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Figuring it out?
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Eternal optimist here... but I think Thibs has figured out how to use Ricky.



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Well, I returned to watching the team about 2-3 weeks ago. That has apparently coincided with the team playing about .500 ball. So that's good. I expected about a .500 team so while they won't climb to 40+ wins, I can still hope for 35-ish wins, I guess.

What has changed with tRicky Wolfenstein? Is it Thibs, Ricky, the others on the team? Combination? It seems so simple to say Thibs is just figuring it out. Is tRicky getting more comfortable in his offense? My eyeball test says he just has the ball in his hands more often. Simple enough, heh? Not sure.

Glad to see them FINALLY playing some FYCKING DEFENSE!!!! I wonder what the numbers say, but the ol' eye test tells me it's Wiggins, Rush, Shabazz, tRicky, Dunn, Lavine, and Bjelly who are looking in sync. KAT and Dieng still look terrible together. Towns makes me so mad. I can't watch him play defense. I am so spoiled with KG's rotations, it is maddening to see someone with his mobility be sooooo late on everything. Dieng must have ankle and wrist weights on the entire game. That is the only reason he can't move his feet or lift his arms. Dieng + Towns... I have grown to hate that pairing. Maybe I'm wrong, but the improvements look to be on the perimeter. If the Twin Towers ever learned how to play defense the team might actually play .500 ball... I know KAT will get there, but Dieng is 26. His reputation would probably get the Wolves a nice return. Start Bjelica, even if he is playing pretty poorly as well. At least he stretches the floor.

How can the Wolves trade for Gallinari to start as a small "4"? They could use Pek's salary and give them Tyus and Shabazz? I doubt they'd want Dieng, they are trying to shed that lesser of the two big white Euros (the other of which is quietly amazing). Max Otto Porter this summer.

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You wouldn't believe it, but the Wolves - because the West isn't that strong this season - are only 3 Games behind the 8th seat. That's not impossible yet...

I really would like this storyline: Wolves get the 8th seat in the last game & then kicking out GS in the 1st round (Rubio hitting the last 3 of the game to rally from 2 in the last seconds of the 1. OT of game 7), only for getting swept by the spurs in the 2nd...

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Something I forgot to mention but that I remembered after watching a quarter of today's debacle. I am over the magic aura of Thibodeau. I don't like his rotations, his lack of defensive progress, his offensive sets, his explanations, nothing. I am so puzzled as to why I disagree with SOOOOOO much of what he does. The ONE thing that may be easily connected to coaching that I see is player confidence. Last year was a train wreck. This year, even Bjelica has confidence in his game. Thibs definitely gives players confidence, which I didn't really expect (I thought he'd be so hard on Wiggins he would be tentative).

Still, I hope and expect his coaching to eventually pay dividends. But when? How is anything he does making sense to you all?

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Sam Mitchell's loud ass. Talk all the goddamn time. Clownin Sam... THE GREAT SAM MITCHELL... A man's man, if you know what that means. Wears cologne. All that good shit. No nonsense....Tom Hammonds, Terry Porter, Doug West, these are all hitters!  - KG

 



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When I started reading this my mind was already nodding in agreement with the fact that you were going to comment on his sideline hysterics and how they are causing the team to totally lose confidence/sight of what they are supposed to be doing on the court. Then you didn't say that. Pretty unique take you have here.

To your point, I think the team has more confidence in pulling the trigger on a shot. That might be it. I think Thibs barking out orders on every nuance of every possession and flailing like a Tourette's patient has been far more harmful than helpful at this point and is a big reason for the gamely collapses. There is no way the human mind can process what Thibs is shouting, over and over again, from 50 feet away, and adjust to his orders while staying in flow during a professional basketball game involving some of the fastest athletes in the world. No one can make a case that it has been a good thing for the present. For the future? Maybe, I can see it.

The biggest disappointment remains Towns. I have ranted enough on the subject, but it is VERY clear the guy thinks he is better than the team. The entitlement and attention-seeking behavior is very evident. Kevin Love 2.0, including the non-existent defense.




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Also - I want to point out the Wolves are 3-0 when LaVine isnt playing, including wins against OKC and Houston. When he returned to the lineup here in Dallas they got smoked and played like absolute trash. My theory is the team does not know how to function with 3-20 point scorers, and the effect is they "take turns" rather than share the ball and shoot in flow. With that said, the same thing would have happened with Wiggins out for those 3 games.

No way to prove this out, but I feel like this current iteration would be much better suited having a bench scorer and a utility wing like a Batum/pre-cadaver Deng/ Roberson type vs. a 3rd gunner in the starting 5. But then I see the only other teams with a trio like this are Cleveland and Golden State and I'm like....s*hit maybe I'm an idiot? Thoughts?

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WallyWorld wrote:

When I started reading this my mind was already nodding in agreement with the fact that you were going to comment on his sideline hysterics and how they are causing the team to totally lose confidence/sight of what they are supposed to be doing on the court. Then you didn't say that. Pretty unique take you have here.

To your point, I think the team has more confidence in pulling the trigger on a shot. That might be it. I think Thibs barking out orders on every nuance of every possession and flailing like a Tourette's patient has been far more harmful than helpful at this point and is a big reason for the gamely collapses. There is no way the human mind can process what Thibs is shouting, over and over again, from 50 feet away, and adjust to his orders while staying in flow during a professional basketball game involving some of the fastest athletes in the world. No one can make a case that it has been a good thing for the present. For the future? Maybe, I can see it.

The biggest disappointment remains Towns. I have ranted enough on the subject, but it is VERY clear the guy thinks he is better than the team. The entitlement and attention-seeking behavior is very evident. Kevin Love 2.0, including the non-existent defense.



Completely nailed it in my opinion.  The 2 times I have sat very close I have noticed Thibs has a very weird tick where we constantly shakes his right hand back & forth like a mental patient. I have never noticed it on TV but in person at both the Milwaukee and Utah games it was very evident.  I totally agree that his constant yelling is a negative.  On defense, I generally don't have a problem with it.  But it is NON STOP all the time, both ends of the court.  On offense, I agree that it is completely counter-productive.  And I am a very vocal player myself, and love vocal players and talking on the court. But what Thibs does on offense is micro-managey times a million. It makes me feel bad for the players. It makes me feel like it takes a LOT of the fun out of the games for these guys. I mean it is even aggravating as a fan!

 

Towns, I agree too. It's funny how the more casual fans would be stunned at this type of speak about him. But you are right. I do think he has gotten better, at least defensively, as the months have gone on this season.  But he does seem like a stat whore to me. He fights his teammates for pointless rebounds in a way that I have only seen from 1 other NBA player, named Kevin Love. At least he is running back on D pretty consistently now; he and Wiggins were driving me insane early in the season with that crap. But the slow rotations and general lack of good defensive positioning and team help defense is annoying. And really harmful in the W/L record of the team.  I will admit I purposely didn't vote for KAT in any of the 20 times I voted for all-stars. Maybe that's petty, but I don't want him rewarded. I almost want him to struggle, so he changes and sees that he needs to play differently to be a winner. And that vines and empty stat lines will only get him so far, but winning in addition to those things gets him to the All-Star Starter consideration level. 

 

Lavine and the team being 3-0 with him out....I have no idea. I do not dismiss your theory though. I have been happy with Lavine this year.  I feel like the real reason the team won those 3 games last week was the emergence of other guys...tRicky. Rush. Shabazz.  A couple of #FreeTYUS moments. I dunno. Aldrich has been unbelievably disappointing. J. Hill seems like nothing but a sloth that likes playing with his hair and relaxing. Bjelica looks good often, but he is still far too Alexi Shved Jr. in mentality and body language for me to believe.

 

On a gambling aside, the underdog has won outright in 19 or the 41 Wolves games thus far. Over 46% of the time, the team favored to lose has won. Basically I think it shows that we are capable of beating anyone, but also more than able to lose to anyone on any given day. 



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First of all, you ain't just gonna drag the great Alexey Shved's name through the mud. The man deserves to go into the Hall of Fame in the same class as the likes of Marko Jaric and Craig Smith. He can do no wrong.

On Thibs, I suppose it's just more disappointment. Though, 21 year old dudes cannot hide their frustration and if he was pissing them off and aggravating them they would show it more readily on the court, in huddles, in interviews, etc. I doubt it has a toll on them like you all suggest. At least not this quickly. It seems Thibs wore on some Chicago players after years of his intensity. I could see that happening with many of the soft ass Wolves players pretty quickly. Who knows, I ain't got the answers Sway.

WW, your theory on Lavine and/or Wiggins is interesting. No winning team employs two starting wings who don't contribute other than shooting a lot. Neither "lead" the team. Neither play defense for sh*t. Neither have any sort of defensive instincts. Neither consistently fight hard on the court. Neither can "see" the court to make consistently smart plays.

I am happy with Lavine's progress this year. He has been SOOOOO bad that his play this year is a reasonable improvement. Still, how the team reasonably expects to simultaneously develop FIVE FYCKING players (Towns, Wiggins, Lavine, Dunn, ShaBEAST) while employing negatives like Dieng and Bjelica is beyond my understanding. This team is impossible to win with as long as Thibs is going to play the current combinations 35+ minutes (oh look, he is running them into the ground. Cool).

You think the Spurs would trade Patty Mills and Danny Green for Rubio? That seems reasonable if they are really interested in getting Dunn a few more minutes. Mills can run the team and space the floor while Green and play 25 minutes of good wing play.

Enough with that talk above about playoffs. This team is not making the playoffs. I hope they keep playing .500 ball and improve, but the playoffs is unrealistic.

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Sam Mitchell's loud ass. Talk all the goddamn time. Clownin Sam... THE GREAT SAM MITCHELL... A man's man, if you know what that means. Wears cologne. All that good shit. No nonsense....Tom Hammonds, Terry Porter, Doug West, these are all hitters!  - KG

 



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DUDE THE TICK!!!!!! I was going to type about it but ran out of time!!!! I have video of it I just texted to you I took when I was in town for a recent game. I will try to get it up on YouTube to share later on with the other 2 people who still post here (hard to blame anyone, this season has been the opposite of interesting even when winning 3 in a row).

Obviously we are both being a little harsh on Towns, but he is developing the tendencies of the classic guy who will aspire for the bright lights/big city stuff. We know it all too well. His canned responses to everything that people fawn over are also INCREDIBLY fake and dont reflect his actions. I will say, in light of your "takes a lot of the fun out of the games" comment above, his body language is not encouraging. This is another thing I noticed in addition to the Thibs tick when I was up and sitting close recently. Thibs is SOOOO f*cking serious that, as you said, it takes a bit of the fun out of watching it as well. There is never any energy/intensity...all anger, all the time. This resonates. Engage and loosen up a little bit. Get pumped up, pump up your guys after a good play instead of ignoring and yelling like a loony (will NEVER happen, so this will be the last I'll mention it).

I really hope they start winning next year so that Thibs' ridiculous tendencies can be more of a joke than anything, part of what makes it all enjoyable.

Agree on the implication you made in paragraph 3: the bench unit is a sink or swim kinda deal. The bench was absolutely atrocious against Dallas, but good against everyone else recently. This feels fixable. But Thibs is so weird: Tyus and YOUR GUY Brandon Rush AKA Chase Budinger Sr. play well and never get rewarded for it. Just weird. Try a shakeup with that unit. You can do this without disrupting any development with your stars. The writing is on the wall that the entire bench needs to be gutted anyways, including the kinda busty Kris Dunn, so try a thing or two.

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I swear to God I just want to watch the Wolves coached by Rasheed Wallace.

Also, where was all this Towns drama queen behavior while KG was around? It was much more muted. Thibs is such a fycking idiot for chasing KG away. I am not a fan of Thibs.... I'm trying not to be irrational.

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Sam Mitchell's loud ass. Talk all the goddamn time. Clownin Sam... THE GREAT SAM MITCHELL... A man's man, if you know what that means. Wears cologne. All that good shit. No nonsense....Tom Hammonds, Terry Porter, Doug West, these are all hitters!  - KG

 



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I may be irrationally in love with Rubio's smile eyes hair game, but Thibs is irrationally not in love with Ricky's game. Why would you stick Kris Dunn in a close game to blow a lead? So he can grow as a player? Is Thibs playing the long game? Is the window 5 years from now so there's no point to play to Ricky's strengths now? Someone help me understand this. 



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You wouldn't believe it, but with this last game, the Wolves still are only 2,5 games behind a playoff-spot....

I kind of disagree with you guys:
Sure: Thibs is annoying, but have you guys ever read a sports manga. The coach, who is superhard and irrational on his team and annoyingly weird, then get's close to the team in time of hardship and finally the go on a winning streak, that bonds them together much closer, than it would have been, if they were all lovey-dovey from the get-go. That's a classical story. Still believe in it.
KAT: Sure, he's talking Hollywood-talk. But I don't care. As long as he get's 5 put-back-dunks in a game and going for 37/12/5 & 32/12/7 & 4 Blocks I'm completly fine with that. Who cares `bout the talk. We shouldn't compare him to KG, that's not fair to no one.
Dunn: I really love Rubio, I really do. But he's gone. Thibs don't like him & is gonna stay here long-term. So it's far better, to play the young-ones 30+-minutes a game, so they make their experience early on. That will make vets out of them earlier. If your plan is not just making the playoff somehow, but going deep into the playoffs longterm, then yeah: Play Dunn in the 4th quarter.

My take, though.



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