Game thread for those of you wanting to watch the game or discuss here vs. the forums. No TV, which means the Wolves will probably win. Enjoy.no comments
Alright, I know cyncicism has crept into Wolves discussion like a parasite, but wow I hope Wolves nation is pissed tonight. You have every right to be. You also shouldn't be surprised. Tim Duncan? 4 Celtics? Chris Bosh? A rookie with a superior supporting cast?
Just silly. This game is about the fans, and fans deserve to see a game which fosters league wide achievement as well as individual and team success. 21 points and 16 rebounds has not happened in almost 30 years. If he isn't named as Yao's injury replacement...well...that is even worse. I can't wait to watch a Depends-wearing Tim Duncan's eyes bulge out after foul calls as if his hemorrhoids have swelled to grapefruit sizes. What entertainment. Not to mention Justin Bieber and a bunch of NBA old-timers in the "celebrity" game.
The NBA, where 13 points and 9 rebounds = All-Star happens. Where prepubescent pop star who thinks he is Usher = All-Star happens.
For the list of the remaining reserves, just either go to www.celtics.com, or www.nba.com, or watch any NBA on TNT matchup ever televised.
And PS. great to see Charles Barkley rant in our favor for once. What a joke.no comments
First of all I just wanted to point out this somewhat fail of a headline in terms of wording.
Second of all, the Wolves play Memphis at home tonight, on Groundhog Day. Speaking of which, that little guy apparantly did not see his shadow today, meaning spring might some early. But after this butt-puckering morning and the rest of the nation looking somewhat like Dennis Quaid's The Day After Tomorrow, I somehow doubt it. Anyhow, on to more Gay matters. Rudy that is. He has had a very nice season thus far but his team is mired in mediocrity, and probably for years to come (unlike the Wolves of course, who are still fighting hard for that 8th seed). They have some obvious decisions to make on Marc Gasol and OJ Mayo, who is currently serving a 10-game suspensions because he apparently bought the wrong energy drink at a gas station. Nice, I'll use that one next time I get caught sticking a needle in my ass. So, game wise, anyone out there not predicting another Groundhog Day-esque Wolves performance? It's a fitting metaphor to start February, where we began an epic landslide into oblivion last year. Not that this seasons' win total is any greater or less than last years' as it stands today.
Please use this as a game thread if desired
In other news, Wes Johnson has made the rookie game, all but locking him in as the only Wolves participant in all-star festivities. I'm pretty sure that all of the TWB writers could have made the rookie team with a strict training regime. What a gawdawful rookie class. Speaking of the rookie class, note that the man many Minnesotans often masturbated to this summer, Kermit the Frog sound-alike Evan Turner, did not make the squad, getting beat out by Gary Neal (?). The rest of the team:
Joining Johnson on the Rookie team this year are Detroit's Greg Monroe, the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Bledsoe and Blake Griffin, New Jersey's Derrick Favors, New York's Landry Fields, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio's Gary Neal and Washington's John Wall.
The sophomores, taken from a different article, since the one from Timberwolves.com oddly did not list the sophomores:
Joining Evans on the Sophomore team are: San Antonio Spurs center DeJuan Blair, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Serge Ibaka, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews. Strangely, Jonny Flynn was left off the roster.
Ok, I added in that last part.
Those of you still holding on to hope that Love will somehow miraculously be selected to the all-star team despite an 11-win record can find out the results tomorrow.
In other news, Glen Taylor and RT Rybak hosted a presser on a proposed renovation of Target Center. I would highly encourage everyone who is participating in this debate to please read this (biased, of course) website before posting anything:
I understand the immediate knee-jerk thought of "why would we pay taxes for the Wolves blah blah blah." But, it first must be understood that downtown Minneapolis does indeed need a mid/large sized arena in order to support the total entertainment demands of our (surprisingly large...top 15) market. Target Center operates on a much deeper level than the Wolves alone and I would think Target Center falling under its own weight (see: Metrodome, Hubert H Humphrey) one day would eventually have some negative consequences on the metro area economy, which is bad enough as it is with or without Target Field. This comes by way of taxes generated from local businesses and several other money-related implications you don't often think about on a surface level. The Xcel center is not a sustainable option to support the Wild, Wolves and every single lame-duck lip-synching musical act that comes through town reeking of hair gel and fake tanner. Sure, they probably exaggerate the current projected lifespan of Target Center, but it's difficult to not see the need to invest large vs. small. This tends to be a good approach in just about any business situation vs. the ever-popular but rarely successful Band-Aid approach as it were. Learning more about the financial implication of such a large, unexpected endeavor is going to interesting. However, Mr. Taylor, if you are really shelling out millions of dollars of your own money for this to happen, then a few thoughts for you, since you are obviously reading this carefully:
1. Thank you, to be honest and fair. Those of us crying contraction I think would deep down be pretty upset if the Wolves were to cease to exist or be moved. I would be devastated and I think an owner who will invest so much personal capital to keep the team around would earn a bit more respect than he currently gets as far as I am concerned. HOWEVER (and this is a gigantic HOWEVER)....
2. Please, then, also spend on the on-court product. I can't stress this enough. Just please let Tony Ronzone call the shots. Add a veteran player or two even if it costs more, and do it this month to prove to people you are willing to put a winner on the floor. This is the other side of the coin....if you support what we watch every day, especially those remaining since it all went downhill in 2005, we will support your money making endeavor. Even if we say we won't.
3. As a Minneapolis resident, I would pay taxes if it meant a better fan experience at the Target Center and also helped a downtown area that obviously struggles during wintertime and sees far too many business turn over. As a former resident of the area, it was ugly. I would also shell a little bit of cash if it meant keeping the team around. 11-wins or not, the small but die-hard faction of Wolves fans should be setting an example for our woefully fair-weathered state.
Lastly, a photo of what TC would look like:
Pretty cool if you ask me.no comments
Here's the latest from the Wolves' PR department, a video promoting Kevin Love for an All-Star bid. This video was sent as a DVD, along with a bottle of Numb#rs cologne, to every Western Conference coach in the hopes that they'll write down Love's name as an All-Star reserve. Also included in the package is a list of the various numbers that Kevin Love has put up this year.
The Wolves tried something similar with Big Al a while back using GPS devices, but Jefferson ultimately failed to get the nod. I think this campaign has a slightly better chance of succeeding as Love is a lot more marketable than Big Alco and he has put up stats this season the likes of which haven't been seen for a loooooooong time. Still if there's one number that will keep K. Love out of the ASG, it's "10". That's the current number of Wolves' victories.
Overall, a pretty solid effort by the Wolves PR department. My only critique is that the guy doing the voice over at the end sounds like a creepy sex predator. I guess Ted Williams wasn't available...
Your TWolves lost to the Jazz tonight sans Deron Williams, which may be a shock to some of you, although I doubt it. The Jazz have been one of the worst teams in the league of late, and I'm not even kidding. They had 6 straight losses, losing to Washington, the Nyets, and Philly. And then we go and lose to them without their best player. Just sad. And I thought we were gonna win (thinking Williams would be playing as well!) Pfffff. Good one Wolves.
Before I forget, lots of chatter and discussion can be found in the TWB Forum Game Thread for tonight's game.
We are just so bad. We have no players. Love puts up stats. Beasley is decent enough at times. Brewer and Wes can have nice little spurts. I guess Darko is good as far as underpaid centers go. But beyond that, we don't even have guys that would be playing on other .500 teams.
Flynn is so suck it's not even funny. If they did the draft over, he wouldn't even be a first round pick. 6 assists tonight against 6 turnovers. 5 points in 18 minutes. I don't think he could average 2:1 assists to turnovers if his life depended on it. Please trade him. For anything. Is Memphis finally ready to trade Mayo or what? Someone get Chris Wallace on the phone before they realize that Flynn is atrocious.
What the hell happened with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the Wolves down 6? AK-47 misses two free-throws, but gets the second rebound. Millsap takes a shot off the side of the backboard, which is again offensive rebounded by Big Al, who then dumps it down low to AK-47 for the lay-in. Sadness all around.
And might I add that Al Jefferson stinks. And for $13+ million dollars per year, that's a whole lotta stink. I wonder what Jazz fans are saying about him now?
Thank goodness we traded him, but too bad for us we didn't do it sooner so we could have actually gotten something of value for him, rather than cap space and 2 crappy protected first round picks.
We had 25 turnovers to only 10 for the Jazz. Probably why we lost to them without Deron Williams.
This season is getting hard to watch. Yet another loss. That's 6 in a row, and 11 of the last 12. That firmly entrenches us as the second worst team in the league. We better finally win the lottery because I can't take much more of this.
The Wolves take on the Toronto Raptors Saturday night at Target Center. The game isn't on TV (again), which is probably for the best of anyone that still actually follows this team. The TWB Forum Game Thread for the Raptors game can be found HERE.no comments
What follows is what I hope will be a somewhat frequent exercise and more or less a new idea to bring forth to the table: The TWB Pulse. Within the series of posts that will perhaps follow later in the year, assuming laziness and apathy doesn’t prevent me from copying and pasting what will follow at a greater rate then drumming up my own material, will be a collection of forum post quotes from our ever entertaining forums. The idea here is get a general sense of how Wolves fans are feeling on a certain subject, or the team in general. . This would have been a fantastic exercise to begin at the start of the season when optimism couldn’t be higher, but alas there were fun and important things to write about rather than our current, terribly utilized roster lead by the NBA coaching equivalent to George W. Bush.
PS – Forum posts will be quoted anonymously. I know, I know. But, I see it as lumping everyone into a group and assessing the overall mood as opposed to highlighting individual post quality. This will then allow me to secretly construct 75% of the article as my own posts. Just kidding. Onward:
On Timberwolves Head Coach Darrell Rhombus
-We bitch and moan incessantly about Rhombus. Anyone not on the Fire Rhombus band wagon is either the always excellent 9Deuce/any other poster here who perhaps wants to wait until the end of the year, stubborn, or a bit of a ratard.
-I guess I'm a little stubborn and a little retarded. I'm waiting to see how he does at the beginning of next year first to join the Fire Rambis bandwagon.
- (If I were Rhombus) I would use Webster as a 3 point shooter and not expect him to put the ball on the floor as his only means of scoring. Rambis started doing this in the Orlando game I want to say...maybe a hair before, but to make my point more self serving....Webster's last 5 games - 3.8 ppg, 5 total 3's attempted. Previous 10 games - 11.3 ppg and averaging 4 3pt attempts per game.
- Really though, if I were Rhombus/coach, the most important thing is locking down a rotation and pecking order. Until that happens, everything else is up for debate to people like us on the internet and message boards. You can't have a cohesive team until this happens. No one knows their frickin role out there. How can they develop, get comfortable, and learn? It's a disaster right now.
- The ludicrous way that Rambis has cut away from Beasley to end games, I could believe that Rambis is being a dick about being told that he needs to work Love into the end game situations by his boss.
- If I were Rhombus I'd get hair plugs.
- Rambis is showing a steady hand, but the corollary to that is that he is resistant to change- except when it comes to minutes, apparently. I think he's done a great job with Darko and Brewer, in managing their minutes and allowing them to grow and contribute- however, Wes getting bounced around and Flynn continuing to get big minutes is baffling to me. I have to assume that Flynn's playing time is a command from Kahn in order to try to bump his value.
-I'm a big fan of the ol' "let's play everyone on the roster in the first quarter so that the opponents can't keep track of who is on the court" move.
- I'm completely baffled as to why Flynn, Webster, Wes, and Ellington don't get better. They have such a defined role in such a defined rotation. The situation couldn't be better for them...
- I'm really surprised by our crap defense considering we had 12 fresh bodies running in and out of the game for 48 minutes. It's cool that we're ahead of the curve with this new substitution pattern. When the rest of the league figures out that playing everyone on your roster at least 5 minutes and at completely sporadic times confuses the opposition, Rambis is sure to get the next head coaching job in
- We have seen 5 rookies come through here since Rambis started. None have gotten better and some have gotten worse. Same for the team itself for that matter, it gets WORSE as the season goes on.
-I realize there are talent eval issues with drafting to consider, but it is equally, if not more, a player development issue. For example, Flynn. I know he is not an all-star here, but for him to be playing so HORRIBLY as opposed to last year cannot be the hip. There is something more to these things.
- Rambis is by no means a psychologist so how does he think that some revolutionary way of dealing with players will miraculously work? Why not use what works and what has worked for 100 years? I don't know any player in the league that would thrive in the situations he puts Flynn, Bassy, Webster, Brewer (until recently), Wes, Tolliver, Pek, or Ellington in. Brewer and to a lesser extent, Ellington, seems to understand and get a feel for his role. I have no clue what Webster is supposed to do when he gets in for a 4 minute spurt only to be replaced by Wes for three minutes and then Brewer for 7. And no FYCKING duh Beasley and Love don't make players around them better, they have no clue how to play with anyone!
CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUEno comments
(What happens with Ricky?)
Rubio: “These are stages of a player. Everything doesn’t have to be always perfect; not everything has to come first, otherwise everything would be easy. There are always bad patches; times when you don’t play so well; times when you’re happier and you have to take advantage of these happier times, and learn a lot of the bad patches that a player goes through during his stages. It’s all stages”.
(Advice from his coaches, teammates, and his camp)
Rubio: “They see me training every day and there’s nothing special. I keep training well and hard, and when this happens, nothing happens. These are stages and I´ll go through it”.
Rubio: “I don’t want to think until the end of the season. I can tell you that lockout is important because I don’t feel like to be three or four months without playing. I want to compete from the first day and it’s something to keep in mind from the day 1. Until the end of the season I don’t want talk about anything”.
(If you finally go to the NBA, has Minnesota convinced you to play with them, as David Khan said, or would you rather play for another team?)
Rubio: “Minnesota has shown me all their love and support. And when a team shows you all that you’re grateful and you have good words for them. There’s nothing bad I can say about Minnesota. They have supported me from the first time I said I could stay here and I’m very happy with that”.
“That fact they have a sports project to aspire to win is what I want. You can go to a team where you have granted minutes but not a project to add victories. A player, especially in Europe, where you’re not so used to play so many games and where defeats doesn’t have so much influence... It’s difficult to go to a league with so many games and to a team with a lot of defeats and where nobody cares”.
Thanks again to Tubasket.com!
Lastly, just let me say, I'm so sick of all this nonsense coming out and being spun by the media. We get it, you don't want Rubio "forced" into playing and being stuck with Minnesota. But please, just please please please, stop with all these bogus rumors and speculation. It's beyond tiring.
You can read the rundown from the New York Times here at Pro Basketball Talk. Ohhhh... the "Senior member of Rubio's camp" doesn't want him in Minnesota. Who's that? His uncle in-law? His great aunt twice removed? Pfffffff. Give me a break.
Even worse, the front page of RealGM.com simply says this, below a link to their story:
"A member of Ricky Rubio's camp says the family wants to play for a team like Boston, Miami or New York."
Oh lord, where will this nonsense end? No shoddy reporting there.
And as I said in the Ricky Rubio Watch in the TWolves Blog Forums, no matter what eventually happens with Rubio, that was a GREAT value pick for the Wolves at #5 in the draft. People had talked about him going in the Top 2 for two years before that draft (which was only screwed up because of his insane buyout in his contract.)
You can't blame Kahn for putting his eggs with Rubio and having more faith in him than Flynn. And I don't blame Kahn for that at all.
The gigantic mistake in that draft was taking Flynn instead of Curry, or even a handful of other guys. Obviously the Wolves front office didn't expect for Rubio to fall to them at #5, and they apparently had zero contingency plans when it did. Still, having been rumored to acquire him in the draft for month(s) beforehand, how could the team NOT plan for what to do with the #6 pick if they somehow got Rubio? Epic Fail.
The rest of the draft was mis-managed and mis-evaluated by the Wolves staff. It's the story of our lives as TWolves fans, I guess. Huge blame to the entire Front Office for that.
I mean, you just can't understate how badly we really effed up that draft. Along with Rubio, we could have had Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, or Darren Collison. Anyone but Flynn and this team is looking a hell of a lot better right now.
Tonight the Wolves take it to Portland, where their excellent "pack it in, they will cool off at some point" defensive strategy will hopefully limit Matthews and Fernandez to a combined 37 threes in the first half.
Rather than hash out a boring game preview for a team we have played twice already this year, I thought I'd pose 5 things to think about over the next week and beyond as it pertains to the Wolves.
1. Has the recent emphasis on ball movement with Beasley out been a positive thing for the team? I think we all know Beasley is essential to this team, but over the past 2 games I have seen much better execution and a solid scoring attack within the flow of the offense. Last year we loathed about how Al Jefferson, while putting up numbers, would put a wrench right into the flow of things and stagnate our offense. Is this trend developing with Beasley? It doesn't take a rocket scientist nor a statisctician to see and understand how much better the Wolves play when Mike moves the ball and doesn't force it. Assuming Beasley is out tonight and perhaps Wednesday vs. LAC before a 5 day rest, it would be noteworthy if the Wolves win one or at least play tight against 2 surging teams. It could be more indicitive than we thought, at least short term.
2. Brewer in the starting lineup; and Brewer being here long term. Look, it again didn't take a brilliant wizard to notice how much better the Wolves played in the 2nd half the last time these 2 teams met with Brewer taking Wes' minutes. Brewer's energy when he plays big minutes is simply tough to top. With that said, Brew is a free agent and we have a decision to make on his future. I think his impact here has been a bit under-appreciated and I'm not sure Wes can top his production on both ends of the floor unless he (Edit: I intially had "she" written here as a typo. Thought about keeping it as it seems appropriate of late) expands his game beyond spot up and one-dribble jump shots and blown defensive assignments.
It's easy to peg Wes as a long term wing simply because he was once the 4th pick in a (historically bad) draft. Irrational draft pick fetish syndrome strikes again. But ask yourself, between Wes and Brewer, who's impact and style of play fits the bill for us long term? Obviously no decisions can be made on this today, but think of this in terms of categories: On offense Wes will probably never be a high scorer for us, nor will he need to be so let's weigh this factor a bit less than defense. However, Wes is obviously a better shooter and off the dribble it is about even. On defense, Brewer takes the nod most of the time, but Wes has potential. On fast breaks and in transition I will call a draw. BB IQ and intangibles go to Brewer. You get the idea. So, in Wes' likely role (modest scoring, defensive-minded, athletic wing player), is he the best fit based on his strengths? Or is this another classic Rhombus example of forcing a player to be something they just aren't? Can Wes expand his defensive game to Brewer levels, consistently pissing off the likes of Wes Matthews and Manu, and at the same time, improve his offense beyond Kyle Korver levels? Let's hope so, and he certainly deserves more opportunity to try.
3. Our 2nd unit. We are getting murdered off the bench due to Pekovic's continued idiot maneuvers, Flynn being amongst the worst players in the league, inconsistent shooting/questionable shot selection from Martell and Tolliver, and several poor defensive decisions mixed in. Would bringing Beasley off the bench be a good move to bolster our 2nd unit? Player/personality wise it would be a tough pill for Mike to swallow but I have to imagine the impact would be noticeable. This could also probably be fixed simply by having one of Love/Beasley on the floor at all times and with simple, intelligent rotations where we keep scorers on the floor.
4. Ridnour. Many ripped on him to no end earlier this year, but man is he playing extremely well for us lately. Good work, Michael Cera. Even if Flynn weren't playing like garbage, it would be very difficult for him to take Luke's starting job. And as a fan-base, I hope that after 4 years of this level of play we are past the "not playing vets b/c they take minutes away from the young guys" concept. So, my question: would you have rather kept Sessions, or do you like Luke's all around fast paced game and deadeye shooting better?
5. The D-League. Why have we not sent Lazar down to get some burn? Or Pekovic for that matter? Lazar has been pretty bad thus far even when he plays, why not get him some reps in Sioux Falls? Makes absolutely no sense to me. Oh, well.
Enjoy the game tonight and let's hope Brewer can shut down Wesley "Dave" Matthews and Rudy Fail-nandez early on to keep us in it. This Portland team is overachieving like no one's business and what better way for them to lose momentum than a loss at home? One last thought: keep an eye on the Portland/Memphis footrace. It is in our best interest to beat Portland if we want to get our top 14 protected draft pick from the Grizzlies this year. If Memphis makes the playoffs, we get it. If Portland does, that likely puts Memphis in the lottery and delays our pick to next year (which may also be a good thing)no comments