Author Archives: Steve McPherson

What Thibs Talks About When He Talks About Basketball

One of the toughest and most critical things to generate when writing fiction is subtext. You see, we most of us go through our lives simply trying to communicate with something like maximum efficiency, as if language is a quadratic equation. That is, I want x, I say y and — if I say it […]

Timberwolves 113, Kings 104: Far Away, So Close


Look at the last stretch of games for the Minnesota Timberwolves since the start of the second week of March and you can see that this team might actually be starting to make a little sense. They’re young and talented, with a starting lineup that’s beginning to gel, but are still inexperienced overall when it […]

Timberwolves 114, Grizzlies 108: A win is a win is a win


The Memphis Grizzlies are in dire straits. They’ve already been granted three injury hardship exceptions and when Mario Chalmers — a feelgood story this year for Memphis — went down with a season-ending Achilles rupture, they had little choice but to waive him in order to get enough healthy bodies on the roster to play […]

Timberwolves 91, Spurs 116: Who Wants a Free T-Shirt



Timberwolves 98, Wizards 104: Their A&R Man Said, “I Don’t Hear A Single”


In 2009, the band French Kicks released Swimming, and it was absolutely and without question one of the best EPs of the year. Leadoff track “Abandon” established the tone: taut guitar lines viewed through a smeared, blurry lens of towering echo; sleepy-eyed vocals nearly out of earshot in a nearby room; enveloping bass working its […]

Timberwolves 124, Celtics 122: Bring Me the Next Brad Stevens


Despite a monster first quarter and overall terrific play from Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves did just about everything they could to kick this one away down the stretch. The ending of the game followed the pattern of the game overall. Minnesota pushed out to a 16 point lead over the Boston Celtics early, then watched […]

Timberwolves 102, Pelicans 116: Reboots and Rebuilds


The first time I started watching FX’s Fargo, I didn’t know what to expect and, even after a few episodes, didn’t really know what I was watching. A TV show based on a movie: Is it a remake? A reboot? A reimagining? The show itself gave few clues, beyond the fact that the tone, setting […]

Timberwolves 123, Thunder 126: Shop Talk

Nov 25, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) shakes hands with Minnesota Timberwolves forward Tayshaun Prince (12) after making a shot in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 99-95. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Every game begins unknown. A few hours later, it’s decided: a win or a loss, binary, a one, a zero. But in between, there’s a well of experience for each of the fifteen or so players involved that fills up: expectations, perceptions, decisions, recognitions, surprises. As you line them up, the games stretch into a […]

Timberwolves 94, Mavericks 106: The Seven Karl-Anthony Towns Plays You Meet in Heaven

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It was coming the whole night in a game that fit the classic mold of one where the Timberwolves looked good, but never managed to definitively put the hammer down on the other team. They comprehensively winterized the Phoenix Suns over the weekend and then watched yet another 17-point lead slip out of their hands […]

Timberwolves 104, Rockets 107: The Ghost of a Team Yet to Come


With the Houston Rockets up 107-104 on the Minnesota Timberwolves and 7 seconds remaining, it was clear what the Wolves needed: a 3-pointer to tie the game. Unfortunately, Minnesota doesn’t have any plays designed to get a 3-point shot, instead relying on the flow of the offense to generate those looks — a thing that […]