GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Screw You Guys, I'm Becoming a Cavs Fan

If I were to sum up last night's Wolves game in one word, there is only one logical choice.


If you want an analogy for our season, all you have to do is look at that last possession of the game. Down by 3 points with 10 seconds to go, we had a chance to tie. Flip called a play in the huddle, which was never run. Instead, we had trouble inbounding the ball, then we finally got it to Troy, who basically stood there running out the clock until he finally threw the ball over to Spree. With 5 seconds left on the clock, he took a wild 3 from 28-feet away. Some craziness ensued and the ball somehow ended up with Troy Hudson who got a somewhat better look at a three and almost put it down.

That is basically how our season has gone to this point. Not how we planned it. Poorly executed. But we still have a chance (albeit a long shot) to do something with our season. If this were baseball, the Wolves would start trading for prospects right about now. But in the NBA, more than half the teams make the playoffs, so they're still got a good chance to get in. Unfortunately, if the playoffs started today, the Wolves would not even be in them.

I can't really figure out how we lost. Kobe was out due to injury, and their second best player, Lamar Odom, was sidelined for large portions of the game with foul trouble. Beyond Odom, pretty much all they have is Chucky Atkins.

The Wolves really blew their chance to gauge out the Laker's eyes at the end of the second quarter when Odom had to sit with foul trouble. We were up by 10 at that point, but instead of pounding them on the inside with Garnett, here's what the Wolves decided to do with their next four shots:
3:30--Troy Hudson missed 25 ft three point jumper.
2:53--Latrell Sprewell missed 23 ft three point jumper.
2:11--Latrell Sprewell missed 20 ft jumper.
1:46--Anthony Carter made 17 ft jumper. Assisted by Latrell Sprewell.
Not exactly what I call pounding the ball inside. It took us 5 possessions after Odom sat down to even attempt a shot from inside. Instead of increasing the lead and really eliminating any hope for the Lakers, we just hucked up long-range jumpers as usual and let them cut the lead to 3 by halftime.

Despite his 23 points, Sprewell did not have a good game. Apparently, somebody told him that he had only taken 6 shots the previous game, and decided to start taking any shot he could get. Just two nights prior, Hudson set a team record by taking 8 three-pointers without making a single one. Last night, Sprewell tied that record. He shot only 9-28.

On the other hand, KG had a great night offensively. He scored 27 points on only 19 shots. This just has to make you wonder why Spree was the one taking 28 shots, while Garnett got only 19. The Lakers had no way to stop KG except when every single person on the court came over and guarded him, and that didn't even work sometimes.

I'm running out of positive things to say about what might happen to the Wolves, so I'm gonna use the last thing I have in the tank.

The Wolves new alignments of the starting and second units has lead to improved defense. Their defense has pretty much sucked ass all season, and allowing fewer points is a must if this team wants to win. However, their offense has lost all of its cohesiveness. The good news is that this is something that might change once the new units get used to each other on offense. This was a big problem at the beginning of last year too. My hope is that things will right themselves offensively in the coming weeks (especially with the return of Cassell), and that their defense will remain improved. If I'm right about this, and I'm probably not, the Wolves can still finish the season strong and get a decent playoff seed. Maybe even homecourt in the first round.

If I'm wrong, here's what the Wolves need to do:

1) Cut Kandi. He's useless. I don't care how much we're paying him, it's not even worth it to have him on the team anymore. The Wolves would be better off eating his contract and signing somebody who actually wants to play. If you look at his plus/minus numbers, he's by far the worst player on the Wolves.

2) Trade Spree. He's playing a position where the Wolves already have plenty of talent. Trading him would allow us to start both Hassell and Wally. It would be nice if the Wolves could bring in somebody with young legs who would help bring some much needed energy to the court.