Tag Archives: Nic Batum

Blazers 102, Wolves 97: Five Things

1. Kevin Love broke his hand.  Again.

This was the big news to hit Twitter in the hours leading up to the game.  Kevin Love had an MRI exam done on his right hand and it showed that he re-fractured the same bone that he previously broke during the preseason.  Given that Love came back earlier than expected from the last fracture injury and never regained his shooting form (or anything remotely close to it) I think it’s fair to expect the team to take better caution this time around.  Love’s latest injury could likely be a fatal blow to the Wolves’ playoff chances.  Even if the team can hover around the .500 mark, they’ll do so while watching competitors like Houston (20-14), Denver (19-16), and yes, probably the Lakers (15-17) claim ownership of those final spots with records 5 to 10 games over .500.  Portland, currently 18-15, could continue to look like a playoff team, but I personally don’t think they’re that good.  One high ankle sprain to Nic Batum or LaMarcus Aldridge (or Wes Matthews or Dame Lillard) would probably mean a losing streak for the shallow Blazers roster.  In any case, the Western Conference is loaded and Kevin Love playing so few minutes of good basketball this year is going to keep the Wolves out of the playoffs, barring a major surprise.

2. Blazers Shooting

Last night Portland attempted 24 three-point shots and made 16 of them.  48 points from downtown on 66.67 percent shooting is going to mean a win for almost any team against any opponent.  Some of them were open, but that happens.  The three-point line is never covered perfectly, and certainly not against a team that also has a matchup problem in the post like LaMarcus Aldridge and a capable playmaker like Damian Lillard.  In his press conference, Adelman first pointed the finger at his own team’s lack of effort but then conceded that Portland made just about everything.  Damian Lillard’s threes (3-5) were tough to stop because they came off the dribble.  Wes Matthews’ threes (5-7) were tough to stop because some were ridiculous fade-aways.  Nic Batum’s threes (5-6) were tough to stop because he’s 6’8″ and releases the ball high without even a split second of hesitation.

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Centered Love

Kevin Love

As you probably already know, Kevin Love earned a spot on this summer’s Olympic team.  If you’ve read a little bit about it, you noticed that he will likely play the center position for America’s Finest.  From Ray Richardson:

“That’s going to be my primary position throughout the event … through the friendly games and leading up to the Olympics,” Love said Saturday in Las Vegas during an interview on NBA TV. “It’s going to be a lot of the ‘five spot’ for me, so I’ll be doing a lot of picking and popping, offensive rebounding, getting extra possessions … doing everything I can to help this team.”

Picking and popping, offensive rebounding, and getting extra possessions are all things that Love does at an elite level for his NBA team.  Is there some reason that he cannot or should not play center for the TWolves?  In the middle of last season, I wrote a piece that compared Willis Reed’s role on the champion Knicks to what I thought Kevin Love might be able to accomplish in today’s NBA.  Although I’ve made my feelings known on the subject, I find it necessary to address it again now, because of the Olympic news and also because important roster decisions will be made in the coming days and weeks. Continue reading

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INBOX: Goodbye Michael Beasley, Hello Brandon Roy

Fun with Photoshop

Patrick J: Lots of Wolves activity of late: Beasley’s gone, Roy’s in, and the fun has just begun.Good or no good?

Andy G: Before I dig into last night’s wave of Blazers-Wolves free agency warfare, I’ll say my piece about de boi Mike Beasley.

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Batum, Gasol & Scenarios

Nic Batum, future Timberwolf?

Free Agency (sort of began) at midnight on Saturday night.  That’s when teams could contact free agents to discuss possible contracts and, in some cases, come to verbal agreements.  Only, the actual pen-on-paper agreement cannot be finalized until July 11, still eight days away (if you’re reading this on Tuesday.)  While we wait for that big day, and the proverbial dominos to fall, we’re left reading the latest updates about who is joining David Kahn to what Twins game and following whatever blockbuster trades break across the news wire when you least expect.  Continue reading

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