The sobering reality is that, without belittling the chance for improvement, the Wolves are offering spirited competitions between the inept and the clueless for key positions on the court, without any way of distinguishing between growing pains and permanently rude comeuppances...
Chuck Culpepper/Star Tribune on a post-game question posed to the players by a Lithuanian journalist:
As helpless as the Wolves had looked in their 92-81 exhibition loss to the Boston Celtics at the O2 Arena, he explained, they certainly could not beat good European teams from, say, Moscow and Tel Aviv.
"No, I'm serious," he said as laughter gathered.
And if they could not beat good European teams from, say, Moscow and Tel Aviv, how did they expect to compete in the NBA?
On Garnett:He looked up in the early going, well before the Celtics broke away late in the second quarter for a 50-43 halftime lead that would become 65-48 soon thereafter.
"And I was like, Minnesota was ahead and Boston was losing," and he thought he'd need to help catch up.
"And I caught myself," he said.
KSTP on the team's new marketing efforts:
Team Vice President Ted Johnson said there would be several new faces to watch for.
"If we can show the public who this team is, let them get to know some of the personalities of our players, we're confident that fans are going to come in to watch a great style of basketball," said Johnson.
The team has sold nearly 8,000 season tickets. The same number of tickets was purchased in 2006 when Garnett was still in Minnesota.
Kevin McHale, who oversees a beleaguered Timberwolves basketball operation, doesn't sound like a guy thinking about retirement. In fact, McHale sounds energized and enthusiastic.
"I'm excited about this year, and we'll see where it goes," said the Wolves VP, who is paid $1 million a year on a handshake deal with team owner Glen Taylor...
- Pssst: The Timberwolves are considering taking in a California investor.
Alan Horton, who called WNBA games for the Seattle Storm and served as a studio host for the SuperSonics on radio, has been hired to do play-by-play for Timberwolves games on BOB 106 FM.
David Friedman/20 Second Timeout and Brett Edwards/Fanhouse on yesterday's game against the Celtics.no comments
Two new Wolves blogs:
Scott Henneboehle takes over for Anthony at Wolves Watch.
Twolves Rube Nation has a nice collection of recent videos of the team.
Tony Mejia/CBS Sportsline previews the team's upcoming season.
Click here for videos of Kevin McHale, Ryan Gomes, and Al Jefferson from Tuesday's practice in London.
Jeff Clark/Celtics Blog , FLCeltsFan/Loy's Place,and Jim/Green Bandwagon with thoughts on today's game.
Andrew Baker/Telegraph also comments on the game.
From Mad Dog's last diary entry at the Pioneer Press:
Coach Randy Wittman has pretty much installed a lot of the framework of the offense. He has really emphasized defense, too. I think he really wants us to be an exciting team, an up-tempo team and a team that has an offense where everything is predicated on reaction. That's what I'm taking from the offense he is installing. It's pretty complicated, but again, it's all based on reaction. It allows guys like Randy Foye, Sebastian Telfair and Marko Jaric to take what is there and react to it.no comments
From Yahoo Sports:
Jefferson indicated he was ready to sign a contract extension with his new team Wednesday as the Timberwolves prepared to face his former team, the Boston Celtics, at the NBA's Europe Live event in London...
"I'm a Timberwolf," he said. "Hopefully I can be a Timberwolf for a long time to come."
On the size of a potential contract:
"It's really not worrying me right now," Jefferson said. "I just play my game. I play ball and let (my agent) take care of it."no comments
Click here for the boxscore.
Click here for a photo gallery from the game.
Live game blog at the Timberwolves site.
From the Associated Press recap:
Ray Allen scored 28 points and Kevin Garnett chipped in against his former team in the Boston Celtics' 92-81 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA preseason game Wednesday.
Garnett, the 2004 MVP and 10-time All-Star, scored only nine points, but did enough off the ball to help the Celtics win in his first game against the Timberwolves...
''It was definitely a different experience seeing Kevin in green,'' said Davis, who scored a team-high 18 points. ''I almost threw him the ball once, but then I saw that green jersey.''
We were a little nicked up tonight. I didn't really think Al (Jefferson) was going to play too much. At shootaround he was still a little sore, but tonight he came out and said he wanted to play. Obviously, we have an understanding of why. He's not 100%. Randy Foye is having some tendonitis in his knee, tried in the first half but was sore. I don't have an idea yet where my rotation is; I don't have an idea who my starters are. That's kind of what we're in the process of doing here, playing different guys and different combinations...no comments
From Ian Whittell/ESPN:
It does not take much time spent in the company of the Kevin Garnett-less Minnesota Timberwolves to pick up the impression that this is a group of guys who did not want to be here.
Not "here" as in London, England -- the second stop on the Wolves' NBA Europe live training camp tour -- but "here" as in Minneapolis in the first year of the franchise P.G. -- "Post Garnett."
Also from Whittell:
But even Jefferson's position is far from straightforward with talks over a contract extension dragging on and, according to some sources, the player concerned about the apparent impasse.
Three of the five players acquired from Boston in July for Kevin Garnett nursed ankle injuries Tuesday in London, and all three -- Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair -- are considered questionable for today's exhibition game against their former team.
Dave Campbell/Associated Press on Rashad McCants:
While the team practiced in Turkey on Oct. 2, he developed a cramp in his hamstring. It became sore during a scrimmage the next day and was limited by the injury over the balance of the week.
McCants returned to practice Monday and Tuesday in London, but coach Randy Wittman wasn’t sure whether he would play him in tonight’s exhibition game against Kevin Garnett and Boston.
Ex-Boston College star Craig Smith said he'll be a game-time decision for the Timberwolves because of a left ankle injury.
Wittman said he wants to play incumbent point guard Randy Foye at shooting guard as well to take advantage of Foye's ability to get to the basket and score. Asked about the possibility of playing shooting guard, Foye asserted recently that he considers himself a point guard.
"He wants to play off the ball some," Wittman said. "That's a non-issue."
Mark Madsen on hanging out in London and catching up with Garnett.
Chuck Culpepper/Star Tribune on the impact the Celtics had on the players acquired in the Garnett trade.
Jim Souhan/Star Tribune on Minnesota shipping its best athletes to Boston in return for "lost satellites."
Green Bandwagon takes a look at the slogans of the teams from the Northwest Division.
During a media conference call , Coach Wittman is asked if everyone will be playing in tomorrow's game against the Celtics:
I don't know. We had a couple of nicked up people today in practice. Al Jefferson nicked his ankle a little bit, nothing serious. We'll just have to see in the morning where he's at. Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair both have tweaked ankles. Sebastian yesterday tweaked his ankle a little bit. He practiced the majority of practice today and sat out towards the end. We'll have to see where we are in the morning in terms of soreness with some guys to see exactly whose all going to be available.
Wittman also says Marko Jaric will "be available" tomorrow. On Craig Smith, Wittman said there's a chance he could play and that Rashad McCants will be evaluated in the morning.
By the way, Witt also mentioned that a few players tweaked their ankles today in practice--Jefferson and Green and Telfair--and might be doubtful for the Celtic tilt tomorrow. A conspiracy theorist might opine that the Wolves don't want the current talent differential of their big trade to be quite so obvious out on the hardwood, although you could also argue that they have nothing to lose except maybe a little face.
In the latest installment of the Rhino Diaries, Craig Smith talks about the team's community events, his teammates making fun of him, and talking to his girlfriend:
So I got a call from my girlfriend Joana, whom I adore. We talked for a long time that night just explaining to her about my day, and I'm realizing we aint even talk about her day and it's already been 40 minutes! In my head, while we're continuing to talk, I'm like, my bill is gonna be a million dollars. Damn! But I love her so much, it doesn't matter. I know what you're saying, how can the Rhino be this soft? Well, when you love someone, even a rhino, you gotta have a soft side. Especially if you got a lady...
But when asked if the exhibition game would give him an excuse to go easy on Minnesota, he replied: "No way in hell.
"It's kill or be killed. I don't anticipate them taking it lightly. It's going to be a competitive game."
Wolves newcomer Greg Buckner has worn No. 21 previously. But when the Wolves asked him if he’d like to wear No. 21 for them, he quickly turned the offer down and opted for No. 7. Celtics newcomer forward Kevin Garnett, a 10-time NBA All-Star, wore No. 21 in Minnesota. Buckner thought it would be insulting to wear Garnett's old number in Minnesota.
The Celtics are one of five teams veteran Timberwolves forward Juwan Howard has told management he is comfortable being dealt to. While Howard hasn't demanded a trade, he has told the Wolves he would prefer to play for a potential winner. But unless the 13-year veteran is waived, which is doubtful, he probably won't end up a Celtic because a trade is unlikely because of his $6.8 million salary.
The Hype Guy has a caption contest for a photo of Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner.
Russ Bengtson/SLAM Online posts a January 2004 interview with KG.no comments
Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald on the Wolves and Celtics crossing paths at the O2 Arena in London
Though there was no apparent anger in his actions, Garnett didn’t go out of his way to mix with the crowd. As much as he gave his soul to the ’Wolves when he was in Minnesota, it seems fairly clear he has crossed fully to the Celtics’ side.
Also from Bulpett at the Boston Herald:
With so much cross-pollination between the two clubs, yesterday’s session was filled with hugs and handshakes. The Celtics sent five players to Minnesota for Garnett. As Davis put it, “It’s real strange. I was on the Celtics, and then I got traded to the ’Wolves. Now the ’Wolves are the Celtics. I don’t know what’s going on. I guess it’s the nature of the business. It’s different. It’s not anything I haven’t been in before with trades, but at least I knew a lot of the guys that came here this summer.”
Reunions go every which way in East London. Jefferson said it "felt just like last year, just being in the hotel with these guys [the Celtics]. More like a family. We did everything together. That's the bad thing about it. But it's business."
Also:Wittman calls Howard's relocation requests "a little bit blown out [of proportion], from a media standpoint. He's not demanding to be traded; he just wants the opportunity to win."
Ex-Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey's Minneapolis townhome is being leased by new Wolf Al Jefferson, who is expected to buy it after he signs a hefty contract extension.
Expect Gomes to play small forward and power forward in Wednesday's exhibition game against the Boston Celtics in London. Wittman said he wants Gomes to be comfortable playing both forward positions.
Assessing the point men: Wittman praised reserve point guard Sebastian Telfair for his play against Efes Pilsen...
As for Foye, the second-year player had "dead legs" and didn't lead as well as Wittman would have liked. Wittman said he addressed that with Foye, who responded Monday with one of his best practices so far.
Edina native Rick Kamla, who was offered the job as the Timberwolves' radio play-by-play announcer last week, told the team he will remain at NBA TV. Kamla serves in a variety of roles for the network, including play-by-play and studio host.
"This has been the toughest decision of my career," he said. "I was flattered by the Wolves' interest."
The team will have three preseason games on BOB 106 FM this month, beginning Oct. 20 at Milwaukee.no comments
There was a respectful distance Monday between Kevin Garnett and the team for which he used to play, a moat of sorts in this land of castles and towers and palaces.
It was an attractive, cordial moat, replete with smiles, handshakes and man-hugs as the Boston Celtics walked into the magnificent O2 Arena in North Greenwich a few minutes before the Minnesota Timberwolves left. Andre Deloya, the Wolves' beloved physical therapist, visited for a couple of minutes as Garnett pulled on his sneakers. Trainer Greg Farnum, too. Coach Randy Wittman. Rashad McCants. Even Kevin McHale, the man who traded Garnett and ultimately let him down, stopped by.
Check out new Wolves blog Timberwolves Today for a podcast on the team's offseason and preseason.
Click here for a transcript of Coach Wittman's conference call with the media.
Mike Cristaldi on Monday's practice in London.
Three of the Wolves' four injured players who did not play against Efes Pilsen did participate in practice. Craig Smith, Rashad McCants and Marko Jaric all participated throughout the almost three-hour session. All three looked good and showed no signs of slowing down due to injury...once again at least in the eyes of this bystander. However, Ricky Davis sat out the last quarter of practice due to a sprained right ankle.
Assistant GM Rob Babcock on last Saturday's preseason game.
Click here for video of Sebastian Telfair on media day.no comments