GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I wasn't planning on posting again until tomorrow, but I got back from an afternoon run to find this. To be honest, I was pretty shocked. I figured that if they were going to fire Flip, they would have done it a while ago. Since this hadn't happened, I assumed he was going to be there at least until the end of the year, at which point the Wolves organization would reevaluate this situation.

It has become clear in the past month or so, that Flip has absolutely no idea how to fix the Wolves problem. In the past, he's usually come up with a rotation of 8 or 9 players that would play regularly, and the rest of the bench would be used sparingly. This season though, he's been mixing it up a lot more. Everybody on the bench seems to get significant minutes, and the starting lineup has been shuffled more times than I can count.

At this point however, I'm not sure that firing Flip is going to help. Will replacing him will McHale help? Would Gregg Popovich be able to salvage the Wolves season? Honestly, I don't think anybody would be able to turn this team into a championship contender. At the same time, the Wolves will enter rebuilding mode next season, and who knows, maybe a different coach would spark some new life. Flip had obviously has lost the respect of Sam and Spree, so maybe McHale will be able to make them not completely suck anymore (though Sam's D is probably beyond repair).

In a nutshell, I'd say that the firing is mostly a desperation and business-oriented move by Glen Taylor and Kevin McHale. A trade isn't happening, so not firing Flip would send the message to Wolves fans that they had given up on the season. By firing him, they are at least able to show fans that they haven't giving up on this team that was supposed to contend for an NBA championship. It will keep fans interested (at least for a little bit) and will also get them more excited for the start of next season.

Will it help the Wolves win an NBA championship? Doubtful. Will it get them into the playoffs? Possibly.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Not As Bad As It Could Have Been

First of all, did anyone else see who got the top spot in the all overpaid team? In honesty, I would have put him behind Dikembe and Brian Grant.

We've had a couple games since I last blogged. First, we had a game against Memphis. To be honest, I didn't see much of the game after the first quarter. I was stuck in the bathroom, vomitting from what I had just seen. This seriously has to be one of the worst performances I've ever seen by a Timberwolves team. They looked like complete amateurs. By the time I came to, the Wolves started to make a little run, but it was too little too late.

Next we had the Nuggets and the schizophrenic nature of the Timberwolves play continued. They started out by looking like a world class team. They were completely in sync, hustling, and dominant. Then they turned back into that team that made me feel like I needed to stick my head in the toilet again, playing super sloppy basketball, and looking completely disorganized. Then, they finished off the game by looking like a team fighting for their playoff lives. They weren't dominant like they were at the beginning, but they looked hungry for a victory and managed to pull it out through shear hustle.

But one victory over Denver isn't going to convince me that this season is going anywhere. There was a great article by Marc Stein (cleverly titled "Wolves wise to avoid spending Spree") on the other day about the Wolves struggles that completely echoed my sentiments about this year's team.

The article basically states that Sprewell and Cassell have sabotaged the team from the inside, not so much by their lackluster play (though using the term lackluster may be giving them too much credit), but more so by creating dissent within the clubhouse.

Basically, they have put personal gain ahead of the team concept by demanding ridiculous extensions, and have encouraged others to do the same. As a result, the Wolves often end up looking unprepared, especially on defense. Lately, it seems that after every shot, KG is the only one anywhere near the basket trying to get the rebound. As a result, he's fighting people off 3-on-1 (wonder why his rebounds are down in recent games?), so even when he does come up with it, he has to work extraordinarily hard and can rarely come up with it cleanly enough to start a fast break.

So yes, this season is a disaster. But the good news is, had we signed Spree and Sam to the ridiculous extensions they had demanded, it would have sentenced the Wolves to basketball purgatory for years to come. I applaud Glen Taylor's refusal to give in, even though Spree and Sam were being whinny little bitches. Unfortunately, next year might not be a picnic either, with one year left on each of Sam and Kandi's contracts. But after that, the Wolves will have a golden opportunity to start going young.

I look forward to seeing a youthful and athletic Wolves team that is energetic and excited to be playing professional basketball--something that has been sorely lacking this year.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

News Flash: Kandi Has Monster Game

I decided to take a break from blogging. I've been busy all weekend and have been frustrated by a lack of good things to say. Today's entry should be nice and short.

There have been two games since the last time I blogged, and the Wolves managed to find ways to lose both of them. Watching both games, I felt like we should have won both of them, but missed opportunities at the end of the game turned two wins into two losses.

Our major problem against the Rockets was rebounding. Everything else looked good for the Wolves, except that they were outrebounded by 15. Yet despite this, they still came close to winning. Imagine what the game would have looked like if they had rebounded. It would have been a slaughter.

I'm not really sure how they lost today's game. All the numbers looked good. They shot 47% from the field, outrebounded the Celtics by 4 and only turned the ball over 10 times. For this win, I give a lot of credit to the Celtics, especially Pierce and Payton. They played extremely well.

Things might have been different, but Hassell had to sit down early in the third quarter with foul trouble. That left Wally to defend Pierce. Frankly, Pierce just embarrassed him repeatedly. When Hassell finally came back in, Pierce immediately drained a highly-contested baseline jumper. What's a brother gonna do?

We also managed what might be the greatest performance we will ever see from Kandi again. I swear, this isn't something I'm completely making up. Kandi actually played very well. During the first half, he had 10 points on 5-9 shooting with 7 boards. Wolves announcer Jim Peterson commented "That's about a week's worth of production from Michael Olowokandi". I just had to laugh out loud when he said that.

So, the good news is that the Wolves actually looked a little bit more desperate out there. They reminded me more of the teams I was used to watching. They've also got a light schedule ahead and still have a good chance to make the playoffs.

The bad news--the Wolves still aren't winning the championship this year.