1) WOLVES – Clearly the shooting guard position is a problem. It’s usually filled by a point guard, and never filled by a catch-and-shoot floor spreader that fits with Rubio. But is Andrei Kirilenko–a hesitant perimeter shooter himself–also a poor fit for the offense?
2) NBA – The All-Star starters were voted in by the fans. The Lakers are 17-21. The Celtics are 20-18. 4 out of 10 All-Star starters come from those two mediocre teams. Who were the worst snubs?
3) WOLVES – Pek and Shved left tonight’s game with injuries. Did those injuries have anything to do with the loss to the Chris Paul-less Clippers?
4) NBA – The list of terrible teams goes something like: Cavs, Bobcats, Wizards, Hornets, and Suns. Which has the most hope for quick improvement? The least?
5) WOLVES – Who do the Wolves miss more, right now: Kevin Love or Rick Adelman?
6) NBA – From a point-differential perspective, the Thunder, Clippers and Spurs are substantially better than the Heat. Would any of them be favored in an NBA Finals matchup against Miami that began two weeks from now?
7) WOLVES – Is Derrick Williams a bust?
8) NBA – As of today, my Eastern Conference playoff team predictions are 8 for 8. (Just the teams, not the order.) Is this even impressive? Was predicting a Bynum injury that derails Philly even a little bit worth patting myself on the back?
9) WOLVES – How much will Pekovic get paid, this off-season?
10) NBA – If both the Thunder and Clippers finish with more wins than the Heat, is there any chance whatsoever that LeBron wins the MVP? (He’s clearly the world’s greatest player, but MVP doesn’t mean “world’s greatest player.”)
11) WOLVES – How early is too early to start making http://www.draftexpress.com a daily read?
12) NBA – For NBA fans whose teams aren’t involved, is there a more fun possible playoffs scenario than Steph Curry going Davidson on the field, leading the Dubs to a title? Would an Oracle-hosted Finals trump any sports atmosphere anywhere, anytime, ever?
13) WOLVES – It sounds like the Wolves have signed Mickael Gelabale. Will he help?
14) NBA – It’s beyond understood that the corner three is an ideal shot for NBA offenses. Since the league has a longer three-point line, and bigger and better players, should it simply widen its court to accommodate a regular semicircle arc with equidistant three-point range and enough room in the corners to avoid so many accidental sideline violations? Is there any downside, whatsoever, in widening the NBA floor this way?
15) WOLVES – Ricky’s airballed layup before halftime: Most horror-film reaction to any play in team history? (In the crowd, there was a terrorized gasp amongst all fans.)
16) NBA – ESPN’s 5 on 5 focused on Kobe versus LeBron, today. That inevitably breaks out into Twitter wars of which player is better. In general terms, there is one reasonable answer to this: LeBron has been the better player over the course of his prime than Kobe over the course of his prime. (The only reasonable defense for Kobe fans is that he has never laid down in a big playoff setting like LeBron did, twice. But that’s a weird oddity of LeBron’s career; not a general statement about his ability.) But getting around to the question: If you begin LeBron’s career 20 years earlier (1983) and throw him on a random Western Conference team, how many titles does MJ win?
17) WOLVES – Derrick Williams’ last day as a Minnesota Timberwolf, over/under 2013 Trade Deadline?
18) NBA – What is the best way for the league to address the problem of draft picks being devalued by poor rookie performance? Raising the age minimum is the simplest method, but many think it’s unjust. Is there a more creative way?
19) WOLVES – Alexey Shved, by my eye, got a few more calls tonight. He rarely shows up refs with visible antics and dramatic reactions. He usually sidebars with refs when somebody else is shooting free throws, like a seasoned vet. Is he learning how to work the stripes?
20) NBA – Who will be the 8th Seed in the Western Conference?
Answer in the comments.