ICYMI, Rubio Kart is here!

Posted by Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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When you’re a Wolves fan looking at a box score on NBA.com after another loss, it can be tough. The Wolves are flirting with another bottom-of-the-league season, unlikely to even crack the 20-win club occupied by teams like the Magic, Nuggets and (eventually, probably) Lakers. The reasons are a well-documented list, and not worth diving into in a game recap.

So when you come into a game, facing off against a New Orleans Pelicans team desparately trying to pass Oklahoma City for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, things can get ugly. Anthony Davis and Omer Asik took full advantage of the Wolves’ depleted frontcourt, especially after Gorgui Dieng was forced back to the locker room (reported facial contusion – he did not return). The two of them combined for 43 points (the Pelicans dropped 56 total points in the paint) and 15 rebounds, and rarely showed any signs of struggle when they got the ball close to the basket.

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This makes 4 of the past 6 Wolves-Rockets recaps assigned to yours truly, and if you’ve read the past ones, you probably know what I’m going to talk about. If you haven’t, they’re linked inside the next parentheses (3/20/14, 12/5/142/23/15) for your convenience. Go ahead. Reading them in full will probably take a total of 10 to 15 minutes, skimming them will take 3 to 5, and just opening them in your browser and pretending you’ve read them will help our pageview numbers go up. So go ahead.

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You back? Cool, let’s talk about the same things I always talk about. Continue Reading…

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Twenty minutes after a 2-point overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, Zach LaVine sat in front of his locker, putting on a floridly color-blocked sock inside out. It was LaVine’s foul on Jordan Clarkson that sent Clarkson to the line with 0.3 seconds left in the extra period to seal the win and he seemed none too happy about it. Assistant coach Ryan Saunders strode with purpose through the locker room and sat next to LaVine, leaning in and placing a hand on his shoulder, speaking quietly but intensely to the 20-year-old rookie for half a minute before clapping him on the back and standing. By this time, LaVine had gotten the sock inside right. Continue Reading…

Note: if you have not seen or read Waiting for Godot, this might not make much sense. If you have seen or read Waiting for Godot, this still might not make much sense. But that’s the point.

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Energy Solutions Arena. A tree, one that looks much like Rudy Gobert.

Evening. Continue Reading…

Now you look like you just got back from somewhere
Somewhere yeah you know that it’s true
Together we went nearly to nowhere
Nowhere really worth going to
Standing at the city center
In the middle of the winter

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When the Timberwolves traded Mo Williams in February, most Wolves fans appreciated what he had done in the tough spot he was forced into, upon the ankle injury to Ricky Rubio. Nobody will look back at Mo Williams with any level of ill will down the road, even if he had his share of questionable shots throughout the first half of the 2014-15 season.

Still, when Williams was traded, slight objection was the most negative feeling attached to his departure. While he showed his value (for good and, at times, for bad), his 1-year deal, his age, and the return (and obvious mainstay) of Ricky Rubio made Williams’ time in Minnesota an obvious rental.

In Charlotte, Williams has averaged 19 and 7 since the trade, and even has a recent player of the week award under his belt. Tonight, he made his return to Minnesota, where he and fellow former Wolf Al Jefferson (whose departure brought many, many more of the feels) saw a polite applause from the Target Center crowd.

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The caterpillar track was revolutionary in the business of defense.

You can find variations of this technological advancement dating back to the 1770’s with several different inventors trying to revolutionize and patent the continuous track. For forty years, a British politician named Richard Lovell Edgeworth tried to figure out the caterpillar track and came up with a “cart that carries its own road.” In the 1830’s, British and Russian inventors seemed to be racing toward figuring out just how to perfect and (more importantly) patent the technology that was before us. The idea was to take the wheel and take the railroad and find a way where Doc Brown was correct in saying, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

In 1946, a British engineer named James Boydell came up with the Dreadnaught Wheel, which is essentially a way for wheels to grip the roads and railways, but it was far too bulky to have consistent, practical use. The caterpillar track was really going to be the progressive way to move large modes of transportation without needing manicured roads and paths. By being able to make it an all-terrain track, you were showing that very few obstacles could stop you from getting your cargo, in whatever shape, form, or use it may be, where it needed to be with even weight distribution to prevent breakdowns in structure and sinking into the ground. This sinking into the ground was a problem when there wasn’t concrete and asphalt to provide a proper layer between vehicles and dirt.

John Fowler patented the “endless railway” in 1858, but it was Russian Fyodor Blinov in 1873 that created the caterpillar-type links to further the idea of what Fowler had created. While various inventors and engineers played around with this ever-evolving method of distributing a safe and sturdy mode of freighting, it finally took hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as one of the most impressive avenues for military weaponry and destruction that we still see today.  Continue Reading…

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The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

– Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

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With apologies to Wallace Stevens.

 

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A skeleton crew of wolves
— leaderless, bereft of energy, stripped raw
by the road — came back, but not home. Continue Reading…

KawhiSoSerious

Typically, when the Minnesota Timberwolves look like they’re going to get blown out in a game and I’m on recap duty, I start thinking of tangents and topics outside of basketball I can explore in my writing. There’s no real sense in figuring out why a bad team got destroyed by a good team. This is the nature of the business and while you hope to be competitive in match-ups like that, the talent often overrides the Disney story and nature versus nurture takes over. Heading into last night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Wolves were missing Ricky Rubio (ankle), Gary Neal (ankle), Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Kevin Garnett (knee), Anthony Bennett (ankle), Robbie Hummel (hand), and Shabazz Muhammad (hand).

The Spurs were at full strength and they’ve been clicking as of late. They had won six of their last seven games by a margin of nearly 16 points with their only loss happening in overtime thanks to Kyrie Irving’s 57 points. The Wolves hung tough with them in the first quarter and even kept it relatively close in the second quarter until a late push by San Antonio pushed the halftime deficit to double digits for Minnesota. When the third quarter opened, “hell broke Luce” (as Tom Waits would say) and the game was officially going the way of nature for the Spurs. Normally, I would have been gathering my thoughts about recent movies I had seen, like Foxcatcher or St. Vincent. Instead, I had basketball on my mind, which was surprising to me.

I had three thoughts kicking around in my head:  Continue Reading…