Music: “Descending” by The Black Crowes
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Archives For 2014-15 Season
Music: “Descending” by The Black Crowes
As the ball went up for the opening tip last night, the Thunder’s fate went with it. Part of their fate, anyway, if an abstract concept can be parceled out. The rest of it was in New Orleans, where the Pelicans battled the Spurs. If Anthony Davis could lead his team to victory, he’d get his first taste of the postseason. If he didn’t, Oklahoma City would reach the playoffs for the sixth consecutive time, because there was absolutely no way they were going to lose to the Minnesota Timberwolves. None.
Russell Westbrook took care of that. Continue Reading…
For a good month and a half, the Timberwolves have played opponents with a different kind of mindset than they started with. Of course, while the term “tanking” has been thrown around more than “the Wolves could have drafted Steph Curry” chatter, the players on the floor aren’t out there trying to lose.
Tonight, we saw Andrew Wiggins, Lorenzo Brown, Zach LaVine, Jordan Hamilton, Chase Budinger, Adriean Payen, Robbie Hummel, and Arinze Onuaku working to beat the New Orleans Pelicans, whether there was actual tanking going on or not.
That said, the New Orleans Pelicans were playing, trying to win, with a completely different frame of mind. With the Oklahoma City Thunder begging for a New Orleans loss, the Pelicans weren’t just trying to win for the sake of keeping a basketball game competitive; they were out there trying to keep their season alive.
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…
President-coach-owner Flip Saunders has been under fire since his comments in Portland about not wanting 3-point shots to be a “main part” of Andrew Wiggins’ game. It’s led to yet another dissection of what Flip can mean for the ceiling of this latest rebuilding project for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the potential pitfalls of this organization and Flip as both shopper and cook when it comes to the grocery list. With a team that dropped to 47 games under .500 in their loss to the Lakers Friday night, development and future is all Wolves fans have to look forward to right now.
Wiggins is the biggest part of that hope for the future because he’s going to be a superstar in this league. If only one thing has been certain with this team in the 2014-15 campaign, it’s that the Wolves acquired one of the future stars of this league back in August (really July but the trade had to wait). The Canadian via Kansas has been a revelation most nights and you can see the confidence building, the skill set getting more diverse, and the approach to the game being one of the more impressive things you can imagine from a 19/20-year old player in the NBA.
I’ve written about Wiggins’ development this season and Steve McPherson had a great Q&A with David Thorpe on Thursday diving into making him the star he needs to become. In looking at what happened with the Wolves’ loss and more importantly Wiggins’ incredible play at Staples Center Friday night, it’s made me look at Flip’s comments in a new light. First, let’s take a look at the full quote, via Ben Golliver of SI.com: Continue Reading…
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:
Flip Saunders on Andrew Wiggins: "You don't want [three-pointers] to become a major part of his game." Don't know whether to groan or cry
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 9, 2015
The Timberwolves, stuck with a starting rotation of 3 D-League call-ups (Payne, Hamilton, Brown), and 3 rookies (Payne again, Wiggins, LaVine), and just 3 bench players, have been losing. In the thick of playoff positioning for a good quantity of teams in the league, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that such events have been going on.
They’ve been going on for a while, and have been recapped by all of the AWAW crew already (see: here, here, here, and here) So, instead of rehashing another sad recap, I’m going to revive something done by William Bohl early in the season.
Send me your questions…any questions…and I’ll try to answer them in tonight’s recap.
— Tim Faklis (@timfaklis) April 2, 2015
I called, and you all responded. Let’s get started….
- Once upon a time, I used to roll my eyes whenever a coworker would miss a day of work because their child was sick. “How often do kids really get sick?” I would wonder. “Sounds like an excuse for the parent to get out of their shift, if you ask me.” As punishment for such insolence, I’m now blessed with a one year old who gets sick ALL. THE DAMN. TIME. Monday, as I sat at the Wolves-Jazz game, my wife’s texts about our little guy’s condition got progressively sadder, beginning with “runny nose” to “feels a little warm” to “crabby as hell and won’t go to bed” to “please come home so you can take over and I can get some sleep.” The poor boy got very little shut-eye, and was only content if he was being rocked. Between the gallons of snot and loud cries shortly after I got him back in his crib, the recap didn’t get done in a timely manner. Parents, you can relate. Skeptical non-parents, karma’s a bitch. Tread lightly.
- Anyway, this happened, and chances are you’ve seen it a bunch of times already, but go ahead and watch it some more:
Same with this: