General Sports Discussion > NBA Board

Erie's Minnesota Timberwolves Fan Thread

Pages: (1/2) > >>

ErieHog:

With the impending return of the NBA,  I thought it would be fun to actually have a season thread for my favorite team from the frozen wastelands of the Western Conference.

The long years have piled up for Timberwolves fans,  pining for days of near competence and not-complete ineptitude--- and it seems like the cusp of not being the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked might be arriving this season.


In the preseason opener, the T-Wolves opened with an easy victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.   These are exactly the kind of games that the T-Wolves need to win to claw their way towards respectability.

Highlight of the Game:  One first year Timberwolf to another:

Not a valid youtube URL

MM-gohogs:

Gross... Go Thunder

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: MM-gohogs on December 18, 2011, 03:49:59 pm ---Gross... Go Thunder

--- End quote ---

Start a Thunder thread, and drum up NBA interest around here, then.

It is incredibly easy to root for a front runner.

ErieHog:

Not a bad performance at home to open the year;  plenty of teams are going to be unable to close out the Thunder.

The Good:   It's really nice to see them have a quality NBA team down, with the opportunity to close out the game.       Young teams without any winning experience have to learn 'how to win',  and it is still obvious that this T-Wolves squad is going to have to do a lot of learning to win games like last night.

Defensively, they played pretty well.   Very well, by historic T-Wolves standards.    Offensively, nobody seems to be quite in rhythm in the halfcourt sets-- they look a lot better when they're running the floor with the ball in Rubio's hands.


The Bad-  Beasley and Johnson are already pressing.  Wes Johnson took 3 of his 4 attempts extremely early in the shot clock, instead of taking advantage of the passing skill of this team and rotating the ball around a bit-- worst of all, he did it when the team needed to slow down Thunder mini-runs.   The game isn't coming to him, and he's killing this team.

The Ugly-  Letting DeQuan Cook kill you.    3-22 from 3?    Oh-- and if you do decide to play defense on 80% of the Thunder during the last 5 minutes, doesn't it make sense to play that defense against Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, and let *anyone* else beat you?

Anyhow, all in all, a very solid start to the year.    A better performance than I expected, but definitely a game that got away.    Next up is a tilt with the Bucks squad they beat twice in the preseason, @ Milwaukee.

ErieHog:

Another tough loss tonight.  At least the games are competitive, for a change, though.

The Good:  The team fought through some really foul offensive stretches.    They went down 20 in the 3rd, but scrapped their way back to get a shot to tie it at the buzzer.  The 3 point shooting was better,  and they worked their way to the line really well.   It simply wasn't enough.  Ridenour had arguably his best game as a T-wolf.

The Bad:  It's one thing to get outshot from the field-- but to give the other team nearly *40* more FG attempts is simply awful.  Turnovers in the 20s, and Black Hole Beasley eating possesions.

The Ugly:  It looks like Barea has hurt his quad.   Rubio's role in the 4th quarter was bigger than you'd like to see it be, at this point.   Beasley is his high usage, low reward self, still.   They fought hard against Milwaukee's many attempts to get them back in the game, especially from the 7 to 3 minute marks.   

husker71:

your teams main problem (per Bill Simmons and me)  KAHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on December 28, 2011, 07:04:55 am ---your teams main problem (per Bill Simmons and me)  KAHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

--- End quote ---

I disagree with you both-- it's only KAHN! to the extent that there has not been a consistent vision of the product on the floor from the front office, and even when there has been for spurts,  it has really struggled to realize that vision.

This team is really just a competent 2 guard who can play 28-35 minutes a night away from being a playoff team,  even with it's current troubles.     The problem is that the past three years have been spent trying to figure out a competent PG rotation, to the point where 12 guys have been brought in to run the point over the last 365 days.

Throw in the worst coaching in the league the past few seasons, and it is not a surprise the team has been truly awful since the departure of Garnett.

ErieHog:

I want Anthony Tolliver run out of town on a rail.


Crushing, crushing loss tonight against the Heat.   Shoulda won that one.

jbell96:


--- Quote from: ErieHog on December 30, 2011, 09:29:43 pm ---I want Anthony Tolliver run out of town on a rail.


Crushing, crushing loss tonight against the Heat.   Shoulda won that one.

--- End quote ---

Why is that guy taking the game tying shot? Think you guys are a year away from making the playoffs. Very competitive team this year.

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: jbell96 on December 30, 2011, 09:32:38 pm ---Why is that guy taking the game tying shot? Think you guys are a year away from making the playoffs. Very competitive team this year.

--- End quote ---

Because we have no 2 guard, and nobody trusts Rubio to take the shot.     Right now, teams shade a double to Kevin Love, dare Beasley to take it,  and trust that Rubio can't beat them.

ErieHog:

Back to back wins over the Spurs and Mavericks, both by double digits, have us Timberwolves fans cautiously optimistic.

There's still room for improvement, but they are really looking like a viable NBA basketball team.  It has been at least 5 years since I've been able to say that, and it feels darned great.

Love has at least 20 points and 12 rebounds in each of his first five games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other NBA player to do that since 1976-77 was Charles Barkley in 1992-93. 

ErieHog:

Checking in before watching the game vs. Memphis.

Timberwolves will be pursuing their first 3 game win streak since  the torrid run from Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2010, where they fell the mighty Grizzlies, Mavs, and Knicks  in consecutive dates.



ErieHog:

Horrendous start, then Rubio steps up and makes a couple of big plays.   If he can be a respectable jump shooter,  he's going to be a big time PG.

ErieHog:

Good job battling back time and again,  but a completely blown call on a hard foul with about 6 minutes in the 4th has been the genesis of a 9-0 Memphis run.

Game is still winnable, but they've been getting crushed on the defensive glass all night.  Memphis has to be outscoring them about 20-10 on the offensive glass.



ErieHog:

And that swing on the Rubio FT o'fer and the cheap hoop and harm probably just put it away for Memphis.

God.  I hate losing to Memphis.

Ftsmithmike:

Just curious. I'm always curious about how someone ends up a fan of a distant team. Would you mind filling us in on how you found this team?

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: ErieHog on January 04, 2012, 09:04:29 pm ---And that swing on the Rubio FT o'fer and the cheap hoop and harm probably just put it away for Memphis.

God.  I hate losing to Memphis.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: Ftsmithmike on January 10, 2012, 04:25:47 pm ---Just curious. I'm always curious about how someone ends up a fan of a distant team. Would you mind filling us in on how you found this team?

--- End quote ---

Well, my favorite player of all time is Larry Bird.   Rooting for the Celtics, though, was a bit like rooting for Godzilla in a monster movie during the mid 80s,  so I looked around to see who was out there.  Larry started having some terrible back problems, of course, and I realized his career was winding down.       He started his final season with a game against the Timberwolves--I think it was the first regular season game in franchise;s second season or so,  carried on TNT.   Larry dropped almost 40 on them in an absolute whipping, including a 45 footer to end the first half.     I figured at the time that it was a good bit of continuity, since my NBA basketball fanhood was about to hit a low ebb, to transfer my loyalty to the new team,  one unburdened by a history of bandwagoners,  and that was not only in the Western Conference,  but in the original home of the hate Lakers.

From there,  it's been 20 years of cringe-worthy basketball.

ErieHog:

Three in a row!   7-8 overall!   This team is at least a year ahead of where I hoped they would be, and it's still very early in the NBA grind.    I sort of put my mind to it early that this team should aim for 17-19 wins in the compressed schedule, and be competitive night in and night out, learning important things like how to play with leads,  win 'should win' home games, and how to distribute shots at crunch time.    Instead, they're playing .500 ball on the road, and giving pretty good teams tough outs.

The black hole at shooting guard is being cobbled together into an almost serviceable NBA rotation spot,  but it is the long term Achilles heel of the squad.  The 5 is serviceable--- the T-Wolves have two guys splitting the minutes who could or would be serviceable backup posts on a contender/marginal starters on a playoff team.

Beasley being hurt may be the best thing for this team right now--- it shows two things, really.   First, that Rubio and Love are putting their imprint on this team, and second, that the team can survive without Beasley's scoring punch.     The big worry, to me, is that Beasley's volume scoring and usage returns, and eats up shots and possessions that have been better allocated across the team.   The upside would be if he came back, dropped his usage (HA!), and fit into the role of secondary scoring option/lead option with Love getting breathers.  Realistically, I hope he puts up good enough numbers for a desperate team (looking at you, Lakers) to grasp at a straw and overpay for him.

Oh--- and it's good fun to laugh at Hornets fans right now.  Suck that non-lottery protected pick, New Orleans!



ErieHog:

A 4 year extension for under super max money for Love....better than expected

Ricky Rubio being the first player with at least 17 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals in a game this season, having at least three steals in five straight games (longest streak in the NBA in 2 years), 2 steals in 10 straight games, also the longest streak this season......very good.

Beating the defending champs on the road, for the second win over the Mavs this year?

An excellent cap to a great day in Timberwolves basketball history.

husker71:

Erie, do you go to Inside Hoops??  Lots of interesting rumors there every day.  On another column I read about Rubio vs Wall that was pretty interesting.  Rubio stock is really going up while some are starting to think Wall is starting to show how one dimensional he is.  But Kahn, wasting a pick on Flynn and then the Beasley fiasco.

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on January 31, 2012, 10:42:11 am ---Erie, do you go to Inside Hoops??  Lots of interesting rumors there every day.  On another column I read about Rubio vs Wall that was pretty interesting.  Rubio stock is really going up while some are starting to think Wall is starting to show how one dimensional he is.  But Kahn, wasting a pick on Flynn and then the Beasley fiasco.

--- End quote ---

I don't, really, but sometimes will catch a snippet from a referral in a discussion about the NBA.

As much crap as I like to give Kahn,  I have to admit-- he's not the worst GM in the league.   He may even be top half,  really.     The entire McHale era was a mismanagement fiasco, and led to strange things-- Ray Allen should have started playing with Kevin Garnett 10 years ago, not 4.

Kahn overpaid some guys (see: Darko, Martel Webster), and threw a ton of picks at securing a point guard.  I think he realizes that you can't really win in the NBA with sub par PG play, and since he walked into a dumpster fire, getting that right had to be his first priority.      The Flynn experiment was really a test to see if he could steal a combo guard to provide athletic and slashing talent that could either play off or spell Rubio, once he got him to come over.

The Beasley deal was a good deal, both short and long term,  as much as I like to pile on Beasley.    Beasley has a ton of real talent, and when he harnesses it the way it should be, it's game changing scoring that he brings to the table--- the Rockets saw that last night.   When Beasley thinks his offensive game should include 18 foot jumpers off the dribble, he becomes a usage issue and a clog for an offense that thrives on ball rotation rather than iso play.

If you told me during the offseason they'd start out 10-11, I  think I'd have laughed in your face.  It's a testament to one of the NBA's best coaches, and the importance of PG play that they have made so much progress in the NBA's toughest division.


ErieHog:

Big play last night from the team, in winning during the first half of Love's suspension.


The hero? The Peksecutioner




jbell96:

Erie, your thoughts on the Love suspension? I thought 2 games was excessive. As an outside observer the stomp didn't seem malicious to me.

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: jbell96 on February 09, 2012, 12:44:05 pm ---Erie, your thoughts on the Love suspension? I thought 2 games was excessive. As an outside observer the stomp didn't seem malicious to me.

--- End quote ---

TBH, he probably deserved it.  He and Scola have a history (hence the testicle shot reference in his post-game interview),  and it is probably best to nip this in the bud now.

That said, if he doesn't comment after the game, he probably doesn't get any suspension at all.

In the short term, it was good to see the team figure out that they were still capable of playing not only competitive, but winning basketball with him off the court.   That'll matter down the stretch.

HuntinHog:

Oh the T-Wolves.  Think I've still got a breaking ankles Marbury shirt from the season opener his rookie year. 



ErieHog:


--- Quote from: HuntinHog on February 09, 2012, 03:51:23 pm ---Oh the T-Wolves.  Think I've still got a breaking ankles Marbury shirt from the season opener his rookie year. 



--- End quote ---

I think I still have my #45 in green Randy Breuer jersey.



ErieHog:

I've been too bummed to post lately, given Rubio's ACL injury.

That said, the team is still slogging forward.  The new karyoke video is pretty funny.

husker71:

Espn.com   Grantland had great articale on Rubio today not written by Simmons but you might enjoy it.r

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on April 06, 2012, 08:48:04 pm ---Espn.com   Grantland had great articale on Rubio today not written by Simmons but you might enjoy it.r

--- End quote ---

Read it within 10 minutes of it coming out.

It's a sad, sad, sad time for Minnesota sports fans.  When you are reduced to hoping the Lynx win, it's about as dire as it can possibly get.

husker71:

Erie, they are set at forward with Love and Williams for years to come.  Rubio will be good at PG and Ridenour/ Barrera are for  backups.  Can you get anything for Beasley??  And how long to make a decision on Wes Johnson??   Needs are a SG and some post help and beef up the bench some but I dont think the bench is that bad.  No pick until end of the 2nd round.  Maybe some free agents would like to play with Rubio and Love but that weather is not a drawing card.

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on April 09, 2012, 10:40:36 pm ---Erie, they are set at forward with Love and Williams for years to come.  Rubio will be good at PG and Ridenour/ Barrera are for  backups.  Can you get anything for Beasley??  And how long to make a decision on Wes Johnson??   Needs are a SG and some post help and beef up the bench some but I dont think the bench is that bad.  No pick until end of the 2nd round.  Maybe some free agents would like to play with Rubio and Love but that weather is not a drawing card.

--- End quote ---

Beasley is going to be an afterthought, really-- when they couldn't get anything at the trade deadline for him,  he's essentially just sunk cost.   Johnson has to go, as soon as possible, IMHO;  just a replacement level 2 guard would be a huge boon at this stage.

husker71:

What are your thoughts on Anthony Randolph??  he has shown some ability when Love is out.   

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on April 13, 2012, 09:04:45 pm ---What are your thoughts on Anthony Randolph??  he has shown some ability when Love is out.   

--- End quote ---

Randolph is a solid 8th man in an 8 man rotation;  I wouldn't want or expect much more out of him than that, though.

MM-gohogs:


--- Quote from: ErieHog on December 18, 2011, 04:50:53 pm ---Start a Thunder thread, and drum up NBA interest around here, then.

It is incredibly easy to root for a front runner.

--- End quote ---
Easy to root for a front runner... ???
Let me think back 3-4 years...

MM-gohogs:

... Brandon Roy ???


That is all. That and a few other pick ups early in free agency. About 85% certain Roy was a lottery pick.

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: MM-gohogs on July 06, 2012, 02:14:11 am ---... Brandon Roy ???


That is all. That and a few other pick ups early in free agency. About 85% certain Roy was a lottery pick.

--- End quote ---

20 MPG for a backup 2 guard.

A replacement level performance at the #2 would have had this team in the playoffs last season.

Batum's been given an offer sheet, but Portland is probably going to match.

Roy was originally a Timberwolf #6 overall selection, before being traded.

ErieHog:

Looks like the details are being finalized on a 3 way trade that will help land Andrei Kirilenko for 2 seasons, with a team option for a 3rd.

I can't overstate how happy it makes me to see this happening, especially when the focus of the trade is essentially Wesley Johnson and a lottery protected pick  for Kirilenko

Wesley Johnson wasn't just bad-- he was *horrendous* -- even assuming a higher than standard decline from AK 47,  he will still be significantly above league average.

Using the Hollinger translation system,    with 0 being the NBA positional average,   Kirilenko should cruise in at about a 3.96 --  and Wes Johnson was a -3.65.         For perspective, the change is about the same as the Hollinger system says that Kevin Durant is from league average-- that is to say, a massive improvement.      It affirms that they won't rely overly on Roy's resurgence and can limit his minutes for maximum return


This simple act probably guarantees a low playoff slot next year if everyone is reasonably healthy.


MM-gohogs:

So what's up with Rubio coming back just 9 months after tearing his ACL (and LCL)? He came off the bench and only played 7 minutes in the first half, so they are bringing him along slow, but wow, just 9 months later is pretty shocking! What's your point of view 1/4 into the T'wolves season?

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: MM-gohogs on December 15, 2012, 08:09:38 pm ---So what's up with Rubio coming back just 9 months after tearing his ACL (and LCL)? He came off the bench and only played 7 minutes in the first half, so they are bringing him along slow, but wow, just 9 months later is pretty shocking! What's your point of view 1/4 into the T'wolves season?

--- End quote ---

Well, so far, so good, with the season.  As far as the knee tear,  his game not being as contingent on athleticism and jumping helps-- and the Twin Cities doctors know a little bit about ACLs (see Peterson, Adrian) --  they brought him along slowly, made him practice on it for a couple of weeks, are limiting his minutes for now, and are generally taking a pretty conservative approach to his return.

That said, this was really pretty to see tonight-




husker71:

I am starting to like Schved.  I said in another forum that when Rubio comes back the offense the Lakers are wasting due to no players besides Nash (later) fits it.  Can you imagine Rubio with Love  and Kirelenko running that offense. 

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: husker71 on December 15, 2012, 09:53:08 pm ---I am starting to like Schved.  I said in another forum that when Rubio comes back the offense the Lakers are wasting due to no players besides Nash (later) fits it.  Can you imagine Rubio with Love  and Kirelenko running that offense. 

--- End quote ---

Schved is growing on me;  what he provides is second unit scoring, and high energy play, something that can be lacking if Barea isn't attacking the rim, and if Pek isn't backing down on the block effectively.

Essentially he's doing what Wesley Johnson wasn't even capable of managing after multiple years in the league having been a lottery pick, last year.



MM-gohogs:

I guess Eric Maynor nade his return in 10 months or so. It'll be interesting to see how things work out for Minnesota.

With the style Derrick Rose plays, he is going to take longer to recover.

It haven't kept up with Roy, I saw he sat out last night and saw he hurt his knee and had surgery. Is it ligament damage, or a minor setback for him?

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: MM-gohogs on December 16, 2012, 09:03:52 am ---I guess Eric Maynor nade his return in 10 months or so. It'll be interesting to see how things work out for Minnesota.

With the style Derrick Rose plays, he is going to take longer to recover.

It haven't kept up with Roy, I saw he sat out last night and saw he hurt his knee and had surgery. Is it ligament damage, or a minor setback for him?

--- End quote ---

There isn't much ligament left anywhere in his knee-- he's playing by grinding it out, literally.

Roy is not going to be a major factor.   AK47 remains the best offseason addition of anyone in the Western Conference,  which helps lessen that pain-- Roy had been giving them replacement level basketball before his injury, which is really all they need.

Pulled(PP)pork:

Minnesota has a basketball team? 

/sarcasm (since the damn emoticons don't work)


PP

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: Pulled(PP)pork on December 16, 2012, 10:12:59 am ---Minnesota has a basketball team? 

/sarcasm (since the damn emoticons don't work)


PP

--- End quote ---

They'd be one of them many teams the Lakers are looking up at, in the Western Conference.

Pulled(PP)pork:


--- Quote from: ErieHog on December 16, 2012, 10:14:00 am ---They'd be one of them many teams the Lakers are looking up at, in the Western Conference.

--- End quote ---
sadly, no argument to be had there
except.....how many championships do you got??  <wink>

PP

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: Pulled(PP)pork on December 16, 2012, 10:26:11 am ---sadly, no argument to be had there
except.....how many championships do you got??  <wink>

PP

--- End quote ---

5.   Then again, like most things filthy and Los Angeles, the Lakers stole those when they moved West.

Pulled(PP)pork:


--- Quote from: ErieHog on December 16, 2012, 10:34:51 am ---5.   Then again, like most things filthy and Los Angeles, the Lakers stole those when they moved West.

--- End quote ---
haha, touche'


Pulled out...

MM-gohogs:

Man the Wolves kind of dominated the Thunder all 48 tonight, leading wire-to-wire... I only got to watch the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City was missing Martin (thigh contusion) off the bench and only had 7 bench points. Also, glad to see a great crowd in the Twin Cities. Hopefully they're that good game in and game out.

I will be going to the T'Wolves/Thunder game in February so hopefully OKC can have a better performance in a few months...

ErieHog:


--- Quote from: MM-gohogs on December 20, 2012, 08:44:58 pm ---Man the Wolves kind of dominated the Thunder all 48 tonight, leading wire-to-wire... I only got to watch the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City was missing Martin (thigh contusion) off the bench and only had 7 bench points. Also, glad to see a great crowd in the Twin Cities. Hopefully they're that good game in and game out.

I will be going to the T'Wolves/Thunder game in February so hopefully OKC can have a better performance in a few months...

--- End quote ---

They're definitely a team that's better suited to play an uptempo game, and they're much better with a lead than trying to work back from behind.   

They remind me, in a lot of ways, of the better Kings teams early in this century.

Pages: (1/2) > >>

Go to full version