As you all know, our beloved Randy Wittman was replaced on the bench by his former boss Kevin McHale this week. Since the replacement two games have passed. While the Wolves managed to buck last weekend’s trend of getting killed by 20+, the team continued a popular trend of building a nice lead only to blow it in the second half.
A few notes on the Wittman firing. I don’t think there’s many fans that are going to miss Randy Wittman. I also don’t think any fans will miss Kevin McHale in the front office (assuming his front office days and duties are truly over). It may be partial justice that he is sleeping in the bed he has made, but to me it seems like a complete acknowledgement by ownership that the 2008-2009 season is a lame-duck one, which is especially frustrating for a franchise that has been rebuilding for three years. The major kicker: the beginning of next season will basically be another “year 1” in a perpetual string of rebuilding.
Although I will admit the team seems to show more enthusiasm over the past two games, I am interested to see if the players keep going hard for their new coach over the next 10 games. One major issue this team can’t get around, no matter who is coaching, is that no one can be consistently relied upon to hit an outside jump shot, especially with Mike Miller injured. Nearly every position is developing or otherwise uncertain, and the only “certainty” we have, Al Jefferson, is never certain which position he’s going to play on any given night.
Some characteristics of the new regime (if one can call a staff that’s completely identical minus Randy Wittman a “new” regime) that drive me nuts, and I’m sure I’m not alone, are (i) the Bondesque License to Shoot for McCants, and (ii) the curious increase in Kevin Ollie’s minutes. The one hope I have for McHale that I’ve seen the past two games is using those fouls in a more violent manner. McHale played for a very physical Boston team and I hope he instills that physicality in this poor squad.
Basically, although there’s a “new” coach, nothing is really different. The coach is the same guy that put this squad together, and I don’t think this team is on the way to making any believers out of the fans. I’m still only going to Target Center once this season to see LeBron, and I don’t think that’s going to change. If you can’t tell, I guess there’s just not really much new to say that wasn’t said last week, unless you’re a Kevin Ollie fan.