Archives For Steve McPherson

hoarders

We’re kicking off our offseason coverage here at A Wolf Among Wolves with a comprehensive roster review of the team from this past season, looking at how each player’s 2014-15 went and what we see for them going forward. One player (or group of players) a day for the next couple weeks, starting with the bench and/or those who have moved onto other teams, and rolling up to the starters.

706 minutes. That’s how many total minutes this motley assembly of spackle and grout played over the course of the 2014-15 NBA season. To put that in perspective, that’s 14 more minutes than Ricky Rubio, who only played in 22 games. It’s 14 fewer minutes than Adreian Payne, who didn’t play his first game as a Timberwolf until February 20. And of course it’s about one quarter of the total minutes played by Andrew Wiggins. Continue Reading…

Music: “Descending” by The Black Crowes
Video from NBA.com

150412015848-20150411-zachlavine.video-player

As the camera panned over a dusk shot of Oracle Arena framed by shiny graphics promising a scintillating late-season matchup between the Western Conference’s best team and one of its worst, my wife helpfully pointed out that the records of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors were nearly a palindrome: 15-64, 65-14. Wolves fans tired of so-called “moral victories” would find no solace here; even an unlikely win would count as one with the Warriors firmly in command of the top seed and the Wolves more interested in securing their draft lottery position. Continue Reading…

Minnesota Timberwolves v Houston Rockets

 

Update: Since this post went up, Timberwolves PR has directed me to the full context of the quote below and pointed out that there’s a big difference between saying “a major part” and “a main part.” Fair enough. It still seems worth discussing exactly what that difference is, and that’s largely what this post is about.

In case you missed it last night, Flip Saunders dropped another gem of a quote in the pre-game media scrum in Portland about his vision for Andrew Wiggins’ development:

Continue Reading…

shootaroundaccess-3-25-15

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…

With apologies to Wallace Stevens.

 

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

desert-001

“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…

Think about the first song you shared with someone. And here’s what I don’t mean: The song that was perfect for the person you pined for or the song you share now with someone. No, I mean a song that was shared property between you and someone else and is no longer — a song that you couldn’t have been more sure meant the same thing to both of you.

Now think about how it probably didn’t. Continue Reading…

Limbo, thy name is the first game after the All-Star break with one more to go before the greatest player in franchise history returns as a kind of éminence grise for a rawly talented but still rebuilding team. It wouldn’t have been surprising if the team had mailed it in, but pleasingly they didn’t and ended up holding on for a squeaker over the Suns. We’ll get to the Wolves in a moment, but let’s start with the Suns. Continue Reading…

kevin-garnett

As soon as ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves were involved in a late push to bring back Kevin Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Thad Young, a particular drumbeat began that went: “Wolves traded a first round pick for a 38-year-old KG.”

I’m here to tell you why this is a stupid way to think about this, whether or not it happens. And it’s not because trading for Young in the first was not a mistake — because it might well have been — and it’s not because trading for Garnett is not a mistake — because it might well be.  It’s mostly because of a little thing called the fourth dimension, so let’s travel back through it to when Minnesota traded for Thad Young for a first round pick this past summer.

Continue Reading…