Timberwolves @ Suns Friday game thread 4-5-2024

Suns_fan69

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nashman

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4 wins out of the last five against the toughest schedule in the league…. Maybe just maybe we are gonna start really ramping up for the playoffs? Have we had a bit of a complacent let’s get to the playoff vibes going for to long? Or is it these guys finally tightening up and trying to stop with the stupid mistakes and learning to play together better? Hopefully we can continue what we have got going for the rest of the year however far it can take us!
 

1982baskets

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Since Beal started being healthy and a staple in the lineup around December 29. We've been 31-16, 10th in the NBA on defense, 4th in the NBA on offense, 6th in the NBA in Net rating. Before that date, Beal was in/out of the lineup, having only played I think 8 games all without any rhythm. We were 15-15 .500 team until then.

There have been some bad losses, like the Spurs, but we also had 2 big tough wins in Denver (that should have been losses). I think the turn around was when Beal in late December came back, and for the most part has been healthy since then. If we had a healthy Beal all season, we'd probably be in the 54 win range and HCA in round 1.

That said, I think it's a big mistake not to have a point guard at least off the bench. It doesn't have to be a stud star PG. Just a steady floor general that can manage the second unit and keep the players in check. We needed someone off the bench for that. O'Neale was a great get, Gordon can get buckets, but we really needed that bench leader style PG at the very least. Even old Kyle Lowry would have been something. Someone like Dennis Schroeder even would have helped this team a ton. Don't know why Jones ignored this aspect of the team all year. I understand they want Beal and Book (even Nurk) to be PG like creators. That's fine. But even the championship teams like the Bulls of the 90s had that sort of mindset with their stars but had a PG in the rotation. This team has no PG at all. Going in the playoffs, just unacceptable roster management, in my humble opinion.
 

TJ

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If I'm not mistaken we had the toughest remaining schedule of all teams correct? They gave some crazy ass Stat I can't recall. Playing together and taking care of business
Think Pasch on one of the ESPN broadcasts said that it was the toughest stretch to end the season for any team in decades.
 

AzStevenCal

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...But even the championship teams like the Bulls of the 90s had that sort of mindset with their stars but had a PG in the rotation. This team has no PG at all. Going in the playoffs, just unacceptable roster management, in my humble opinion.
I don't believe we had the movable assets to acquire a PG that would help us, I think the best we could hope for would have been someone on par with Saben Lee. And I'd rather have Saben Lee than the Schroeder that's played for Brooklyn this season but Lee can't get on the court for us. I find it interesting that we ignore Lee but he has a higher PER this season than Lowry or Schroeder.

We'd be better off with a PG that can really run this team but trying to land a decent PG with a nearly empty piggy bank isn't easy and the current CBA makes it almost impossible. We probably need to develop a decent backup point guard, like many teams do but we don't currently have the needed structure to make that happen.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Since Beal started being healthy and a staple in the lineup around December 29. We've been 31-16, 10th in the NBA on defense, 4th in the NBA on offense, 6th in the NBA in Net rating. Before that date, Beal was in/out of the lineup, having only played I think 8 games all without any rhythm. We were 15-15 .500 team until then.

There have been some bad losses, like the Spurs, but we also had 2 big tough wins in Denver (that should have been losses). I think the turn around was when Beal in late December came back, and for the most part has been healthy since then. If we had a healthy Beal all season, we'd probably be in the 54 win range and HCA in round 1.

That said, I think it's a big mistake not to have a point guard at least off the bench. It doesn't have to be a stud star PG. Just a steady floor general that can manage the second unit and keep the players in check. We needed someone off the bench for that. O'Neale was a great get, Gordon can get buckets, but we really needed that bench leader style PG at the very least. Even old Kyle Lowry would have been something. Someone like Dennis Schroeder even would have helped this team a ton. Don't know why Jones ignored this aspect of the team all year. I understand they want Beal and Book (even Nurk) to be PG like creators. That's fine. But even the championship teams like the Bulls of the 90s had that sort of mindset with their stars but had a PG in the rotation. This team has no PG at all. Going in the playoffs, just unacceptable roster management, in my humble opinion.
Did the bulls really though? Or were they just shooters in smaller packages? Harper absolutely wasn’t so we can immediately eliminate him. The others:

Paxson - most assists he ever averaged with bulls was 5.7, and that was in like 1986. During their championship years he never averaged more than 4.1 assists per game.

Armstrong - was anticipated to be more a pg coming out of college, but didn’t play out that way. In his stint with the bulls he only hit 4 assists per game once and for his career he never even reached 5 assists per game in a single season.

Kerr - his high in Chicago was 2.6 assists per game. Otherwise hit on either side of 2 per game in his other seasons there.

Hodges - 2.8 per game in first season, the rest at, or below, 1.7 per game.

Simply put they relied heavily on scoring/distributing wings in Jordan, pippen, and Hodges/Harper (combined for around 15 assists per game) . Very similar to what suns are attempting with book, beal, and KD (combining for around 17 assists per game).
 
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Mainstreet

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I don't believe we had the movable assets to acquire a PG that would help us, I think the best we could hope for would have been someone on par with Saben Lee. And I'd rather have Saben Lee than the Schroeder that's played for Brooklyn this season but Lee can't get on the court for us. I find it interesting that we ignore Lee but he has a higher PER this season than Lowry or Schroeder.

We'd be better off with a PG that can really run this team but trying to land a decent PG with a nearly empty piggy bank isn't easy and the current CBA makes it almost impossible. We probably need to develop a decent backup point guard, like many teams do but we don't currently have the needed structure to make that happen.

I still think Ish Smith could have helped the team. Maybe Raul Neto or Corey Joseph as well. Obviously, there was Cam Payne.
 

AzStevenCal

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I still think Ish Smith could have helped the team. Maybe Raul Neto or Corey Joseph as well. Obviously, there was Cam Payne.
I really don't. IMO Saben Lee right now is better than every guard you just mentioned with the possible exception of Cam Payne. And Saben logs very little court time - despite the injury problems and our needs, Saben has only seen action in 22 games this season and only averaged 8 minutes per.

I agree we need a good backup PG, someone like the healthy version of Cam Payne or younger versions of Ish Smith or Corey Joseph and I believe we need to start developing one, whether it's Saben or someone else.
 
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Mainstreet

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I really don't. IMO Saben Lee right now is better than every guard you just mentioned with the possible exception of Cam Payne. And Saben logs very little court time - despite the injury problems and our needs, Saben has only seen action in 22 games this season and only averaged 8 minutes per.

I agree we need a good backup PG, someone like the healthy version of Cam Payne or younger versions of Ish Smith or Corey Joseph and I believe we need to start developing one, whether it's Saben or someone else.

The counter-argument, and I strongly believe in developing Saban Lee, is the Suns appearing to prefer to go with IT in the playoffs.

I believe there were more ready point guards the Suns could have added. Maybe the Suns will surprise, but we will have to wait to see.
 

Chaplin

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Yes the wins count just the same but the “gauntlet” schedule down the stretch isn’t as bad as it looks because of opposing injuries. We’re both right.
We've had injuries too, and if all these teams having guys out effect the SOS, wouldn't that have been taken into consideration already?

Here we are, figuring out lame ways to discount our wins. Why can't a win be a good win? It's not like the Wolves have been a bottom feeder since KAT went down.
 

BirdGangThing

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where would a pg fit on this team as a starter?

they wouldn't unless they can consistently hit the 3 at over 45% or average 11+ rebounds a game

let's boil it down further - only one person you could theoretically take out of our starting line up for a pg and that's grayson allen - we do all realize what grayson does for the big 3 - and he does it splendidly

if we wanted a starting pg not named book or beal it would mean moving allen to the bench - and with how we've played in the last 3 games with the whole pg by committee - im good - and yeah - there's gonna be turnovers - but if we're dropping 25+ assists a game while playing defense i like our odds
 

Lorenzo

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We’re playing a lot of teams missing significant players or on the tail end if b2b’s which has to be pointed out.
I do agree that come playoff time the best teams usually win, that's why you often see lower seeded teams do well when they had issues during the regular season with injuries and difficult travel. But on the other end of it, now is the time for players to step up and earn their playoff spot, especially if you can avoid the play-in. No excuses. Dallas won a big game against Golden State last night without doncic. It was huge for dallas because their role players had to carry them to that win and it was a very tough game.
 

GatorAZ

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We've had injuries too, and if all these teams having guys out effect the SOS, wouldn't that have been taken into consideration already?

Here we are, figuring out lame ways to discount our wins. Why can't a win be a good win? It's not like the Wolves have been a bottom feeder since KAT went down.

I was replying to TJ’s post regarding Pasch’s comments. Given the facts I pointed out that I disagreed with it. Also the next 3 games are likely against playoff teams without their best players so I don’t look at it as a gauntlet type playoff primer.
 

Chaplin

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Do we know for sure that Kawhi is going to be out? I’m not familiar with his injury.

We do have to take care of business against the Pels though.
 
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Mainstreet

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where would a pg fit on this team as a starter?

they wouldn't unless they can consistently hit the 3 at over 45% or average 11+ rebounds a game

let's boil it down further - only one person you could theoretically take out of our starting line up for a pg and that's grayson allen - we do all realize what grayson does for the big 3 - and he does it splendidly

if we wanted a starting pg not named book or beal it would mean moving allen to the bench - and with how we've played in the last 3 games with the whole pg by committee - im good - and yeah - there's gonna be turnovers - but if we're dropping 25+ assists a game while playing defense i like our odds

The media likes to make the above argument, about the Suns but t's not legitimate.

Most of the fans I know didn't want to add a starting point guard but rather a rotation point guard. It would have been a Cam Payne type role.

Phoenix needed a rotation point guard who could provide veteran leadership when Devin Booker needed rest late 3rd quarter and starting the 4th quarter. Also, it's nice to have a backup point guard in case of injury.
 
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