GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Saturday, December 18, 2004

So much to say...

...and so little time to say it all.

I've got a final in 8 hours, so I'm taking a quick break from studying to write a little bit. I watched the Wolves dominate the Clippers tonight, but wasn't paying much attention for most of the second half. Then, I realized that Suns vs. Sonics was on ESPN. I knew I needed to study, but I kept in on in the background.

I was going to write about the second game, as well as the Vince Carter trade, but I'll save those for a different night. In the meantime, here's a list of assorted thoughts I had about the Wolves game tonight.
  • The only major downside to tonight's game was that Sprewell went out only 2.5 minutes into the game with a foot injury. I'm not sure about the severity of it yet, but it will hurt the Wolves significantly if he can't come back. Luckily--for his starving children--he gets paid even if he's injured.
  • KG took another flagrant foul in the first quarter tonight. This one wasn't quite as bad the one from last night, but it was still dangerous. In Maggette's defense, it looked like he was trying to help KG stay on his feet. Obviously, if teams keep doing this to Garnett, he'll eventually get hurt. Even if you aren't aiming to hurt somebody, if you're out of control and you foul somebody hard, then it should be flagrant--regardless of intention. It's too dangerous.
  • Probably one of the worst calls I've seen in years happened in this game. My understanding is that if you're in front of somebody, you can't get called for over the back. However, Professor Zoidberg was completely between Elton Brand and the basket, and when there was contact, Zoidy got called for a foul. I think this one shocked about everybody in the arena, including Brand.
  • One of the more optimistic things I've seen lately is the high level of play from Wally. He set a season high for points for the second time this week tonight. I mentioned in my last post about how sometimes you can get down on a player and not really give him credit if he starts to improve again. To be honest, I think I've given Wally this treatment for a while, but his play lately has been outstanding. He hasn't been trying to do too much when he gets the ball. Usually he'll just catch and shoot or else take only one or two dribbles and make a strong move toward the basket. In addition, he's been moving very well without the ball, getting open under the basket for wide open layups. And probably the best thing is that his D has been much better. It makes me happy to see him playing like this.
  • Speaking of dishing the ball to wide open players. How about the passing of KG? If we counted in base 9 instead of base 10, he'd have 4 triple doubles already this year. When he gets the ball, he seems to see everything on the court. I can't imagine how much fun it must be to play with him. I've gotten the opportunity to play with big men who can pass (finding anyone who can pass in college IM ball is a rarity) and it's a blast. You always know that if you can make a good cut, they'll find you.
  • Speaking of KG, how amazing is he? You'd think with a url like kg4mvp, I'd talk about him non-stop. However, he's just so good that it would get boring to just kiss his ass every time I blogged. It's easy to take him for granted though too. After seeing him play for years, you just get kind of used to it and almost start to take it for granted. Luckily, every year he seems to show me something I haven't seen before, which keeps my appreciation of him fresh.
  • Finally, the Twolves are off to their best start ever. Nonetheless, I've had trouble staying optimistic about them. Part of the reason is that they've only had one strong stretch (a 5-game winning streak). Other than that, they've been a mediocre 10-8. This is partially due to the fact that they're near the end of an 8-week stretch with ZERO back-to-back home games. Luckily, this will get better soon. They have a light schedule for the rest of the month, then start off January with 2 home games in a row. At the end of January, they'll have an amazing stretch where they play 7 out of 8 at home, with the only away game in Milwaukee.

Friday, December 17, 2004

We lost to who? (Part II)

Alright, clearly this was not a post I was hoping to write a sequel to. Somebody asked me why we kept losing to these god-awful teams. The only explanation I could come up with was to say that both of these games came on the ass-end of a back-to-back. Still, we are talking about the Bulls and the Vince-less Raptors (although who's to say that Vince's absence doesn't make them a better team). If the Wolves want get home court advantage in the playoffs again, they need to find a way to win these games.

The effects of fatigue were never more clear than in the 4th quarter of this game. The Wolves were outscored 25-16 and went more than 6 minutes at one time without a field goal after staying in control for most of the game. It was a painful thing to watch. It just looked like we weren't even trying to get good shots. The Wolves just would routinely settle for long, semi-contested jumpers. When KG finally did try and take it to the basket, he was grabbed by the arms and hurled to the ground by Matt Bonner.

I know the Timberwolves announcers try not to be too partial, but Jim Peterson went a little overboard by saying it really wasn't that bad a foul. Not that bad? He grabbed the league's MVP by the arms and threw him down. Since when is that "not that bad"?

The other thing that Peterson just went off on was that Kandi's performance lately hasn't been that bad lately and that people need to start cutting him some slack. He pointed out that after you've been down on somebody for a while, it's easy to continue to be harsh on them and not let up. He definitely has a valid point, but I'm not really sure it applies here. Last night he had one of his more solid performances of the season, scoring 8 points and collecting 7 rebounds.

Now if Kandi could routinely have 8/7 nights, I wouldn't have too much of a problem with him. It may not be what we had in mind when we signed him, but it's a solid line for an NBA role-playing center--yes-- my stock in him has dropped that much. Of course, it took him 10 shots to get those 7 points and in the meantime, he committed 4 personal fouls (a hobby of his).

WhatI do have a problem with that is when he starts taking minutes that could be used to play my boy Eddie G. In the same game that Kandi was playing quite well, Eddie G had an off-night, scoring 7 points and collecting 7 boards (on only 8 shots with only 1 foul). When you put their numbers side-by-side, there's really no comparison.


As you can clearly see. Eddie is the shit and Kandi is mediocre at best. He plays 35% more minutes, but out-scores Kandi by 130%, out-rebounds him by 56%, out-blocks him by 100% and commits fewer fouls in more minutes. Not to mention the fact that Eddie G has spent 100% fewer nights in jail this season.

Yet, in the past few games Kandi has been coming in before Eddie and his minutes have been creeping up.

It feels like Flip is overly committed to Kandi. The only real thing that Kandi has going for him at this point is that he is (potentially) the best low-post presence the Wolves have. To be honest, the best low-post player they probably have right now is Sam Cassell, and they obviously can't use him on any sort of a regular basis at the post. KG can do a low post, but is generally more comfortable doing a high post where he can face up the defender. I haven't seen much of Eddie's low post game, but what I've seen has been rather lackluster.

Other than this, I'd say that Eddie is superior in every way.

I'd like to see Kandi turn into one of those Rasho types of centers. You know the ones I'm talking about. They start the game, get a few points and a few post-up plays, then are taken out after 10 minutes and don't play for the rest of the game.

Monday, December 13, 2004

We lost to who?

I think the worst is behind me now. I'm finished up with my presentation I had to give last week, I've caught up on my grading, and my math take-home is mostly finished.

I spent 14 straight hours in the VR lab at the University of Minnesota last night, so I was fortunate enough to not see our loss to the Bulls. I had it on game cast in the background, so I got to see the bulls outshoot us 60%-37% in the first quarter. After that, things pretty much evened out. Unfortunately, we were way too far behind at that point. Things got close near the end, but it was just too little too late.

At least I got to see an inspiration effort against the Kings on the previous night (including a pass from KG to Hoiberg that would have made Roger Clemens proud).

On the plus side, I noticed that our counter was way up today. I went to check and noticed that we're now officially in google. Search for "timberwolves blog" and we come up #1 and #2 (technically, this page is #2, but #1 is a reference to us). This was an inspiring thing to see and it showed me how to love (blogging) again. However, I'm not out of the woods yet, but in a few days, I'll have a few free weeks with nothing to do but blog!

It also made me think about the beauty of the internet. I've grown to love reading various blogs this year during the baseball season. However, when I went to look, there wasn't a single good Timberwolves blog (that I found anyway). So then, I decided to make one--and now, I'm on google for anybody to find.

Seriously though, how beautiful is that? Any complete idiot (i.e. me) can go out there and start writing about whatever the hell he wants.