Consider January 12th's headline:
Wolves are still bad, but at least they're bad and have a plan
Will the Wolves ever matter again?
Fascinating! Let's play Point-Counterpoint with reasonable 2 week ago Jim Souhan taking on today's reactionary Jim Souhan. Reactionary Jim Souhan, would you like to start?
Reactionary JS: The problem is that the Wolves, after a series of management and coaching changes, and the trade of the best player in franchise history, and loads of high draft choices and dramatic personnel moves, still stink.
Reasonable JS: This is a bad team, of course. There isn't enough chocolate icing in the world to make 9-30 taste good. But for the first time in years, this is a bad team with some semblance of a plan.
Reactionary JS: I want to believe that this team is making progress, but every time you think they're throwing you a steak bone, it turns out to be Styrofoam
Reasonable JS: The Wolves have been so bad for so long that we view every loss as the latest indictment of a criminally stupid organization, instead of recognizing that this year's failures are different from last year's failures, and all of the failures since '05.
Reactionary JS: I wish all of this weren't true. I want to believe that...Michael Beasley will find the kind of internal fire that stokes superstars
Reasonable JS: Beasley needs to improve defensively, but he's been better than expected offensively. He will, despite his teammates' teasing, pass the ball, and he scores more easily than any player in franchise history.
This is all to say that it is hard to take anything Souhan says seriously when he clearly has a hard time taking anything he says seriously himself. I've always had problems taking Souhan seriously, particularly when it comes to evaluating talent in almost any sport.
And again, I find it ridiculous that a team whose MVP's of the season so far are both 22 year old kids (Beasley and KLOVE) and who gives regular burn (and gets productive minutes out of) Wesley Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Martell Webster and Corey Brewer (all under 25 years of age) with little to no real veteran help does not have at its goal to win a bunch of games--not even a bunch more games than they did last year.
That said--the Wolves won 15 games last year. They have won 10 games this year, and seem to be a lock to win more than 15. But that's not the goal. The goal is figure out which of these guys, besides Love and Beasley, to build the team around. They have two 22-year old future All-Stars, and a solid young core to work with. Who cares how many games they win this year? The fans? The fans aren't coming to the games anyway, and that's despite the fact that this team is way, way more entertaining than last year. This is all about making sure they come next year, and I'm all for that, because I am paying attention, and even though I end up disappointed, I rarely end up turning off the game.
(Note: as I write this, the Wolves are currently winning a game Souhan predicted they would lose against the Thunder. It's a close game, and it is still in the 3rd quarter. But a close game in the 3rd quarter against a quality team didn't happen hardly at all last year, so there)
updated to clean up some horrible grammatical mistakes.