Tag Archives: nick young

Lakers vs. Wolves (The Late Show Edition)

Nick "Swaggy P" Young and Kendall Marshall will be in Minneapolis tonight to take on the Wolves.

Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Kendall Marshall will be in Minneapolis tonight to take on the Wolves.

Look again, that IS NOT Steve Blake on the right. That’s the red hot Kendall Marshall, who’ll be manning the point for Los Angeles tonight in Minneapolis.

That’s right – the Lakers are in Minneapolis to play the Timberwolves tonight. Tip is at 7 P.M. CST.  Most of you can see the game on FSN. If you’re not local, you can see it on League Pass. If you prefer to listen, tune in to WCCO 830.

A quick rundown of things to look for is below the fold.

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Wolves 113, LAKERS 90

I spilled a lot of virtual ink yesterday about the Wolves season to date. They went on to pummel the Lakers, defeating LAL by the most points in franchise history and for the first time in years. Three pointers by the Kevins, Outlet bombs to Brewer, pesky backcourt defense, and a Ricky Rubio triple double all factored into the win. Oh, and Nick Young’s shot selection.

Another big one tonight at the same arena, against a much better Clippers team.

***

Update (11:05 A.M. CST): It’s a cliche , but we’d be remiss not to honor Ricky’s triple-double (highlights here) by giving it the proper Ice Cube  treatment (see 1:18) – Patrick J

It Was A Good Day (NSFW, depending where you W)

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by | November 11, 2013 · 9:21 AM

INTEL REPORT: Wolves at Lakers (The Swaggy P Edition)

Swaggy P is gonna ball 'til he falls

Swaggy P is gonna ball ’til he falls

Tonight the 4-2 Timberwolves will be taking on the 3-4 Lakers in LaLa at the Staples Center. The game is at 9:30 P.M Eastern, 8:30 P.M. Central. I’ll be watching on League Pass.

Kobe Bryant won’t be walking onto that court. (Eds. Note: He might be limping onto the bench. The operative message is, he won’t be playing tonight against the Timberwolves.) But Nick Young will. Like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young is a shooting guard. Like Kobe Bryant, Nick Young gets up shots.

But Nick Young is not Kobe Bryant. He has more in common with Jordan Crawford and other NBA gunners, and former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. (It’s the shoes).

Imelda Marcos and her kicks

Swaggy P and his kicks

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League Pass Alert, Vol. 6: The “So Bad They’re Good” First Team

Byron Mullens (Photo from Diebolt Designs)

Andy G and I are doing a series on players you’ll be watching for one reason or another this season on League Pass. Check out the first four entries below.

1. All-League Pass Rookie 1st Team, or “Rookies You Want to Watch”: http://punchdrunkwolves.com/2012/08/23/all-league-pass-team-vol-1-rookies-you-want-to-watch/

2. All-League Pass Rookie 2nd Team, or “Rookies You (Might) Want to Watch”: http://punchdrunkwolves.com/2012/08/24/league-pass-alert-vol-2-rookies-you-might-want-to-watch/

3. All-League Pass 1st Team, Eastern Conference:http://punchdrunkwolves.com/2012/08/25/league-pass-alert-vol-3-eastern-conference-league-pass-team/

4. League Pass Alert, Vol. 4: When Bad Teams Happen to Good Players, and the East’s New Stopper: http://punchdrunkwolves.com/2012/08/26/league-pass-alert-vol-4-when-bad-teams-happen-to-good-players-and-the-easts-new-defensive-stopper/ 

5. League Pass Alert, Vol. 5: Western Conference League Pass Team: http://punchdrunkwolves.com/2012/08/26/league-pass-alert-vol-5-western-conference-league-pass-team/

This one is about players who aren’t great but have unique or otherwise interesting qualities Andy G and I like to watch for one reason or another. Usually these qualities involve style and not substance, not all of which is ON THE COURT (see Blatche, Andray).

Let’s get on with the show.

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Flipped Off: Flip Saunders Fired as Wizards Coach

Flip Saunders and Jan Vesely (Photo by Toni L. Sandys, Washington Post)

The news: Flip Saunders has been fired by the Washington Wizards, ESPN reports.

The big news: RANDY WITTMAN! will be replacing Saunders as Wiz coach.

Saunders clearly wasn’t able to get through to Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Jordan Crawford, and the other assorted Wiz misfits. Who could?

I wrote about this after attending a Wiz game last Friday.  Bottom line is, they’re hopeless.

I can’t wait to see how they react to Wittman’s DISCIPLINARIAN schtick.

Only the Wiz. *Sigh.*

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Can You Hear Me Now? A Night at the Verizon Center

Nick Young...yeah..

I’m a native Minnesotan turned academic nomad who has spent the last half-decade living in Chicago, the Bay Area, Boston, and now Washington DC. I only get to attend a few games at Target Center each year, usually while visiting family during the holidays.

But as both an NBA and Wolves junkie, a silver lining has been immersion in a variety of NBA cultures–in my case, the Bulls, Warriors, Celtics, and ‘Zards–while keeping a finger on the Wolves’ pulse through NBA League Pass, a running NBA-related email dialogue with Andy G, and religiously following a bunch of great Wolves sites.

I’ve attended games in each city where I’ve lived. Here’s a quick rundown.

My United Center experiences were pre-Rose and so pretty lame. The crowds were quiet, the United Center spacious and cold, and the neighborhood around the arena was somewhere you didn’t want to be.

My Oracle experiences were AWESOME. It was post-We Believe but pre-Implosion. The arena was cramped and stuffy and the fans were passionate and ROWDY. You’d see black, Asian, Latino, and white fans all sitting side-by-side, going all kinds of crazy for the Dubs. Whenever I went to Oracle, there was always a live funk band, cheerleaders wearing old school booty shorts and knee-high tube socks with yellow and blue rings at the top, and fast-break basketball. It was like a cross between a George Clinton concert and what I imagine ABA games were like. Best live basketball experiences I’ve ever had.

Games in Boston are fun because Celtics fans are PASSIONATE and LOYAL to the point of insanity. This was post-Title, but still when the Celtics were the best in the Atlantic. You’d feel like the guy sitting on each side of you might rip open your chest and pull out your heart if he even suspected you weren’t cheering for the Cs. Or that you weren’t a Red Sox fan. Or that you weren’t drinking Sam Adams. You get the idea. Overall, Boston games were fun because (1) the Celtics were really good and savvy, and (2) unlike the Dubs games, where fans were rowdy but just having a good time, Cs fans took the INTENSITY to a different level–so much so that ANGER and VIOLENCE always lurked as real possibilities for any perceived infraction at any possible time. I imagine this is what intense, insular religious experiences are like.

All of this is a roundabout way of setting up my first experience–last night–at a Wizards game here in DC. I knew the ‘Zards had the worst record in the league, but with their new unis and assorted personnel, I thought maybe–just maybe–the potential was there for a Dubs-like experience., with @JimmyWa playing the part of Boom Dizzle, Nick Young doing his best Stephen Jackson impersonation, Jordan Crawford shooting with the conscience of Monta Ellis, and JaVale McGee swatting shots like Andris Biedrins.

Man was I wrong.

Despite a close score, the atmosphere at the Verizon Center was flatter than Nebraska. The crowd only got loud during the 4th quarter when the Nuggs went to the free throw line, and only then because Chick-fil-A does a promotion where fans get a free sandwich when opposing players miss both shots during 4th quarter trips to the stripe. Yeah.

Then there are the players.

The Wiz’s best player, John Wall, was almost completely disengaged. Andray Blatche was a liability in just about every conceivable way. Nick Young did his best Shaddy McCants impersonation, shooting every time he touched the ball and scowling when fellow ball hogs Crawford or Blatche shot before the ball was swung to him. Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton play hard but have no talent. Booker is like Trenton Hassell–without the jump shot.

Then there’s the play itself.

The Wiz have no offense. Remember what the Cippers’ offenses looked like when Mike Dunleavy was the coach? The endless iso “plays” for Corey Maggette, and Cat Mobley, and Ricky Buckets? Fast forward to now, and you’ve got the Wiz. Any reputation Flip Saunders ever developed as a good offensive coach can no longer be credible. He will be fired soon.

The Wiz also do not have any defense. They’re terrible. Sure, Wall took some charges and McGee blocked/goaltended some shots, but their forwards were DESTROYED by the likes of Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari.

Harrington and Gallo are the kinds of guys who don’t quite have star potential but who can and do relentlessly exploit weak defense until their line is gaudy. And that’s exactly what happened. Harrington had 29 and Gallo had 21. Both looked unstoppable, but in the sort of way that that overweight guy who hangs out at the “Y” can look unstoppable against younger, weaker players. The nail in the coffin was that Ty Lawson toyed with Wall most of the game, who looked lost trying to run whatever offense Saunders was trying to tell him to run. I bet Wiz fans wish they had Ricky.

Wolves fans are lucky. We’ve taken our lumps but things are getting better. And whenever we suffer a disappointing loss, we can always flip our League Pass over to the ‘Zards game for a quick pick-me-up.

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On the Rebound (Wolves 93, WIZARDS 72)

The Wolves came back from a pair of lackluster home losses against Memphis and Cleveland to beat the Washington Wizards 93-72 Sunday afternoon in D.C. in the first tilt of a back-to-back-to-back on the road.

Today’s win felt great, mostly because Friday’s loss felt so bad. But before we get carried away with blowout euphoria, let us remember that the Wiz are truly awful. As a DC area resident, I can assure you that the ‘Zards really are that bad and that it’s no mistake the Wiz are 0-8. The Flip Saunders offenses Wolves fans grew accustomed to are nowhere to be found these days at the Verizon Center. The Wiz stand around a lot and eventually do some kind of iso for one of the Three Stooges–Andray Blatche, Nick Young, and Jordan Crawford. For variety, they’ll sometimes indulge Rashard Lewis’ itchy trigger finger and let him take a heat check from the three, which he’s currently shooting at a smelly 22%.

There are bright spots. John Wall could be Westbrook or Rose on another team – hell, in 2009/10 Wall excelled in Rose’s role for John Calipari’s  Kentucky Wildcats team, the year after Rose was the uber-athletic one-year rental who drove Cal’s Memphis muscle car all the way to the NCAA championship game – and JaVale McGee is leading the L in blocked shots and is DeAndre Jordan East. But the Stooges and Lewis drag down the ‘Zards like a rusty anchor and there’s no hope for the ‘Zards unless Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld overhaul the roster and give Wall a fresh start with a new cast of characters. (Hey! You know what? Wolves POBO David Kahn just did this in Mpls! And we just blew out the Wizards. Leonsis should poach him for a Wiz redemption project!)

***
We’ll do a full wrap after the three-game set, but a few Wolves notes on the Wiz game:

  • Rubio outplayed Wall en route to 13pts/14 ast/+29 in 30 minutes. What the 5-14 in the box score fails to reflect is that Ricky knows when to shoot, and that he shoots it in rhythm/with confidence. It took Rondo–whose rep as a weak shooter has led defenses to sag off him like they do on Rubio–2-3 years to get as comfortable calling his own number as Ricky is right now. Can you believe we got this guy for Mike Miller and Randy Foy?
  • Beasley was out and the offense ran better. But again, it was the Wiz. So, correlation or causation?
  • Williams/Tolliver/Love is my favorite front line. They outwork everybody, they’re strong, and they’re physical. They play D. On offense, they all know how to exploit seams in the D and swing the ball to open shooters or make 3s themselves. I hope Adelman gives them more time together, with Rubio and Barea in the backcourt, once J.J. gets healthy.
  • Ellington made shots. With Beasley out at least three games I wanted Adelman to start Rubio or Williams, so I was pretty bummed when I heard Ellington was getting promoted. But he played okay today and we won.

We’ll get to test the experiment again tomorrow night against the Raps. Until then.

Season Record: 3-5

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