Let's assume Wiggins convinced Embiid to join the Wolves in 2021.

Let’s assume Wiggins convinced Embiid to join the Wolves in 2021.

The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t been putting a great roster on the floor over the last two seasons. It’s been by design and it’s a risky proposition. It’s an idea that I’ve had, along with plenty of Wolves’ fans, when it comes to the rebuilding style of this Minnesota franchise. Strip down the roster, rid it of almost all of the veterans available, and just let the young guys get their reps, as many as possible.

It’s something I’ve gone back and forth with as the season progresses. We’ve seen components of such an idea when Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, and Ricky Rubio missed time as Mo Williams was dealing with some nagging injuries as well. We’ve seen the Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Thaddeus Young, and Gorgui Dieng lineup out there and full of failure on a possession by possession basis. You can talk yourself into this being a valuable learning experience for all of the young guys involved, but you can also see how the process and the results can be stilted.

Over the last two games, we’ve seen the Wolves get the pairing of Pekovic and Martin back into the rotation. The result has been a more organized brand of basketball that doesn’t lack a sense of hope while possessing a tunnel vision on the spectacularly calm moments of Wiggins doing cool stuff out there. You see the value of veterans mixed in with young players, removing many of the frustrations we’ve experienced watching that overmatched basketball team from November 19th or so to earlier this week. That’s where I start appreciating the plan of the Wolves because I’m not sure they have the infrastructure to pull off what the 76ers are doing.  Continue Reading…

 

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Tomorrow night, a divisive former Timberwolf returns to the Target Center as a visiting player – and not just Mike Miller, the guy whose curious aversion to pulling the trigger on threes during his lone season in Minnesota vexed many observers (including, famously, Steve Aschburner). It’s that other dude – what’s his name? He sometimes has a beard, sometimes not, used to be a duff but now he’s buff? The All Star? The white guy? Continue Reading…

#TheReturn

Steve McPherson —  January 29, 2015 — 2 Comments

When he left town, it was with head down, a legacy of losing the only one he could leave behind him. And now, this Saturday, he’s returning to the arena he once called home. Get ready.

For Mike Miller.

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It’s always fun in the Target Center when the Timberwolves play well.

Even considering the 7 wins the Wolves had coming into tonight, you have to pick and choose which of those wins can be considered “good” wins. When you factor in the Wolves’ 10-game home losing streak coming into tonight, it makes the sample size that much smaller.

A big part the team’s struggles has been with injury, perhaps most due to the severe ankle injury suffered by Ricky Rubio in early November. Rubio didn’t make his return tonight, but there were a couple new(-ish) faces that did make their returns to the Target Center, one of whom from injury. In a lot of ways, these faces may have made the difference in the fun levels of tonight’s game.

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Early this morning, ESPN’s Marc Stein made his way to the Twittersphere and broke some news:

Brown has some experience with the Wolves. After a successful run at NC State, he was picked by the Wolves in 2013 (52nd overall), but was cut shortly after the preseason to make room for more experienced point guard AJ Price to run the third string.

That said, I’ll be honest: I was a big fan of Brown in college, and am a big fan of this signing.

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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets

If you had told me before the season began that an injury to Robbie Hummel was going to feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back, I wouldn’t have believed you. Given the Wolves’ history, I wouldn’t have said it was impossible, though. Yet here we are. After a sound thrashing by an Atlanta Hawks team that looked every inch the frontrunners in the Eastern Conference, we learned that Hummel had a “nondisplaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his shooting hand,” according to the Star Tribune, and so Hummel will miss the next four to six weeks.

More on that later, but more on the game right now: Man, the Hawks looks great. The Wolves started promisingly with an interesting lineup: Mo Williams and Andrew Wiggins as the guards, Thad Young at small forward, Gorgui Dieng at power forward and Nikola Pekovic at center. In some ways it mimics the lineup of Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad on the wings because Young — while an undersized power forward — is a physical handful for small forwards and he showed it, ending the game with 26 points including going 11-14 on contested shots. If the Hawks have any obvious weaknesses, it’s size. Center Al Horford is 6-10 and power forward Paul Milsap is 6-8, so the Wolves reasonably tried to outsize them and it worked. For a while. Continue Reading…

Oh Canada

Zach Harper —  January 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Tonight’s 92-84 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans left me in awe of the other team more than usual. More specifically, of one particular player. Early in the game, Anthony Davis used his comically long arms to get an easy look over the much shorter Thaddeus Young.

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That got myself, Britt Robson, and Steve McPherson talking about how freakishly similar Davis’ arsenal of moves and motions stacks up to a guy who made his name in the Target Center. Continue Reading…

We’re halfway through the 2014-15 NBA season and things haven’t gone exactly to plan. The Minnesota Timberwolves missed at least three starters for two months of the season and it’s helped them go from a promising start 4.5 games into the season to a 7-34 record at the halfway point. Granted, that record is mostly skewed because of the loss of Ricky Rubio (Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic’s absences hurt too), but you don’t get wins on a grading curve in the NBA.

Either you can win them or you can’t. And without Rubio, the Wolves’ defense has been a mess and the offense hasn’t been much better. However, there has been one constant beacon of hope on the horizon, showing the future seasons won’t be so bad.  Continue Reading…