A very weird night for the Timberwolves and Spurs who traveled to Mexico City for a basketball game, but couldn’t play it because the arena got so smoky that it had to be evacuated. The game will be rescheduled and played at Target Center. (This was a “home game” in Mexico for the Wolves from Minnesota.)
What happened after the game in Mexico is anyone’s best guess. I offer the above Photoshop as one possibility.
Next one is at home on Saturday against LeBron James (and Michael Beasley!) and the Miami Heat.
In Case You Missed It: Check out our State Of The Wolves post at timberwolves.com.
We’ll check in later this week with more.
State of the Wolves
Mark Remme and the folks at timberwolves.com are running a monthly series called “State Of The Wolves.” They were kind enough to invite us to contribute this month. Go check it out.
Wolves (7-6) host Nets (3-8) tonight. With Brooklyn missing its two best players (Deron Williams & Brook Lopez) it’s absolutely a game that Minnesota should win.
But in terms of reasons to watch, this one’s easy. Kevin Garnett is back in town and in the lineup, possible for the last time ever at Target Center.
The Wolves play at Washington tonight (6:00 CST, FSN Plus), where former Minnesota coach Randy Wittman has his team off to a more-than-disappointing 2-7 start. Wizards players and fans (and coaches, I suppose) expected this to be the first winning season of the John Wall (or Post Gilbert Arenas, if you prefer) Era. They finished last season strong, they have star talent surrounded by competent role fillers, and they even made a short-term move to trade for Marcin Gortat after Emeka Okafor got hurt.
But the wins haven’t followed, Randy Wittman’s seat is burning hot, and the Wizards are holding players only meetings. I’ve sat through what I thought was Wittman’s Last Stand; his last ever game coaching the Timberwolves. It was a cold, quiet night in Downtown Minneapolis and the only thing breaking the sound of Baron Davis three-point swishes was a steady supply of “FIE-YER WITT-MAN!” from various pockets of Target Center seats. (The few that were filled.)
It’s not a pretty place for a franchise to be. We’ve been there.
The good news for Wizards fans: It can only get better from here. (Well, unless your next key move is to hire David Kahn to handle personnel decisions.)
It goes without saying that the Wolves view this as a winnable game; much more so than tomorrow’s matchup at home versus a rested, title-contending Clippers team. I don’t cheer for people to get fired from their jobs, but in the case of Wittman’s Wizards, that team should definitely be playing better than it is, and Wittman’s history suggests he’s doing more harm than good.
Enjoy the game.
Klay Thompson has one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the NBA
The 3-1 Golden State Warriors are in ‘Sota to take on the 3-1 Timberwolves tonight at Target Center. Tip is at 7 P.M. CST. You can see it on FSN or NBA League Pass.
The Dubs are the darlings of the NBA so far this season, and it’s easy to see why: They’re third in the League in points per game, and are first in assists per game. They have fun players in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who can fill it up from pretty much anywhere inside the 612 area code. Andre Iguodala makes big dunks, and–this is a first for the Warriors–defends well. David Lee flows to the tune of about 20 & 10 nightly. Andrew Bogut isn’t Andris Biedrins. (Eds. Note: Bogut also belongs on that “Dark Alley” team that was occasionally referenced in Grantland’s NBA Preview marathon, with fellow toughs Lance Stephenson and David West, inter alia.)
The starting lineups should look like this:
PG – Ricky Rubio vs. Stephen Curry
SG – Kevin Martin vs. Klay Thompson
SF - Corey Brewer vs. Andre Iguodala
PF – Kevin Love vs. David Lee
C – Zod Pekovic vs. Andrew Bogut
Yes, it will be a high-scoring game.
Inside The Q
For the second straight season, Punch-Drunk Wolves attended a Timberwolves road game. Last year was easy: Pat lived in Washington D.C., where — you know — an NBA team plays. He moved to Pittsburgh in the off-season. While The Steel City has no professional basketball, it’s just a two-hour drive from Cleveland, where the Cavaliers play. Since we’re both outspoken fans of Kyrie Lee Irving, and predraft boosters of Anthony Bennett, it seemed only logical to plan a trip to see the Wolves play the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena.
The following is a collection of photos I snapped of the journey. Continue reading
If you see this man in Minneapolis tonight, don’t look directly at his shirt or you might go blind.
The undefeated Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off of a season-opening victory in overtime against the Orlando Magic, take on a more formidable opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at Target Center.
You should watch it if you want to see how the team responds to the trouble it had putting away a lesser opponent, and to see how they stack up against one of the better teams in the Western Conference.
No, Russell Westbrook won’t be walking through that door–check that, maybe he’ll be walking through that door (I’m not sure if he’s traveling with the team, but if he is, just look for the athletic-looking guy limping around in borderline absurd technicolor hipster garb–you can’t miss him.)
A few quick dashes about tonight’s tilt before my lunch break ends:
Pek is so money. But does he know it?
The NBA season is less than 24 hours away. The Timberwolves begin theirs on Wednesday Night versus the Magic. For the past six months we’ve relied on secondary sources to satisfy our appetite for pro basketball:
The Timberwolves-less playoffs and Miami’s championship repeat. David Kahn’s departure and Flip Saunders’s arrival. The draft. The Vegas League. Free agency and welcoming Kevin Martin to Minnesota (and welcoming Corey Brewer *back* to Minnesota). Pek’s new contract. Rick Adelman’s eventual, inconspicuous announcement that he will return to coach another season. Media Day. And, most recently, the training camp and preseason.
Beginning this week we can get back to the real stuff — the primary stuff. The games that actually matter.
In Case You Missed Them: There are a ton of great preview pieces out there. Hardwood Paroxysm and SB Nation put together comprehensive collections of team-by-team previews. Kevin Pelton forecast the Wolves season for ESPN Insider. (SCHOENE!) Bill and Jalen recorded short videos for The Grantland Channel for each team, which have been highly entertaining and mostly insightful. Bethlehem Shoals posted 30 Teams, 30 Questions preview for GQ that you have to check out. And the great Britt Robson has commenced a three-part NBA Preview at MinnPost, to include a Wolves-specific piece on Wednesday.
The bottom line is, if you want to be familiar with the issues facing the Timberwolves or any other team heading into the 2013-14 season, the information is out there for you.
Here at PDW, we’ll outline the basic discussion topics and add our two cents on the upcoming Timberwolves season. As always, thanks for reading.
Competition for the Wolves’ last couple roster spots has captured the attention of the very hardest core fans. (Eds. Note: See, for example, here and here, excellent analysis by Canis Hoopus’ Eric in Madison, a valued commenter here at Punch-Drunk Wolves.)
There has been some debate recently about how the Wolves should round out the bottom end of their roster: Should it be be Jeffers or Brown? Does Hummel’s preseason performance merit a roster spot? Is A.J. Price necessary to keep on the roster, really, when you already have three other point guards? And just how strong is Othyeus “Yolomite” Jeffers’ pimp hand, really?
We now have a better understanding of the Wolves’ takes on these issues.