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Monday, February 23, 2009
Sebastian Telfair Gives Himself the Green Light


Britt Robson of Secrets of the City on how Minnesota is adjusting to the absence of Al Jefferson:

When I asked [Kevin] McHale if he was comfortable with Bassy launching 17 shots, the coach replied that if they were good shots, he had no problem with it. Then he explicitly said, "and Bassy had 17 good shots tonight." A few minutes later in the locker room, Telfair pronounced himself more confident in his shot than ever before and pointedly noted that guys needed to step up on offense in Jefferson's absence.

So, let's take a reality check. For the season, Telfair is shooting 35.2%. Over the course of his 4 and a half years in the NBA, his career accuracy is a hair over 39%. As a team the Wolves are shooting 44%. Even from three point range, Bassy's 34% from behind the arc is behind the team's composite accuracy of 34.4%. What makes this especially maddening is that Bassy can keep the basketball on a string like no other Timberwolf. On Sunday he crossed over to his left hand and then zipped a pass half the distance of the court, a la Steve Nash, to a teammate just outside the three-point arc for a hopeful heave at the halftime buzzer. A slo-mo of some of his dribble moves seems a mixture of hip hop, ballet, and computer graphics. Just make sure you stop the tape before he goes up to shoot.

Maybe someday we'll discover who put the silver helmets over the heads of Telfair and [Mike] Miller, flipped a switch, and exchanged their personalities. Miller, who by all indications fancies himself as a point guard in a plodding 6-8 body, has shot 27-52 FG over the last six games, with 34 assists and 21 turnovers. During that same period, Telfair is shooting 32-73 FG with 31 assists and 10 turnovers. Hey here's an idea: How about if the guy with the career 46% FG (47.7% this year) shoots a little more often instead of executing snazzy turnovers while the guy with the team's best assist-to-turnover ratio drops a few more dimes instead of blowing jumpers? Then, just maybe, the Wolves wouldn't rank near the bottom of the NBA in FG efficiency.