Dirk N. and his hat will be squaring off tonight against the Wolves in Dallas
(Eds. Note: Andy G and Patrick J clearly don’t know what to do with themselves over a long weekend because they both wrote preview posts, unbeknownst to the other. Here’s part deux.)
The Timberwolves are in Dallas to take on Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks tonight at 7:30 CST. The Wolves have lost three straight. They’re now 8-9. After getting off to a quick 7-2 start, this the first time this season the Wolves have been under .500.
‘Sota needs a reversal of fortune in a bad way. And by “fortune,” I mean “effort and execution.” They showed neither in Wednesday night’s home loss against Denver, a point that Rick Adelman lamented repeatedly in his terse post-game presser. Referring to the loss on the Wolves’ home court, Adelman said, ”the players can’t expect the fans to pump them up. That’s backward. (The players) need to get the fans going.”
(Eds. Note: When you hear a coach emphatically describe how his team wasn’t ready to play and didn’t give the effort you expect from a group of professional athletes–his group of professional athletes–you immediately see the stark difference between a coach who has absolutely no concern about his job security and the majority who aren’t so lucky to have the same leash.)
It was clear that after three straight losses, Adelman has lost any patience with which he began the season for the Wolves’ propensity for unforced errors, lackadaisical defense, and their failure to do basic things–like, say, blocking out opposing bigs (and Andre Miller) on the defensive boards–for painfully long stretches in winnable games.
Worse than that, Adelman clearly knows he doesn’t have a magic bullet to use now that he needs one.
Andy G and I are exhibiting withdrawal symptoms after a multiday layoff from Wolves hoops. That should be fixed soon. Here’s what we’re thinking heading into tonight’s game.
Another thing: Punch-Drunk Wolves is at full strength tonight in the flesh. I’m in town for the holiday and about to head over to 600 1st Avenue.
A fatal mistake of the Wolves in Friday’s game against Golden State was a failure to box out and prevent second-chance points. The 17 offensive rebounds pulled down by the Warriors were key in staving off a last-ditch comeback effort. Tonight, the Denver Nuggets come to town with a league-leading average of 16.8 offensive boards per game. Kenneth Faried in particular has been a beast–or MANIMAL, I should say–in attacking the glass, averaging an absurd 6.9 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes. If the Wolves want to win tonight, they need to get stops–which, against Denver, means working on the glass after forcing the missed shot.
Last year, one had to wonder if Gordon wished he were still wearing this uniform. This coming season, we’re all excited to see him back on the court.
The Punch-Drunk Wolves League Pass Series has taken on a life of its own. We’re on Volume 5 after two rookie teams, an Eastern Conference Team, and a REACTION POST to the Eastern Conference Team. Since Pat is enjoying some vacation time back in ‘Sota, I won’t be surprised if he follows this one up with some of his own thoughts again. Here is your Western Conference League Pass Team. (Eds. Note: No Timberwolves since we watch those games with Jimmy Pete on the local stations. League Pass EXEMPT.)
PG – Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors: Remember how fun it is to watch Steph Curry play? Me neither. Because he only played 26 games last year on a tanking Warriors team. Not this year. The Dubs now have Andrew Bogut and a supporting cast of wings that actually complement Curry’s playmaking and shooting. As a Timberwolves fan hoping to see them make the playoffs, the Warriors scare me as 8-Seed Competition. Curry will be fun to watch this year. I should add: Steve Nash in a Laker Uniform is more MUST-SEE TV, at least at first, than Curry. But you’ll see the Lakers on national TV so much that they don’t belong on a League Pass team. Continue reading
Tonight was a weird, weird, game. The play was rough and sloppy. The Wolves lost in OT.