July 10, 2007

The Children of Summer

So the Wolves summer league season is under way and so far it’s looking pretty good. Of course they’ve only played one game. Against the Hornets. With the only notable player being their first round pick Julian Wright in uniform. These are games I wish I could watch, but I only have box scores and other people’s accounts of the actual games to go on. My analysis can’t be that good but I’ll share my thoughts on what I’ve read.

Wolves 85, Hornets 83 (OT)

First off I like winning, even if it’s basically pick-up games made up of teams of guys, most of whom will not be in the NBA in three months. I also like winning close games. Especially when there are youngsters neck deep in the waning moments of the game.

Corey Brewer won the game with a driving lay-up with 12 seconds left. That’s a sentence I really like to read for three reasons. First off, Corey Brewer is continuing his winning ways at the next level, never mind the lack-luster talent. Secondly, a Timberwolves player did not settle for a jump shot in the final seconds of a game. Lastly, Corey Brewer did something that scouts had previously proclaimed as a weakness: he took his man off the dribble. Now, I realize, that this was only one play, but it still is nice to read about because of the reasons listed above. I’m sure Brew will have some downs this summer but there’s no start like a good start.

Craig Smith played like a beast. 25 points and 7 rebounds. He did his damage by punishing the Hornets in the paint. HE SCORED NEAR THE BASKET!!! That’s also something the Wolves dearly need. Everyone knows he’s a stud but I think he will continue to grow this season, possibly into the physical banger KG needs beside him.

Chris Richard and Luke Schenscher did some damage of their own. I think the boys – I mean Fred Hoiberg – may have scored another second round gem in the mold of Craig Smith. They combined for 18 points and 15 rebounds while only taking 12 shots (converting 7 of them). I really like that kind of production while leaving plenty of shots for everyone else, ala Elton Brand back in his Bulls days.

Rashad McCants quite make a jump-shot, but he’ll come around. I hope. I can only assume his timing is still off from a busy offseason of rehab and that he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to have a good summer because he feels like he has a lot to prove to the team. Once he settles down he’ll start making all those lovely jump-shots we all know he’s capable of making. He’s the only guy on the roster that can consistently put the ball in the hoop from 20 feet and out which would help unclog the paint for KG, Foye, and Brewer.

Don’t Make Such A Big Deal

I realize I just spent a page blathering about the summer league but the media really likes to take the results and spin them around. OH MY GOD GREG ODEN IS GOING UNDER THE KNIFE AND HE’S GOING TO DIE AND THE BLAZERS ARE GOING TO DIE AND DEATH AND DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!

Okay, so seriously? He’s having his tonsils out. It’s cool. He won’t die, I promise Charlie Walters, he’ll be fine. Not to mention how much they love to talk about how he and Durant haven’t “played up to par” yet. Really? They’re 19. They’ve spent the past 10 years beating up on guys that were half their size and 1/5 their talent. Now it’s just guys with ¼ their talent. Just because they aren’t putting up Wilt and Russell numbers after two games in the summer league doesn’t mean they’re developing slowly. It certainly took me more than two days to figure out I couldn’t come to work hung over like I did in college. It worked out for me.

They’ll be fine.

No comments: