Mar. 3, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour (13) and point guard Ricky Rubio (9) congratulate each other late in the fourth quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. The Timberwolves won the game 122-110. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Guards - What The Timberwolves Can Learn From The Lynx

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Jun 27, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen (13) during a timeout in the the second quarter against the Phoenix Mercury at Target Center. Lynx won 96-80. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

This is the Part Two of the article “What The Timberwolves Can Learn From The Lynx” and here is the link to Part One if needed –> CLICK ME 

Introduction from first part of article: “Women reading this be proud! Guys, show some respect. The Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA are far behind compared to the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA. I’m not going to compare on who has the most championships (1 to nothing Lynx), but I’m going to dive into what certain Wolves players can do Lynx players do in the WNBA.

Most guys will say that we can’t compare the two becuase “they’re women and it’s obviously going to be easier for them”. Now, lets not be sexist here and understand that I’m not saying one team is better than the other because that’s impossible to do. However, when it comes down to it, the Lynx are the best among one gender of professional basketball, while the Timberwolves aren’t. I know the competition is different, the intensity is very different, that there are also more teams to go through in the NBA than in the WNBA. Nonetheless, there are still some things the Timberwolves can take away from the success of the Lynx.”

Let’s now look at the guards:

Seimone Augustus and Brandon Roy

April 23, 2011; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Brandon Roy (7) shoots over Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood (33) during the 2nd half at in game four of the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mike Nelson-US PRESSWIRE

Scoring. Scoring. Scoring. This is what these two players do best when healthy. Before retiring from professional basketball Brandon Roy was one of the best scorers in the NBA playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Now with the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing out an entire season, Roy will need to find a way to get back into that scoring groove he had before leaving the place he belongs.

Seimone Augustus, the 2011 WNBA Finals MVP and simply the best scorer on the Minnesota Lynx. A 52% three point shooter and a 54% scorer from the field. If Brandon Roy wants to look for some sort of inspiration to get his game back, he doesn’t have to look at Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant, he can just look at someone who plays at the same arena he does.

Roy has a lot of expectations riding into the upcoming NBA season and what most of us expect him to do well is what Augustus does well for her team. Like Augustus, Roy, before retiring would take over the game with their scoring abilities and their type of leadership is not based necessarily on words, but on actions. Before retiring Roy was averaging 19.0 points and 4.7 assists in his career so far. His numbers obviously declined as injuries began to hit but with him knowing that he’s healthy now, he can do some damage to opposing teams.

Augustus is one of the best scorers in the WNBA alongside well-known WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi. Roy can take a lot from Augustus especially coming back from retirement. If he forgot how to do some moves that he used to do in Portland, I bet Augustus can show him that move during a Lynx game. With Roy probably starting for the Timberwolves this year at the shooting guard spot, Roy is expected to score a lot. Some nights, I even expect him to score more than Kevin Love and eventually be the leading scorer for the team. Trust me, the Timberwolves will be better off with that.

Lindsay Whalen and Ricky Rubio

Feb 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) passes against the Utah Jazz at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Jazz 100-98. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The floor generals. The commanders. The initiators. The decision makers. The point guard. In basketball, the point guard position is probably the most important position in the game mainly because they’re the one’s directing the offense, taking care of the ball, and most of all is the player everyone has to trust. Why? Trust? Well, if you don’t trust your point guard, you won’t trust your team’s approach, and when you don’t do that you end up failing individually therefore affecting your team. Lindsay Whalen and Ricky Rubio fortunately have the respect from their teammates, as far I as I can see though. Whalen having played 8 years already in the WNBA has gained some valuable experience on how to be a successful point guard. After only playing two seasons with Minnesota since being traded there from Connecticut, Whalen helped give the state it’s first professional basketball world championship.

Whalen can easily referred to as a born leader. She can easily direct the offense for everyone to follow and would eventually follow through with it and execute it to near perfection. Like Rubio, Whalen can make flashy passes and is quick on her feet and doesn’t seem to be phased by the pressure. Rubio last season, as I’ve watched him play LIVE at Target Center for a handful of games, somewhat has a poker face to his game. Not exactly like Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose’s face, but something close to that. His face just says how calm and confident he is about his game. However, from being in the league for only less than half a regular season, Rubio still has a lot to learn. With Whalen being in the WNBA for a good amount of time, Rubio can look into her and see how she does her magic with the Lynx.

Unlike Whalen of course, Rubio throws a lot of lobs to his teammates for a slam dunk, but Rubio can still learn one key thing from Whalen. Being more vocal. Ignoring his Spanish accent, Rubio needs to be more vocal on the team and direct the offense to the way HE wants it to be done. He can’t rely on Kevin Love to keep telling him what to do, it should be Rubio telling Love. I remember one moment at the TD Garden in Boston, when Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers clearly told the young Rajon Rondo in 2008 that he should not listen fully to the Big 3 but be the player directing others to where to go. Rubio at this point needs to do that and be the leader on the floor whether or not the ball is in his hands. When watching Celtics games you can hear Rondo screaming. Whalen as well is one player that directs offense not by pointing fingers but just by talking.

For more NBA analysis and opinions check out Theon’s general NBA blog, THEONBA

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Tags: Brandon Roy J.J. Barea Minnesota Lynx Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio

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