Is that Josh Howard or Marlo Stanfield? I can’t tell either! (Good thing.)
The Wolves have a new player. And it just feels right. It’s like we were destined to get him as part of a Ndudi Ebi exorcism after Brandon Roy’s five-game trial failed to redeem Roy-Foye. On Josh Howard’s future with the Wolves, go check out Oceanary’s post at Canis Hoopus.
In other news…
In the interest of getting some much-needed, early-in-the-week sleep, I’m doing this wrap in two parts–first and second half splits. So the first half is being written at halftime.
1st Half Notes
The first half–and especially the first quarter–was dominated by the Wolves two best healthy players: Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic. [Eds note: In hindsight, I should not have phrased that sentence that way. More on that in the 2nd Half.] Pek showed off a move that he’s clearly been working on with Coach Billy Bayno, the standard jump hook. He buried three of these with his right hand in the opening quarter and finished the half with an impressive 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. It’s hard to understate the importance of this new skill, because as defenders become forced to defend it honestly it will open up his go-to favorite, the drop step. We’ve seen Pek taking a hard right-hand dribble into the paint when defenders cheat to his right (baseline side/left block) shoulder and try jump hooks. He makes them sometimes. What we saw in the first half tonight was on the right block–more of a standard post hook. Pek improves at things. That’s mostly a credit to him but also to Rick Adelman’s coaching staff.
Paul George is a baller
Illustration by Howard Shum. Go check it out.
Paul George is good at professional basketball. Really good.
We’ve raved before about George’s underrated defensive prowess, but it’s worth reiterating: George can defend the hell out of the ball. George has those extremely long arms, that effortless footwork, and excellent positioning that, on a good day, might remind you of Scottie Pippen.
The Wolves will have to contend with George tonight, when the Wolves take on the Pacers at Target Center at 7 PM. But they won’t just have to plan for George’s disruptive defense…
Can Andrei Kirilenko really be the key to this year’s team? Who knows! The season hasn’t started yet!
In Part 1 of our Wolves preview, Andy G delved into several issues that will have key implications for the team’s success this season. I come back with my takes on these topics, as well as a few other things he didn’t look at closely.
Find out what below the fold.
What will David Kahn do next??
With training camp just around the corner, there are a bunch of top-level questions that remain unanswered as October 2nd approaches. There’s been a ton turnover on the roster, and many players’ roles are anything but clear. Long story short, the team’s success this season will likely hinge on the answers.
In a two-part series, I look at the ten questions I think are most important heading into the 2012-13 season. More below the fold.
photo by David Sherman/NBAE (via espn.com)
It strikes me that even if Hassan Whiteside becomes a Timberwolf in the coming days, the playing roster is probably complete. It also strikes me that there is far from a clear-cut starting lineup, or even playing rotation. Rick Adelman does not strike me as a coach who worries about going deep into his bench to appease reserve players. At least not in big games when he’s coaching his best teams. Before speculating about this year’s rotation, let’s look back at last year’s:
Point Guard – Ricky Rubio (34.2 minutes per game)
Shooting Guard – Luke Ridnour (33.0 minutes per game)
Small Forward – Wesley Johnson (22.6 minutes per game; 64 starts)
Power Forward – Kevin Love (39.0 minutes per game)
Center – Nikola Pekovic (26.9 minutes per game)
Reserve Guard – J.J. Barea (25.2 minutes per game)
Reserve Wing – Martell Webster (24.3 minutes per game)
Reserve Forward – Michael Beasley (23.1 minutes per game)
Reserve Power Forward – Derrick Williams (21.5 minutes per game) Continue reading
Since I decided to get up and watch our favorite new TWolves at 3:00 this morning, I might as well do a brief game wrap. Russia handled the Chinese from start to finish in what was perhaps a more-impressive victory than the opener versus overmatched Great Britain. While the stat lines of Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko were a bit more modest than the first game, the players looked just as good and played as important of roles in another one-sided affair. Continue reading
Andy G: According to Jerry Zgoda and other sources, the Wolves are hotly pursuing former Jazz (what are you supposed to call a Utah Jazz member?), Andrei Kirilenko, willing to give away Wes Johnson and a future first rounder to clear space for a large Kahntract; something in the neighborhood of two years, $18 Million.
How do we feel about this one? Continue reading