Archives For Myles Brown

"Ambition Az A Ridah"

It’s not the news we’ve all been holding our breath for, but it’s worth celebrating nonetheless, right? Despite his recent struggles, our rangy forward has earned himself a place amongst this year’s All-Star festivities. So here’s three cheers for Wes Johnson. Mostly because he doesn’t like twos. Or free throws, for that matter….

I kid, I kid. Because I care.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Wes and our entire organization is proud that he’ll be representing us in the Rookie-Sophomore game,” Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis said. “Wes works extremely hard every day to become a better player. This announcement is a testament to the strides he’s already taken this year and the bright future he has in the league.”


Johnson, drafted fourth overall out of Syracuse in the 2010 NBA Draft, ranks fourth among rookies in scoring at 9.4 ppg, tied for fifth in assists at 2.0 apg, and second in three-point percentage at 38.9%. He’s scored in double figures 19 times this season, including each of his last four outings. Johnson has hit at least one three-pointer in a game 34 times this season, second-most among rookies, and is on pace to join Stephon Marbury (107 three-pointers in 1996-97) as the only rookies in Wolves history to hit 100+ treys in a season. Johnson scored a career-high 24 points while tying the Wolves rookie record with six three-pointers in Minnesota’s Dec. 27 win over New Orleans.

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Forget about the dead birds, the dead fish, and the functional illiterate squatting on The Times’ Bestseller List. Our surest sign yet of the coming apocalypse came last night in Los Angeles. Kevin Love didn’t grab a single rebound in the entire first half. Not one.

This is quite possibly the rarest of statistical anomalies the NBA has to offer. Even an uncontainable talent like LeBron James has the occasional cold streak, as do Rajon Rondo’s fellow Celtics, which would explain either of the two respectively failing to register a point or assist. Try as they might, the ball doesn’t always go in the basket. But that’s exactly what made this so….strange.

Not one? Really?

Then again, it wasn’t hard to understand why. Saddled with early foul trouble, Love saw limited minutes and upon returning to action, he simply couldn’t handle Blake Griffin. You see, even after acknowledging them for the coded indicators of race that they are, we must also accept that the essence of Kevin’s game is hard work and a high IQ. Underwhelming physique or not, he knows the entire floor, positions himself well and never gives up on a play. This alone has been enough to outperform championship frontcourts in both Boston and San Antonio, in addition to hanging a 30/30 game around Amar’e Stoudemire’s neck. But Griffin is an unparalleled athlete and workhorse. It almost…no, it was unfair. The Clippers carried a twelve point lead into the half, which by no coincidence was the same advantage they held in second chance points, thanks solely to Blake Griffin. Nothing that powerful should be so nimble.

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"That's a lovely tie, Greg."

Sean Elliot has forgotten more about our fair sport than I’ll ever know. But he still makes me feel much smarter than I should. You see, former jocks who trade in their…well, jocks for headsets tend to fall into one of two categories: Those who are unable to articulate their wisdom and those who haven’t much wisdom to articulate. Elliot is definitely the latter.

Again, it’s not that the man hasn’t gleaned a nugget or two from his years between the lines, but much of his wisdom is conventional instead of personal. Nothing we haven’t heard before, just re purposed and repackaged in supposedly charming little anecdotes that encapsulate his employer’s greatness. Many of which show little regard for the truth, the opponent or the listener. It’s enough to make you long for Reggie Miller.

Upon returning from a second half commercial break, Sean began another of his syrupy soliloquies on the meaninglessness of statistical achievements. Specifically those in losing efforts. More specifically, Kevin Love’s double-double streak. “It hasn’t translated into victories. A lot of people put up numbers. Wins are far more important.”

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photo from sportsblink

This is one of those times I wish we were the Knicks. Not for their world renowned Garden, rabidly entitled fan base or sensationalistic coverage, but for Clyde Frazier. Only his effortless effervescence could adequately capture the highs and lows of the Wolves recent play. Not that I’m unappreciative of our man Jim Petersen, who does a swell job in his stead, but Jim specializes in good ‘ol fashioned straight talk. We need a man like that. However, there’s also times we need to just chill and no one does chill like Clyde.

Luke Ridnour is far from a swirling dervish. There’s no wheeling and dealing, nor will his ubiquity leave anyone reeling.  In fact, he’s perfectly average in every way. But he may be the most important player on this team. He doesn’t inhale rebounds like Kevin Love or have Beasleyesque scoring binges, however he’s the only Wolf who can provide some semblance of order amidst the chaos that is our offense. Occasionally I’ll check out the visiting locker room for a peek at the game plan on their whiteboard. Oftentimes, I can’t make much sense of the diagrams or terminology, but tonight I had no such problems. Numero uno, in bright red ink was “1st option=Dead”.

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Apparently the Wolves got some of that much needed composure for Christmas. Either that or they should’ve asked the schedule makers for more games against the Cavs.

Of course this game started off as any other; Luke Ridnour continually sagged off of three point shooters, Michael Beasley mistook activity for achievement and a collective ineptitude was displayed in defending any Cavs possession that required more than one pass. Add these troubles to Kevin Love being lost amidst the forest that is Anderson Varejao’s unkempt mane and our boys were off to an early deficit which presumably would lead to their latest loss away from Target Center. Seventeen first quarter points certainly didn’t seem like the sign of good things to come.

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photo by carol_cacau

It goes without saying that this team doesn’t enjoy much positive attention. So when the national spotlight turned to our neck of the woods last month, it was a time to bask in hopes of a bright future. For one glorious night, we’d let the numbers speak for themselves.

But now comes the responsibility to state things more plainly. 31 rebounds was a feat in itself, even for such a prodigy. Those 31 points however, well…they were the ugliest 31 points I’d seen in quite some time.

Which makes Kevin Love’s performance tonight even more satisfying.

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Let me toot your horn

Myles Brown —  December 17, 2010 — 3 Comments

I’ve always been a bit wary of advanced stats. I certainly find them to be useful at times, but there are also several instances where I feel they’re devoid of the necessary context to provide actual insight. Perhaps I’m less accepting of change than I thought, but I see all of these PER, eFG% and win shares bandied about only to wonder who’s actually watching the games anymore? Too often I see numbers used not as a complement, but a replacement for the naked eye, leading to the meme of the day.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about our pal Ben, who done growed up on us. Ben spends every pregame espousing the merits of these metrics to me while I inhale cheesecake and every other post game sharing his wisdom with the lot of us, but it was time to take his show to, well, “the show”

Over on True Hoop’s main page, Mr. Polk addresses the conventional wisdom regarding our Timberwolves and waters those seeds of doubt planted by statisticians with the fluid perspective of an insider. The result is a magnificent bloom of true analysis.

Check it out.

photo by shortwaverockin

Be honest. You weren’t watching the first quarter. Not when the Knicks and Celitcs were deeply engaged in what has been the game of this young season. Who could turn their attention elsewhere while Amar’e Stoudemire bounded and astounded his way through, around and over our beloved K.G.?

Sorry, not this guy. That’s what DVR’s are for.

With minutes left in lower Manhattan’s celebration of their not so triumphant return to relevancy, the Garden faithful erupted into that ubiquitous three syllable chant every athlete longs to hear. Surprisingly enough, he actually deserved it.

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photo by agingresearch

Kevin Durant’s arms are long. Comically long. No chest, no rib cage, just the gangly, awkward frame befitting a Tim Burton character. All arms. Upon taking the court amongst the chiseled chests and sculpted shoulders of his teammates, an uninformed observer would rightfully presume KD to be the team’s weakest link. “Look at him!” they’d exclaim, “It’s a wonder he can even move without tripping over himself!” Much laughter and mocking would ensue.

This of course would also be the scene where Kevin reveals the talent belied by his physique, carving masterpieces of the competition with an unnatural grace and precision. He’d score in bunches. He’d score from the perimeter, driving to the basket, from the line, fading away and on the occasional slam just for good measure. Having converted his tormentors, their mouths agape in awe, Durant would saunter out of the arena with the same humility with which he arrived, arms dragging behind him all the way.

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There’s been another entry into the Wolves revolving door of injuries. As Martell Webster and Jonny Flynn make their way back from the mend, down goes Tolliver.

Our friend Ray Richardson from the Star Tribune breaks the bad news.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver will miss the next 6-8 weeks to recover from a knee injury he suffered in Friday night’s game at San Antonio.

Tolliver, signed by the Timberwolves as a free agent in August, had an MRI on Sunday that revealed a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. A Timberwolves spokesperson said the 6-foot-8 Tolliver will not require surgery.

As much as we’ll miss Tolliver’s stellar help defense-and we undoubtedly will-I’m still looking forward to more of this smiling mug on the front line.