Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Better Effort (Warriors 106, WOLVES 98)

A few years back, Harrison Barnes was supposed to be The Next Kobe. Expectations have since dropped, but his NBA career is off to a solid start.

I knew I wasn’t [completely] overreacting to that bad loss on Wednesday night.  Despite the injuries that have overhauled the Wolves starting unit, the team still has enough talent and grit to play competitive basketball.  “Competitive basketball” would have prevailed against the Bobcats that night.  Last night’s game was fun to watch because expectations were low and the game remained in doubt into the closing possessions.  Unfortunately, the comeback was incomplete and the Warriors prevailed.  The “Good Job. Good Effort.” feel to this loss was on clearest display on the game’s pivotal possessions.  Dante Cunningham had just pulled down one of the most impressive offensive rebounds I have ever seen.  He FLEW through the air from the top of the key and collected Luke’s missed trey at a ridiculously high point.  Cunningham was then fouled and, after a Warriors timeout, hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 3 points with under 3 minutes to play.  Golden State ran a high ball screen for Jarrett Jack (Steph Curry had fouled out of the game) with David Lee being the screen and roller.  Cunningham defended the entire play perfectly, even anticipating Lee’s spin move to a lefty turnaround.  Lee somehow managed to make the shot. Tip the hat to Lee, because he played a great game against a slightly-overmatched team.

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Links We Like

Is that Josh Howard or Marlo Stanfield? I can’t tell either! (Good thing.)

The Wolves have a new player. And it just feels right. It’s like we were destined to get him as part of a Ndudi Ebi exorcism after Brandon Roy’s five-game trial failed to redeem Roy-Foye. On Josh Howard’s future with the Wolves, go check out Oceanary’s post at Canis Hoopus.

In other news…

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Pouncing on an Opportunity… to Make Excuses (Bobcats 89, WOLVES 87)

Chris Webber lost a huge game because he called timeout when his team didn’t have any left. Tonight, the Bobcats made the same mistake… but won anyway.

If NBA fan objectivity had a pH scale with 0 being a non-stop complaining, the-world-is-coming-to-an-end pessimist, 14 being Tom Heinsohn’s views on the Boston Celtics, and 7 being perfectly objective, I’d rate myself at an 8 or 9.  I rely on my eye test more than an analyst should (I say “my” and not “the” because there is no such thing as “the” eye test.  I digress…) but I’ve learned enough over at Canis Hoopus to at least understand where I lose objectivity.  My tendency is to see hope around the corner when it isn’t there, or potential in an athletic young player that never materializes.  Tonight I’ll shift gears because I just watched the up-and-coming, feel-good-story Timberwolves lose a home game to the Charlotte Bobcats.  Continue reading


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INBOX: With Pek’s emergence as a great center and DMC’s continued problems, is the 2010 Draft validated?

30″ x 22″
mixed media on paper
painting by Holly Grimsrud

Andy G: SCENARIO: You just pressed rewind all the way back to June of 2010.  You are David Kahn and you possess the rights to the fourth pick in the NBA draft.  You have two choices.  Draft Wesley Johnson out of Syracuse or DeMarcus Cousins from Kentucky.  You cannot draft any other player and you cannot trade the pick. Oh, and most importantly, you have all the benefit of hindsight from mid-November 2012 going backwards. What do you do?

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Half & Half: A 2-Part Game Wrap (Wolves 90, MAVERICKS 82)

In the interest of getting some much-needed, early-in-the-week sleep, I’m doing this wrap in two parts–first and second half splits.  So the first half is being written at halftime.

1st Half Notes

The first half–and especially the first quarter–was dominated by the Wolves two best healthy players: Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic. [Eds note: In hindsight, I should not have phrased that sentence that way. More on that in the 2nd Half.]  Pek showed off a move that he’s clearly been working on with Coach Billy Bayno, the standard jump hook.  He buried three of these with his right hand in the opening quarter and finished the half with an impressive 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.  It’s hard to understate the importance of this new skill, because as defenders become forced to defend it honestly it will open up his go-to favorite, the drop step.  We’ve seen Pek taking a hard right-hand dribble into the paint when defenders cheat to his right (baseline side/left block) shoulder and try jump hooks.  He makes them sometimes.  What we saw in the first half tonight was on the right block–more of a standard post hook.  Pek improves at things.  That’s mostly a credit to him but also to Rick Adelman’s coaching staff.

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Wolves vs. Mavericks Preview

The Wolves take on former Timberwolf OJ Mayo tonight in Dallas

Tonight it’s Mayo versus Shved. Mano-a-mano. Like a bullfight in which two matadors duel for an audience’s admiration, it’s OJ against Alexey no matter how much better it might be if it were a young Jet against a healthy Roy.

There’s no Budinger, either, and that has implications for how the Wolves are likely to play.

Still Mayo is averaging 21.9 ppg and Shved has been making a difference for the Wolves, too.

In fact, most of the main attractions will either be wearing a suit, or watching from somewhere in Minnesota. 

No Dirk Nowitzki for the Mavs. No K-Love or Ricky Rubio (again) for the Timberwolves. J.J. Barea is out too. 

Still both teams have winning records, so there are signs of life for the depleted Mavs and reasons for hope for the aspiring Wolves. In and of itself, this is surprising given that neither team’s All-Star power forward has played a minute this season.

Deets below the fold…

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Another One Bites the Dust: Budinger Tears Meniscus

The obvious good news is that it’s not an ACL tear.  The obvious bad news is that it requires surgery.

How serious is a meniscus tear?  A recent example of this injury is Blake Griffin, who tore his medial meniscus (Chase tore the lateral meniscus–I don’t know if that’s a meaningful difference) in July during Team U.S.A. workouts and was ready to go in Clippers training camp in October.  A rough estimate for his timeline would be 2 or 3 months, I think.  They’ll know more after surgery.

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