Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gotta Agree with Kelly Dwyer This Time

I have disagreed with Dwyer's take on the Wolves at times, but I think he's got a good point here about the danger of David Kahn's praising of Darko Milicic.  The quote that got Dwyer all hot was from Monday's game against the Celtics--Kahn said, "We think that Darko can actually get to sort of a near All-Star if not All-Star level."

Dwyer's reaction is fair:  "But you have to leave the guy alone, David Kahn. Partly because initial expectations turned him into a lottery bust before he could legally buy a beer in this country, but mostly because these All-Star expectations just aren't feasible."

One would think the right way to groom Darko is to give him confidence behind the scenes, but not to oversell him to the public.  That is exactly what made him a bust--the guy was ready, at age 25, to simply quit on the NBA altogether.  His confidence was shot.  He's been coming around of late, and playing pretty solidly.  But let's not talk All Star game, "if Darko were to continue his trajectory upwards."  (Kahn again).  Let's just keep the pressure off Darko.  

Hell, The Timberwolves will have a hard enough time getting their legitimate All-Star folks into the All Star Game.  And by that, I of course mean KLOVE.  

We are talking about a guy in Darko who is still averaging less than 10 points a game.  Yes, he's put up some big numbers on occasion, and he's been much better on the whole than he was to start the year, but he's still wildly inconsistent.  In the last five games (not including the poop-fest transpiring against Charlotte as I write this), Darko has a game in which he put up 16 points (caveat:  it was against the Nets), another where he scored 14 points and finished with a plus/minus of +8.  However, against the Cavs, Darko played 17 minutes, scored 4 points, and had a plus/minus of -6, and against the Nuggets managed 2 points.  

I would expect my All Stars to dominate against bad teams, and Milicic just isn't there, and might not ever be. His 9.3 points a game is the result of yo-yo scoring and not steady productive play.  Let's get that steady productive play from Darko--which I think is a real possibility, and this team (in the long run) will be pretty damn solid.  He just needs to be good to be a bargain; asking him to be great is the mistake that the Pistons made in the first place, and doesn't need to be repeated.    

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