With apologies to Wallace Stevens.
A skeleton crew of wolves
— leaderless, bereft of energy, stripped raw
by the road — came back, but not home. Continue Reading…
I’ve been a Timberwolves fan since my early elementary years in the mid-90s. I can remember sitting in the upper deck with my dad, watching a Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury, and Tom Gugliotta big 3 lead the Timberwolves to their first playoff berth.
My friend and AWAW amigo William Bohl was not (obsessively) watching basketball at this point. In fact, he didn’t start (obsessively) watching the Timberwolves until after he was already gone.
This made for some interesting conversation when Kevin Garnett was traded to the Timberwolves yesterday. While I got to see the Timberwolves’ “glory years” as a fan, Bill’s lack of exposure to that era helped keep him more even keeled throughout yesterday’s happenings. We decided to exchange some emails on the matter. This is what we came away with.
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.
The Timberwolves jumped out to a hot start in last night’s game, which is not actually new. Last season, Minnesota boasted an offensive rating of 111.1 and a defensive rating of 101.1, good for a Bo Derek-approved net rating of 10.0. The problem, of course, was in the fourth quarter, where they only mustered a 98.1 offensive rating against a defensive rating of 107.8 — good for a net rating of -9.7, a swing of nearly twenty points. But we’ll get to the ending in short order. Continue Reading…
Yes, Deron Williams isn’t the player he was in Utah, but he still gets you 18 and 8 on most nights. No point guard sees a matchup against Brooklyn as a night off. He’s still a beast.
Yes, Brook Lopez has a lengthy injury history to his record, but a healthy Brook is still a dangerous Brook.
Yes, Joe Johnson doesn’t deserve to have the third biggest paycheck in the NBA, but he’s still giving the Nets very good (All-Star caliber?) production in the latter stages of his career.
Speaking of latter stages, yes, Kevin Garnett is nowhere near the dominant two-way player the he once was, but he’s still a useful starter in spot minutes. Plus, this just happened a couple days ago.
Lastly, it’s true the Nets aren’t the title contenders some hoped they’d be when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce a year ago. Still, you’ll see them competing in the playoffs this spring.
The Nets are the ultimate “yeah, but still” team in the NBA, and they’re who the Timberwolves face off against tonight to start their November road trip.
After the Wolves lost at home to the a struggling New York Knicks team (which apparently was about to start finally fighting for their playoff lives), I have to admit I mentally checked out for the season.
I’m not one to really overreact to a win or loss. I try to stay even-keeled for the most part because the process of the season has so many peaks and valleys that it will drive you crazy if you get too frustrated or too high from the losses and wins. Plus, I’m a big believer in you don’t really know the whole scope of what you’re looking at until you can reflect back on the season in its entirety and figure out what exactly happened. Until then, it’s a lot of guesswork, which can be fine but it leads to frustration with a team like this.
The alternative though is you can get sucked into shutting down mentally and emotionally with the team. You check out and that’s where I was when the loss to the Knicks happened. Since then, I’ve been mostly unaffected by the wins and losses, just focusing on the individual play of some to get me through the end of the season. I’ve hoped for a .500 record and for the Wolves to keep their pick, and they’re currently on pace for that.
And the rest, I’ve become pretty numb to, which brings us to Kevin Love. Continue Reading…
Garbage time, blown calls, awesome plays, victory celebrations: All of these just got a lot more fun, because Flip Saunders has signed the exceptionally enthusiastic, spectacularly bearded Ronny Turiaf for two-years and $3.2 million. (That’s the veterans’ minimum in case you were worried.) Turiaf isn’t really a good player or anything; I’d quote you some stats but there’s not really much to see. He’s a nice guy to turn to if your team needs a burst of frantic energy, or if your coach wants to change the flow of the game by making it suddenly frazzled and chaotic or to change up the defensive looks on an opposing power forward. Mostly, though, Turiaf is a bright, pulsing orb of positive vibes. That is a nice thing to have.
After the horrible aftermath in the New York area (and much of the Eastern seaboard) took away the Brooklyn Nets’ theatrical home opener against the New York Knicks to kick off the Brooklyn era properly, New York’s newest team finally debuted their new duds and domicile against the Toronto Raptors. I don’t have a ton to add about that game. The Nets rode Brook Lopez and just pounded the Raptors inside to get the win. Think what you will about Brook Lopez but he’s a weapon the Wolves really have to worry about tonight.
But we don’t have a ton to go off of with how this new Brooklyn team might play the Wolves tonight. What we CAN do is make fun of the Nets’ mascot. The Nets unveiled “the Brooklyn Knight” during the pregame introductions of the game against the Raptors and it was immediately the worst mascot I’ve ever seen. Here’s a fun fallout of the unveiling from The Brooklyn Game. Continue Reading…