Archives For Defense

Wiggins

Most fans understand that there’s a steep learning curve for rookies entering the NBA, and know they must try to be patient when a talented young player debuts for their team… but they don’t know what a learning curve actually looks like until games begin and victories hang in the balance. The coaching staff has to walk a fine line between managing expectations and demanding steady improvement from their young players, and has to know when to reassure and when to reprimand. And the player himself, who has undoubtedly been told by his family, agent and coaches that the transition from college to the NBA is a difficult one, might not know exactly what he’s in for until he is staring at a bigger, stronger veteran player and is tasked with trying to keep him from scoring.

That’s what Andrew Wiggins has experienced during his first four regular season games with the Timberwolves. Continue Reading…

Sometimes, an entertaining game of basketball is just that: entertainment. That’s — in its own perverse way — the blessing of the denouement of the kind of season that Timberwolves fans have grown accustomed to over the last several years. Go back a decade and the Wolves were the #1 seed in the Western Conference, following years where the end of season concern was getting out of the first round. Just after that, entire seasons were slogs, lit only dimly by some notion of rebuilding the team with little consistent direction to indicate such a thing was even happening. Continue Reading…

Wolves defense

The Wolves are in a bad place right now and have been all month long.

Heading into the month of January, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a lot of hope. The team was 14-13 and one of the top defensive squads in the NBA. Kevin Love was still trying to find his way after coming back early from his hand but he was at least rebounding and providing a threat to the defense (he wasn’t shooting well but they defended him like he might). Ricky Rubio was working his way back from an ACL tear and showing some flashes of the wunderkind point guard that dazzled us in his rookie campaign.

And while the team was struggling offensively, they could rely on defense and grinding out victories to stay in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. It wasn’t going to be an easy road by any means, but the Wolves were avoiding the eventual fallout of having to deal with so many injuries to so many key players in their rotation.

Once January hit, everything changed for the worse.  Continue Reading…