MINNEAPOLIS Pass, pass, shot. Pass, turnover. Rebound, shot, rebound, turnover. Dribble, dribble, dribble.
For nearly every game at the beginning of last season, R.J. Adelman's handwritten notes were detailed, copious. They came not just from his time on the bench but from the hours he logged in his office after games watching video. Win or lose, the Minnesota Timberwolves' director of player personnel would relive it all again, rewinding, pausing, noting the tiniest details that no box score ever would reveal.
What Adelman, the son of Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman, was doing was nothing new. Many a coach has instructed his assistants to manually track detailed statistics from the bench, keeping them at the ready to provide context for in-game huddles and discussions. For such coaches, stats are the key to improving their teams; they give a greater understanding about what's unfolding in front of them. They are more than just color. They're a necessity.