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…

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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…

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“A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses’ ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse’s whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.” —Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is a classic of Western literature, in spite of the fact that it is nearly plotless, concerned primarily with laying bare the bloodiest, most brutal parts of human nature as it follows a ragged band of twisted youths led by a maniacal judge through the American West. Although the story is constantly on the move, the scenery is never-changing — a panorama of viscera and scalps and burnt offerings laid down in alternately blunt and serrated prose. In spite of their outward similarities, though, no one is likely to remember this Wolves trip into the evening redness in the west as a classic. Continue Reading…

"Eric Bledsoe, Ricky Rubio, Justin Hamilton"

The Timberwolves and the Suns came into last night’s games in polar opposite situations.

Come summertime, the Wolves will be a team hoping luck is on their side come NBA draft lottery time. Their team hasn’t been healthy for quite some time, and the Kevin Garnett trade has helped change their defensive mindset a bit. And yet, while they’ll continue to compete, their fate is pretty set-in-stone.

The Suns are another story. They came into last night’s game with the knowledge that the Oklahoma City Thunder had fallen to the Clippers a few minutes prior to tip-off, an they knew this was a chance to close the 3-game gap for the final playoff spot.

Continue Reading…