Tag Archives: Minnesota Timberwolves

What A Sports Weekend!

Busy Basketball Weekend

The college basketball teams ranked No. 3-6 and 8, 10-14, 16-18, 19-21 and 23 are all playing on Saturday.  Then on Sunday the No. 1, 7, 9, 15, 19, 22, 24, and 25 teams have games.   And there are match-ups on ranked teams all over the place – some on television.

Saturday

  • Colorado at No. 2 Texas
  • Georgia at No. 3 Kentucky
  • No. 4 Purdue at No. 20 Wisconsin
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 17 Georgia Tech on ESPN
  • Marquette at No. 6 Villanova
  • No. 8 West Virginia at Notre Dame
  • No. 10 Kansas State at Missouri
  • No. 11 Michigan State at Iowa
  • No. 13 Connecticut at No. 12 Georgetown on ESPN
  • UNLV at No. 14 New Mexico
  • Miss. St at No. 16 Mississippi
  • No. 18 Gonzaga at Portland
  • Boston College at No. 21 Clemson
  • No. 23 BYU at UTEP

Sunday

  • No. 1 Kansas at No. 15 Tenn on CBS
  • South Florida at No. 7 Syracuse
  • Virginia Tech at No. 9 UNC
  • No. 19 Florida State at Maryland
  • No. 22 Washington at Arizona
  • No. 24 Butler at Detroit
  • No. 25 Temple at Rhode Island

That is every-single-team ranked in the USA Today Top 25 playing this weekend.  That is nuts.  But here are my picks of the bunch.

Duke at GT – GT had one of the best recruiting classes this year, headlined by the want to see GT’s super-freshmen Derrick Favors play.  Favors was the No. 2 recruit in the nation last year and while he is not getting the headlines like other freshmen (John Wall and Xavier Henry), Favors is averaging 12.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.2 blocks per game.

Kansas at Tennessee – Does anyone know what is happening or going to happen to the players arrested?  I think they are suspend indefinitely, so this match-up may not be as close as it would be with Tyler Smith in the line-up.  Still these are both talented teams, but Kansas is just bigger than Tennessee.  Update – Smith has been dismissed from the team.

Purdue at Wisconsin – I know that Big Ten basketball can be very painful to watch, but this is the Boilmakers first real road test at the toughest place to play in the Big Ten – i.e. Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

UNLV at New Mexico – I know nothing about either of these teams, but there is buzz surrounding both teams.  Should be a tough conference game.

NFL Playoffs Getting Started

The first round of the playoffs are also happening this weekend.  And there are two rematch from last week with Philly and Dallas and Green Bay at Arizona.  A lot people are picking upsets and home teams losing.  Here are match-ups:

Saturday

  • NY Jets at Cincinnati
  • Philadelphia at Dallas

Sunday

  • Baltimore at New England
  • Green Bay at Arizona

Every match-up really could go either way, but here are my quick thoughts.

  • New York beats Cincinnati, I have no real thoughts about this game.
  • But the Philly/Dallas game is very interesting.  Was what we saw last week real with Philly?  I am not sure.  But I think The Eagles go back to Dallas and upset the Cowboys.
  • New England could struggle without Wes Welker, but I am not confident in the Ravens offense.  So, I am picking New England.
  • Green Bay rolled over Arizona – or did the Cardinals roll-over when they knew there was nothing to play for?  I think Green Bay wins again.

The Vikings will play either Dallas, Arizona or Green Bay next Sunday.  I fear only the Cowboys – but the Cardinals beat the crap of the Vikings and it is very hard to beat a team three times in a season.  But the Purple are playing at home.

Minnesota Timberwolve GM David Kahn Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts – ESPN has a ton – and one that I listen to is the NBA Today with Ryan Rusillo.  He however is not the reason that I listen.  Rusillo just thinks to much of himself and kind of drives me nuts, but he gets a lot of good guests on the podcast.

he latest podcast features an interview with T’Wolve GM David Kahn and they discussed the team and his thoughts on the future of the team.  Click here to get to the NBA Today podcast page.

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Ricky Rubio

Ricky RubioI have stayed away from really discussing Ricky Rubio.  I don’t know why, but I have.  Maybe for me it was a one of those situations that,  if you don’t talk about it, it will take care of itself.  And as of this week, it did not take care of itself….or did it?

Rubio is just eighteen years old.  While he has been playing in Spanish professional league’s, he is still only eighteen and has a lot that he can learn before coming over to the NBA.  If that is what he really wants to do.

With his former team, DKV Joventut, Rubio was making around $70K a year.  Not that much for a board line international phenomenon who showed just what kind of player he can be by holding his own against the US Men’s Team which feature Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Understatement of the day: The Minnesota Timberwolves picked a lot of point guards in June’s draft.

Four in all.

Jonny FlynnAfter making a Rubio the fifth selection, the T’Wolves picked Jonny Flynn at No. 6, Ty Lawson at No. 18 – Lawson was later traded to the Denver Nuggets.  Then finally with No. 45, MN choose Nick Calathes and traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks.  Since then Calathes signed a contract to play in Greece with Panathinaikos.

The only non-point guard the Timberwolves picked was UNC Star Shooting Guard Wayne Ellington at No. 28.

So, the main question everyone would like to pose to new GM David Kahn is this: Why choose Rubio and Flynn is you actually thought Rubio was going to come to the NBA?  And a completely legit follow-up would be:  If Flynn was the player you wanted, why not pick Flynn and Steph Curry or DeMar DeRozan?

Kahn has responded to like question saying that he fully believed that Flynn and Rubio could play int he same back court.  But everyone who knows anything about those two players knows they are almost the same player.  Rubio and Flynn are both pass-first point guards.  Neither one is dominant scorer and is at their best when others players get easy buckets.

That being said, Flynn did average 17.8 point a game in during the 2008-09 season – his last at Syracuse.  Flynn also average 6.7 assist per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.  While last season Rubio averaged 9.8 points per game and 5.8 assists and he has never had a season where he has been a double figure scorer.

One major difference is that Flynn has been the leader of his team the past couple years, while Rubio has not.  But the confidence to lead and the ability to be a leader can come with age and experince.

So after all that, what do you do?  Put yourself in Kahn’s shoes.  The answer is easy.

Start Flynn, Ellington, Love, Jefferson and Corey Brewer and let them grow.  Let them struggle to win.  Let them make their mistakes and let them lose.  And through that they will acquire more lottery picks and then when the time comes to reevaluate “if” the Timberwolves want Rubio, they will.

In two or three years, Rubio will only be 20-21.  And by that time the Timberwolves, if they can keep the pieces of the puzzle together, you have the potential to add an exciting-young player or you could also trade his rights and get a couple other pieces.  Either would be a solid move to cement a team that should have come together and be a playoff contender.

To summarize. I would not have picked Rubio if Flynn is “your guy”.  I would have gone with Flynn and DeRozan or Curry.  But after the fact, Rubio staying in Spain is th ebest option.  It is like a piece of relaestate that will only go up in value. – or something like that.

Yahoo.com Front Page = MN Timberwolves

This is what the front page of Yahoo.com’s NBA page looked like this morning. 

Here is a list of the Timberwolves Connections

  1. The Kevin McHale story
  2. Ricky Rubio Saga 
  3. The offer sheet with Ryan Hollins – good pick-up if the Mav’s don’t match the offer.
  4. Mark Madsen’s issues
  5. Stephen Marbury’s issues
  6. Sheldon Williams getting signed by the Celtics – Actuall 5 or 6 teams could claim a connection to Williams.

The Timberwolves are everywhere on Yahoo.com.

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The Minnesota T’Wolves Make A Trade to Move UP In The Draft

I think I am getting a little teary-eyed about this draft and not because Randy Foye and Mike Miller are no longer Timberwolves.

The T’Wolves have sent Foye and Miller to the Washington Wizards for the No. 5 pick in this years draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila – I left the hyperlink for Oleksiy, because I have no clue who he is or where he came from.  You can check out the full ESPN.com story here.David Kahn: Minnesota Timberwolves General Manager

The trades shows a few positives about the David Kahn regime as GM.

  1. First, we moved up in a draft for the first time I can remember in team history.
  2. He is already more proactive than Keven McHale was, ever.
  3. This is not the last trade.

The Wolves have picks 5, 6, 18 and 28 and the rumors out there are that the Wolves will package either 5 or 6 with the 18 and/or 28 to get to No. 2 and pick Ricky Rubio.  SWEET JESUS.

That means he very well could have a back court of Rubio with Steph Curry, James Harden or Tyreke Evans (who I am actually not as high on as I was three days ago).

I hope this does not mean they will take Hasheem Thabeet (who’s name I am able to spell with out looking), but I do not want him at either 2, 5, or 6.  He is too one dimensional and while I had been up on him after watching for a year, I just don’t think he is a top 10 pick.  He has absolutely no offensive game and is an average rebounder at any height, let alone 7’3″.  DeJuan Blair at 6’7″ average 12.3 rebounds a game to Thabeets 10.8.

Switching topics, here are some other thoughts on some players we may know a little about.

Tyler Hanbrough, UNC – I watched a little bit of the combine and was impressed with the way he looked compared to other bigs in the draft.  He has a great motor and is not afraid of contact, and finishes well after the contact.  I think he will go mid-to-late first round, probably to a playoff contender or the Bobcats.

Sam Young, PITT– Young is an athletic, slasher who is mature enough to handle the transition to the NBA.  At 24, he is the oldest draftee, but that is why he will be a steal for a late first round pick for a team in the Playoffs.

Terrace Williams, Louisville – Many people are thinking he will be a monster in the NBA.  I have heard the Ron Artest comparison, and I am not sure I see that.  I see it on the defensive side, but Williams lacks consistent offense.

Jrue Holiday, UCLA – I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy.  Look at his stats and tell me what about him looks like a top ten pick.  Is it that we did not get to see him much at UCLA or is this draft just that weak?  I understand he plays hard on the defensive end, but there is nothing that makes me want to pick him in the lottery.

Gerald Henderson, Duke – If he is available in the 12-18 range, PICK HIM!  I hope he falls to the Wolves at 18 (if they keep that pick).  I have heard him going to New York or Charlotte.

Earl Clark, Lousiville– Maybe the single biggest question mark in the draft.  He has top three talent, but lacks the consistent effort. If I were a GM and he is still on the board after the top five, I take him.  He is too good to ignore.

Brandon JenningsBrandon Jennings, ItalyI have not seen much of him after the high school all-star games, but I do not like what I have heard.  The word is that he reminds people of Iverson, and I am not a fan of Iverson.  Jennings is quick, picks the flashy over fundamental, and looks to prompt himself.  Sounds like Sebsastian Telfair all over again.  But he could do very well playing for Golden State.

Austin Daye, Gonzaga – I wish he would have stayed in school, seriously!  He is crazy talented, but needs time to develop and muscle.

Chase Budinger, Arizona– Big fan of Mr. Budinger.  He will make a team better the moment he steps on the floor and still has room to grow.  He is a good shooter, and can get of the floor.  But needs to find a steady mid-range jumper.

Derrick Brown, Xavier –  6’9″, 237 lbs, and is a great athlete.  He is my favorite player not being talked about.  He could go anywhere from the 20’s – 30’s, but he is a player that I would pick in the second round in a heart beat – he has top ten talent.

Patrick Mills, St. Marys – No one has fallen faster, but he will make a solid back-up who has unique experience with his national team.  He is smaller for the point in the NBA, but he is steady, very steady.

Danny Green, UNC – He will never be more than a role player, but role players win championships.  Also, there are a lot of picks in this draft who will never be “more than a role player”.  The term is over used and misunderstood.  He players hard on both ends of the court and is a better than average shooter.  He lacks great speed and athleticism which mean he might struggle to guard which was his specialty in college.

Let me clear something up.  The term “role-player” has been used to limit what players do.  Say they are one-dimensional, but a team of role payers, filling the right roles, wins.  The Spurs are a team full of role players.  Even Tim Duncan has a role, it is just more expansive than Bruce Bowen’s.

I could go on for a while that topic, but I won’t.  But speaking of the Spurs – solid transition – I love the Richard Jefferson trade.  For a team that does not play in the world of major trades, it is a move that make them better.

Here is a summary from Chad Ford’s article one ESPN.com:  “Milwaukee Bucks traded Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas on Tuesday.  The Spurs also sent Fabricio Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson who then went to the Bucks.”

I also heard/read that both Bowen and Oberto may be released from their contracts and then sign back with the Spurs.  That is an interesting and freakin’ smart play by Spurs.

ESPN 2009 NBA Mock Lottery Drafting Thingy

ESPN has done it again.  And I am scared.  ESPN has unveiled their 2009 NBA Lottery Mock Draft game.

When you click it,  it auto populates the entire lottery.  It breaks down the chances of your favorite losing team.  And  depending on just how bad their record is – Oklahoma City is 2-24 and has the best chance for the first pick at 25% .   It then fills in the draft order and players selected.  It’s supposedly random.

The one time I was able to get the Timberwolves – they are second with 19.9% –  to the first pick, they pick Blake Griffin.  I feel good about that.  I am happy with the Oklahoma stud. 

SIDE NOTE:  If we get Griffin, maybe we could trade Kevin Love back to Memphis for our original pick from last year, O.J. Mayo – still blows my mind.  But I am sure the Grizzles would go for it.

But every other time, when the T’Wolves  have the second or third pick, that damn game gives them Hasheem Thabeet, the 7’3″ junior center from UConn.

NO!

THE TIMBERWOLVES CANNOT WASTE ANOTHER LOTTERY PICK ON A ONE DIMENSIONAL PLAYER!

Not when Arizona State’s James Harden, Davidson’s Stephen Curry, and Georgetown Center Greg Monroe are still on the board.  And don’t forget the international flavorings with Spain’s Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings.

Not until the T’Wolves are at the four slot does the crazy game give us Stephen Curry.

One might ask; Why do you have such an issue with this game?

Answer:  Because I swear to all that is holy that the T’Wolves are going to pick Thabeet because the feakin’ game “told” them to.  It feels like something McHale would do.  Hopefully he will not be around to mess it up again.