An Open Letter to Jason Kottke RE: Wally Szczerbiak

In response to Jason’s open letter to Flip Saunders from April 19th, 2004
Dear Jason,
As a Timberwolves fan and a season ticket holder for the past 5 years I have watched this team progress and now, like you, I am on the verge of witnessing a true run at an NBA title.
Part of the late season success that the Wolves have had can be directly attributed to the efforts and all-around good play of Wally Szczerbiak. His defense has improved greatly over last year as he has found different ways to help his team this season. Wally is the teams best shooter (44% from 3-point range) and most importantly when he is in, the team is more effective as shown by his +/- statistics. When Wally is in the game the Wolves outscore their opponents by +7.3 points – that is 4th best on the team.
This season Wally has been hampered by injuries and that has affected him before this year he averaged nearly 50% from floor which is almost unheard of for a outside jump shooter. He is in a position to truly benefit his team by not being required to be the 2nd or third option as far as scoring. Now you want to discard him? Wally may dribble a bit more than he should, but he passes when there are players he should pass to. Don’t forget that he is often in the game with the “second team” and IS relied upon to bring an offensive spark. If the offense looks disrupted, it is because the floor leaders (KG and Cassell) are not out there. In fact, any time Garnett leaves the floor the offense looks bad and there is a huge +/- point discrepancy.
The bottom line is the team is better when Wally is coming in off the bench and playing quality minutes and he won’t need many more games to prove my point. Keep watching Jason.

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