Monthly Archives: August 2012

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”:

2. All-League Pass Rookie 2nd Team, or “Rookies You (Might) Want to Watch”:

3. All-League Pass 1st Team, Eastern Conference:

4. League Pass Alert, Vol. 4: When Bad Teams Happen to Good Players, and the East’s New Stopper: 

5. 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.

Continue reading



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A Premature LOL: How I was wrong about Gerald Green

Basketball usually isn’t funny.  Watching the Timberwolves evokes a wide array of emotions of mine and, if you’re reading this, probably yours too.  In recent seasons past the Wolves’ play has incited fans to boil with anger and discontent–the ones who didn’t walk away entirely, that is.  With the exception of January 2009 and last season with Ricky, the overwhelming reaction to watching Wolves basketball has been negative.  We’ve distracted ourselves in different ways, looking ahead to the umpteenth consecutive draft lottery or arguing about whether Kobe is actually better than Jordan.  But laughter was rarely a part of the equation. Continue reading


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INBOX: Whiteside Rumors

Hassan Whiteside

Andy G: There is some buzz that the Wolves are looking at and possibly pursuing an old draft-projection favorite of ours: the one and only HASSAN WHITESIDE!  According to Darren Wolfson’s recent post, it sounds like the Wolves haven’t foreclosed the possibility of bringing back Anthony Tolliver, but there may not be enough cap space to pull that off.  In the event of a VETERAN MINIMUM signing, Whiteside could be the guy.  I’ll need your thoughts on this one. Continue reading


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League Pass Alert, Vol. 5: Western Conference League Pass Team

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


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League Pass Alert, Vol. 4: When Bad Teams Happen to Good Players, and the East’s New Stopper

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 three entries below.

All-League Pass Rookie 1st Team, or “Rookies You Want to Watch”:
All-League Pass Rookie 2nd Team, or “Rookies You (Might) Want to Watch”:
All-League Pass 1st Team, Eastern Conference:


This installment is a REACTION to Andy G’s All-League Pass Eastern Conference 1st team. It was an interesting list that suggested food for thought.

So, two things.

One. What to do about good players on bad teams. I don’t mean teams that are so bad they’re good. I mean the Pistons. Continue reading


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League Pass Alert, Vol. 3: Eastern Conference League Pass Team

Don’t think defense is fun to watch? Maybe you haven’t seen Taj Gibson play it.

Patrick J and I are doing a series on players you’ll be watching for one reason or another this season on League Pass.

Timberwolves fans are naturally less familiar with Eastern Conference teams and players.  This is one reason of many why League Pass is a worthwhile purchase and use of time.  The following is my ALL-LEAGUE PASS TEAM, Eastern Conference style.  Oh, and remember the discussion surrounding Rookie Blake Griffin’s eligibility for both the Rookie Game and the regular All-Star Game?  At Punch-Drunk Wolves, rookies only get one team — so the rookies Pat described here and here are INELIGIBLE.

G – John Wall, Washington Wizards: For the same reason you enjoy 100 meters of Usain Bolt, you should also enjoy 48 minutes of John Wall.  The dude is just stupid fast.  His shooting is a problem — a big one — but that hasn’t prevented Rajon Rondo and other point guards from doing good things.  The ‘Zards have expunged some of the cancer that plagued recent seasons and the development of Wall; they traded Nick Young and let Andray Blatche take his talents elsewhere.  Now that Wall can team with legit NBA talent (Nene, Okafor, Bradley Beal) the hope for League Pass aficionados is that Wall’s game will develop accordingly.  His athleticism is breathtaking and we’d all benefit from getting to watch more of this guy in big games. Continue reading


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League Pass Alert, Vol. 2: Rookies You (Might) Want To Watch

Did David Kahn cross Jones III off his list after seeing this smile? (Photo by Getty Images)

Andy G and I are doing a series on players you’ll be watching for one reason or another this season on League Pass.

The first installment is here:

 In the first League Pass Alert post, I looked at the rookies you’re gonna wanna see this year on #leaguepass. Think of that as our League Pass All-Rookie 1st team. Think of this one as the 2nd team, the guys you’ll watch when the first teamers aren’t on.

Check it out below the fold.

Continue reading


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All League Pass Team, Vol. 1: Rookies You Want To Watch

Brad Beal’s set to blow up in The District

Andy G and I are starting a series on players you’ll be watching for one reason or another this season on League Pass.

Here’s the first installation: Rookies you’ll want to watch on League Pass, and why you/I will be watching them. The first team is below the fold.

Continue reading


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LOOKING BACK: Randy Breuer

Randy Breuer

(Eds. Note–Andy G’s colleague knew that he’s a diehard Wolves fan and gave him a retro pack of Wolves basketball cards from 1990. What better time than NFL training camp to look back at some familiar faces?)

Basic Bio: Born in 1960, Lake City, Minnesota. Played at University of Minnesota before 11 NBA seasons.

Wolves Career: Played three seasons from 1989-92.  Averaged double-figures on inaugural, Musselman-led Wolves team that most would say overachieved by winning 22 games.

Hoops Highlight: Breuer is a high school legend in Minnesota, where he led his Lake City Tigers to consecutive state championships.  He still holds the state tournament scoring record with a whopping 38 points per game.

Random: Breuer used to, and probably still does, host a golf tournament in Zumbro Falls; a fundraiser for the local fire department.  I played in it one year, as it’s near my old hometown.  He’s tall.  (Listed at 7’3″ and looks every bit of it in person.)

If you’ve got any Randy Breuer stories, share in the comments.


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A bit of background

For a few reasons, I wanted to share some background on this blog and its two authors. After writing endless chains of Wolves-related emails back and forth, Patrick J and I decided to start Punch-Drunk Wolves in the middle of last year’s lockout. (These have since been incorporated into our INBOX series and still tend to be our favorite posts to write.)  Like many of you, we’re old hands over at Canis Hoopus.  I’ve always gone by “Andy G” on internet blogs; Patrick J doesn’t always comment, but when he does, he goes by  “Shogun”—at least over at CH. We’re longtime Wolves fans who became friends in basketball: I was a scrawny tenth grader and Patrick J was a senior big man on our high school’s varsity team circa 1999.  We reconnected in 2007 when I was a law student in St. Paul and he was a grad student in the Bay Area and ended up bantering a lot about the Wolves.

That was a fork-in-the-road time for the Wolves, who were about to trade KG and drop below “NBA Purgatory” status for the first time in a decade.  Hawks fans are experiencing this exciting uncertainty right now.  (SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t as much fun as it might seem.)  Pat introduced me to Britt Robson’s legendary (in a cult sort of way) blog at City Pages/The Rake that had these comment sections that would erupt into spirited-but-intelligent Twolves debates.  Before that, I had only seen ESPN or Star Tribune-type comment sections full of insults and bad grammar.  Britt’s blog, where he’d engage in hoop arguments with anybody ready, willing and able, struck me as the way ahead.  When he took his talents to Sports Illustrated, the conversation quickly moved and rapidly expanded over at Hoopus, where it’s been going strong for years.  After four years of email and comment-board writing, I thought it’d be fun to have my own blog.  Patrick J was game; here we are.

Our “Authors” page is intentionally short on details. Continue reading


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Literature Review: Patrick J’s Favorite Basketball Books, 6-10

Free Darko blew up so big it got its own billboard

A while ago, I wrote a post about my top-5 favorite basketball books. I wanted to cap the list by going through my second-tier.

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Orlando Trades Dwight: Did they get enough in return?

image from

In case ya hadn’t heard, Dwight Howard is headed to Tinseltown.  He joins Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal on the list of superstar centers acquired by the Lakers in the middle of their prime.  A player as dominant as Dwight Howard, in a league devoid of great centers, certainly has a high trade value.  (Sixth highest in the NBA according to Bill Simmons, back in March.)  Orlando must’ve gotten a haul in return for Dwight… Right? Continue reading


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INBOX: Whatever happened to Chris Kingsbury?

Photo from Hawkeye Sports News

Andy G: Isn’t it a little weird that there hasn’t been much advancement (or any) in the shooting range of pro basketball players?  Like, why aren’t there 10 or more current NBA players with the CHRIS KINGSBURY range?  I ask because the Drazen Petrovic documentary (Eds note: see what I’m talking about at 1:47 versus Michael Jordan.) shows him bombing from 28 feet sometimes, and it looked like an effective strategy. Continue reading

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