As a coach, one of the more important aspects tactically is to analyze and to determine the why and not just the what. Why do we shoot the ball poorly. Why do we allow transition baskets. Tonight, the Timberwolves are wondering why they lost the game tonight when they outplayed the Nuggets for the majority of the game.

For one, Allen Iverson got hot at the right moment, scoring the final 9 points for the Nuggets in the last 2 minutes of the game. But for the Timberwolves, clearly they are still struggling to understand what it takes to win ball games. I broke down the last few key possessions in the final minute and a half which saw the T-Wolves go from a 4-point lead to a 3-point deficit with the eventual victory going to the Nuggets.

I'll just briefly go over the points that I chose in the video:

1. Double and Rotate. In order to get stops defensively, you must play tough defense on the opposing team's best players, Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson in this case. Melo gets the post-entry iso, the Wolves are undecided on how they want to defend him, the ball is kicked out to Iverson who nails a big 3-pointer. If you're going to double, trap hard, and rotate your other players. What the T-Wolves did was worse than just playing straight M2M, they got caught in no man's land.

2. Turning over the ball. Seems to be an obvious one. Don't be lazy on those wing passes, you must explode and meet the ball. The passer has to deliver a clean crisp pass.

3. Missing free-throws. Free-throws win ball games, plain and simple. Antoine Walker missed 2 free-throws that would've forced the Nuggets to shoot a 3-pointer to tie. I'll go even further by saying that you want to make sure you're best free-throw shooters are on the floor, Walker is just over 50% on FTs for the season, he was not a player you wanted on the floor at that crucial time.

4. Don't allow penetration. You must switch all picks and stop any penetration even if you have to bring help side defense. Force the offense to make the extra pass to kick it out, and you must rotate on defense to closeout.

5. Poor execution. Give the Nuggets some credit on this one as they played pretty good M2M there with the lead and 29 seconds left. Still, you want to be sure that you take a good shot, not a runner with time running down.

It's always tough to lose close games like the one the Timberwolves did tonight. I read a lot of the post-game comments and there was a lot of blaming of the refs. When your record is 5-34, it's easy to defer blame but that won't help them win ball games anytime soon. The refs didn't miss those free-throws. The refs didn't play poor defense. The refs didn't turn the ball over.

For a great video on building winning teams and players, take a look at Coach Morgan Wooten's DVD on coaching to win. Coach Wooten is probably the most successful high school basketball coach ever at DeMatha Catholic before retiring. Head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss all of your hoops.