In the past 4 games the T-Wolves have beat their opponents by an average of 112.25 to 99.5. These numbers are up from the 97 points per game the Wolves were scoring (an increase of 15.25 points) and the 107.2 points per game they were surrendering to opponents (a decrease of 7.7 points). Their rebounds per contest increased (durinf the streak) from 43.9 to 45.25 (a difference of 1.35 rebounds). Their rebound diff duing the streak saw drastic improvement, up from 0.5 to 7.25. Now if you dig deeper into those numbers you’ll see they are a false truth. Minnesota outrebounded New York 58-36 including 16 offensive rebounds. That is an aberration. Subtracting that game you’ll see Minnesota rebounds decreased from a 43.9 average (pre-streak) to 41.0 (during the streak). Yet their opponents 4.73 less rebounds and their rebound diff increased from 0.5 to 2.33. How could that happen? Much better shooting.
During the streak Minnesota shot 52.75% from the field. On the season the T-Wolves were shooting 44.0% from the field prior to the streak. Now considering the Jazz lead the league with a 49.3 FG% I doubt the Wolves can keep up their current pace. That being said I am hopeful they can continue to improve on their 44.7 FG%. Behind the arc Minnesota shot 47.75% during the streak. On the season (including the numbers from during the streak Minnesota has shot 32.9%. So why the increase in offensive productivity? Let’s dig deeper.
Minnesota has increased their ball movement while subsequently decreasing their turnovers. During the streak the Wolves averaged 26 assists and 13.75 turnovers. That is an almost 2-1 assist to turnover average for the whole team. This leads me to individuals who have raised their game. Jonny Flynn has led the ball movement charge with 7 assists v. 1.5 turnovers per contest during the streak while also shooting 42.8 3FG%. On the year Flynn’s Ast/TO is 4.4/2.8 while shooting 35% from 3. Currently Flynn is playing much better and giving the exact type of production Minnesota needs from its PG. Big Al has shown more flashes of bouncing back from his injury and being able to take a game over. While his overall numbers during the streak were just slight increases over his season numbers he took over two games; against Memphis Big Al dropped 16 in the 4th; against New York Big Al tallied 12 in the 4th and 16 of his 22 total in the 2nd half. Off the bench Kevin Love has averaged 16.75 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. Those are damn good numbers for a starter let alone a sixth man.
In conlusion, I believe Kurt Rambis is figuring out this roster and is finally placing players in the best situation to succeed. He has added more athleticism (Ryan Hollins) next to Big Al. He’s brought Love off the bench which gives the Wolves a threat outside of their starters, limits his minutes thus allowing him to be much more productive. As critical as I have been with allowing a rookie to run this offense, Jonny Flynn has been busting his butt to learn the offense and is starting to flourish. This is a tribute both to Rambis speeding up the offense (which plays to Jonny’s strength) and Flynn’s hardwork to attempt to act as a coach on the floor. Overall I really like the improvement I’ve seen in the past 4 games. Later today or early tomorrow we will talk about how this effects the trade deadline.