When McCants is on his game, there is more room and less pressure for Jefferson to score. Hel l, there is more space for everyone to score--that's why an inside-outside scoring tandem is fundamental to even mediocre offenses. That the Wolves have been trying to get by exclusively pounding the ball into Jefferson--or relying on the likes of Telfair, Jaric, Brewer, etc. to score from outside--is a rather large reason why they've been so dreadful on offense the past month. Toss Randy Foye into the mix, and you've got three players capable of getting bushels of points in the paint--with about two dozen cavaets--involving health, maturity, pecking orders, etc.-- that we won't go into right now.
Foye said he awoke Tuesday morning with no pain or swelling in his knee, one day after running with his teammates officially for the first time since October. Wittman kept open the possibility Foye could be sent to Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League for a few games to play himself into shape.
Foye on "learning from the sidelines":
Like today, when we were running through that dummy offense, coach Sichting came to me and said ‘man, you still know the plays.’ That’s because, when I was out, that whole time I wasn’t out, sitting on the side, wearing a nice suit … I was out paying attention. (Wolves VP of Basketball Operations Kevin) McHale told me to look at certain things and come back and discuss it with him. So he tried and critique me on certain things and gave me quizzes and things like that. He was like, ‘you really are paying attention.’
The imminent return of Foye will allow the Timberwolves to begin the evaluation of their team fully. Many believe Foye may be better suited towards the two-guard position and now must decide which slot he will consistently fill for the team. Foye and Telfair have different skill sets, so Minnesota must now decide if they are comfortable with this pairing running the show at the point guard position heading into 2008-09.
"If you have eight or nine young guys and you're trying to find a core group to move forward with,'' McHale said, "it's very seldom do all eight or nine guys just flourish and go.''
Wait. What's that stirring sound from the Pacific Northwest? Is that you, Sasquatch?
Nope, it's the bouncing baby Blazers, a team even younger than the Wolves but with five times their victory total.
Davis, who scored five points in Miami's 101-91 loss to the Wolves on Tuesday night, said he left the Wolves on good terms and that he appreciates the opportunity vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale gave him by trading him to Miami.
"It was good for me," Davis said of the trade. "I was cool with all the other (Wolves) players. Me and McHale were cool. Witt (coach Randy Wittman) was cool. McHale put me in a great opportunity to succeed. He just put me in a position where I can go forward and not be here struggling with the young guys, trying to teach."
Big Al joins the company of Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, Antawn Jamison and Yao Ming, as members of the 20/10 club.Other than Ming and Howard, Jefferson is the only member of this exclusive club to earn membership status as early as the fourth year on an NBA roster. Jefferson ranks second in double-doubles (25) behind Howard (30). Furthermore, Big Al ranks second in offensive rebounds (4.2 per game), fifth in rebounding (12.2 per game), 21st in scoring (20.6 points per game) and 30th in blocks (1.3 per game).
The Timberwolves site posts a transcript of Kevin McHale and Coach Wittman's report to the media on the team's progress.