The Timberwolves play tonight (6:30 CDT tip, views on FSN, sounds on WCCO 830).
So, the Wolves aren’t in playoff contention. The Twins season is underway. The weather
is nice should be getting better soon. Only the diehard are following the team as closely as they were a few months ago.
However, there’s a special interest in tonight’s game. Scratch that – three special interests: ‘Bazz, Beas, and, of course, ‘Bron. Three Bees, three angles.
Shabazz Muhammad, along with fellow rookie Gorgui Dieng, is the most interesting on-the-court storyline that the Wolves have going. Bazz continues to have ups and downs, which tend to fluctuate with the amount of time he plays. Which tends to be, from a fan’s perspective, maddeningly inconsistent. Rick Adelman insists that he’s making rotation decisions based on in-game factors that give the Wolves the best chance to win. He hasn’t explained what those factors are, but those are his trade secrets. We can lament their inconsistency, but at least Adelman’s story about them is consistent.
Yesterday, Andy G wrote an update on Shabazz’s performance and an outlook for his future. It’s worth reading. Andy’s current take is largely consistent with a broader take I put together whilst scouting Shabazz during his D-League stint earlier this season, at which time he’d played precious few NBA minutes.
Bazz is leading all rookies who’ve played over 200 minutes this season in points per 36 minutes at 17.8. Among these rookies, he has the third-highest shooting percentage at 46.3%, trailing only Mason Plumlee and Miroslav Raduljica, both bigs who’re having nice rookie seasons. He’s ninth in rebounds per 36, at 6.8, and is the top rebounder per 36 who isn’t a center (or more generally, a “big”).
This doesn’t have anything to do with tonight’s game. Depending on the in-game situations, and Rick Adelman’s closely held trade secrets, he might play meaningful minutes and he might not. But the bottom line is, Bazz’s performance merits optimism, and Wolves fans should be extremely eager to see how he performs next season, in which he might have a new coach and a significantly larger role.
Beas and ‘Bron
LeBron is the main attraction tonight, except for those of us who like to indulge in basketball esoterica.
If you’re one of those people, the Heat have a lot to offer.
Exhibit A is Michael Beasley. Andy and I wrote a Michael Beasley Appreciation Post earlier this season. It’s full of reasons to care about Beas. Beasley has been up and down lately, as his game logs show, but as a unique offensive player, he’s always worth watching.
This also helps.
Enjoy the tilt.