It seems Wes was more comfortable in Rambis' triangle offense last season--than Rick Adelman's free flowing offense relying on pick-and-rolls and taking what the defense gives you. That leaves you scratching your head--as practically every other player from last season is either playing the same if not better under a much simpler system from Adelman.
Wes' confidence seems to be as low as humanly possible out on the basketball court. He's a young player--it's understandable, but the problem is the Wolves feel they have no other options. I think with the return of Martell Webster would could see Minnesota make some adjustments. I'm advocating a stint in the D-League for Mr. Johnson. The only reason I believe it hasn't happened already is the lack of wings on the roster, but as guys like Beasley & Webster get healthier and continue to play better than Wes--it would seem--only a matter of time before Johnson's either in the D-League or the bench. Which I think would be the best possible scenario for the young swingman. A chance in the D-League where he could go and play--work on his shot and get some of his confidence back.
Let's compare stats for Wes from last season and thus far this season...
He's averaging about four less minutes a game and apparently in those four more minutes last year he was able to score four more points and shoot better in every shooting category! 24% from deep is just awful and it's not like he's not taking a lot of shots. 55 three-point attempts and he's only made 13 this season!
Beyond that all the other stats weren't impressive last season and remain that way--low averages in rebounds, assists, blocks & steals! You'd think those intangibles might be what's keeping him as a starter (his ability to do the little things) clearly--you can see THAT'S NOT THE CASE!
His defense isn't even impressive. Nothing he's done this season--beyond a few highlight-reel dunks, has impressed anyone. If nothing changes the next few games--I could see Wes (who's starting at small forward right now) moved to the bench in favor of either Michael Beasley or Martell Webster.
I pray the Wolves make a change soon. I'd attribute at least a part of the Timberwolves' problems to start games 'quickly' (often times getting down by double-digits in the first half) to Wes. I'm not saying he's the entire problem with the starting five--but he's a big chunk of the blame. The other "chunk"? Darko Milicic. However, Pekovic is proving he deserves that starting spot in favor of Darko, game-by-game.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!