Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Triangle of ineptitude

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Wolves coaches, Vikings draft Updated: November 11, 2009 - 9:11 PM

This is going to sound strange, given that the Wolves have already established themselves as one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst team in the league, but I actually like many of David Kahn's personnel decisions.

I like Jonny Flynn. I think drafting Ricky Rubio was a worthwhile risk. I like Ramon Sessions as a calm, backup point guard to complement Flynn. The young long shots _ Ryan Hollins, Oleksiy Pecherov and Nathan Jawai _ are worth a look. Kahn helped clear out a lot of bad players with terrible contracts.

Here's where I think Kahn stumbled: By waiting until after the draft to hire a coach, he wound up with a mismatch between coaching philosophy and personnel.

Kurt Rambis is determined to run the Triangle Offense. That in itself is a questionable decision, given that the only teams in the NBA known for running the Triangle at a high level employed Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Even if you believe the Triangle is a worthwhile offense for a young, struggling, team, it's already obvious that the Triangle is not a good fit for the Wolves' two best offensive talents _ Flynn and Al Jefferson.

Flynn is a pick-and-roll point guard. Rambis doesn't want him to run the pick-and-roll; he wants him to run the read-and-react-and-cut Triangle.

Jefferson is a multiple-moves post scorer. When he touches the ball, the offense stops. He is better at getting his points than at making the players around him better. He is ill-suited for the Triangle, which emphasizes deft passing and moving without the ball.

There are two problems here. 1) Rambis wants to fit his players into his system, instead of fitting his system to his players. How often does that work in professional sports? 2) The Wolves have had enough trouble putting together a competitive team; putting together a competitive team with a system that will diminish the talents of its two best offensive players will make the climb to respectability even steeper.

Rambis said before the game on Wednesday that it might take one, two or three years for his players to ``sorta'' grasp the system.

If you give me a car and tell me it's going to take me one, two or three years to ``sorta'' grasp how to drive it, I'd ask for a different car.

 

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