Darko: What Happened Last Year?

December 21, 2011

With Timberwolves forward Kevin Love projected to see time at center this season and coach Rick Adelman touting a "small ball" rotation at point guard featuring Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour, Darko Milicic knows his role on the team is changing.

Milicic, who started 69 games last season at center, is taking steps to fit in as best he can with Adelman's system - for the sake of winning. 

"It's not right for me to talk about wanting to do this or do that," Milicic said after Tuesday's practice at Target Center. "This is my ninth year (in the NBA). It's about going out there to do what you need to do to help the team win. I'm not going to complain."

Milicic had career highs last season in scoring (8.8 points per game), rebounding (5.2) and minutes (24.4). He ranked fifth in the NBA in blocked shots (2.03). The way Adelman is setting up his offense, Milicic might have a hard time matching those number

When the Minnesota Timberwolves signed Darko to a 4-year deal in 2010, Kurt Rambis was the head coach. Coming from the Lakers, Rambis' teams played a more traditional style, and that style included a big-man in the pivot. That explains why Darko saw more playing time, and posted career highs in minutes played, points per game, rebounds per game, and blocks. Darko also benefited from having Bill Laimbeer on the team. Laimbeer had been a Darko fan and supporter since he was originally drafted by the Pistons in 2003.

But then the Timberwolves replaced Rambis with Rick Adelman, and Adelman took the team in a different direction. This article makes it sound like Adelman's distaste for the Serbian big man was quite strong.

And as that article also states, Doc and Danny will give Milicic the same opportunity they gave former first round picks Patrick O'Bryant, Robert Swift and Michael Sweetney. We'll see if Darko can make more of the opportunity he is given by the Celtics than his recent predecessors.


Partner, Ryvin Wallace Group said...

Glad to see you posting so much! I visit everyday.

I think Darko will surprise people and agree that had he not been picked at 2, his career would be thought of differently.

It's great to have big nasty dudes on your team, period. And when he is motivated he is that and more.

You make a good point about him playing for the green backs, and I hope he has that in mind.

But he is also very different from the other bigs being mentioned as flyers.

POB, Swift, Sweetney - not nasty. Remember that thing with KG and POB where KG starting viciously dunking and telling him that's how he feels?

Darko WANTS to mix it up, and has at least been in an NBA rotation for some extended time.

I am optimistic! :)

Lex said...


And think what having perk on the team covering kg's backside did for the team and kg's swagger.

not saying dark is perk.

But if he can bring some attitude, it will help.

Lex said...

btw, cheating a little bit with the extra posting.

On a biz trip.

No kiddies to worry about.

: )

FLCeltsFan said...

Ohhhh that's my impossible dream - no kiddies around LOL. Not gonna happen here. :)

I think Adelman had a problem with Darko from the get go. Just the way he said he wanted him gone. I'm looking forward to seeing Darko mix it up some. Every team needs an enforcer type player. We've missed that since Perk left.

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