Timberwolves Catch-Up

I apologize for the lack of content over the past few days. Since the double-overtime win over the Mavs, when Ricky Rubio put together a triple double and one of his greatest ever performances, the following has happened:

* The Wolves were blown out by the Rockets at Houston.

* The Wolves played really well for three quarters at home against the Suns. And then were blown off the floor in the fourth quarter.

* The Wolves were destroyed by the Grizzlies at Memphis, last night.

It has not been a fun stretch. The first and last of the three were unpleasant for obvious reasons. The middle game left a certain sting due to how the game unfolded (crunchtime collapse) and also because of how neatly it symbolized this entire season; one that has included first-quarter point barrages followed by late-game stagnancy.

Add these factors to my interest in the ongoing NCAA Tournament, and a busier-than-usual work schedule, and you have my excuse for not posting much, recently.

The big-picture team and fan issues remain the same:

We’re all pretty sure that Rick Adelman is coaching his last career games. Kevin Love is awesome, but worn down from trying to carry his team. Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea are playing outside of their natural (read: smaller) roles. Ricky Rubio is good, but needs to be better. Nikola Pekovic is big, and will always miss some games due to leg injuries. Kevin Martin can score, but he’s almost certainly overpaid. Chase Budinger seems like damaged goods, and needs to have a huge off-season in the weight room. The Western Conference is loaded and the Wolves might struggle to crack its top eight in the foreseeable future.

Gorgui Dieng seems to be the one bright spot of late. Over the past five games (the first five starts of his career) Gorgui is averaging 12.2 points and 13.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, in 32.4 minutes per game. He’s shot 56.1 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the foul line. In these games, the Wolves have performed at their best with Gorgui on the floor and at their worst with him off of it. This is a nice change from earlier in the season, when Gorgui’s sporadic playing time usually coincided with poor team performance. In one of the weaker draft classes in memory, the Timberwolves may have plucked a good player at Number 21. That is your dose of optimism for this Tuesday morning.

Next up are the Hawks, tomorrow night at Target Center.

Until then.

Season Record: 34-35

About these ads

6 Comments

Filed under Timberwolves

6 responses to “Timberwolves Catch-Up

  1. Nathan Anderson

    It is amazing that the Wolves have sunk $10 million/year into the SF spot for two guys that (at least this season) are awful three point shooters and play below average defense. $10 million! I keep coming back to how dumb it was to sign both of those guys (Brewer and Bud) for that amount of money and each for three years.

    I keep coming back to the idea that, in 10 years, this team will not be in Minnesota. Maybe it will be contracted, maybe it will be in Seattle or Chicago, but it won’t be in MN. Taylor thinks he saved the team for MN by retaining ownership, but by continuing to hire half-wits he’s ensuring continued losing and apathy in this market. Very few people will bat an eyelash when this team leaves the state and it doesn’t have to be that way.

    • Your concern is why I got a little bit excited about the Mayo Clinic partnership and the renovations of Target Center. I doubt the team moves any time soon with this heightened level of financial commitment.

      But the wing position is a mess, for sure. I’ve really disliked watching Brewer in his role this year, and Budinger’s knee seems to be about shot. Shabazz might have to drop 15 pounds (much the way K-Love did) in order to defend that position reliably.

      Bigger picture, longer view, if they end up trading Love this off-season, it would be nice to ship out some of Martin/Brewer/Budinger with him.

      • Nathan Anderson

        Yes on the shipping out of wing players. Unbelievable that they spent so much money at the 2/3 this year and still collectively underwhelm at the position.

        I read you on the mayo partnership and renovation. However, my fears involve more 10 years down the road than the next 2-3 years. It is difficult for me to imagine this team being successful again under Taylor. It is now 10 seasons without the playoffs. That is absurd. What if it reaches 15 seasons or 20 seasons?

        • I think you just made the case for *not* trading Kevin Love this summer. They might view a legitimate playoff shot — even just 1 of them — as being worth more than the nickels and dimes they can get on that dollar in a trade.

    • I obviously don’t want the Wolves ever to leave Minneapolis. But if they do, here’s hoping they’d end up in Pittsburgh (http://www.pittsburghsportingnews.com/pittsburgh-the-nbas-next-basketball-city/) and wear these jerseys (http://abajerseys.com/jersey-detail.php?type=TopTen&ID=2). More good stuff here: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_kw=pittsburgh+condors

      That, not the roll out of sherseys, would get me back into the jersey-buying game.

  2. DAG

    Move the team from “Minnesota” to “Minneapolis”. Who are the Minnesota Timberwolves? Pek and Love may look like lumberjacks from Ely but this team deserves a big city, big time name. Minneapolis Lakers had it right. Change the name to something that reflects a progressive, modern city. Start over. “Minnesota” basketball belongs to the U of M Gophers. Minneapolis is basketball and St. Paul is hockey. Twins are both. I hate the name and what it implies. To attend games, I drive from little Zumbrota to see the downtown. I like the city lights, humanity on the streets, and racial diversity. Downtown Minneapolis doesn’t look anything like “Minnesota Timberwovles”. Marketing and perceptions count. I thank Mr. Taylor and please stay, but re-branding to “Minneapolis” would better reflect a big-time basketball image.