Alexey Shved just made one helluva first impression. First impression if you’re like me and don’t watch European basketball. He and fellow Wolves newcomer Andrei Kirilenko were DOMINANT in the Russians’ drumming of Great Britain on Sunday afternoon. Although GB is not considered a good Olympic team, they do have NBA players, including a good one in Luol Deng. Lest we all spend too much time analyzing a single Olympic game, I’ll do this in BULLETS: Continue reading
Is this where we’re “heading”?
On Friday, March 9, 2012, the Minnesota Timberwolves played its most-anticipated game in over seven years when Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol came to town. The team was 21-19, its best mid-season record since the Saunders Administration, the glamorous and championship-tested Lakers were a hot ticket, and just to fan the flames of the fiery matchup ahead, there was even buzz on Twitter that Pau Gasol might be traded to the Timberwolves over the weekend. I attended this game, and remember a palpable buzz around First Avenue during the Friday happy hour, with fans all eager to watch what promised to be a great game. Oh, and there was one more gimmick to celebrate what seemed like a momentous occasion in the franchise’s Post-Garnett Era. There would be a “whiteout” of the crowd, with white tees waiting on seats for fans to throw on in support of the home team. While a significant fraction of fans were donning purple and gold, the whiteout was there and was kind of cool to see after watching so many games in recent seasons with dead Target Center crowds.
Of course, this whiteout could not have ended worse for the Wolves. With Love sitting out with a suspension (for chest-stomping Luis Scola) the Wolves inexplicably led the Lakers the whole way, carrying a lead well into winning time and raising the hopes of the whited-out crowd that the team was on the verge of its biggest victory in years. The game’s prospects–and the season’s–were dashed when Ricky Rubio tore up his knee, ending the game and effectively ending the season. Was the whiteout a hex? 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
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
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
Wolves fans have grown accustomed to FUN-FILLED draft nights, where the home-town squad picks at least once in the lottery, again in the late 1st Round, a time or two in the second, and then makes a half-dozen trades (or “sales” as the case may be) just to keep us on our proverbial toes (which, these days, just means Twitter.)
So tonight was kind of boring. Minnesota traded away the 18th Pick the other day for Chase “Air Bud” Budinger leaving only the 58th and third-to-last pick in the whole draft. I and perhaps many others was hoping that Kahn would buy back in when guys like Perry Jones III, Will Barton and Quincy Miller fell past #25. But alas, we held strong and waited for our rightful spot. Continue reading