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Is Rick Adelman really a good fit for young Minnesota?

Sep 12, 2011, 2:39 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

Rick Adelman is in negotiations to become the next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This should be quick and clean because as we’ve said before, the Timberwolves knew the price ballpark coming into the talks — $5 million per year and maybe five years guaranteed. There should be no sticker shock.

I’ve also been saying I think Adelman is a great fit for the Timberwolves — Adelman’s teams play up-tempo (needed with this roster) but take care of the ball. They play good defense without fouling. Adelman has a good relationship with Kevin Love, he can mold Ricky Rubio, his corner offense fits the skill sets on that team. Everything just seems to work.

But Adelman doesn’t really have a good track record coaching young teams. He struggled with a young Warriors team.

Matt Steinmetz reminds us of that at CSNBayArea.com.

Adelman has never been the center of attention on any of the teams he’s coached, and he’s just as much a moderator and manager as a coach. Adelman is at his best coaching a veteran team or at least a team with experienced players who are self-motivated….

Don’t see him as a good fit in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are too young to appreciate or benefit from someone like Adelman, who is more suited for a ready-made team that understands basketball schemes and knows what it takes to win in the NBA.

Adelman’s not really the kind of coach who will get a young team to overachieve — and the reason I say that is because he’s not huge on motivation and he’s more of a system guy than a matchup or gimmicky guy.

He also questions if Adelman will really be around long enough to see the Minnesota building project all the way through.

It’s a valid concern — Kurt Rambis was the same kind of understated coach. He was not a college-style a motivator, as Rambis was never a guy who needed a coach to motivate him.

But I think in Love and Rubio (who comes in with a wealth of top flight international experience at the highest levels) you have two guys wise beyond their years. Two guys who don’t need the motivation as much as the teacher. Adelman can be that teacher.

And I disagree with Steinmetz on one thing — I think Don Nelson (the reported second choice) would be a mistake, too. A worse one than Adelman might be, based on everything we saw out of how Nelson handled a young team in Golden State.

  1. ajwunrow - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Are you not allowed to say nice things about the Timberwolves?

    All summer you’ve been ‘oh, Kahn is effing terrible, he never does anything right. Adelman would never go to the Wolves, Kahn coulnd’t do that.’

    And then they FINALLY get Adelman and your first post is one saying that it might be a huge mistake.

    Make up your mind.

  2. rajbais - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    No, because their players (except a few) are too inept to play for him!!

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 13, 2011 at 12:45 AM

      Inept? Really?

      Kevin Love
      Michael Beasley
      Ricky Rubio
      Wes Johnson
      Derrick Williams
      Martell Webster
      Wayne Ellington
      Luke Ridnour

      yeah, these all scream inept, all young talent (besides ridnour)

      • wvan10 - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:06 AM

        It depends on what you’re asking them to do. This group may, in time be good enough to compete (top 5 or 6) in the west. They are however (and always will be) inept when it comes to winning in the playoffs. Love is an All Star role player. There is no Alpha Dog on the team.

  3. ghelton03 - Sep 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    I don’t know what kind of success the Twolves will have with Adelman, but if they listen to him they will learn a great deal from one of the best coaches ever. It may be the next coach that reaps the rewards of Adelman’s coaching. Adelman was by far the best available coach and cuddos to the Twolves for landing him.

  4. greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    It depends on what you’re asking them to do. This group may, in time be good enough to compete (top 5 or 6) in the west. They are however (and always will be) inept when it comes to winning in the playoffs. Love is an All Star role player. There is no Alpha Dog on the team.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Yes, in time, this group maybe good. However, inept when it comes to wining in the playoffs? You can’t cast judgement on that, until they, you know, make the playoffs first.

  5. wvan10 - Sep 13, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    They don’t have any players that can or will be A tier players. That’s why people laugh at David Kahn. It takes 2 to 3 A tier players to contend and without even one, it’s safe to say they are/will be inept in the playoffs. It’s not a stretch make that statement.

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