Sunday, December 21, 2014

Clear Out.

Well, not quite but there were significant changes made to the Wolves roster through the week.

Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf both exit Target Center. Brewer to Houston, Turiaf to Philadelphia. In return Minnesota shed some money issues and bag a three point shooter in Troy Daniels and a couple of second round picks. God knows the team needs someone who can score from long range...ever since Martin went down injured   Flip  seems to have placed sanctions on the three ball...let's hope he grants Daniels a green light.

After losing again, this time to Boston, in a truly horrible game earlier in the week Minnesota now come home and welcome the 8-19 Pacers to Target Center.  Indiana had, according to Kevin Chroust, their worst shooting night for four seasons in a close loss to Denver last evening. This has all the makings of another "classic".

Not sure how we stop Hibbert.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Brick in the Wall...

See what I did there?

Moving on past the inconsequential Lakers game to DC.

I love John Wall...can we have him?....please?

This guy is everything you want or need in a modern day PG. He was brilliant against the Twolves and yeah, okay, it was the Twolves ( unfortunately we have to say that ) but the Wolves were playing okay for long stretches in this one. You have to feel for Zach Lavine trying to compete with someone like Wall...LaVine isn't a PG...Wall will be one of the best to ever play the game.

So in the end the Wizards, who have quite a tasty looking and fairly deepish roster, cast a unfathomable spell upon the hapless Wolves who now look very bedraggled indeed. Props to Thad Young, what a superb third quarter display. Grit, determination, leadership and buckets of sweat...no one could ask for more...well, 5-12 from the charity stripe is grisly (as is 57.1% overall...I will NOT let this lie!!!!) but great work Thad.

Biggest disappointments of last night Wiggins and Bennett posted missing.

I cannot wait until this year ends, the injuries heal and the cavalry arrive.

It's continues to be very hard to watch at the moment.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

We Have To Be Realistic......

....and accept that the King of ALL malevolence will score more than nine points this evening and surpass Michael Jordan in the all time scoring records. I, for one, won't be celebrating this milestone for Kobe Bryant...I don't particularly enjoy watching him play....I get that he's one tough guy and has proved amazingly "clutch" over his career but the fact that he's still playing means only one thing...he's in it for himself, don't be kidded on that fact.

There will be far too many Lakers fans in the Target Center tonight, as usual, and the evening is bound to be dominated by Kobe ( much as the ridiculous "preview" on nba.com is ).

I'm in two minds whether to watch the game or not. The Lakers have had a pretty good week, including a win over SAS, so this is shaping up to be an uncomfortable evening all round.

Kobe is going to get what he wants but let's have him leave Minneapolis with an "L" around his neck.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pistol Whipped.

A dreadfully bad shooting and defensive display during the first quarter of this game sealed the fate of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was ghastly and we were treated to the posturing of Russell Westbrook as he went through his complete repertoire of chest beast beating and gun "re-holstering".

I don't like that guy. He's good, fair enough, but he's malevolent. Malevolent in the same way that Kobe Bryant is malevolent and I don't have much affection for that guy either. Anyway, enough of the personality bashing, they are both (probably) beautiful and caring human beings.

I'm going to concentrate on just the one area of this game.......free.....throw....shooting.


The Twolves are abysmal, truly abysmal. In fact, let's take a look at the percentage of  FTs made over the past 10 games.

MIL (61%), LAL (83%), POR (68%), LAC (72%), PHI (82%), HOU (70%), SAS (78%),
GSW (69%), POR (76%), OKC (65%).......good eh?

That impressive list of numbers  gives us about a 74% average over those games. In my book all of these guys should capable of being able to shoot a high percentage of free throws. They are professionals... It is an uncontested shot from close range....they should be hitting way more. This, obviously, isn't the answer to all the woes which are currently heaped upon this franchise but when you are in a weakened position (as the Wolves, I'm sure we'd all agree, are) you try to work on the things that you actually have some kind of control over.

Get on the stripe and throw some free throws.....it is part of the JOB.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Blazers 82 - Twolves 90

Oops! There's a win.

Unexpected, yes, I'm sure we'd all agree point blank on that...but hey, beggars cannot be choosers.

I'm also certain that many of us watched the game expecting Lillard, Matthews, Aldridge and Batum to eventually man up and kick the horrendously depleted Twolves in the head.
.
Didn't happen.

Now, as others have more eloquently said today, this was partly due to a pitiful Blazers effort but also partly due to some creative defensive rotations drawn up by the Twolves coaching staff. Aldridge was particularly affected by the Twolves strategy of doubling him as he went baseline. The Wolves scrapped and harried their more illustrious opponents, carried some good fortune and clung on for a precious victory.

Gorgui Dieng is benefiting from having Jeff Adrien share the workload. Adrien has been something of a spark since his arrival ( as emergency aid ) and has shown an excellent work ethic and a stout knowledge of the game. He's been a somewhat steadying influence and isn't one to be shoved around...I like him and wouldn't be averse to seeing him stick around....if it were possible, at the expense of Turiaf, who is getting "money for jam" just now.

Andrew Wiggins had a good night on both ends.

VICTORY!!!

Bellow if from the rooftops, people....and enjoy it for it now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Warriors 102 - Twolves86

This game has just gone to the #1 slot on the "Well that was the worst game of basketball I've seen all season!" list....

Boy was that BAD.....and not in a good way.

36 turnovers and 27 steals in total across the 48 mins....9 and about 7 per quarter respectively. The Timberwolves were, once again, hellish and succeeded in dragging the Warriors down to their level for a short while. Once Golden State managed to get a few consecutive shots to drop the gap appeared and that was basically "all she wrote".

I'm very perturbed at the stories surrounding Pekovic at the moment. Haven't we known for the past couple of seasons that his ankle is sick?

Aren't there people who can fix such things?

Right now he is a very big and very expensive mannequin who is quickly gaining a reputation for being "made of glass".......sad really when you think of how we all look upon him as some kind of indestructable Montenegran powerhouse.

There is now whispering of trades.

Not so long ago I would have rubbished such talk...now I don't see how anyone would want to touch Nikola Pekovic, with any length of barge pole......then again SuperCool got a gig at Phoenix!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Fresh Hell Awaits....

The seemingly invincible Golden State Warriors will sachet into the Target Center tonight boasting a 17-2 record, which includes 10-1 on road games.

The news from the Timberwolves' camp is that Bazz is "questionable" with an injured ankle - loosely translated this means "he plays"

The reason I know this?

Bazz ain't Pek.

Just saying.

I think they might murder us.....but you never can tell.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rockets 114 - Twolves 112

Corey: we done?       Ronny: Oui, I theenk so
The moment that you wished that time would
shuttle forward and that the ensuing 58.2 seconds
of play would not have existed.

The Twolves have returned to their bench having
taken a 4 point lead over the Rockets....only seconds prior having consigned torturer-in-chief to the opposing hardwood with 6 personals.

If only time had stopped right there or mysteriously evaporated into the Minneapolis night.

This game looked like it was in the bag. Probably for any other team it would have been. This however is the 2014 Timberwolves and like every other incarnation of the Timberwolves in recent history they can find new and interesting ways to lose.

This one boils down to simple choices.....and really, it's hard to be critical about this gutsy performance...but the game was there.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Philadelphia Story

Anger is a perfectly normal emotion.
we need an enema.....

We all get angry......even I'm pretty annoyed at the moment.

I, like many others have paid no small amount of money to watch NBA League Pass. I live in Scotland so, as you'd imagine, struggle to get to any live games.....but I still like to follow a team. That team, for the past few years has been Minnesota.

The chief reason I came to follow Minnesota was that I tend to root for an underdog.

Yeah, well........

At this point in time the dog is so badly mauled that they are about to step in and put it out of its misery.

I tune in most mornings before heading in to work and have found myself shuttling through games in a bid to find something that can be construed as coherent basketball. The Twolves are shockingly bad....from top to toe....and I'm paying £20 a month for the privilege??

We can blame the horrific injury list, if you like, but there's more to it than that.

It is an unholy mess right now.

The Philly game was the final insult really.....77 points over four quarters, at home, against a team who were heading for a franchise worst 0-18 start to the season.

If you are a dyed in the wool Twolves fan.....which I obviously am not.....you must be incandescent with rage. I am merely "annoyed".

Over the short time I've followed Minnesota basketball there have been many, many changes of personnel ( both players  and coaching staff) however, one face remains the same...the old boy....sitting on top of what has become a house of cards.

That's no coincidence

That's where the responsibility lies.

We are continually told how the NBA is a "business"....well okay....sell up and let this franchise move forwards.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Touch Too Much.

As we've all said repeatedly....it would be too easy to rip into this Twolves team when they have nights like last night.

Because of the ridiculous amount of bad luck which seems to linger around this franchise like a foul odour ( Andrew Wiggins' food poisoning being the latest kick in the head ) the road ahead is extremely long, extremely rough and all up hill.

Blake Griffin up next....
Last night, once the Blazers got into their stride they swatted the young pups aside with little trouble. We all know that they are a three point shooting team....they shot tons of threes....missed tons of threes but still kept firing away as they knew, against the Wolves' dodgy zone, they'd eventually prevail.

They are just way better...even when the Timberwolves are at full strength this match up is extremely hard.

Let's just suck it up.



More pain is predicted for this evening when the Wolves roll back to The Staples to face off against the Lobs. Sleep well.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cakewalk in Tinseltown (and other stories)

After a couple of fairly comprehensive defeats against two surging teams (Sacramento and Milwaukee) the Wolves dragged themselves to Los Angeles for a date with those malevolent Lakers. the Lakers are shockingly bad and we're 3-12 going into this one. The Wolves were only marginally better boasting a 3-10 record.
I've actually enjoyed watching the Timberwolves over the last few games...there are definite green shoots of growth and an amazing resilience being shown by this group of guys. I think the fact that LaVine, Bennett and (obviously) Wiggins are getting so much burn can only be a good thing for when our starters eventually make it back to the floor...if that makes any sense at all?

I know what I mean.

Studying the game last night it looked like it would be the usual story. Wesley "bloody" Johnson started hitting three pointers and flashing that " Oh my Gawsh!! Did I just do that?" smile....Nick Young started making plays and Bryant was getting away with blue murder.

In the end though the young Wolves supported by excellent performances from Mo Williams and Thad Young prevailed. Thad has looked a husk of himself (justifiably) until midway through this game, then he elevated, finding strength from somewhere.

Zach LaVine....well let's just see shall we?

Let's not get carried away...the kid was great...consistency is what will be key for him going forward.

Up next Portland. That will be extremely difficult....will Pek be back?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Holy Hell!!!

Just when you thought things couldn't possibly get any worse for the beleaguered Minnesota roster we find out the Kevin Martin (displaying true grit) played out most of the Knicks game with a fractured wrist ( That's a FRACTURE, Pek).

This obviously means K-Mart is a non starter for this evening's tilt with the Sultans of San Antone.
What if they had a game and no one came to play?

So, where does that leave us...well, basically without four fifths of our starting five. Take a guess at who will be there for the tip off and pray that Andrew Wiggins isn't struck by something falling from the sky on his way to Target Center.

Obviously we aren't going to make any predictions for this one. Let's hope the young guys can give a whole lot of effort, hit some shots and that Pop takes some pity on us.

The curse continues.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Knickerbockers 99 - Wolves 115

Yep, everyone saw that coming.

The grotesquely under-strength Timberwolves laid seige to the Knicks for the majority of the game and ran out easy and deserved winners.

Flip Saunders threw a variety of players at Carmelo Anthony and despite the NYK star man getting his obligatory 20 points he looked a little out of sorts and possibly more injured than he's letting on. He and Amare Stoudemire were the only weapons the Knicks had and it just wasn't enough against a Minnesota team who benefited from stellar performances by their veteran players.

Kevin Martin was unconcious, going for 37 points on 14-20 shooting ( 7-11 on threes), Mo Williams had by far his best game of the season with a rock solid 14 point 13 assist effort and Corey Brewer had one of those games that makes you fall in love with him all over again ( I'm holding my breath) 14 points and SIX steals.

Amongst the young players Shabazz Muhammad got the nod to start and didn't disappoint. Bazz has his detractors and he does have an itchy trigger finger but his effort, so far, this season has been exemplary. He has chiseled his body into shape and is leaving everything on the floor in every game he features. It took him 15 shots to score his 17 but he was active at both ends with 4 ORs and 4 DRs. He seems very honest....I'm really liking him.

So the Wolves stay home for a little while and improve to 3-7 for the season. All well and good in the face of things but they do have some tricky games coming up. The Spurs, The Kings and The Bucks all boast winning records at the moment and will pose serious problems...however we are waiting for Andrew Wiggins to explode...who would bet against it happening in one of the next three?

I'm assuming we won't see Thad or Pek before next week. There seems to be some sort of mystery surrounding the Pekovic injury...the "personal reasons" sign has been flashed in the past couple of days. If there is something irregular in the big man's life, outside of the game, then he should take all the time he needs to get his head straight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Do My Ears Deceive Me?

Suits you sir....
Pathetic.

That is the only word that springs to mind.

We all knew Pekovic would miss games....he misses games EVERY season...most big guys do...but this early? And for this pathetic reason?

Come on Pek. This team are struggling badly and desperately need the veteran players to stand up and carry a bit more weight. A wrist sprain? Honestly?

I despair at this....I really do.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Clouds Gathering Over Target Center...

Indeed the immediate future looks bleak as we hurtle towards mid-winter.

So what is happening?

The Wolves seem to be in the usual disarray with the last two games of the recent formidable road trip being particularly harrowing experiences. The Pelicans and The Mavericks dropped a combined 270 points on the hapless Wolves...by my dreadful math that equates to roughly 34 points per quarter....that's ominous.

Sure Ricky Rubio and Thad Young are huge holes which we cannot fill but hey, these guys are professional...you'd expect at the very least a modicum of effort. By half time the Pels had a franchise best 80 ( eight zero!) and the Mavs had racked up 63.

Troubling times....but we knew there would be days like these...maybe just not quite SO bad or SO early.

How do these Timberwolves regroup and get ready to go again?
Corey Brewer on his way out of Minnesota?

Well it would seem that one of the first steps they are ready to take is to (once more) move Corey Brewer out of Target Center. I for one won't be sorry to see him go. Okay, there's a likeable side to Brewer and he can be effective but he is totally unreliable and inconsistent. At a time where the Wolves are looking towards their more senior players to step up, Brewer (along with others) has been less than influential. Given that the Timberwolves are also stacked at the wing position then the departure of #13 makes even more sense.

There is a massive need for depth at PG.....let's see what transpires over the next few days.

To quote Dr Seuss....
"You have brains in your head
  You have feet in your shoes
  You can steer yourself any direction you choose"

If only this applied to Corey.........

Sunday, November 9, 2014

There ARE Worse Things....

The Timberwolves lost both games in Florida.

a lame unicorn....not a welcome sight.
They also have lost Ricky Rubio to a "significant" ankle injury. I have experienced this injury in it is severe. Hopefully Rubio's physiology helps and he'll recover fully but there's a chance that the ankle will be a weak point from here on in. This could be a troublesome injury for years to come. I hid my eyes when they ran replay after replay after replay....extremely painful...we won't see him 'til after Christmas....that's my guess.

Those are the salient facts.

The game against Orlando was especially painful as the impact of Ricky's injury took immediate effect throwing the team into what can only be described as chaos. The fact that Minnesota had a shot to win the game in regulation was nothing short of a miracle as they played so poorly as a collective.

Conversely, when you look at the box score for the Miami game you immediately notice that the Twolves actually outscored the Heat in quarters 2,3 and 4. Ordinarily this would be cause for celebration in itself but the fact that the Heat outscored the Wolves 13-29 in the first 12 minutes kind of puts things into perspective.

The Heat were good but the Wolves were pretty awful in that first quarter.

I haven't got the energy to go into this in any more depth.

So there we have it. Two defeats on the spin and the possibility of a lot more pain ahead. It's going to be a bumpy ride but really....this is basketball - there ARE worse things.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Into the Mouse House we go....

The biggest challenge for the Wolves tonight will be complacency.

Having turned over a "well weathered" Brooklyn outfit in the first game of this mammoth road trip confidence amongst the players will be on the upswing. It's in games like these, against a struggling Orlando, that the Wolves need to show their teeth and go straight for the jugular. Blast out hard, try to build a big lead and get some rest for the likes of Pek and Ricky.

I'm possibly being presumptuous but we should have too much for them.

It'll be nice to see Luke Ridnour who was always a favourite on HATM. Luke is one of those guys who just goes about his business and thanks his lucky stars for every day he gets to pull on the uniform of an NBA team...he is the consummate professional.

That having been said he can have as many "Ridnovers" (thanks Canis Hoopus) as he likes this evening.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Timberwolves 98 - Nets 91

Did I mention experience in my pre-match post?

tough going but Andrew's star is rising
I decided to stay up and watch this game and, really, through three quarters the execution was pretty ordinary from both sets of players. There was thrust and counter thrust....the starting five for the Twolves would build a lead and the second string for the Nets would claw it back. Some of the play wasn't all that pretty. The only real highlight during the first 36 mins of play, for Wolves fans, was that Andrew Wiggins is in no way, shape or form hung-over from his error versus Chicago.

Given a very tough match up against Joe Johnson (who, according to the "YES" announcers, is 40lbs heavier than him and infinitely more experienced), Andrew Wiggins played his best game of the season so far. We'll talk about this later...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On The Road Again...(Pt 1)

Pick your poison...you can go for Willie Nelson or settle for a little Canned Heat.

Whatever. I have no real preference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be living out of suitcases for the next couple of weeks and won't see their home court until the 19th. This is primarily due to the "home" game against Houston being played somewhere over the rainbow.

It's good that this big test comes early in the season as everyone should be fresh and ready to go...doesn't make it any less gruelling but I think I'd rather it came along now. We here on HATM have already stated that 2 victories on this road trip should be the expectation...are we right?

Let's break it down....

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kevin Martin Fined.....



$15,000 dollars for this?

Really?

From the little I've read about it public opinion seems to be divided.....I'd say it is "obscene" only if you know the connotation and even then it's more humorous than obscene.

Another victory for the politically correct who, as we know, have no balls anyway.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Bulls 106 - Timberwolves 105

Heartbreak in the end.

No one, I'd assume, is going to get on the rookie's back for his transgression...these are the growing pains we knew were ahead of us. The most important thing is how quickly he manages to put the mistake behind him and moves on. Let's hope it's forgotten already.

Onto the game.

Much, much better from Ricky
The Timberwolves slept through the first half and had allowed the Bulls a hefty 63-49 advantage by the midway buzzer. They finally woke up in the third and clawed their way back gradually but could never break free. The Bulls kept on responding in what was a fairly error strewn game...not just from the players but also the officials.

There were some dubious calls (to say the least) the most obvious ones involving Jimmy Butler. The first where he unintentionally crashed into Thad Young, rendering him momentarily unconscious and thus unable to continue in the game. The second where, late in the fourth, he jumps back to back with Ricky Rubio for a loose ball, there's incidental contact from both players and Butler hits the deck - an obvious "no call" right? Wrong! Rubio, already on five personals gets called and has to leave the court. Two crucial decisions. If there's a "no call" Ricky stays on and young Andrew Wiggins isn't sitting in the locker room feeling solely responsible for the defeat. I should point out that Thad Young was also called for a foul, I assume for trying to break Butler's shoulder with his jaw, before he retired to the locker room for the rest of the contest.

Ah what the hell.

The artist formerly known as Kevin Martin was in the house and it was a pleasure watching play well on both ends of the floor. Martin, by his own admission, coasted through much of Rick Adelman's final season and has recognised that he needs to work. Don't think we can expect him to shoot the lights out every night but he nearly won that game for us and was the only player who was "hot" for the duration. Tremendous performance and it was great to think that the Twolves have someone on the roster that, when engaged, can get you a win ( he didn't... but you get my drift)

"Swish Machine"
Decent/ good/ very good performances from Anthony Bennett, Robbie Hummel, Ricky Rubio, young Wiggins and Pek...

Meh performances from Mo Williams, Gorgui Deing, Bazz

Poor performances (especially) from Chase Budinger who looked as though he'd just been introduced to the game of basketball and Corey Brewer who was completely out of control the entire night - no two parts of him were going in the same direction at any juncture.

On the road now for a longish trip ( 6 games?) and it packed with tough games. I'd be happy with 2 wins out of that lot but more will be gratefully accepted....you cannot predict things at this juncture but Miami, Dallas, Houston and Brooklyn will be very tough.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pistons 91 - Timberwolves 97

First off CARON BUTLER??

Really?

Okay, having said that, the Twolves made heavy weather of this victory. Having gone in at half time (which was a fairly turgid affair) leading by a single point they came out for the third quarter with all
Heavyweight battle - Pek awakens
guns blazing. Someone had obviously poked Pek with a very large stick as he was a transformed player for the rest of the game and much more like the Pek we know and love. Andrew Wiggins also teased us with his undoubted ability and Mo Williams and Thad Young did what they do. The lead bloomed to 19 then....

CARON BUTLER?

Anyway, the Pistons scrapped their way back but in the end the Twolves had enough to hold them off.

It looks very much like Flip Saunders is still searching for the best chemistry. He has many interesting ingredients at his disposal but hasn't quite found the best mixes...yet. There is still much to like however.

Ricky Rubio still looks a bit uncomfortable (maybe it's just me that feels this?) and continues to make some very dubious, in fact silly, decisions. I wonder if he is feeling some pressure from the fact that Mo Williams is playing so well and at the moment looks more like a "leader" than Ricky does. I'm sure he'll get things sorted out but he just needs to relax a bit more and stop forcing things. He has also, over the first two games, shown a kind of "flopping" mentality (where he throws his head and arms back - a la JJ Barea)....he needs to stop that soccer bullshit quickly. I think he's mishandled the ball more in these two games than he did all last season.

Settle it down Ricky...the game will come to you.

Footnote - nice W for NYK

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Timberwolves 101 - Grizzlies 105

0-1 is maybe the start that many expected but the fact that the Twolves kept this very competitive deep, deep into regulation....sustaining massive damage from both Gasol and Randolph along the way....makes you realise green shoots of growth are visible.

When you also consider the risible ( cannot think of a more appropriate word ) effort from Pekovic, the hapless contributions from Budinger and Brewer and the non-event that was Andrew Wiggins' big league debut then it is near amazing that it was even this close.

Big contributions from bench players Dieng, Muhammed and veteran Mo Williams meant the Twolves kept in touch despite various match up problems. In fact the Minny bench slew their Memphis counterparts to the tune of 46-10.

There was still (for my money) too much of an air of uncertainty around the play of Ricky Rubio...okay we know he is pushing for a big contract but he was really forcing things last night especially where our younger players are concerned. He was a mixed bag of good and dreadful. He will improve.

Onto this evening and a home match-up with the Detroit Pistons.

SVG is back on the sidelines as a head coach and Greg Munro Is serving the second night of a two match suspension. Player with the best name in the NBA,Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, had a horrendous night in Denver where he went 3-19 from the field. J-Smoove got his points.

The Twolves should win this game.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Game #1 @ Memphis

So it all begins this evening....the 2014/15 NBALP Season is upon us.

I have purchased League Pass and will be tuning into the game early tomorrow morning before work.

Fans in Wolfdom are trying desperately to bridle their hopes for fear that pre-season optimism will be cruelly smacked in the dish by those marauding Grizzlies tonight....the Twolves have had nothing but trouble against them in past years.

However this a new dawn and Minnesota are looking decidedly fresh as the real tip off approaches. I tend to agree with what others seem to be saying today - that Anthony Bennet may have a big say in the outcome of this game. He was the one player that really "sparked" during the warm up matches and looks as though he has rekindled his desire and talent. Also, really looking forward to seeing Andrew Wiggins play in earnest.

Although a win will be extremely difficult to tear from the clutches of the Grizzlies.....it isn't entirely impossible.

Into the den!

Let's go!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bye Bye Barea

So it looks all the more likely now that Wolves diminutive point guard JJ Barea will be bought out and will take up a place on the Dallas Mavericks reuniting him with the BFG.

"Shaddit down liddel man"
We here at HATM have been both enthralled and infuriated, in equal measure, by Barea (as, it would seem, have the majority of the Wolves fanbase). I think it was the demented bouncing of the basketball whilst going nowhere in particular that enraged most onlookers...kamikaze offense...

Are you with me?
No?
OK..Well, I'm going in anyway!!

I think it is fair to say that JJ and Flip have have a small difference of opinion as regards just what role Barea may have played this year...he was definitely going to be with the third team and would have "good" there...however JJ says he wants to feature more prominently...we are to assume this will happen with the Mavs.

Good luck to him....ofcourse he will be roundly boo-ed when he starts flopping against us and scudding in long range bombs.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Do Not Underestimate These Wolves...

I'm very sure there will be a great many teams that WILL underestimate the new look, inexperienced, Kevin Love-less Minnesota Timberwolves this season.

This is not to suggest that the Chicago Bulls did that, last evening, in the final pre-season game but after overturning a 10 point deficit and turning into a double digit lead of their own you could hear their commentary team starting to make purring noises and waxing lyrical about Derrick Rose ( okay, we get it, he's back!) and how good the Bulls look with him running the show.

To be fair to them, I'm a big Rose fan....I think he's one hell of a player - the best PG in the league.

The thing about last night's game ( and yes, I'm remembering it was a pre-season affair) was that the Wolves WON. I don't assume that Tom Thibodeau enjoys losing...I assume he expected that, after the loss to Cleveland on Monday, his team would return to winning ways. Temper that with the fact that the Wolves rarely defeat the Bulls, indeed,we normally take a sound thrashing when matched up against them....

All indicators pointed towards a Bulls victory.

They didn't win....and Thibodeau won't like that.

There was a point where I thought that the Wolves would be blown wide apart and where they looked decidedly poor. Take into account that Pekovic and Deing were largely ineffective against Noah and Gasol....that the closers were JJ Barea, Zach LaVine et al....that Wiggins didn't feature.

Jeez, that was a very good win.

Pre-season I'll grant you but an excellent victory.

Glad I've shelled out £140 for NBALP.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BOUNCIN' (Super-Cool in L.A, San Antone...then finally Memphis)

A man walks down the street, he says..

"Why am I soft in the middle now?
Why am I soft in the middle? 
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo opportunity
I want that shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon grave-yard"....

I don't really know the meaning behind these Paul Simon lyrics....some would have you believe that the first part is a "penis joke",some would have you believe that the whole song is Simon's take on Dante's "Divine Comedy" and the descent into hell - Betty being Beatrice and Al being Alighieri (Dante's surname)....others would have you believe it's about alcoholism - Al = alcohol...Betty = the Ford Clinic.

I think this part of the first verse reminds me of Michael Beasley...quite literally.

I've spent more time than I care to remember serving as some kind of apologist for Michael's misdemeanors. I like the kid, there's something about him but he is a troubled soul. Now after several loooooong seasons in the NBA (where he hasn't lit a match, let alone set the heather on fire) he has bounced into Memphis for the Grizzlies training camp on a non-guaranteed contract.

This is going to sound really silly but one of the things that has really annoyed me about Beas, over the years, is his preponderance to "watch" himself on the overhead screens. That may sound ridiculous but I feel that every time does it he exposes the fact he is an individual who still hasn't come to terms with the enormity of the NBA and the place that he should, by now, hold down in that arena...he made some small gains in Miami last year but if really they saw anything to get excited about he would still be there.

Once more....I wish him all the luck in the world....here's to another shot at redemption.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Back of Love...

Chip Scoggins  underlines the complexities of how the Minnesota Timberwolves' fan base will be feeling today as Kevin Love leaves the Twin Cities to take up residence in Ohio. He's probably right, Love, during his half dozen seasons has both charmed and infuriated in equal measure.


Looking back over my posts I noticed that in January 2013, when K-love trade talks were circulating, I said that my stand point would be he'd need to want to stay and to be honest I seemed pretty indifferent about the prospect....Things were deteriorating from then on. It was just a matter of time. I guess it's just a matter of preference. Obviously I don't know what kind of a human being Kevin Love is ( I'm sure he's a really good one) but the way he dealt with things were fairly flawed. Sure, the Wolves FO didn't do a lot to make him feel wanted not giving him the "max" deal but the writing was
on the wall. Love didn't want to be in Minnesota so he started to play for himself and pad out his stats....that's the camp I'm in....take it or leave it.

So today he leaves and a new chapter starts.

Rubio, Wiggins, Lavine and  Bennett look, on paper, like a very strong, young core.

Ofcourse, as we all know, basketball isn't played on paper. The many brilliant Twolves blogs and websites have already digested the trade scenarios and have had the new Twolves under the microscope. Optimism is being tempered with realism....this is going to be a year with many a hard knock but there seems to be a freshness around the place.

I'm hoping that Ricky Rubio will grow as a leader

I'm hoping that Wiggins and Lavine hit the floor running
I'm hoping that Bennett rediscovers the form that made him #1 draft pick of 2013
I'm hoping Dieng becomes a presence
I'm hoping Thad Young uses his noise to help the youngsters and becomes a Twolves legend
I'm hoping Pek doesn't get injured
I'm hoping the bench play strong
I'm hoping Flip can find the formula to make things work

I'm hoping I can afford NBALP!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

One Year On....

Well, those have been an eventful 12 months.

As many expected the Kevin Love scenario played out according to script but the overtures, coming from LeBron "I'm Back!!" James ( of all people) came as a bit of a surprise. Seems the King wants to win immediately having gotten somewhat used to the feeling on South Beach. The fall out here is Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first round pick from the 2015 draft. I'm sure James and Love will be very happy together, they are two cheeks of the same arse.

There is also a Thad Young thread to this with the 76ers forward being touted as a possible replacement for Love which would entail more jiggery-pokery and deals being struck. Other websites and blogs have covered all the angles extensively...this isn't our bag here on HATM...we look for brevity, where possible, as it covers up our lack of knowledge.

For what it is worth, I'm not entirely sad to see Love leave; ofcourse he will be missed but it seems that Flip Saunders is trying to make some kind of sense out of a debacle created by our old friend David Khan. I'm excited about the young prospects and the energy they will bring and I'm looking forward to see Ricky Rubio assume control of this team.

We all know the road ahead is treacherous but this is Minnesota basketball....there is no other way it can be.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pek Abides

Sense.

$60 million / 5 years + plus incentives.

He's big, he's very good.....pay the man.

Excellent.

Happy.

It would appear that most people with all things Timberwolves at their hearts are happy with this outcome. Now there will be some quiet confidence that the Wolves can break into the playoffs and do some serious damage. I promise not to piss and moan too much when Pek has his obligatory stomach muscle tear mid season. This is great news.

I will now renew my NBALP subscription....

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Spot More Bother For Beasley...

It seems like light years since Michael Beasley was loaded up by the Minnesota Timberwolves and catapulted out to the sunnier climes of Arizona. Beasley, who at the tender age of 22, had already been tagged "bust" down in Miami was on the move again...having been tagged, by this stage, a "total bust".

Since his move to Phoenix, a move which I followed briefly, he has continued in his inimitable, lacklustre fashion to stink up the basketball courts around the NBA. I fought valiantly for the beleaguered Beasley, believing that the person able to get inside the troubled power forward's head would be most likely to hold the key to unlocking his much vaunted "potential".

I understand that every avenue has now been explored and that Beasley (now 24 years of age) stands on the edge of the precipice. His demons seem ever more prevalent both on and off the court and it seems that the new set-up in Phoenix are waiting for the first hint of a reason to nail him....with justification...most would say.

I was told, very early on, that this kid had a bad attitude and the basketball I.Q of a herring-gull. It took me a long time to give up on him as a player. I now fear his days are numbered as regards carving out any career in the NBA. If he ultimately fails on the playing front his whole life may unravel.....that is very troublesome.

I wish him all the luck for the coming season....he's going to need it.

This link from NBA.com ......Beasley Will Walk Thin Line.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Had To Break The Silence...

...just to say that I have no interest whatsoever in bringing Corey Brewer ( known lovingly, in these here parts, as The Cat in the Hat) back to Target Center. Please, please leave well alone......

The warning is in the text....


Friday, April 5, 2013

The sun is shining....

...and I need to get outside....like a normal person.

Hopefully I will make a return later in the year but under a different guise.

Enjoy the rest of the season....congratulations to Rick Adelman on reaching 1000 wins ( he hasn't done it quite yet but he will ) and well done the Wolves for achieving a 30+ win season in trying circumstances ( they haven't done that yet but they will ).

Here's to a sparkling 2013/14 season with Love, Rubio and more specifically Pek and Bud in harness.

A little gem uncovered in the draft would also be nice.

Take care all you Howlers.

HATM out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, Wednesday...Happy Days!

Heeeeeeyyyyyyy!

The Twolves make a short overnight trip to Milwaukee this evening to take on a Bucks side who boast a current play-off berth (8th in the East) and who slaughtered the lowly Bobcats on Monday night. That win came after a run of losses which was in danger of putting The Deer into a bit of a late season tailspin...so, the timing of the Charlotte game was indeed serendipitous....for them.

Ilyasova, Ellis, Jennings, Dunleavy and Redick ( a player some of us coveted for the Twolves around the trade deadline) are probably going to shooting threes from all over that arc...they were good enough, collectively, for 52% as regards the long ball on Monday so they'll be looking to take things outside.

Larry Sanders will NOT be going 24/13 tonight....mark my words. Nikola Pekovic (whose ankle is apparently fully functional and "loose") and friends will see to that. In the last meeting between the two sides Sanders also had an audacious 10 blocks...I'm going out on a limb and saying that won't be repeated either.

This one...again...boils down to hitting those open shots....looking at the box score of the Charlotte game Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon seemed to be feeding their faces....hopefully Ricky, JJ et al will expose the Milwaukee guards and harass them from beginning to end. I would also expect our very own Cunning-ham to be heavily involved.

When you look at this one closely you expect it would be tight.

I'm, as you would expect, predicting a Twolves road kill..eh, sorry, win...if that should happen then everything will be coolamundo and thirty wins looks a whole lot closer....plus Rick Adelman inches closer to the big 1000.

Happier days at least. Let's go!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Another Home Win for Wolves...

The Minnesota Timberwolves held Boston Celtics at arms length last night and safely notched up another victory in a season that is closing with more optimism than was first expected.

Boston, playing without their "Big Three", had to rely on players like Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley and although they gave a spirited display it looked, to my untrained eye at least, that The Wolves always had this one in the bag....winning all 4 quarters.

Nikola Pekovic returned from his ankle sprain which was painful enough to make him miss the Memphis encounter. He looked surprisingly sprightly and played a massive 41 minutes - that's 7 minutes more than any other Minnesota player ( closest to that being Rubio on 34). Pek also nudged close to his season's high in scoring 29. He was totally dominant and swatted away Boston's Wilcox and Randolph who ended up with 9 fouls between them.

Greg Steimsma didn't take his tracksuit off all night long as Coach Adelman stuck to his smaller line ups.

Good solid win.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Visitation from Doucheball?

So it would seem....but wait, what is this? The two of the three most prominent "douches" on the Boston roster are out (Raging Rondo and Kevin Garnett - I know all those Garnett era diehards will hate that but I think he has always been douche-tastic in a green vest) and the other uberdouche ( Paul "the truth" Pierce) is doubtful after doing a "Pekovic" against NYC last evening.....if Pierce makes it, Pek take note!!

The bee's knees
If those three are all missing it's tough to see where Boston can continue their winning streak against the Wolves on the second night of a back to back, the first of which saw them royally spanked in the Big Apple to the tune of 29 points.

We shouldn't even need Pek for this one......but I'll be happy if he plays.

Love that big guy.

Good news today also that Brandon Roy's knee transplant surgery has been successful and that he intends on playing soon. Good luck to him.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Glass Ankles

Don't talk to me about "glass ankles"

Listen, I have a grade 3 ankle sprain at the moment it looks exactly like this (see pic). There is a great deal of soft tissue damage, I was in a cast for a week, I have at least three months of rehab ahead and am not allowed to run for twelve weeks.

That, my friend, is an ankle sprain......jeez, what is it with Centers?

There are some of the more decent teams you are suited to play against ( OKC? SAS?) there are others who just pose too many problems ( UTAH, MEM, CHI, IND) and without your starting Center the degree of difficulty is ratcheted up several notches. Nikola Pekovic was a late scratch from this game with an ankle sprain and with that news any slim hopes the Wolves had of beating the Grizzlies went down the plughole.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Please Do NOT Feed The Bears....

First things first.....miracle man Marc Gasol only missed two games and he has an abdominal tear.....a TEAR!

Nikola Pekovic missed a FORTNIGHT with an abdominal strain....now I'm no medic but if you gave me the choice between a strain and a tear I know which particular ailment I would choose.

Gasol must have had a stitch.....nothing more than that.

Okay that's enough hilarity, there's another top play-off team heading for the Target Center tonight and another top play-off team about to get its butt kicked.....welcome Memphis. Let us not forget, in all seriousness, that the Grizz are one of those tough, sparky teams that The Wolves tend to have most trouble with...make no mistake they will be in our grills and nothing will come easy.

That having been said this will be the first time that Memphis will have faced us with Kirilenko, Rubio, Budinger and Pekovic all fit. More of the same please.

Again...a chance...block out baby, let's go!!

OKC KO'D

OUTSTANDING!

Really, I mean c'mon, that was a performance of great integrity from the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.

The last time these two clashed, in Oklahoma, we were reaching for the off switch fairly early on as the Thunder pummelled the Wolves...BUT meeting that same OKC team at the Target Center is a horse of a different colour altogether.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Game Day #71 v OKC Thunder

Haaa-dooo-keennnn!
I was reading the game preview over on NBA.com a few minutes ago and visiting head coach Scott Brooks was singing the praises of his team's defensive efforts in their last three games (all wins), he said....

"When you don't have to take the ball out of the net, you get an opportunity to use your athleticism and get out in transition. Our first three steps can get down to half-court pretty quick and then we put pressure on the defense. It's all about defending. It's all about rebounding and getting out on the break."
OKC has outscored the Timberwolves 70-35 in that category while winning two of three meetings this season. Minnesota ranks near the bottom of the NBA at 14.1 fast-break points allowed per game.
So, lessons to be learned there eh? If ever there was a night where the Wolves have to re-recapture that outside shooting this is it...if those shots don't fall tonight we will be summarily executed. Similarly if we don't compete on the boards we will hand this game to them on a silver platter. I don't see us being blown off the court by OKC although that probably depends on (the latest in a string of detestable players to visit Target Center) Westbrook. If our guards can rile him and knock him off his game then there is a slim chance....Durant is gonna get his.....Westbrook will barrel into the paint at every opportunity....let's hope he goes solo tonight.
Malevolence....stop it before it stops you!
This is do-able...the precedent being set on Thursday, December 20th....a 93-99 victory at the Target Center. Admittedly Kevin Love dropped 28 points in that game and ripped down 11 boards and since then the Wolves have lost twice on the road to OKC but I just have a feeling in my water about this one....? I think Ricky will still be quietly simmering and looking to put things straight
Maybe I'll have egg on my face tomorrow....who knows? What the hell!
Such are the peaks and troughs we endure as followers of the famous Minnesota Timberwolves....let's go!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

No Sh*t Sherlock!

Thanks for clearing that up guys...we'd never have guessed

REFS MISS CALL

Malevolence Abounds...

I learned something from the ridiculous LA announcers (with whom I was saddled) last night......apparently Kobe Bryant can run at 40 mph....yeah, you read that right...40 mph....I am so tired of this crap.....Kobe is a great player, no doubt, but he ain't no Usain Bolt and he continues to get away with far, far too much on a basketball court...and I hate that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Los Angeles Losers

I don't care really.....but....

The facts don't lie and over the last three games the Lakers are 0-3.

Dang it guys...these 2013 Lakers look discombobulated
Over that mini stretch they have lost handsomely to the Phoenix Suns(!!), been pegged back and overhauled by the Sacramento Kings and most recently smacked in the mouth (sorry Duh-wight!) and fended off comfortably by the best team in California, the Golden State Warriors.

These Lakers aren't all that good...they should be, on paper but they are sort of discombobulated.That being said they will probably be ready to play us tonight....they have been on the previous 20 odd occasions.

The Wolves will need to retain the hot shooting from long range which turned up abruptly in Detroit last night and they will need to block the hell out.

Dear god we owe them one.......Gasol alert!

Good Things Come In Threes

So, d'you reckon the Pistons were expecting the Twolves to continue their 3 point shooting drought? Judging by the way they stood back and watched as their opponents scored 38 points in Q3 you would assume this to be the case.

Ricky! Luke!...It's okay guys, I got this...


With the score standing at 44-38 at half time Minnesota went on a scoring spree from downtown hitting 7-9. This helped, along with some ( it should be said ) good defense and (it should also be said) some pretty poor play from the Pistons to make the lead swell to 82-54 as we headed into the fourth.

Shved and Barea came in to start the final 12 minutes an immediately tried to keep the hot hands from outside going...after missing badly on their first two attempts....which had us all groaning and bemoaning a "back to reality" feeling....JJ nailed one or two.. or three... or four and the sun came out again.

Really, by this time, it mattered little....there was no way that this incarnation of a Detroit Pistons team were going to recover a 30 point deficit.

Nice to see Chris Johnson get a little burn at the 4 spot alongside Stiemer. I, like many others in Wolfdom, would like to see CJ be used more....I know this is difficult as Coach Adelman is trying, even at this late juncture, to establish rotations but the guy makes an impact whenever he comes off the bench and I would toss him in when the team looks sluggish and in need of a lift...even if only to contest things, which he will.

The Wolves looked very accomplished tonight. They are capable of defeating any team in the NBA when their outside shooting is switched on...sure the Pistons aren't the best...but when threes start to fall this Minnesota team begins to look like the complete package we were all hoping they would be. The guards were excellent with "good" JJ Barea leading all scorers on 21 (5-7 from range).

The Malevolent Lakers are in town tonight...our starting five sat out the final 12 mins last night....no excuses.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Date In Motor City

One cannot help but think that the Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit MI, will be emptier than...well, Emptytown tonight. The Pistons have gone 1-9 in the last ten, the one win a single point victory, on the road, against the worst team in the NBA (Charlotte) earlier this week. So this is hardly a clash of the titans.

But dare we whisper it?

Will the Wolves win.....I don't think "tanking" is in the vocabulary of one Ricky Rubio.....so let's go.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not So Sweet Home (v) Chicago...

The Chicago Bulls, without two of their best players, on the second night of a back to back road games..ANNNND using only an 8 player rotation, brutally clubbed the Twolves last evening.

These are the defeats that are so hard to take.......even when this season is dead and buried......how much longer will it be before Ricky Rubio calls someone out?

As Jim Peterson has said on countless occasions during many games...when you watch Ricky Rubio it's like he's playing a different game from everyone else in a Wolves uniform.....he's playing chess whilst everyone else is playing checkers....his level of energy and his desire to win is light years ahead of everyone else on the team.

Why should that be?

If we are in tank mode Ricky didn't get that memo.

Anyway....Bulls by name, Bulls by nature. This latest incarnation of Chicago's finest are the very embodiment of their Head Coach, Tom Thibodeau. They are a growling, snapping, snarling collection of ugly, aggressive brawlers.....who can play a bit. Some of them I like ( Deng, Butler, Gibson) some of them I don't like (Boozer, Hinrich) but there's only one of them I cannot stand and that honor falls to, legend in his own lunch-time, Nate Robinson.

Robinson annoys me in the same way that Isaiah Thomas (Kings) does......a small man in a big man's game that needs to be seen, needs to be heard, needs to over celebrate.......it's a tricky syndrome.

Okay.....I'm bitter.....reduced to this....sad.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

End of mini trip (1-2)

We talked about Memphis already.

Sac-Town was next on the itinerary and a visit to the Sleep Train Arena..great name for a mattress company.

This game saw the re-emergence of Chase Budinger from his injury induced exile and it was good to see him looking fit, sharp and knocking down jumpers. The Wolves, in general, played well in this game against a Sacramento team who have been looking a bit more interested of late (handing out a heavy defeat to the Clipper in their previous game). You might say that it came down to a botched final play, whereby Dante Cunningham found himself with the ball in his hands having to hit a game tying three from long, long, loooong range...but if you said that you'd be fooling no one.

Three simple words.

Three point shooting
Does sh*t

1-19....that's 5.3% for all you mathematicians out there

Next stop Phoenix and guess what?

The 3PM-A average accelerates to a heady 16.7% (that's 2-12 folks!)....still dreadfully bad......but what the heck......even so the Timberwolves were far too good for what can only be described as a Suns team who are, like Michael Jackson did, redefining the word "bad".

A 31 point victory.....a double/double for Greg Stiemsma.....and even given the continued hell from three point land the team shot a very efficient 54% from the floor. It's good to watch the Wolves play well and not blow a huge lead ( which has happened on numerous occasions this season- but usually against top tier opposition)..they controlled this one from the tip.

Special mention should made of Greg Stiemsma who has been excellent this season. Having been forced into starters minutes, due to injuries to Pek, the former Wisconsin big man has shown his mettle and proved himself to be a very reliable back-up for the Montenegran mountain. Well done Stiemer.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Harsh? I Think So.....


Name a player, coach or team who has disappointed you this year.


Steve Aschburner
Is Steve hurting?
Disappointment doesn’t necessarily require blame, so my choice is the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the first time since about 2004, there was a real buzz in the Twin Cities as the Wolves opened training camp, owing to the improvements in 2011-12 under Rick Adelman, positive updates on Ricky Rubio‘s knee-surgery rehab, some smart off-season roster moves and the continued development of Kevin Love as one of the game’s elite, and highly watchable, power forwards. Then Brandon Roy(predictably, frankly), Chase Budinger and worst of all Love went down – went down hard – with injuries. A rash of others, including rejuvenated Andrei Kirilenko and Bond villain Nikola Pekovic lost time as well. Even Adelman had to miss games while attending to his wife’s health issues. Rubio, after an inconsistent couple months back, has regained his don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it form. But from Love’s opt-out in two years to Adelman’s commitment to Pekovic’s market value this summer and more, the clock be ticking in Minny.

Steve obviously finds it hard to hide his love for Minny but c'mon man, one cannot be disappointed with a team that hasn't been allowed to play together AT ALL. That is just daft. Were the Wolves sitting at this point having played all season with a full roster and without incident, on the current record?....believe me.....I'd be disappointed too....but the guys who have had to step up......Steimsma, Cunningham, Shved, Gelabale, Johnson, Ridnour, Barea, Williams (all essentially supporting cast members) have, in the main, made a decent fist of things. Sure we get found out more often than not but you cannot be disappointed in the attitude which has been spearheaded by Ricky Rubio through some difficult losses...and hey, next season, our second unit will, hopefully, be the best in the league!
Silver linings Steve.
Jeff Caplan was the only other blogger who took a kick at the Wolves...all the other, more discerning, critics threw darts at the elephant in the room....the obvious choice......The Lakers.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Devoured....

The Minnesota Timberwolves reverted to type, last night, capitulating in a third quarter that saw a six point half time lead swell to a 20+ defecit in jig time.

This is the most frustrating part of watching the Twolves play this season....when shots don't fall, as has been the case in countless contest this season, the collective head goes down and the team rolls over.

Use the FORCE Luke....don't force the LOOK!
The Grizz aren't the Pelicans...these guys aren't going to make things easy for you....but in saying that a great many of the missed shots from Twolves last night were pretty good, open looks....they just missed them....most of the time....badly.

Ricky limped out but he's going to be okay...breathe everyone!

Derrick Williams after teasing us again with a "hoop and harm" conversion in the first quarter against Z-Bo....went to his outside shot and missed and missed and missed and missed.

Too many players just not dialling it up and basically a game that the Twolves weren't interested in doing anything other than mailing in. Hard to watch....very hard to watch....and there is now a desperate familiarity to this season.

With all the injuries nothing has been achieved and no progress made...a waste of 82 games....unless the draft throws up something tasty......save us Obi Wan Kenobi - you're our only hope!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rockets and Pelicans and Grizzlies...OH MY!

Okay, so we had a loss which was pretty hard to bear given the 20 point lead that the threadbare Twolves managed to piss away against James Harden and his darned Rocket-Men...but hey...we are in forgiving mode as we hit the home stretch of this "harder than hell" season.

Harden threw the switch and went into overdrive when he needed to...he is one hell of a player...I love watching him play.

Hey guys, someone told me Pek and AK47 were back...you seen em?
Last night the "soon to be" Pelicans flew into Minnesota for a basement battle of sorts. They had lost three more games than us ( having played three more - you do the math!) and with Big Pek and a certain Russian, no, the other one, the one with the sore back and leg coming back into the fray there was cause for optimism.

In the end those two were the difference in what turned out to be a very close affair....as others have pointed out today, we can all bill and coo over Derrick Williams' career scoring night (well done Lion) and Ricky Rubio's efficient shooting from the floor (7-11..very pleasing) but when it is all boiled down Pek battled for and hit those free throws and Andrei Kirilenko blocked Eric Gordon and corralled the rebound as the game hung in the balance.

The Twolves obviously look a lot...LOT more stable with those two massive presences out there.

And we need them back as there is little rest.

Off to the land of the original pelvic thrust tonight as the Twolves face up to the Memphis Grizzlies...a team it hasn't beaten in three long years....and a team sitting comfortably in the middle of the play-off picture in the West. The Grizz are tough and this is the second night of a back-to-back for Minnesota....Not making this sound very winnable am I?

Let's go!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mission Impossible

Without Nikola Pekovic this was a mountain....Roy Hibbert looked like a school-yard bully out there, he, along with West owned the glass and the paint....end of story.
Also the Twolves, who behind Ricky Rubio gave another spirited display for three quarters, shot 31 % from 3 point range which is almost half of what they registered against SAS....that's just the way the percentages roll with this particular set of guys.

I think I just swallowed JJ Barea...can ya see his feet back there?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Target Practice.

Peter, sorry, Tony Parker was unavailable for the San Antonio Spurs last night and Pop decided to leave the The Big Fundamental and his new prodigy at home for last night's tilt at the Target Center.

Even with those players missing for the Spurs the Wolves were massive underdogs, given the form of some players of late and the fact that four players out of our starting five still languish on the sidelines ( but I see you Bud and it warms my heart ).

So it was with great pessimism that I tuned in, today, to last night's offering.

Monday, March 11, 2013

100 - 77...humped again

Dallas aren't that good really.

They are hitting some form as we come towards the sharp end of the season but really....nah, if Vince Carter is beating up a team then that team has to be the injury-ridden, half slept, daylight saving time bemused, travel delayed Twolves.

Not much to say about this.

Alexey Shved needs to go and lie down somewhere....and he should take Derrick Williams with him.

Is that unfair?

Does it matter?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Things to do in Denver......

Metaphorically speaking this season is dead...was dead...several weeks ago.

Vorsprung Dirk Technik
As I've taken to doing, I turned this game off after about five minutes of the third quarter. The Wolves had started to miss consistently and the Nuggets were beginning to leak out for two on ones , three on ones and other assorted fast breaks. The second half was lost to the tune of 39 - 61.

I got sick of watching Corey Brewer's spindly frame dangling from the basket after he'd beaten the Wolves defense up the court for the umpteenth time. It was also painful to watch Ricky Rubio trying to haul himself back in transition defense....his legs looking like they were coated in lead.....the energy levels of this beaten up collective are at critical levels and that was the first night of a back to back....oh dear!

Bed yourself in folks as this is the first of what could be another string of defeats....not a great deal can be done about it.

The Big German will be taking shots at the Target tonight..........shut it down!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Steal" town......the wonder of Rubio.

...Let's cut straight to the 4th quarter.

The Twolves have shown guts and determination and are leading by two points 63-65.

Gimme that!!!
No Pek, No Kirilienko.....none of the usual injured suspects......bare bones.

Ricky Rubio is taking a breather and the Wizards start to make a move. After two and a half minutes of play they have turned things around and have built an 8 point lead. The Twolves look lost and all of a sudden have the defeated appearance we've become accustomed to seeing.

Enter #9....the whole face of the game changes....the expressions on the faces of the Twolves both in the arena and watching from afar change from grimaces into smiles of joy.....4 steals later and this game is won.

Yeah okay, simplistic  (I've vowed to keep my game recaps short-ish) but that's the way it seemed. This kid is everywhere on the basketball court. He doesn't always do right thing and he doesn't always follow instructions but his will to win, his combative, destructive approach to defense and his sublime creativity in helping others score are the only highlights in what has turned out to be another grim 82 games for Minnesota's finest.

Is there a possibility we can go on a little run? Well, Denver tonight.....Dallas and San Antonio at the Target Center next week....we'll need guys back......and that ain't happening......enjoy the win folks!




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Miami (20-37).....

Six straight losses for this beleaguered Minnesota team.

Don't get me wrong, there was some fight in last night's game e.g  Barea v Shuttlesworth.....a true clash of the titans....I mean, c'mon Jesus, pick on someone your own size......this little contretemps just gives the Heat fans another reason the hate JJ....they'll never forgive him for single-handedly dismantling them, whilst in a Dallas uniform, in the Championship series of the 2010/11 season......

Okay...the Heat were offensively pretty poor, except for Duh-Wyane, who went 15-23....that's the pre-LeBron Wade....the Wade I used to like, nay admire.....but I really don't feel like going into that just now.

Defensively the Heat are the finest you'll get and that's the reason they will probably win it all again this year. They are tough.

Enough about them....they do nothing for me....and win too much to be interesting.

THIS...is a what a flagrant 2 looks like everyone..
Which brings us, paradoxically, to the Wolves. The Barea ejection, the Adelman outburst and tech, the Shved 3 pointer being rightly chalked off and the slightly dubious Cunningham charge - now that's INTERESTING...those crazy few minutes were a microcosm of this season.....if it can go wrong it will go wrong.....and then some. Okay this was always going to end in an "L", probably, but the officiating team made no mistake with the scores at 70-76. Barea's foul was by no means a flagrant 2. That's just fact. Subsequently the game swung like it had been fired from a catapult.

The players who took to the court last evening (and who were ejected from it) deserve nothing but respect for the effort they are putting in. These are proud men, it must hurt like hell. Rubio, in particular, is expending monumental effort to keep his team relevant.....it is too, too much.....he looks around and sees a group of honest guys who are giving their all. His frustration edges closer to the surface with each passing game.

It's a tough time to shout for the pack....but this is when they need us most.