Music: “Descending” by The Black Crowes
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Archives For Andrew Wiggins
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…
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
These are the dog days of the NBA season for every franchise whose playoff seed or lottery fate is essentially settled. Sure, there are a handful of teams in the West scratching and clawing for home court advantage in the first round, and a few at the bottom of the East slap-fighting backwards into the 7th and 8th spots in the standings, but for everyone else, it’s a slog. Postseason-bound organizations are just trying to get healthy before the real fun begins, and everyone else is playing out the string.
Some teams, however, are accomplishing something as they kill time between now and April 15th. The Magic are one of them. Continue Reading…
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…
Typically, when the Minnesota Timberwolves look like they’re going to get blown out in a game and I’m on recap duty, I start thinking of tangents and topics outside of basketball I can explore in my writing. There’s no real sense in figuring out why a bad team got destroyed by a good team. This is the nature of the business and while you hope to be competitive in match-ups like that, the talent often overrides the Disney story and nature versus nurture takes over. Heading into last night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Wolves were missing Ricky Rubio (ankle), Gary Neal (ankle), Nikola Pekovic (ankle), Kevin Garnett (knee), Anthony Bennett (ankle), Robbie Hummel (hand), and Shabazz Muhammad (hand).
The Spurs were at full strength and they’ve been clicking as of late. They had won six of their last seven games by a margin of nearly 16 points with their only loss happening in overtime thanks to Kyrie Irving’s 57 points. The Wolves hung tough with them in the first quarter and even kept it relatively close in the second quarter until a late push by San Antonio pushed the halftime deficit to double digits for Minnesota. When the third quarter opened, “hell broke Luce” (as Tom Waits would say) and the game was officially going the way of nature for the Spurs. Normally, I would have been gathering my thoughts about recent movies I had seen, like Foxcatcher or St. Vincent. Instead, I had basketball on my mind, which was surprising to me.
I had three thoughts kicking around in my head: Continue Reading…
For some reason, the 14-win Timberwolves have found a relatively strange level of success against the 41-win Portland Trail Blazers this season. They managed to beat the Blazers back in December amidst the flurry of injuries to Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, and Kevin Martin, ending what was a 6-game losing streak.
While injuries and losing streaks were also there for last night’s win over the Trail Blazers, the situation was different this time around. Rubio, Martin, and Pekovic are back and playing. Andrew Wiggins, who is still discovering what he is (really) good at, is further along in his development. Kevin Garnett is here now.
None of this is to say the Wolves came into the game projected as favorites, but it would explain the high level of confidence they displayed as early as the opening tipoff.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced yesterday that they were awarded 7’0 center Justin Hamilton off of waivers from the New Orleans Pelicans. Hamilton played collegiately at Iowa State for one year before transferring to LSU before the 2011-12 season. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who promptly traded his draft rights to the Miami Heat. Hamilton spent his first professional season in Croatia and Latvia before he returned to the States to make an attempt at cracking the Heat roster. Continue Reading…
Credit for this 1995 photo goes to Timberwolvestimeline.com
It was 90’s night in the United Center. In a perfect world, such a night would have coincided with Kevin Garnett’s first road game as a returned member of the Timberwolves. But, despite the nice digs the United Center bring, it’s still not a perfect world, and Kevin Garnett opted to rest tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s home game. To be fair, neither Michael Jordan nor Luc Longley suited up for Chicago, so the playing field was evened out a bit.