Tag Archives: minnesota timberwolves

Minnesota Matters

All I can say is I watched TGIF as a kid quite a bit, and I’m hoping they make a version of Step by Step or Full House in the near future for some other teams…

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The Most Entertaining Team in the NBA

At the beginning of the year, I figured a post with this title would be about the Lob City Clips or even perhaps the Miami Heatles, but for some reason that hasn’t been the case. Many of you, including myself, probably lost your free preview of the NBA league pass over the weekend. The first thing that popped into my head was, I can’t believe I watched at least part of every Timberwolves game for the first two weeks of the season, and might not get to see them again this year since I doubt they have very many nationally televised games. I even watched them over the Warriors on a few occasions, that’s how damn entertaining they were. Are they going to be a surprise playoff team? Probably not, but that’s not always why I watch hoops. Being a Warriors fan, I usually just want to be entertained since it’s not always in the cards that my team will win. Anyways, anytime the Wolves are on nationally, you can bet I’ll be watching. The longtime laughing stocks of the league actually have a solid core of players that are fun to watch with lots of story lines to go around.

The Best White Guy in the NBA (Kevin Love). What’s not to like about Love and his energy for the game. Even his All-Star pitch last season was funny. Last year for some ungodly reason he didn’t even crack the starting lineup while posting double doubles nightly for the first part of the season. Luckily that was quickly corrected, and we got to see this beast do his 110% effort thing from the opening tip.

The Highly Entertaining First Year Euro Player (Ricky Rubio). I remember ripping him pretty good a few times in our e-mail chains dating back through the last couple of years he stayed over in Spain. We’ve probably had at least 100 e-mails back and forth arguing about whether he’d play here or not. It seemed unfathomable how his game would translate to the NBA when he was sitting at something like 6 PPG and 4 APG last season and only coming off the bench in SPAIN, but after seeing him play these two NBA league pass filled weeks, I’m fully sold on his prospects to be the next Steve Nash. It’s been funny to watch him bounce passes off teammates faces when they weren’t ready to catch one of his fancy passes. He is truly a wizard with the ball in his hands.

My College Player Mancrush from Last Season (Derrick Williams). I still don’t see how this guy doesn’t end up being a stud in the league for a long time. He’s shown a few flashes here and there already, but hasn’t really played a ton of minutes to showcase all his talents. Maybe now that Beasley’s hurt he’ll earn a spot in the starting rotation. I pretty much fell for him during the Pac-10 tournament last year, and will stick by him until he turns into a bigtime player.

Super Talented Headcases (Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley). Anyone out there that’s played fantasy hoops or been a Warriors fan knows how frustrating it is to watch or have Anthony Randolph on your team. He makes a great block and rebound then dribbles down the court faster than everyone only to throw it out of bounds. You see the good stuff and think this guy could be great, but then he inexplicably does stupid things that he should’ve learned during High School. Beasley’s idiocy has been well chronic(led). You never know what you’re going to get from either guy from a production standpoint, but when they seem to care their potential seems limitless.

Major Draft Bust (Darko Milicic). The man infamously picked in front of Melo, Wade, and Bosh. The funny part about him though, is he might actually have a better career than 2007 #1 pick, Greg Oden! After landing on his fifth team in nine seasons, he actually played decent in Minnesota last season, and parlayed that into a 4 year $20M contract that I thought was atrocious at the time, but if there’s one thing you can’t teach it’s 7 feet, and as much as I hated the Warriors signing Kwame, a 7-footer does make a difference in the paint.

Even More White Guys (JJ Barea, Brian Cardinal, Luke Ridnour, and Brad Miller). Honestly, I can’t remember a team with seven of it’s twelve roster spots going to five white guys and two white Euro guys. Well, at least in my existence I’m sure there were plenty in the peach picker basket days. In fact, I’m struggling to think of a roster with more than three white guys on the team…

 


The Real Blockbuster Trade

Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph made ripples around the league as they were traded from the Knicks in part of a deal that sent the expiring contract of Carmelo Anthony to them. I’ll get back to those two amazing additions in a bit, but first a little background on this T-Wolves amazing roster being built.

Minnesota has been working hard for the past couple years to have as many possible top picks turned head cases than any franchise in the league. They started their last offseason by trading for Michael Beasley who proved to be immature. Surprisingly he’s turned into a good player in Minnesota, but with him, you have to wonder how much longer he can hold out from smoking weed, especially with him having some extra time off due to injury. You know he’s ready for a relapse and wants to be lost floating around the court aimlessly again.

Way to sexy for that shirt Darko.

Their second move of the off-season was signing Darko. Yup, the guy that has had his confidence shattered simply for being drafted over Melo and Wade. Wasn’t his fault the Pistons fell in love with him, but he never could deal with the pressure that came with being that pick. He might be a blocking machine this year, but I saw a stat in someone’s power rankings that said when he shoots 10 shots in a game their already pathetic winning percentage goes from 27% to 17%, yikes.

Sebastian Telfair was added to their roster via free agency as well over the summer. He’s one of the amazing character guys from the JailBlazers teams, and a fitting character guy rounding out three head cases that were added to the team this year. Bassy has been as unimpressive as he has been throughout his career. Are these guys on the verge of figure it out in the insane asylum in Minnesota (Can we make that their new arena name)? Based on the T-Wolves record and how casual fans can only name Kevin Love on that team, I’d say no.

Eddie Curry might have been the biggest trade chip in the deal that went down last night, so I won’t talk about him or his expiring contract. Anthony Randolph however was one of those players I always wanted to see flourish, especially in his Warriors days. To say he was a head case would be the understatement of the year if it was Nellie talking. He’s like that super hot girl that still can’t figure out how to get what she wants from guys. He has all the ability in the world, but couldn’t sniff the court on either of his first two teams. It doesn’t look like he will in Minnesota either being behind Eddie Curry’s expiring contract (I think I’ve heard more about his expiring contract over the years than when he was actually playing), Love, Tolliver, Beasley, and Milicic. Maybe Kahn is looking to move Love out of town so this cast of headcases can thrive. Nothing would shock me about this franchise at this point. Free Love Kahn! While your at it you should trade Rubio away to a team that he’ll actually come here to play for.

Rough to be a fan of Minnesota teams right now. At least they have the Twins though.


Doin The NBA’s Worst of the Worst Power Rankings

While I was growing up the A’s, Raiders, and to a lesser extent the Warriors were good. I know they were, because people hated them, and the only reason you hate a team is because they are good. Lately I’ve noticed when I tell a new found friend my sports affiliations I hear pity more than anything. Tuesday, I was watching the Cavs-Lakers game and it hit me, I needed to make an anti-power rankings, and tried to decide which is the worst team in the NBA. I used some criteria for this glorious list. One, obviously team record, and second, how much hope they have for the future with their core players.

#7 Minnesota – Kevin Love is an All-Star. Nobody does what he does. He hits threes while scoring 21.1 ppg, and pulls in 15.8 rebounds a game. If Griffin owns the air above the rim, then Love owns everything below the rim. If the second best player on that team wasn’t Luke Ridnour now that Beasley is hurt, they might have some more wins than they do. I bet if they were in the East, they’d be the 8th seed. They have a solid young front court. If Kahn can finally use these guys to build off, they might be relevant again one of these years.

#6 Toronto – They’ve been hit hard by the injury bug this year, and on second thought, maybe losing Bosh was a bigger deal up there than I originally thought. Somehow they are only a couple games outside of the Eastern Conference’s 8th seed, which shows you why there are so many Eastern Conference teams on my list. Hockey still rules Toronto, the Raptors will be extinct there one of these days up there.

#5 Detroit Continue reading


NBA Fast Break!

Just some quick thoughts on the young NBA season …

Despite getting absolutely destroyed by Chicago tonight, my Golden State Warriors currently hold a 6-3 record going into Saturday’s game in Milwaukee.  Things to note:  Keith Smart appears to be an excellent coach, who seems to understand today’s players.  Steph Curry has not fallen into the Sophomore slump.  David Lee is the right acquisition for this team.  Dorrell Wright is the perfect acquisition for this team.  And finally, the team chemistry is at an all time high.  I love this squad.  All praise the “Smart” era!

If the Heat crowd consisted of this 24/7, I might change my tune.

Coming into the season, all the talk was about the Miami Heat, and rightfully so.  They assembled a baby “Dream Team”.  Well, they’re currently 5-4 (not as good as the Warriors) and show no signs of being capable of beating Boston.  But, the most shocking thing to me about Miami is, well, they’re boring to watch.  LeBron and Wade are a highlight reel waiting to happen but without a soundtrack.  What I mean by that is their crowd is weak.  LeBron’s posterizing dunks will never quite be the same without the Cleveland crowd behind him.  I’m sorry Miami, I’m sure there are some real Heat fans out there, but they’re currently not in the stands.

PS – Chris Bosh plays defense like he’s still at the beach, just enjoying the view  …

Free Kevin Love!

David Kahn is probably the worse President in basketball.  I take that back, that’s an understatement.  David Kahn is absolutely the worse president in basketball.  So it’s fitting he’s hired, and kept the worse coach in basketball in Kurt Rambis, employed.  Here’s an “NBA Coaching For Dummies” tip for you Rambis, play your best player.  I don’t know what Kevin Love’s done to Rambis behind closed doors, perhaps a Delonte/LeBron situation but involving his daughter, but whatever the case, Rambis can’t be limiting Love’s minutes due to “lack of defense”.  If that were the case, Michael Beasley should be riding the pine right next to him.  Of course, I wouldn’t be concerned about what’s going on in Minnesota, had I not drafted Kevin Love as a keeper in my fantasy league.

M.V.Pau!

Could the Lakers be attempting to chase down history?  Some people, including myself thought the Heat would be challenging the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls for ultimate team supremacy and bragging rights, by eclipsing Chicago’s 72 wins season.  Well we got the wrong team.  It’s the Lakers laying down the foundation towards team immortality.  Why didn’t I see the signs?  Phil’s last run.  Kobe’s competitive nature.  I’m sure the moment LeBron announced his plans to hit the W on South Beach, Kobe hit the gym.  Plus, Pau Gasol has emerged as the best player on this team, and in the league.  Yes I said it.  That title has belonged to him ever since the NBA Finals two seasons ago.  He was robbed of a Finals’ MVP trophy last season.  The Lakers are so good, and so deep, they can cut Andrew Bynum and be O.K.  Name another team that could do the same.

John Wall and Blake Griffin are fresh, new and exciting!  Like seeing Tony Hawk execute the 900 during the first X Games exciting!  At this point, I don’t see either the Wizards or the Clippers making a playoff push, but the race for Rookie of the Year will only continue to heat up!  When it’s all said and done, I believe John Wall will edge out Griffin due to the fact that he can do the feminine version of the “Dougie”.

Here …

PS – He dances like a girl.


RFP GM of the Day

Some of the NBA’s greats have taken a stab at putting together a basketball team. The logic has been that great players should be great talent evaluators. While Larry Bird had some relative success – I think – we all know how Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas fared. Meanwhile, less decorated ex-players like Otis Smith, Rod Higgins, Geoff Petrie, and Danny Ainge have had some solid runs at the helm of a franchise. Under this logic, it’s only inevitable that teams will look for the worst players to run the show. New Orleans took a step in that direction when they hired Dell Demps this offseason. The Phoenix Suns, however, saw their lousy ex-player and raised them quite possibly the worst player in NBA history.

Enter Lance Blanks.

Alright, so he may not be the worst player in NBA history, but if you hung around my friend Aaron and I in the early 90s he was. We were pretty big into collecting basketball cards. We spent a lot of time swapping cards, usually the obligatory guy he likes for a guy I like. I believe over time, I traded him all my Shaquille O’Neal rookie cards for all of his Kenny Anderson rookie cards.  Pretty sound investment, huh? Anyway, for the guys we didn’t have an opinion on, their value pretty much hinged on scoring average. For example, Kelly Tripucka was pretty much nobody to us, but with a 20+ ppg average, we knew he was legit. Based on this scale, we were able to determine who the most worthless player in the NBA was: LANCE BLANKS. There must’ve been a hundred proposed card trades that ended in the line, “Dude, I’ll give you a Lance Blanks for him!” See, Blanks averaged an impressive 1.7 ppg in his rookie season, and only experienced a minor sophomore slump when he put up 1.5 ppg the following season. In 1992, he was the main piece in a blockbuster deal that sent him and Brad Sellers to Minnesota, in exchange for Gerald Glass and Mark Randall. They were arguably four of the worst players in the league at that time. Clearly Minnesota saw something in Blanks, and were able to harness that talent, and watched him blossom to career highs across the board. Blanks put up an astonishing 2.6 ppg, nearly a full point more than his previous career high. He averaged double digit minutes (10.5) and even earned a spot in the starting lineup twice!

Overall, I’m excited to see what Lance Blanks can do as the Suns GM. First order of business should be trading Steve Nash for the next Lance Blanks. He ought to look at Atlanta guard Mario West. In 39 games played last year, West dropped 30 points on the season, for a 0.77 ppg that Blanks could only have dreamed to achieve.


Trick or Treat in the NBA Tonight

I know, Halloween’s passed, but the picture just made me think about what’s going on tonight. ESPN has a great doubleheader on: Atlanta @ Boston and Los Angeles @ Denver. Sounds like a great night right? Nope, those are the only treats. The rest of the lineup is one big trick. Here are the games, ranked in order of least bad to worst.

Portland @ New Orleans – Our panel was in agreement that this is at least one of the two next best games.  Taking away some of the appeal is New Orleans’ disappointing start, capped by the firing of Byron Scott this week. Nonetheless, Chris Paul battling it out with Brandon Roy is still plenty reason to watch this one.

New Jersey @ Orlando – I must be on my own here, because everyone else ranked this game in the top three, but I couldn’t feel more different. Yes, Orlando is the defending conference champion. Yes, Vince Carter will be going up against his old team, but his old team is 0-8 and Devin Harris isn’t playing. Lopez vs. Howard should provide some highlights though.

Utah @ Philadelphia – This game actually had the same average ranking as the Warriors – Knicks, but I’ll list it first since one of us had it as their #1 game. I’m not sure who it was, or why they chose it, but it surely won’t be for the Carlos Boozer – Elton Brand fall from grace Duke matchup.

Golden State @ New York – East meets West in this matchup of teams that play in Top 5 basketball markets, but continue to make more headlines for disasters than winning ballgames. The only silver lining to this game will be the stat sheet after the game. Both sides will take turns letting each other score, so there’ll be plenty of points, but expect to see a healthy dose of turnovers and three point attempts as well!

Houston @ Sacramento – I ranked this game the highest, and I’m not being a homer. Believe it or not, this is the only other game where both teams are .500 or better. Many expected Houston to struggle without anyone good playing, but they’re off to a 5-3 start. Meanwhile, the Kings were the hands down favorite to be the worst team in the NBA this year, but since losing Kevin Martin, have rattled off three straight and sit at 4-4. Now, I’ll admit the action on the court isn’t the most enticing, but watching Tyreke Evans is a treat. He’s just now starting to realize that without K-Mart, this is his team. It’s a good thing Houston has guys like Ariza and Battier to throw at him after Brooks and Lowery give up.

Dallas @ Minnesota – The Mavericks look they might have one last good run in them this year. They’ve got plenty of weapons, but it’s unclear whether they have the depth to make a postseason run. We won’t find out tonight, as the Mavs’ reserves are sure to get plenty of garbage time minutes in the second half.

Toronto @ LA Clippers – It’s amazing how the Clippers can turn anybody off. It doesn’t matter who they’re playing, they’d still end up here at the bottom. Celtics – Clippers? Nah, blowout. Grizzlies – Clippers? Nah, garbage teams. It’s really a lose-lose. Even with Chris Bosh coming to town, and the Raptors figuring to be in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture this year, watching anyone play the Clippers sounds undesirable.