Whenever you hit the button or you turn it on using some Jedi-type stuff, if you’re not seeing ripples in your skin then the blow dryer isn’t going to be good enough to dry your hands in a reasonable amount of time. A hand dryer like the one you see above is terrible at doing its job. The air is lukewarm at best and it’s definitely not going to give enough force to move beads of water away from your skin. Push the button; it’s going to last for about four seconds. There is just nothing efficient or effective about a hand dryer like this. Continue Reading…
The trade deadline is schedule for 2pm CT on Thursday and the Wolves are said to be buyers right now by enticing prospective trade partners with Brandon Roy’s salary relief and a future first round pick. This makes sense for the team if it means they’re adding a piece they can take into next year that helps balance out the roster without taking on too much money. While I don’t believe Glen Taylor to be a cheap owner by any means (when the team is good and producing, he historically spends the money and even flirts with the luxury tax), the Wolves do need to be cognizant of cost right now (more on that in a bit).
It’s strange to listen to coaches and players and announcers attempt to make sense of the Timberwolves’ current situation. Over and over we hear testaments to the team’s professionalism and resolve, evocations of the stoic warrior ethos: we keep playing; we play with who we have; we all sacrifice more; someone new has to step up. And from their perspectives, this makes sense. After all, even with a lineup as decimated as this, what else are you going to do? The games are on the schedule. You have to play them. The only alternative is a kind of numb, Anthony Randolphian apathy, which, while probably justified by the circumstances, only makes things more painful.
But the hard fact of the matter is that the Wolves–particularly now that they are without J.J. Barea and Andrei Kirilenko–are so undermanned, are stretched so thin at every position that their chances of beating competent NBA teams are awfully remote. Despite the stoic rhetoric, you could see the heft of this realization weighing on the players’ faces at the end of this game. Deep inside, they know: When they play their guts out against good teams, they lose by less than ten points. When they are truly mismatched, or when they are not quite at their best, they get hammered. At certain moments the absurdity of it all seeps through the cracks. What is happening here? Where is Kevin Love and why is Mickael Gelabale getting serious minutes for an NBA team? Why are we even doing this? That’s despair talking. And–get this–we’re not even to the All-Star break.
Sometimes you lose because the other team is bigger or more talented. Sometimes you lose because your opponent is raining threes, as if some spectral force were at work. And sometimes you lose simply because your opponent plays more energetically than you did; there are scores of games like this every year. Particularly in this sprint/marathon of a season, there will be games in which neither team shoots the ball particularly well or executes their offense with any particular aplomb. In those games, the team that most effectively wills its dead legs to move probably wins.
Tuesday night’s game was like that–and if you had any doubt of this just check out the two teams’ combined 9-40 three-point shooting. With Marc Gasol sitting in a chair, wearing an ankle boot to match his large man’s suit, and with Zach Randolph still convalescing (albeit on the court), the Grizzlies did not present the Wolves with their typical matchup nightmare. And the Wolves certainly had their vibrant moments–their Love-fueled 20-6 third-quarter run, for instance. But for crucial stretches of the game, the Grizzlies simply played with more energy and verve, particularly on defense and in transition. They ran the floor; they swarmed defensively. In other words, the Grizzlies were the better team.
You tell me that the Wolves are playing without Kevin Love for the second time in as many games. You tell me that they are playing in Memphis against the Grizzlies, a circumstance under which our TW’s have, in recent years, struggled to appear even basically competitive. You tell me that they are playing for the seventh time in eleven nights and just one night after an exhausting home win. I will tell you, as I told the pretty lady sitting next to me on my couch just before tip off, that they will lose this game. And lose they did, after putting up their worst offensive showing of the year. We expected that this team would miss Love’s scoring and rebounding and, a day after painting over that deficit, they finally did.
Just what is going on with the Minnesota Timberwolves? The team is losing; nothing new to report there. But these recent bummers are unlike those December close calls, in which only late game meltdowns born of inexperience prevented the team from knocking off superior squads. No, these recent games are much less encouraging, much more reminiscent of grim years gone by, years whose hallmarks were uninspired effort and a deep lack of imagination.
The most obvious place this shows up, of course, is on defense. The Wolves opened this game with one of the least impressive three minutes of defense you will ever hope to see. Memphis’ guards easily broke down the Wolves’ D; shots went practically uncontested; cutters roamed free. It wasn’t simply a lack of enthusiasm or intensity although this was certainly evident tonight; the Wolves are just terribly imprecise and unintuitive defensively.
Thanks in a large part to their difficulty preventing drivers from penetrating the paint, the Wolves weakside defenders tend to shade too far off of their own assignments in an effort to provide help. The irony of this is that their rotations are still late; the Wolves both over-rotate and rotate too slowly. As a result, any sustained ball movement by their opponent generally leads to, at least, an open jumper, with the Wolves scrambling to recover.
Well there’s very little to say about this game. The Timberwolves just did that thing that teams do from time to time: without warning or explanation, come out of the tunnel and play terrible, listless basketball. When great teams do it, they can struggle against even mediocre opposition. When the Wolves do it, they get killed by everybody. Still, there are some analytical crags to cling to. Let’s give it a try.
Who’s up for some rumo(u)rs? The internet is simply abuzz. Firsties, Andy Katz at Truehoop reports on the chatter that the Nets have been getting sweet on Wes Johnson. What’s more, says Katz, they’ve been trying to pry Al Jefferson away from good olde MN:
“Johnson told ESPN that he could see himself fit well with New Jersey. According to a source close to Rob Pelinka, Johnson’s agent, the Nets have said Johnson’s professionalism and ability to contribute immediately are major reasons why he has moved ahead of Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors on Jersey’s board. New Nets coach Avery Johnson, according to sources, wants a player who is low maintenance and can have an impact. Johnson answers that on all fronts.”
Seconds, Chad Ford, also a Truehoopist, says that if Johnson is gone, the Wolves would settle for Favors, and that this would be just fine indeed:
“Sources in Minnesota are saying that they’ll take Derrick Favors at No. 4 if Evan Turner and Johnson are off the board. The Wolves may be bummed by this development, but I think it’s a great deal. The team lucked into Rubio at No. 5 last year and get a steal with Favors at No. 4 this year. Those two together could be awesome down the road.”
“However, the latest thing I’m hearing out of Minnesota may have the most legs. Sources have told me that the Wolves and Grizzlies have been discussing a swap that would send Jefferson to the Grizzlies for Zach Randolph. The deal would allow the Wolves to save a lot of money over time. Randolph has one year, $17.6 million left on his contract. Jefferson has three years, $42 million left.”
Whoa, dudes. Update: Apparently, this thing is dead. Probably for the best.
“The Grizzlies have discussed trading their late first-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft.
A potential deal that would have the Griz exchanging their picks at 25 and 28 for the Timberwolves’ 16th selection has not been agreed upon but is one of several possibilities being seriously considered.”
Lastly, President Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his duties as Afghanistan field commander. Does this mean that McChrystal could fall to the Wolves at 16? Sources say that Minnesota likes his length and athleticism but that he’s a bit on the old side for what the Wolves are trying to do (he turns 56 in August).