A Hard Road

Banged-up team meets brutal schedule

Mark Madsen: A million dollar bargain in sweat equity
David Kern
Mark Madsen: A million dollar bargain in sweat equity

There aren't many teams as inept as the Clippers on the schedule during the next few weeks. But it also isn't likely that, even without three of their top six players, Minnesota will be overmatched very often during this brutal stretch of games. For that, a tip of the cap goes to Kevin McHale and the team's front office, which buttressed the major acquisitions of Cassell and Sprewell with a handful of capable role players. Consider all that McHale obtained for a relative pittance: Madsen's tenacity; Hoiberg's long-range shooting (he's second in the league in three-point accuracy) and steady defense; Trent's stunning all-around improvement; Hassell's selfless, energetic D; and backup point guard Keith McLeod's skill in pushing the pace on offense. If and when Hudson, Wally, and Kandi are able to operate at full throttle, this team is at least 10 players deep--and you'd have to think that Szczerbiak is behind Hoiberg on the depth chart.

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