Keys to the Wolf Den: Darko Milicic’s Impact Is More Than Stats-Deep

February 24th, 2010 by Matthew Hayden Leave a reply »
Eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, and one block in 19 minutes? Those are very decent numbers for an out of shape 7'1'' player who hasn't seen any true playing time or had a coach who's truly endorsing him.

Four points, two rebounds, and three blocks in 24 minutes? Ehh...Not impressive except if anyone actually watched the game against Miami, in which the Wolves won, and noticed that Darko did so many things that just won't show up on the stat sheet.

Simply put, Darko is big and very, very mobile for his size. I mean, the guy can really cover some ground, and he oftentimes beats out Ryan Gomes on the fast break. He closed out shooters on the perimeter and was able to really change a lot of shots on the perimeter, as well as on the interior (three blocks in 24 minutes).

Simply put, yes, the two rebounds from a seven-footer are not impressive. The 12, 11, and eight by Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, and Ryan Gomes were. Why? Because of Darko clearing space with his solid frame to give them true space to rebound.

How about tapping the ball out to the perimeter? I know I know, very basic things, but to a Wolves fan who hasn't had these ...

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