LaMarcus Aldridge scores career-high 36 points to lead Portland past Timberwolves

There are 8 comments on the Dec 17, 2010, TwinCities.com story titled LaMarcus Aldridge scores career-high 36 points to lead Portland past Timberwolves. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

LaMarcus Aldridge tied his career high with 36 points and Rudy Fernandez added a career-high 26 to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Timberwolves 107-102 Friday night.

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The Hard Truth

Northome, MN

#1 Dec 18, 2010
Okay, here's what I saw:

Koufos is no better than Ryan Hollins or any of the interchangeable willowy bigs we've had for years. Pek is a lug and not ready for prime time, if, indeed he will ever be.

Johnny Flynn doesn't look a whole lot different from the guy we saw last year. He's a pounder who makes a few plays and a few shots, but seems unsuited to the role of facilitator in an offense based on flow.

Speaking of flow, Beasley is a a flow-killer. He ain't quite Big Al, but the whole movement of the team stops while he thinks out his move. It usually is a good move, though often pushed to extreme. But he is a bad fit for a team that wants to have ball movement lead to scoring. His passes come only when he realizes he can't get off some semblance of a shot, which is not very often.

Bassy and Ridenour are just not up to the task.

Wesley will grow into a smooth player. I see some Clyde Drexler in him. He could be an able sidekick who becomes deadly on the break and deadly on spot ups. But he will never be a ball-dominant game changer. The spanking we took from Channing Frye is the kind of spanking that Wes will some day deliver.

Klove is an odd duck. His lack of athleticism and lack of ball skills make him a marvel in what he accomplishes. But when he is put in a role -- like defense -- where the athleticism and ball skills are needed, he becomes another big, slow, white boy. This is a real problem on a team that needs defense.

Corey Brewer is a Ferrari with broken steering linkage. It's like he's playing cartoon basketball. I don't have any idea what you do with a guy like that. He's one of those people about whom you say, "every team should have one of them, but no team should have two."

Webster may be too traditional and professional for this team of misfits.

I'd like to see Tolliver again.

Darko, Darko. Get on the court and stay there. That baby hook is good enough. No one is ever going to take it away from you. But get a rebound now and then, will you? What a world it would be if you could combine Love and Darko in one body. The problem now is that each has massive talent and massive deficiencies. Making those dimensions mesh is a real challenge.

I am not yes sure if Rambis is up to that challenge. He's trying out a system that may or may not work with the personnel he has. Maybe they just need to get over a hump, or maybe they are ill-suited to what he wants to do. I just can't say. What I can say is that if Rambis made his reputation as a coach of defense, what the hell is going on with this team. They can't defend the three. Is it so hard to get someone to run out at someone who is jacking up a three? What is wrong there? And does it lie on Rambis' shoulders or the players'?

THoughts, folks?
jmndodge

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Dec 18, 2010
Difficult to judge talent of the guys sitting on the bench. Coaches have the advantage of watching practice. It is also a business, and the payroll comes into decisions when deciding who gets floor time. Beasley has skills, but needs to play as part of the whole team, not just a two man with K-love. Love is only going to get better as he learns how to move on offense and power up with the ball, but his effectiveness depends on a Darko type center playing with passion and an eye toward offense. Point guard needs improvement, Rubio might be an answer, as this position needs to empower the offense with assists,(20 to 30 points of 10 to 15 assists a game) and shooting guard is weak yet. Wes needs a couple years to reach his potential, Webster needs more playing time, Brewer needs to play to his ability.

All in all, this team is improving, K-love, Darko, Beasley -- a good basic front line, but still learning to work together. Back court has talent, but needs to play defense on 3 point play, and needs to develop vision to get the ball to the open man.
Ya maaan

Fairport, NY

#3 Dec 18, 2010
Well said Hard Truth. Our problem is defense. KLove,MBeasley,LRidnour cant guard NOBODY. As I said in some earlier replies, "If you put two bricks on the floor next to each other they could not defend them". KLove is a typical stats guy and all of his points and rebounds mean nothing WE STILL CANT WIN a game even with his MONSTER game, statistically MONSTER game. Same goes to MBeasley, I see now why he was dumped by Miami. No defense,to much driblling,turnovers and quite frankly I really think he is not the smartest cookie in the jar as well. I think he is still heavy dope smoker and it translates on to his game and his sluggish behaviour on the court as well. Our back court, please trade them,send them to Dleague bunch of weirdos who god only knows how they came up to play in the NBA. Ridnour,Telfair,JFlynn are insult to some proven backcourt players just to be mention in the same sentence. MWebster he is ok, but mediocre player who can score 15-16 points and we will still lose the game and nobody will even remember that he was even in the game not to mention that he scored 15-16 points. NEXT, Darko. Well what to say, lethargic 7 footer, no passion,I know for the fact not the smartest as well, fantastic physical abilities BUT lacking passion,lacking desire and please work on some other moves as well not only left hook. Would'ya please. Pay somebody to teach you. But still this guy is giving us more than what we payed for. I did not expect much from him,still don't and he is a good surprise on this bad coached, horrible players team. Yet, even if he scores 20-25 points we will still lose. WJohnson not good, still young but nothing coming from him yet. Coach no comment. Tonight we lose by at least 20 points. Nuff said.
watchable at least

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Dec 18, 2010
Again, a fun game to watch, and the same heartbreaking result.

We need a POINT GUARD! Johnny Flynn not being able to put himself into position to catch the inbounds pass on at least 5 occasions was the difference in this game. Our points are under-sized and cannot finish around the hole (or get anywhere near it.) Compare/contrast that with other SUCCESSFUL NBA teams whose points draw the D and make for easy baskets for others.

Have the Wolves ever had a roster that appears like an NBA team? They're always under-sized and preach fast tempo. But, when the players you have can't execute that style of play, you end up with an under-sized team on both ends of the floor. Be glad we have K-Love, or we'd never get a board. How glaring was our lack of a big last night? Wow.

Darko, Love, Beasley, Webster and Brewer have put up some good performances, but we need that "star" that makes everyone better. These guys would all be role players on a good team. A true NBA-caliber point is really needed to draw the D first and foremost. It's just glaring while watching this team how the points can't create anything. That will not come from the draft, but problem is, its cold and no one wants to play here, and especially for this dysfunctional franchise/owner. So that rules out free agency.
watchable at least

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Dec 18, 2010
Oh- Rudy Fernandez. My new least favorite basketball player/actor. What a puke he was to watch last night with his antics and the refs bit on it every time. Refereeing is the worst part of the NBA, without a doubt.
fracas

Tucson, AZ

#6 Dec 18, 2010
THT,

The biggest problem with this team is a total lack of a decent point guard. Flynn appears to be the same player as last year, pounds the ball, not quick enough, and without a reliable shot. Ridnour has a decent enough shot but is as athletic as your typical bus driver (no slight to any bus drivers intended). Telfair isn't athletic enough to play effective defense and has a questionable shot. None of these three guys seem good enough to take this team where it needs to go.

I have seen Rubio on TV three different times. He is a willing defender, and while not overly athletic, I think he will guard better than any of these three. He is a creative passer and has excellent court vision. His outside shot is poor, to put it mildly. If Rubio can work on his shot I think he can be a solid NBA player.

Corey Brewer is not a broken Ferrari....he is a 10 week old puppy who runs around happy as hell, tripping over his own feet every now and then. We are just lucky he doesn't slobber on everyone. His defense is needed though, as this team is borderline AWFUL on defense.

I think a lot of you guys are too harsh though. Most of these kids should still be in college, or just out of college. Sure they make a lot of mistakes, and yes they seem to care way more about their offense than they do playing any defense, but they will likely get better with time. Last years team, and the three years before that were completely unwatchable. At least this years team is much more entertaining, and finally shows some promise. Ya is correct in that they will lose big tonight, but that is not rocket science. The wolves have temporarily lost their top two centers, so they are really small right now. In addition, they are playing the fourth road game in five nights, so fatigue will be huge. Predicting the obvious is no great skill.

Lastly, I think you are wrong about Koufos. Ryan Hollins sucked! Koufos got 11 boards last night and tried to play some defense. He rushes his shot on offense, but once he settles down he will score a bit. I think he should be playing in front of Pec, who I don't see getting a whole lot better.

Just my opinion.
brave_dave

Huntington Beach, CA

#7 Dec 19, 2010
Ya maaan wrote:
Well said Hard Truth. KLove is a typical stats guy and all of his points and rebounds mean nothing WE STILL CANT WIN a game even with his MONSTER game, statistically MONSTER game. Same goes to MBeasley, I see now why he was dumped by Miami. No defense,to much driblling,turnovers
Wow. It doesn't take much to know that Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are NOT the problem. However let me see them Monday night then I'll have a better idea! Can't wait. Kevin Love for OJ Mayo, what a trade. Now if only you guys had drafted Steph Curry or Brandon Jennings.
Seeker

Lithuania

#8 Dec 19, 2010
brave_dave wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow. It doesn't take much to know that Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are NOT the problem. However let me see them Monday night then I'll have a better idea! Can't wait. Kevin Love for OJ Mayo, what a trade. Now if only you guys had drafted Steph Curry or Brandon Jennings.
Pure drivel.

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