(Note: We’re kicking off our offseason coverage here at A Wolf Among Wolves with a comprehensive roster review of the team from this past season, looking at how each player’s 2014-15 went and what we see for them going forward. One player (or group of players) a day for the next couple weeks, starting with the bench and/or those who have moved onto other teams, and rolling up to the starters.
Why do some players succeed in the NBA? Why do others flame out? Is it a matter of the individual player’s talent, injury luck, and hard work, or are there other factors? Over the past couple of years, the importance of being drafted by an organization that is the proper fit for a specific player has become more and more apparent. Does your team have a coach who works well with young players? Is there a healthy, nurturing atmosphere, as opposed to a place where the inmates run the asylum (what’s up, Sacramento)? If the player needs to be brought along slowly, does the organization keep the long view? If the player needs consistent playing time to keep his confidence up, can the coaching staff remain patient with him?
Once players are in the league for a few years, different kinds of labels begin to stick. There are the “good numbers on bad teams” guys (remember
Kevin Love Corey Maggette?), the “talented knuckleheads who bounce around” (hey, Anthony Randolph, welcome to your future, Derrick Williams), and the “wise, ancient big man who occupies the 15th spot on the roster” (a la Juwan Howard, Kurt Thomas, Brad Miller and Nazr Mohammed). One of the kindest characterizations applied to a given player is that he “belongs on winning teams,” often a euphemism for “he starts on crappy teams, but he’d be ideal coming off the bench for a playoff squad.”
The Wolves, a crappy team, employed two such players in 2014-15: Corey Brewer and Mo Williams. Continue Reading…