39 -1.82 0.193 0.6__2.3 -0.8
Koufus 8.57 13.14 -2.28 0.115 0.2__1.2 -0.5
Ellington 3.22 8.92 -2.84 0.019 0.1__3.5 -1.7
Pekovic 6.45 12.34 -2.94 0.003 0.0__2.8 -1.4
Telfair 2.28 8.55 -3.13 -0.029 (-0.1)__3.0 -1.6
Milicic 6.75 13.29 -3.27 -0.052 (-0.3)__6.1 -3.2
Hayward 3.97 13.58 -4.79 -0.312 (-0.4)__1.8 -1.1
Flynn 1.34 9.45 -4.05 -0.185 (-0.6)__3.6 -2.1
Beasley 5.14 13.12 -3.99 -0.175 (-1.3)__8.9 -5.1
  6.61 10.48 -1.93 0.174
MWS: 19.8__45.2  
        Pyth: 20.4__44.6  
        Actual: 15-50  

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