January 29, 2006

One More Time For The Streets Of Killa Cali, Grew Up On The Dank And Shootin Dice Up In The Alley

The Wolves went into San Antonio last night and lost. In related news, the sun rose and Isaiah Rider was arrested.

All in a day's work.

But holy shit, this team looks different now. I decided to take a few notes during last night's game, which had to be the most fun 14 point loss to watch in Wolves history. I can't state it simply enough: I LOVE this team now. I love the attitude, the ghetto, the swagger. It's like they are a totally different team, with a different identity. Anyway, here are my notes:

Ricky Davis is more ghetto than you

Ricky stone-cold ghettos the game up, and it's a Good Thing.

He steals the ball, he runs the floor, he drives, he pulls up and shoots, he does it all, and he never tires. He is an absolute physical specimen, and a threat at any time on offense. In short, he's everything that Wally is not.... and that's awesome. Also, when he gets a steal, Jim Peterson, he's allowed to do whatever he wants. If he wants to drive into double coverage and force a layup try, he's allowed to do that. So shut up. That's not what cost the Wolves this game. They lost because San Antonio is San Motherfucking Antonio, not because Ricky missed a layup.

Eddie Griffin doesn't like this whole "Drive to the basket and softly lay one off the glass" thing

Hey Ginobili and Parker. I have some advice for you. You know how you like to crash and bang into the lane and throw up runners over the defender's hands? Yeah, don't try that with Eddie. He'll just reject it. He hates you little fucks, and he's not afraid to stuff that ball down your neck, Eurotrash.

Seriously, just stop it.

Bowl of Candy doesn't live here anymore

My god, Mark Fucking Blunt. He's everything Kandi is not (have you heard that phrase before?) He goes to the basket. He is strong, he is quick, he has offensive skills. Seriously, Jim Peterson couldn't shut up about how he is the best center the Wolves have ever had last night. I think it's a bit premature for that, especially considering we'll probably see a dropoff in effort here pretty soon. But you CANNOT argue with what you saw last night. Blunt was having himself some DONUTS on offense. He'll fake to get a guy in the air, keep his pivot foot, and lean in for an easy layup. Plus he dunked once and yelled. He showed EMOTION! He got the ball 13 feet from the basket and DIDN'T GO INTO A STUPID SPIN MOVE HOOK SHOT. Yeah, he turned the ball over (watch that travel, partner!) and picked up dumb fouls. But man, it's all good. He's LEAGUES better than Kandi. I've watched two games with him on the team, and already he's done more than I've ever seen Kandi do. That shows you first and foremost how much Kandi sucks and how he screwed up this team while he was here. I'd much rather see Blunt take stupid fouls and occasionally travel if it means him actually giving a fuck out there than I would see Kandi bumble his way through offensive sets and forget where he is on defense.

Blunt, go have yourself some, kid.

Junior Reed is built like a tank, yet hard to hit

(I'll be referring to him as Junior Reed from now on, sometimes as "Wu Tang and Junior Reed") This guy is cut from steel. He's got the body to be another physical banger who can run the floor and get to the basket. Again, EVERYTHING WE DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE THIS TRADE. He looks a bit overmatched sometimes because he isn't quite as honed as the rest of them, but his raw talent is there. I like this kid, and I like how much Casey played him. Shit, with him and McCants, these young guys are looking alright.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have.... the Facts of Life

These new guys aren't perfect. They change the way things are done, and they make mistakes. A guy like Ricky Davis - who shoots pretty much whenever he wants - is going to make bad decisions sometimes. Hey, so did Sam and Spree. The difference between them and what we gave up though is that they put their sack on the line and say "Here. Here's what I got. Let's see if you can stop it." In the case of San Antonio, the answer was yes. Yes, they can stop it. But other teams... I don't know. I'm really looking forward to what they can do against some not-world-championship teams.

I'll take the mistakes, the bad decisions and the little errors, if in exchange I get Ricky throwing down dunks and Blunt doing up-and-unders like he played for the Celtics.... in 86.

The flight of the passing fancy

DID YOU SEE THAT PASSING LAST NIGHT???? What, KG is Magic now? Throwing behind-the-back passes, touch passes and all the rest? And what about Ricky? I love watching a team not afraid to take chances. If Ricky sees something opening up, he'll go for it, and sometimes, it's not there. But you should always take the chance, because the percentages are in your favor. And that's exactly what I've seen these last two games. They've been zipping the ball around to one another, and it's been great to watch. I especially love KG's role in this new offense. He just stands there like "Hmmm, who should I pass to now?" None of the players look lost at all, in fact the main problem for the team last night was OVERconfidence (something you would NEVER have said about the Wolves previous to the trade). Guys got the ball and thought they could do more with it than they could. And that's a part of the game, especially against SA, you've got to take what they give you and try to out-execute them. Hey, it didn't happen, but that's no surprise.

What I saw last night was a good team still learning to play together who hung around with the big dogs long enough to make it interesting. I saw a center who actually showed that he cares, who dunked and made low post moves. I saw a wing who consistently took people off the dribble, who got to the rim more than a few token times, and who was always looking to push the envelope, to create. I saw a young guy from Mississippi off the bench who is just aching to get monster dunks and show everyone that he can block the French and Argentinian. I saw the ball flying around, everyone running the floor, and the defense not giving away anything.

I saw an exciting Wolves team, and I'm interested as to where this is all going to go. I like this trade right now, but I won't say it is a huge upgrade. A loss is still a loss, but I had more fun last night watching the game than I did on Friday during the win, so let that tell you something.

And I'm out.


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