What I see in Minnesota is this:
1. Garnett picking up some of the rebounding responsibilities that
left with Nesterovic (and Olowokandi being better off not playing).
His overall offensive numbers have gone from 27% of possessions used
with a 113 rating to 30% possessions with a 110 rating. More
possessions, slightly less efficient. All completely offset by the
team's improved defense, of which he has played a role (his rating
went from 98 pts allowed/100 poss to 93).
2. Sam Cassell playing like Sam always does -- good efficient PG with
relatively poor D numbers. He used 27% of possessions with Milwaukee
last year with a rating of 117. He is using 28% with a rating of 116
this year. As part of a better D, his defensive rating goes from 109
to 104. It's easier to be a decent defender when you can focus on
just shutting down perimeter shots and have better defense behind you.
Sam should have made All-Star Teams before.
3. The biggest change on this team is defense. The offense is
slightly improved (and predictably so with the player changes), but
the D is now shutting down shooters a lot better (without the typical
foul 'em hard mentality that it usually takes). It is a general
upgrade at a lot of positions, it seems. Szczerbiak has been out.
Sprewell is better. Troy Hudson is not playing and Sam is actually
better. Rasho is gone and KG is getting some of those assignments.
Trenton Hassell is a good defender. The team allowed 47% effective
from the field last year and it's down to 45%.
Yeah, Spree is still doing stupid things offensively and will get
probably more credit than he deserves if the Wolves continue to do
well. His D definitely is an upgrade (especially since he's back to
caring about it), but hopefully no one calls him a star.
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com
, "John Hollinger"
> I too have Cassell rated higher than at any other point in his
> admittedly underrated career, which is an odd thing for a 34-year-
> old. Sprewell is doing just what he did last year in New York,
> soaking up shots at a very average efficiency level and playing
> defense. But the biggest difference to me is still Garnett's
> improvement from a year ago.
> --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
> > It certainly seems that Sam is having a career year. But I think
> there are
> > other years when I thought he should have been an allstar member;
> and was the
> > best player excluded, at least once.
> > agreed - although outwardly his raw numbers show him having a
> career year
> > (highest scoring avg, best scoring FG%), his production minute-wise
> is pretty
> > much identical to what its been for him the last two seasons - very
> good but not
> > spectacular (he's rebounding a little worse than before and
> committing a few
> > more fouls). his touches/min, and how often he shoots, passes, gets
> fouled, etc
> > per ball possession are pretty much the same as the last two years.
> its just
> > that he's doing it now on a team that won 50 and 51 games the last
> > seasons, and has one truly great player (garnett) and another that
> is just an
> > attention getter (sprewell), as opposed to the team he was on (the
> bucks) the last
> > two seasons that won just 41 and 42 games...
> > he's also not the greatest defensive player (worse than average by
> > book)...
> > bob chaikin
> > bchaikin@b...