Thursday, February 09, 2006

Marcus Banks

First off, I like the kid. I think, of the point guards we have on our roster, he gives us the best chance to win. There, is that enough love for the guy? No? OK, he is lightning quick, he has one of the more pure jump shots I have seen on a kid his age, he defends well(ish), and he brings energy EVERY SINGLE PLAY.

Alright, now for the bad news. He is not going to help us win. Yet. Here is a little stat to chew over. Since he has joined the Wolves, he is averaging 2.3 assists in 18.6 minutes. He is taking just over ten shots a night. That's five less shots than KG. And KG plays more than double the minutes. Per minute, he averages just .12 assists. Here is a list of players on our team averaging more assists per minute:

Anthony Carter
Marco Jaric
Troy Hudson

Notice anything about that list? Yup, that's every other point guard on our team. Our problem this year has not been volume of shots. It has not even been percentage made. It has been quality looks, and initiating the offense. The point guard is directly responsible for both those things.

Now, I don't want to rip on the kid. He is new to the system, and fairly new to the NBA. I think his potential is amazing. But you know what, Rashad's potential is amazing too, and potential don't bring home the bacon, playa. We need a point guard who dishes first, creates for himself second. The kid has the tools to do this, and he shows flashes of doing this. If he is going to continue to get the minutes he gets, and we are going to continue to try and win, he NEEDS to do this. We have jump shooters.

But I won't just sit here and point fingers. I want to break down what he can do to improve. Ready? DRIVE THE LANE ALL THE DAMNED TIME. Sounds like I am going against what I just said about dishing? Nope. Here's the problem now: Banks takes jump shot, bank makes jump shot, defense doesn't care. Two points, who cares, move on. He doesn't make the D commit to him. That means his guy can go ahead and play the over under with KG and the guy supposed to be guarding KG one on one. New scenario: Drive the lane. Now someone has to rotate over, usually a big, because they get bitched out if they let the little guy into the lane. He either gets by him (he really is lightning fast) and scores, making his man and the help side D commit next time, or he gives KG a much needed post opportunity. Throw in the likelihood that one or the other of these two players will get fouled, and you add not only a three point play, but foul trouble for the opposing bigs. Now, when that works, and it really should, they are going to collapse the lane. NOW you take the perimeter shot, or dish to one of our other shooters, and make the D scramble. Reverse the field, and they will get lost. And you have created, for the first time in two years, a Minnesota offense with the triple threat.

I really like Banks. I want him to do well in our system. I just don't think the system needs to change that much to accommodate him, until he learns to accommodate the system.


Sorry to those of you who read my blog looking for stuff about my life. You have been spoiled by my lack of sports writing, and you shoudl be ashamed of yourselves. In all honesty, nothing new is really happening. Car and I are planning a spring break, though. We are looking for a nice vacation/possible moving out of DEADWINTER spot. Any suggestions will be appreciated. The best suggestion might get a now defunct joshcom.net T-Shirt sent to them.

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