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Modern basketball in MIN

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Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#1 » by minimus » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:46 pm





I’ve posted a few videos from his channel before and it is worth following. These two videos particularly summarise my feelings about trends in current NBA and where MIN is heading under Rosas/Ryan.

The story of Saint Joseph’s offense sounds like our story. Under Thibs we also had:

A lot of set plays
Many PnRs
Many dribble handoffs
Heavily patterned offence

Results were meh. Same story happened with Saint Joseph offence. They have tried to modernise team offense by removing set plays, PnRs, dribble handoffs. Instead of heavily patterned offence they run offense based on basic principles and read-react players decision making. Here are these 5 principles:

1) 5 out spacing
2) position less basketball
3) pass and cut
4) move on a drive
5) hit the playmaker instead of the post
6) backdoor cut if dribbled at

Sounds familiar, right? Some quick facts from last NBA season:
GSW and PHI used fewest PnRs, HOU lead NBA in ISO scoring by far, next are OKC and MIL, BRO/UTA/HOU used fewest postups, MIN/PHI/SAS lead NBA in postups. PHI first in handoffs, GSW/POR/PHI lead in cuts, MIL lead in spotups, GSW lead in offscreen possessions.

We can see that team ran offences based on team strengths:
GSW - elite shooting => many off-screens, cuts, no PnR
HOU - elite ISO scoring on perimeter => a lot of ISO, no postups
MIL - elite slashing ability => a lot of ISO, spot-up, no postups
PHI - elite size => a lot of postups, no PnR

How have these teams changed during offseason?
GSW - elite shooting => lost KD, added a pure shooter in DLo
HOU - elite ISO scoring on perimeter => lost playmaking in CP3, added volume ISO scorer in Westbrook
MIL - elite slashing ability => lost Brogdon, added Matthews, Korver, two veterans who can spotup, kept Middleton, Hill
PHI - elite size => lost Butler clutch shooting, added even more size in Horford, which allow Embiid to play healthy 25-30 minutes, no back2backs.

Every team from above try to create even more mismatches based on their strengths. What might be our strength? Why video about Saint Joseph’s offense caught my eye? I think it fits well our roster and timeline. For the first time in recent years we can see attempts to create a working environment within coaching staff, management and players. Bahamas wolves, early team trainings and workouts.

1) 5 out spacing + positionless basketball
Last year we had very limited options to put a versatile lineup, since Gibson, AT, Dieng, Deng, Rose are one dimensional players because of their age, athleticism and skillset. While KBD, Okogie were rookies. This year we added/developed a few players who are versatile enough Bell, Vonleh, KBD, RoCo, Culver, Nowell, Okogie, Layman. And the most important part, KAT is made for positionless basketball, I can’t imagine another bigman who is better fit than Karl.

2) pass and cut + move on a drive + backdoor cut if dribbled at
Some signs of this we saw during second part of last season. In broken Ryan tried to emphasise ball movement. Rose, Butler are not here anymore, so less ISO should be played

5) hit the playmaker instead of the post
I immediately saw here Wiggins, how he can benefit from playing within this concepts on constant basis

The biggest concern here for me is lack of players basketball awareness and experience. Let me explain, St.Joseph plays now free, because all 5 players on the floor believe in these concepts and are smart enough to play them accordingly. NBA is completely different level. After watching MIN season I am always surprised by the level of execution and preparation in playoffs. Heck, this FIBA tournament showed that reigning MVP could not win without proper coaching and offensive scheme, because he, Giannis, are not on the same level as Kobe, Harden in terms of basketball awareness etc.

To sum up: I definitely see how our young players Vonleh-Reid-KAT-Bell-Layman-KBD-Wiggins-Culver-Okogie-Nowell make a huge leap as group and individually by using St.Joseph example. We still lack an elite ball handler and decision maker, while we have deep frontcourt. So I expect Rosas to bring here a star wing via trade. RoCo-Teague-Dieng-Napier are veteran group who need to stabilise situation.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#2 » by minimus » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:35 am

When we speak about PnRs I think it is worth to mention that since Rubio departure we were awfully bad at using KAT as PnR, PnP bigman. This won't change next season simply because we don't have an elite ballhandler, shot creator and maker on wings. Meanwhile I believe that Culver will have Oladipo like development trajectory, he has a long way to do as shooter. Right now we are short in terms of shooting. Which is another concern of implementing scheme from above, but still lack of general awareness and experience seem to me the biggest issue.


P.S. Zero comments, I hope that is not because of my English. :-?
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#3 » by Jedzz » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:10 pm

minimus wrote:When we speak about PnRs I think it is worth to mention that since Rubio departure we were awfully bad at using KAT as PnR, PnP bigman. This won't change next season simply because we don't have an elite ballhandler, shot creator and maker on wings. Meanwhile I believe that Culver will have Oladipo like development trajectory, he has a long way to do as shooter. Right now we are short in terms of shooting. Which is another concern of implementing scheme from above, but still lack of general awareness and experience seem to me the biggest issue.


P.S. Zero comments, I hope that is not because of my English. :-?


Jaylen Nowell. . . . . . .


minimus wrote:The story of Saint Joseph’s offense sounds like our story. Under Thibs we also had:

A lot of set plays
Many PnRs


I'm not sure that looks like what this team did under Thibs. Your first two on the list.


There was barely any movement by off ball personnel to be able to claim this. I rarely saw that kind of coordination from this team. I've seen a large disparity between the number of things that are claimed as set play. I don't know what to call the trash that is standing 4 guys in a position waiting for a dribbling, thinking PG to choose who looks like they have enough advantage to accept the pass. Maybe this is where all the dreams of placing 5 inch height mismatches into guard roles comes from, out of need for a man to man advantage instead of using movement, misdirection and screens to crack someone open clean.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#4 » by K4P » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:14 pm

I think Kat being a surprisingly poor screener and offensive foul machine has a part in their lack of Pnr success.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#5 » by minimus » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:15 pm

Jedzz wrote:
minimus wrote:When we speak about PnRs I think it is worth to mention that since Rubio departure we were awfully bad at using KAT as PnR, PnP bigman. This won't change next season simply because we don't have an elite ballhandler, shot creator and maker on wings. Meanwhile I believe that Culver will have Oladipo like development trajectory, he has a long way to do as shooter. Right now we are short in terms of shooting. Which is another concern of implementing scheme from above, but still lack of general awareness and experience seem to me the biggest issue.

Jaylen Nowell. . . . . . .


I hope Nowell will develop into such kind of playmaker. I really like his physical tools, shooting ability and confidence. I am not questioning his talent, I just think he will need time to learn and adjust in NBA.

Jedzz wrote:
minimus wrote:The story of Saint Joseph’s offense sounds like our story. Under Thibs we also had:
A lot of set plays
Many PnRs


I'm not sure that looks like what this team did under Thibs. Your first two on the list.

There was barely any movement by off ball personnel to be able to claim this. I rarely saw that kind of coordination from this team. I've seen a large disparity between the number of things that are claimed as set play. I don't know what to call the trash that is standing 4 guys in a position waiting for a dribbling, thinking PG to choose who looks like they have enough advantage to accept the pass. Maybe this is where all the dreams of placing 5 inch height mismatches into guard roles comes from, out of need for a man to man advantage instead of using movement, misdirection and screens to crack someone open clean.


Yes, that slow developing, predictable offense was awful. Still, MIN in 2017-18 was top8 in PnR ballhandler possession and top12 in PnR roll man possessions. Even if I had strong feeling that Butler played more PnR with Gibson than with KAT. I cant find these stats now maybe someone else has idea of where I can see who assisted Butler more in 2017-18 season.

Anyway we don't have lead ballhandler now, if we continue to play Thibs offense now results will be awful. No Rose, no Butler, no Tyus. That is radical change in our backcourt skillset. I don't another way to make this team competitive, we must rely on constant off ball movement based on basic principles from above.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#6 » by minimus » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:17 pm

KAT4PREZ wrote:I think Kat being a surprisingly poor screener and offensive foul machine has a part in their lack of Pnr success.


If we couple this with Wiggins inability to operate in PnR, we become complete PnR disaster.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#7 » by Jedzz » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:10 am

Agree that they need off ball movement and the ball needs to be moving. I have a feeling we are going to see something completely new such as possibly that this year. However it's not a given being we have the same coach and then a Houston flavor. I'm thinking Napier is going to bring some crafty elements to this team if he plays much that may surprise us.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#8 » by Jedzz » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:20 am

Can we modernize the divisions and get the Timberwolves into the Central division and push Cleveland out of it?
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#9 » by Klomp » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:54 am

Jedzz wrote:Can we modernize the divisions and get the Timberwolves into the Central division and push Cleveland out of it?

Unfortunately there's just not a good way to divide the teams and get Minnesota into the East with the league as it currently stands. Either Eastern Conference teams need to be relocated out west or there needs to be expansion with more franchises added in the Western Conference.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#10 » by Calinks » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:36 am

What if they had 3 conferences.

East, West, and Central.

Playoffs seeded 1-16.

Top seeds in each conference get the top 3 spots by record.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#11 » by Klomp » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:11 pm

Calinks wrote:What if they had 3 conferences.

East, West, and Central.

Playoffs seeded 1-16.

Top seeds in each conference get the top 3 spots by record.

Without relocation, you're still going to have the same problem unless you did away with divisions within those conferences.

30 can only be divided evenly so many ways.
Right now it's 2 conferences, 3 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division
Your example would probably end up 3 conferences, 2 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division.

Unless you're relocating franchises out west, the only way to get Minnesota in a division with its geographic rivals in a 30-team league would be to get it up to 6-team divisions. That would mean 5 divisions though, and would require scrapping conferences. But it's probably the easiest divisions to draw as we stand today.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#12 » by KGdaBom » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:18 am

Klomp wrote:
Calinks wrote:What if they had 3 conferences.

East, West, and Central.

Playoffs seeded 1-16.

Top seeds in each conference get the top 3 spots by record.

Without relocation, you're still going to have the same problem unless you did away with divisions within those conferences.

30 can only be divided evenly so many ways.
Right now it's 2 conferences, 3 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division
Your example would probably end up 3 conferences, 2 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division.

Unless you're relocating franchises out west, the only way to get Minnesota in a division with its geographic rivals in a 30-team league would be to get it up to 6-team divisions. That would mean 5 divisions though, and would require scrapping conferences. But it's probably the easiest divisions to draw as we stand today.

What's wrong with West Central and East each with 2 5 team divisions? Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and somebody would be one of those?
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#13 » by Klomp » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:46 am

KGdaBom wrote:What's wrong with West Central and East each with 2 5 team divisions? Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and somebody would be one of those?

Because of the way teams are situated around the country. Look at a map sometime. Grouping those five works great for us, but that affects other divisions.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#14 » by KGdaBom » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:52 am

Klomp wrote:
KGdaBom wrote:What's wrong with West Central and East each with 2 5 team divisions? Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and somebody would be one of those?

Because of the way teams are situated around the country. Look at a map sometime. Grouping those five works great for us, but that affects other divisions.

Do I care about other divisions. It's all about the Wolves for me.
The other Central division would be Texas. Dallas, Houston, San Antonio maybe New Orleans with them. Not really sure.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#15 » by Klomp » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:15 am

KGdaBom wrote:
Klomp wrote:
KGdaBom wrote:What's wrong with West Central and East each with 2 5 team divisions? Milwaukee, Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and somebody would be one of those?

Because of the way teams are situated around the country. Look at a map sometime. Grouping those five works great for us, but that affects other divisions.

Do I care about other divisions. It's all about the Wolves for me.
The other Central division would be Texas. Dallas, Houston, San Antonio maybe New Orleans with them. Not really sure.

If you want to make an NBA map that works, it's kinda important to care about the other divisions.

So let's say Minnesota is with the current Central division and the current Southwest is the other Central division with the three Texas teams, New Orleans and Memphis. That leaves the two West divisions as Portland, OKC, Sac, Utah, Denver, GS, LAC, LAL, Phoenix and.....? That's nine teams, meaning the nearest choices to play in the West divisions as Atlanta or Cleveland.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#16 » by KGdaBom » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:32 pm

Klomp wrote:
KGdaBom wrote:
Klomp wrote:Because of the way teams are situated around the country. Look at a map sometime. Grouping those five works great for us, but that affects other divisions.

Do I care about other divisions. It's all about the Wolves for me.
The other Central division would be Texas. Dallas, Houston, San Antonio maybe New Orleans with them. Not really sure.

If you want to make an NBA map that works, it's kinda important to care about the other divisions.

So let's say Minnesota is with the current Central division and the current Southwest is the other Central division with the three Texas teams, New Orleans and Memphis. That leaves the two West divisions as Portland, OKC, Sac, Utah, Denver, GS, LAC, LAL, Phoenix and.....? That's nine teams, meaning the nearest choices to play in the West divisions as Atlanta or Cleveland.

That's exactly how Minnesota has been getting screwed.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#17 » by Jedzz » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:53 pm

Klomp wrote:
Calinks wrote:What if they had 3 conferences.

East, West, and Central.

Playoffs seeded 1-16.

Top seeds in each conference get the top 3 spots by record.

Without relocation, you're still going to have the same problem unless you did away with divisions within those conferences.

30 can only be divided evenly so many ways.
Right now it's 2 conferences, 3 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division
Your example would probably end up 3 conferences, 2 divisions per conference, 5 teams per division.

Unless you're relocating franchises out west, the only way to get Minnesota in a division with its geographic rivals in a 30-team league would be to get it up to 6-team divisions. That would mean 5 divisions though, and would require scrapping conferences. But it's probably the easiest divisions to draw as we stand today.


Something along these lines seems best. I like the 3 ten team conferences and do away with divisions myself. It's not going to be ideal with geopgraphy because of the amount situated in what is considered east. But it may help alleviate the one strong one weak conference things we have now. However I don't know if it gets Timberwolves in a better position.

The time difference is huge to the west and I think that's a big deal. Time and flying distance can cause problems and maybe unfairness. Let's turn two G league teams into real teams. So maybe Iowa Wolvettes and one more to get to 32.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#18 » by Calinks » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:57 pm

I see how having three would be difficult to work with. In my example I would probably scrap divisions. That said it's hard to work with 3 conferences. The solution would probably be extreme either way. Maybe have 4 conferences, maybe scrap all divisions all together, and do everything by record and division.

Some team is always going to have to travel more due to teams being distributed the way they are. I actually like being in the west (the better conference) because the bar is so high but it certainly makes it harder for us to make significant progress.

I also think its a shame we don't have any rivalries with our neighbors like we do in other sports. There is no Wolves/Bucks,Bulls/Pistons rivalry. Part of that is in the NBA, there just doesn't seem to be a lot heat for rivalries and part of it is that we have been so bad, we aren't good enough to rival anyone.

Would be cool though if those particular games were a big deal.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#19 » by KGdaBom » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:30 am

Regarding Modern Basketball. I don't give a rat's a$$ about it. Winning basketball is what I care about.
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Re: Modern basketball in MIN 

Post#20 » by GooniousMaximus » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:54 am

maybe move Memphis east and one of Milwaukee or Chicago west? maybe even New Orleans east but that's tough since is similar to Mil/Chi. the western conf divisions are terrible, without an expansion it'd be tough to break it up more other than changing up the divisions.

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