The Wolves bested the two-seed-bound Spurs by 13 points in the season’s final game. Williams led the way again with 21 points. He had a 360 dunk. The team hit over 40 percent of its threes! Even Ricky had it going from downtown, shooting 3 for 5 from distance. It wasn’t too serious of a competition, but Popovich did play his best guys. I didn’t expect that. Maybe he was test driving offensive sets for the playoffs.
They reached 31 wins; the most since the 32 that Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis piled up in 2006-07, Garnett’s last in Minnesota. Like last season, the Wolves began surprisingly-competitive (this time the surprise was that they were winning without Rubio and Love; last year was surprising just because they were winning, period) and hit a wall. The loss of Kevin Love for 64 of 82 games was too steep a price for the young Wolves to make a serious run at the playoffs. Ultimately they finished either 13 or 14 behind the playing-as-I-type Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the always-tough Western Conference.
Later this week we’ll put together a season recap post that rehashes the highs and lows, surprises both pleasant and disappointing, and looks ahead to the summer and even next season. We also plan on doing some player “report card” posts, reviewing each Timberwolves’ season in better detail. Finally, we’ll post every few days about the happenings of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Can anyone stop Miami? Or, as Denny Green might ask, should we CROWN THEIR ASS?!
Thanks again for reading this year. The blog definitely gained readership from Year 1 to Year 2 — the readers and especially commenters are appreciated. Tonight Jim Petersen ran through a long list of excellent contributors to Timberwolves coverage — it’s very flattering to be included in his list — and there are even more than he and Dave Benz were able to get to. See our blog roll for a long list. Dating back to Robson’s blog at The Rake, I’ve found blog interaction to make NBA fandom a lot more enriching and enlightening. We’ll keep this going as long as we both feel that way. Thanks again.
8 responses to “That’s All She Wrote (Wolves 108, SPURS 95)”
Thanks again guys for your time and effort this season… It’s not lost upon the Timberwolves faithful.
Our pleasure, and thanks for chiming in every once in a while. One of these seasons won’t be derailed by injuries and we’ll have 82 meaningful games to break down…
Thanks for great writing all season long. Yep, once again it is time to hope that next year contains meaningful April games.
I hope the Wolves keep Adelman, Pek, AK. I hope they trade Williams, their two picks, and whatever for Gasol and sign a couple of Danny Green, Gary Neal types. It is possible — and extremely unlikely — but that’s a way they could compete for a championship for one year. Go all in. No one is getting any younger.
Other teams have players the Wolves can’t stop, but what team can stop Pek, Gasol, Love (not all playing at the same time, mind you, but what a deadly combination).
It’d be interesting to see a list of every on-the-table trade proposal involving Pau Gasol leaving the Lakers. We obviously know of one (Chris Paul to the Lakers, vetoed) but given how Pau’s value seems to be something of a roller coaster, I bet the list is pretty long with huge variance. I bet the Timberwolves are on the list, whether it be the Lakers trying to get Love (or even a Williams & Pekovic package) or the Wolves trying to get Pau without giving away too much. Now that the Lakers are going to make the playoffs, and possibly scare the Spurs WITHOUT Kobe, I think it seems reasonable to predict Pau’s trade value to rise again.
The writing is fun, and the banter with commenters like you two, Dave A, Eric in Madison, Richard Bentley, and others, is even more fun. So thanks for reading and engaging here in the comments section.
On your “rebuilding” plan: I agree. Assuming Kirilenko exercises his option to return, (I think) you have to drop some salary to make that work even if the trade itself would be agreed upon by both sides. I like the idea of a strong-side offense with Gasol on the high block, Pek on the low block, Love on the strong-side wing behind the three-point line, [INSERT SHOOTER HERE] on the weakside wing, and Ricky initiating the offense up high with Gasol and trickling off the two screeners en route to the weakside corner if a pick-n-roll opportunity off the initial entry doesn’t materialize. Love is better on the perimeter than in the high post, and AK is more of a cutter than a high post, but I think Gasol would kill it there. (This is also why I wanted us to draft Greg Monroe instead of Wes Johnson, because as an extremely gifted passer, he’d set up a lot of plays from there that Love’s height and lack of passing ability in interior half-court sets [yes, I know he’s a great outlet passer] don’t allow.)
It really is too bad Love is not a better passer. He seems like a smart guy though, so maybe he’ll get better.
[INSERT SHOOTER HERE] has been so difficult for this franchise.
Yeah, if you disregard Love’s self-important, me-first attitude, his passing is really the only part of his game you can be disappointed with. Which is a huge surprise, given that when we drafted him I expected defense (because of his height) and scoring to be his weaknesses. It turns out that he’s found ways to become both a surprisingly solid defender–he uses his trunk strength and smart position defense to compensate for his lack of height and footspeed–and top-5ish scorer–he can’t create his own shot but can draw fouls like whoa. I’d guess he’s never really been asked or required to pass, and the outlet passing thing was just a fun open gym trick that he turned out to be good at and so made a signature move. So, maybe if we’re ever able to get an A1 perimeter scorer, Love will have to play that high post position more and will figure out how to be a good passer. I doubt it’s high on his to-do list for the offseason, but it seems way more plausible that he could actually pull it off if the situation dictates, than, say Derrick Williams, who still fails Footwork 101 each night.
Footwork 101! ha!