Al Jefferson

The comparisons are as inevitable as they are unfair. Al Jefferson is not, and is not likely ever to be, Kevin Garnett's equal. He does not have the same capacity to defend the opponent's best player out to the perimeter. He does not have the same ability to find open teammates with deft passes. And, of course, he does not have the same improbably lithe, "six-foot-12" frame. But let us celebrate what Al Jefferson does have. Big Al owns a series of head fakes and ball fakes that routinely leave his defenders looking foolish. At age 23, he has both the killer instinct and the highly refined footwork to get close to the basket for easy shots before defenders can hope to stop him. In short, he figures to be one of the best interior scorers in the league for years to come. With Jefferson signed through 2013, the Wolves are a reliable perimeter shooter away from respectability, if not outright contention. Personnel matters, of course, are out of Jefferson's hands. But let's not take for granted what skilled hands they are.


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