The Preseason Ended

In what is obvious news to (a) the masses of people that follow the NBA; (b) most people who grab a sports page even if they have no interest in basketball; and (c) a lot of other people, the NBA regular season has started.  As I type these words, our local team, the Timberwolves, has played 8 of the 82 regular season games that it will play.  It has won 1 of those games and lost 7.

Has anyone told the coach that the regular season started?

I have attended every game thus far and caught two of the three road games on TV.  It seemed that for the first six or seven games, the coach of this team (I don’t want to use his name, as I would like to think that I can refer to a different coach in the near future) seemed like he was attempting to establish a rotation.  In the first five losses of the season, the Wolves were genuinely competitive and probably should have pulled a couple of those games out.  They also seemed to use a rotation where one or two players would spell players who were tired, slumping, or both.  One huge problem in that first few games was the obvious free-throw disparity, but it certainly seemed like they had a successful system figured out.  The first problem in the sentence prior is a micro problem, the second is a macro issue.  The team seems to have corrected the micro and completely f****** the macro.

The past two games have been atrocious.  In the fourth quarter, the Wolves have looked about as confident as a person that just farted in his or her job interview.  I’m not a hockey enthusiast, but it is my understanding that substitutions are done on the fly and that certain "lines" enter the game based on situations.  Does the coach think this is hockey?  The last two games, he has run in what seems to be a first and second team.  I have never seen this work on any level.  I once played for an intramural team in an "everyone has to play" league.  Our coach honored that motto and made line changes like the ones the current Timberwolves coach makes.  We lost every game.  By a lot.

What this coach is doing looks more like he’s trying to figure out who on the floor can play with each other.  Isn’t that what the preseason is for?  Don’t most coaches from elementary school teams on up make depth charts?

Counter-argument – "Wahhh, waaaah, we’ve got injuries."

I’ve watched a lot of teams over the years have to deal with injuries when making new rotations.  What do the successful teams do?  They usually have this deal called a depth chart, which I mentioned above.  It’s really a slick sports device.  A coach will divide his stock into 5 positions.  The best player at each respective position is put at the top of the depth chart, the others in that group are placed below.  When the first person on the depth chart gets injured, they slide the second person on the depth chart in that position up one slot and that person carries on the job of the injured player.  In recent memory, the Kings teams that never got past the Lakers used this system to great success while Chris Webber was out.

Not only is this system not working, it’s making the team less competitive AND, more importantly this season, it’s making the team a great deal less entertaining.  To the business employees and shareholders, if this lack of entertainment continues, how empty can the place get?  I have an empty seat adjacent in all directions so far this season.

Deep draft this year, just saying…

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