January 27, 2006

I Got So Much Trouble On My Mind, Refuse To Lose. Here's Your Ticket, Hear The Drummer Get Wicked

Wally's out, Buckets is in, and there is potential for an afro.

Life got very interesting.

Does Deadzo read this blog?!?!! Hardly. I don't think Deadzo (or anyone else in the world for that matter) reads this or any other Wolves weblog, but that doesn't mean he doesn't feel the pressure. It was teeming in this town, the entire fan base groaning for some kind of move, some kind of change. He felt the same thing when the Wolves dumped to LA in 2003, despite Gary Trent and Marc Jackson STONE COLD HAVING THEMSELVES SOME IN OT, BALLER! After 7 straight exits, the writing was on the wall. It was time to cut loose the Peelers and the Joe Smiths. It was time to take a chance, and he did it. With a roster full of moveable parts and contracts that begged to be cast away, he landed Spree and Sam in big trades, then went and got Madsen, Kandi, and Hassell on the market. Oh, and a guy named Fred. Put it all together, and we were one broken hip away from a showdown in Motown. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Less than two years later, we have a rebuilt team, one that is getting more mature and that plays hard, but is offensively inept and unable to make critical shots. We have no offensive swagger, nobody to hit a bucket and show you (and everyone else) just how big they really are. We have a team full of guys willing to get down on the floor for a loose ball, but nobody who is willing to take the ball at the end of the game and say "Let's go, right now, me against you. Check." The entire thing breeds a sense of helplessness. Watching the team beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones, it is depressing, because there's no excitement. There's no thinking "Hey, you know what, if they keep playing like this, they'd have a chance against Detroit!" No. We get none of that. Instead, we get losses before the game starts, and a dismal playoff outlook ("Well, even if we DO make the playoffs, we'll be lucky to win one game against San Antonio").

That's changed now. Certainly, it is not a significant upgrade going from Molly to Buckets. But Buckets brings some of that nut-cup-test-time scoring and swagger that was painfully missing this season. Again, he's unproven, and he's not going to step in and take this team over the hump. But there will at least be scoring options, the game will open up more, guys will be moving around more, reacting and playing basketball instead of standing and waiting for shots. KG will continue to quarterback, but he'll have a slasher to dump it to, a guy who will be able to finish with the quickness. And that is a Good Thing.

As far as having an opinion about this thing? Shit. Back off. Everybody and their mother is coming out of the woodwork to complain that this is a terrible trade, one of the worst in Wolves history (I'm looking in the direction of a certain old, no-longer-relevant columnist for the Star Tribuen here), and I hate to tell you this, but they're wrong. It's not a bad trade. It's a good trade. It's good from the perspective of movement. Let me state it again, in case you hadn't heard it before: THE WOLVES WEREN'T GOING ANYWHERE WITH THIS CURRENT LINEUP. Oh, and they weren't getting a draft pick next year anyway, so forget that. So, knowing that we were going to be stuck playing like this for the rest of the year, you have to examine your options.

#1 Live with what you have, win 40 games, have everyone be frustrated.
#2 Make a move.

That's it. Once you decide to make a move, then we as fans lose our right to much of an opinion. The reason is that WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WAS AVAILABLE. Everyone says they want Paul Pierce. Everyone says they want Steve Francis (well, not everyone, but some). But are those guys available? How do we know? All we know is this is what we got. Now let's take a look at it and think if it makes the team better.

I believe that the move helps the Wolves, ever so slightly. I think they will be a better basketball team, which at the end of the day, is what this whole thing is about. There are as many negatives about this trade as positives. But a change was necessary, and I admire (OH MY GOD, DON'T SAY IT!!!) McHale for at least doing something. (THE WORLD IS ENDING, CALL THE CLERGY!!!)

This season is probably wasted anyway. Honestly, nobody's stopping San Antonio or Detroit. And in the West, the Wolves cannot compete with Dallas, Phoenix and Memphis. So, the shakeup could be good, because they could build something for next year. Put it this way: if the season is truly over, would you rather want to be looking down at the exact same team next year, or would you rather have a different look, something to look forward to, something that might turn out pretty good if they all get along and play good team ball? I know I'll take the unknown potential over the known mediocrity any day.

Kandi is gone and Deadzo made a move. Thanks, God. I now know you were listening all those nights.

So welcome, Ricky. Welcome to the Terrordome.

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