December 17, 2008

The Mockhounds are About!

Yeah, the season is not even 1/3 done and we've got the 2009 Draft Hounds out and rolling - much to my enjoyment. Nothing like thinking about the future when there is nothing in the present. So, as I wandered onto and checked the mock lottery, the Wolves ended up with the second pick - just like their second-worst record would indicate. Who did they have us selecting? Hasheem Thabeet from Connecticut. Think poor-mans Dikembe Mutombo, except he looks like the kid from the first season of The Wire.

He rebounds like a crazy man and blocks shots like he was peelin' caps, but he's a major concern on the offensive end, and he's built like a taller version of KG - 7'3" 265lbs. - minus the strength. Okay, if we didn't have Al Jefferson and Kevin Love already, I might be behind that pick. However, we've already got two guys who are going to need major minutes at the 4 and 5, and other GLARING weaknesses. I'm not saying we don't need a guy like Thabeet, but there are other weaknesses that need attention first.


The player taken after our pick? Ricky Rubio, PG from Spain. Jose Calderon, Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez. Who are they you ask? Other Spanish point guards, all of whom are quality NBA players. Take all those young men, pour in an equal part Pete Maravich, and you have Ricky Rubio. Do EVERYTHING IT TAKES to get this kid on our team. He's an amazing basketball player and - Glen Taylor may like this part - he's probably the most popular player in Spain! Wouldn't it be fun to sell Wolves jerseys around the world? Plus, he's an exciting player - unlike Thabeet - and those guys tend to put butts in the seats.



December 15, 2008


Last Play: 8:36 Brian Cardinal missed 3-pt. Jump Shot (MIN)

NO SHIT?!?!?!?

Who fires Deadzo?

Does he fire himself? How does that work? Is he in his sweet spot right now? No one to answer to. You think Owner cares? Will 10k show up to see Lebron? Notice I said show up. I have to watch this team the rest of the year, just so I can see how bad it can get. They're a trainwreck.

December 8, 2008

Firing Randy Wittman and installing Kevin McHale as coach is most like which of the following scenarios?

1. Throwing lawn chairs off the deck of the Titanic.

2. Putting down hot wings and reaching for a mayo-burger.

3. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

4. Robbing the fans of the Timberwolves to pay the ego of the owner of the Timberwolves.

5. Not being able to decide between Ranch and Blue Cheese, so telling the waitress you want them "both on the side".

6. Just dumping them both on your salad anyway.

7. Dropping out of Brown College and taking online courses at Capella University.

8. Firing a dumb idiot coach who has no business whatsoever even pouring drinks at the Bulldog let alone coaching millionaires in a sport and replacing him with an animated corpse, one so fucking dumb and incompetent that he somehow replaced ISAIAH FUCKING THOMAS as the dumbest, most inept GM in all of sport, a man who traded the franchise away like he makes a cup of coffee, with a tremendous amount of fucking-up, a man who broke the only thing that was good about Basketball in Minnesota, and then assembled the most awful team he could, a man who should've been fired 6 years ago, when he ballsed up the Joe Smith signing, a man who is grossly incompetent, a bad coach, a horrible GM, a dumb human being, the bane of my existence and the reason that I don't even like the fucking sport of basketball anymore.


Happy guessing!

December 5, 2008

Liveblogging Wolves/Nets

I also will be checking in on the more important MAC Championship between Ball St. and Buffalo.

OK, here we go. Mike Miller is wearing a suit and tie I wore for band rehearsal in Jr. High. New uniforms, they look like warm-ups. Izod Center. Izod . . . the cheap polos? Announcers keep on saying "Yi" for some reason. Good courtside rows still available. Crowd only cares when Vince has the ball. Check that, good Izod Centers still available for this game. Oh god Lopez. Child still coaches the Nets. Vince might scored 90 this game. So, the Izod Center. Izod . . . where did you get the money? Or is this a sign of the times. Bombs away for the Nets. I have seen Al Jefferson play for 5 minutes and it is a shame he plays for the Wolves. He is better than that. Yi from 3, good. Yi for 3, good. Lopez. Whatever worked in college, not so much in the pros. McCants with the tatts. It is just Foye and Jefferson for Wolves offense, everyone else wants the game to be over. 31-17 end of the 1st. It is not that the Wolves are bad, they don't care (less Jefferson). The Nets are now playing "who can hit the longest 3?". With the score 34-17, announcer says, "Wolves have yet to find their equilibrium." Really? Jesus, just disband Wolves. Do everyone a favor. Oh Christ, there is a guy in a yellow suit, Monday night football style, selling tickets for Wolves games in a commercial. Priceless shot of Wittman with a face palm. Madsen dribbling. The Nets are losing interest.

They need to pick it up in the football game, you know?

Lopez will be a Wolve someday. He is destined. Another missed shot by Lopez, awkward player. Don Overbeck commercials are kind of cool. Yi from 3, good.

The first half is over and was very painful to watch. I will now watch this game while splitting time with MAC football and Mich./Michigan St. hockey. Again, very painful to watch the Wolves.

The Nets only try when the Wolves get within 7 or so. Yi from 3, good. Devin Harris isn't bad. 70-51 Nets. Announcer says, "Wolves are teetering right now". I'm out.

November 29, 2008

An Occurance In The Association

Consult your zodiacs for more information, but last night, two teams that I refuse to recognize as professional basketball organizations played each other in Okla-fucking-homa.

The game was as meaningless as the parties involved. Huzzah!

November 19, 2008

The Sideshow Grinds On

(I don't mean to double post for this blog today, but the Wolves did win, which can give some of you regulars a brief smile. But this has been brewing and I have to beat Dave to it)

I can write this in the grandstands, surrounded by eager audience members. They are all enjoying the entertainment in the center ring as they usually do. None of them know why I am here or what notes I'm taking. It's just that, as they stare at the lion and other acts in the ring...I'm looking off to the side. There's a show to the side, despite the little attention it draws. I wonder if anyone else is noticing this act. I'd say a snarky comment to someone near me, but it's fairly clear that they aren't looking at the sideshow. I fear I'll catch the eye of the sideshow's performers. We'll only lock eyes for a second - not even a moment - but that will do plenty. Much like the scene in The Warriors when the disco prom kids get on the train, our shared view of each other says more than a string of words ever could.

Fried foods and an overall toxic atmosphere surrounded your writer when I was at the circus the other night. It was during a rare miscue for the center ring. I brought up the sideshow, just to see what they'd say. Of course, they had NO thoughts. They aren't interested (and larger groups of people pretending to be interested) in anything else but the center ring.

The sideshow has been right there every year the circus has been in town. This decade, it's been right next to the center ring. It's closer by location though, not by talent. I often wonder if those in the sideshow feel any guilt. Perhaps there is a weather-beaten pride that exists that someone IS watching and that someone does care. This is a lonely feeling, I can only guess. They aren't getting paid in this circus to fail or to not entertain. Instead they are getting paid while poorly doing their job. And so, before the circus came to town this year fanfare was made - the "ringmaster" (something that deserves quotes for a sideshow if anything ever has) was removed from his duties. This hardly seems like the big solution, or the one thing preventing those in the sideshow to move to the center ring. (Or take it over, when you consider the owner of the sideshow is more concerned that you purchase a high rise condo in a nowhere neighborhood because there's "only 85 left!" and they're "priced to sell!")

Just watching failure makes anyone uncomfortable. It can be avoided: channel changed, eyes away or closed. It's selfish to say "I'm going to pay attention to the circus, maybe even go a few times, once it's good." But the center ring and the sideshow owe you nothing unless you have paid your own money to see the entertainment in person. Strange, isn't it, that I can find very little news about the sideshow. There's no travelling writer for the sideshow in the largest newspaper where this circus calls home. There is also no "blog" in this paper's website for the sideshow. As a matter of fact, the news of a stupendously unimpressive feat of strength in a barnstorming town received little fanfare. This newspaper printed an anonymous story from the Associated Press.

Whenever the weather gets colder (and we're told it will, eventually and for only a brief period) it is fair for this prognostication: the sideshow will remain a curio. It will be left to its own and ignored. Not out of shame, but indifference. Like that grocery store you visit because it's so odd, knowing full well they won't have what you need. I plan on giving sideshow reports from time to time. This will occur only so I shall remember that it exists at all.

The Timberwolves Are Leading At The Half

I think we all see where this is going.

November 14, 2008

“With The First Pick..."

In the 2008 Development League draft the Tulsa 66ers select: Chris Richard.”

Wow. Here's to a wonderful new "career."

Ouch. Didn't get into the first round the first time around, but he's #1 now.

November 8, 2008

Live Blogging Tonight's Wolves Game vs. Portland

1. The game begins.

2. The Wolves aren't losing by 20 at the half.

3. I'm very curious to see how the Wolves are going to balls this up.

4. Oh. There you go.

Two statements:

The list of Wolves players who can make a fucking shot is - Mike Miller and Mike Miller.

Kevin Love doesn't look like he's used to losing. Give it some time, Kev.

November 6, 2008

All Alone, No One To Be With, Stepped Off The D Train At 205th

I'm going to need a little Slick Rick and a whole lot of Gentleman J-Bomb to get me through another season of this garbage. I have completely lost my love of the NBA as an institution, barely hanging on to a slight enjoyment of even PLAYING basketball at this point. THANKS GLEN! I think it's the incompetence that was building my dislike of the Association, like some festering sore, a blooming stink-plant. And then of course it was Deadzo's Big Decision that iced it, it was like cutting the power on a small town... I wandered out into the dark streets and realized it was all just a lie, all of this light. I looked to the skies and saw all I needed to get by. Gone was the illusion, here forevermore was The Truth. The simple facts that the NBA was being run by men barely competent enough to pee into a urinal, let alone guide a franchise towards any sort of sustained success. Simmons has the pizza analogy (the idea that running a successful NBA franchise is like making a frozen pizza, a fairly simple concept, and yet most GMs just can't wait for the pizza to be done, so they pull it out while it's still cold, or they pull it out and eat it right away, not letting it cool properly, and they burn their mouth. Despite everyone telling them to simply be patient, add the cheese at this time, take it out and set it to cool, then slice it, then serve it, they all inevitably rush into stupidness and ruin a simple procedure), but I'll go one better. Most NBA GMs could fuck up a glass of ice water with ice. Their shit would come out Kool Aid.

Anyway, that's pretty much what did it for me. To this day I have still heard no justification that would ever make me think that trading KG was not a horribly stupid move. I'm still open to that discussion. But my emotion runs strong... I have inner dialogue on it, and you will never understand what I say to myself when the lights are out. Everyone seems to have accepted it, some sort of twisted Minnesotan version of passive anger, watching another star leave amidst lies and dumbness, and we go to preseason games to cheer Corey Brewer because he's like, good enough to be the 8th man, or something. It's all just a joke anyway. Before I watch a Wolves game, I'm checking to see if the Wild are on. Yeah. That's goddamned pathetic, I know. But there you are.

Still though, even a child could come in with observations for this year, and that's what I aim to do, soldier:


The Oklahoma Supersonics (we won't be referring to them by any other name this year) Are Dogshit Terrible, Like The Bobcats, But Unlike The Bobcats, They Have A Coach Who Is Both Good At Choking AND At Getting Choked

Does anyone see any hope for this wayward franchise? Are they trying to syphon thunder (ughhhhhhhhhhhhh) off of the Texas Triangle? Hey, Kevin Durant is a good scorer, except sometimes he goes 3-20, and that's when you think about stealing that franchise in the first place.

Improvement In The East, Except Not

Does adding AI put Detroit into the mix? Does Brand make the Sixers a contender? Do the Cavs have what it takes? Let me tell you something, when opposing teams go up against the Boston Celtics, they all seem to forget that the Celtics are run by a coach who puts on his shoes backwards in the morning. Yet somehow, every single team seems to play scared, and the Celtics run roughshod over all of them. Part of it is ghetto ball, and I of course give props to guys like Rondo for that, for he is a man who Knows No Set Plays. Which makes him perfect for Doc, because Doc can't call his voicemail, let alone a play. All of these developments in the East aren't going to matter until a team can go into the Fleet Bank Wachovia West America Bank Arena formerly known as The Garden and actually COMPETE with the Celtics. Until then, I see nothing in the way of a repeat.

Meanwhile In The West, Basketball Is Still Played Consistently Good

I'd be lying if I could tell you what to expect out of the West this year... the Spurs just had to go to double OT to take out the Lady Gophers, the Lakers look as tough as they ever had, and the Hornets came damn close to doing it last year. The Lesser Teams on the west coast have all gotten more ghetto, and the Rockets are supposedly all that. Then the Nugs go out and have themselves some, but they're still coached by Ronnie Roundbelly, so I wouldn't count on anything to develop there. Each team has a few flaws, but the level of play is pretty high, and there is quite a lot of proven talent out there. Which leads me to...

I Turned Down Free Timberwolves Tickets So I Could Go Home And Watch "Mannequin"

I look at this team, and honestly, I think they're worse than last year. At least last year, there were a bunch of hungry guys competing for playing time and a paycheck. So now they've jettisoned the extra pieces, and now everyone knows they're getting their touches, and there is NO REASON TO TRY AT ALL. The defense is a terrible joke, the kind that is told in mixed company, ends in a racial slur and uncomfortable silence. The coach is the worst coach in NBA history, just consult his record for confirmation of that. Sure, there's presence inside. But the draft was fucked up worse than a spilled cup of Maxwell House. And the wing players are only good at one element of the game, and deficient in all others. I'm not kidding about "Mannequin" either. It's got Andrew McCarthy in it. And I watched it rather than go to a Wolves game for free. And I was downtown at the time.

Stephon Marbury

I figure we should at least end this with a smile.

October 15, 2008

Eddy Curry = Fat.

At a time when the rolling laughter rumbling on about the New York Knickerbockers is at a recent low, Eddy Curry is still keeping the Isaiah Thomas Doctrine alive.
"One day after he busted an exercise ball in practice by sitting on it, Curry's lowlight last night was getting blocked on a driving dunk by Theo Ratliff."

First off, you're so fat you straight up broke an exercise ball. You didn't deflate it quickly - you broke it. And secondly, how high can't you jump to get blocked by someone with a negative vertical and who's an AARP member? He's really looking like he'll "fit" into Mike D'Antoni's system - but not as well as jelly donuts "fit" in his face.

October 6, 2008

10 x 8

It's not dimensions for an office.

It's not measurements for a piece of wood.

No, it's not 80.

It's the equation for bankruptcy: 10 kids by 8 moms equals Jason Caffey, how's your life?

October 3, 2008

Have You Seen....

The Denver Nuggets roster lately? I'm not sure if I can count the jailable offenses.

Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and JR Smith, have been there. Ruben Patterson and Chris Andersen are back. And they just traded for Jamaal Tinsley.

It's the Jailblazers all over again. We should come up with a name for them, in that vein.

How about The Fuggets - as in "fuck it, I'ma shoot 'im anyway!"

p.s. Juwan Howard is a Nugget too, although he hasn't been ghetto since his Fab 5 days. He's just a solid dose of failure.

September 3, 2008

The Thing About Rookie Orientation Is...

...You can't be like Josh Howard or like Marv Albert. Not while you're at orientation.

It costs you $20k plus.

Ouch, Mario. Ouch. You too Darrell

August 19, 2008

Of Course!

I know when I'm celebrating my birthday, I want this to happen.

Between this and the home robbery, Toine needs to keep better track of who he's rolling with.

August 7, 2008

It's Point GUARDS, Not Guns!!

Starting PG for your Los Angeles Clippers? That's Baron "Ghetto as fuck" Davis

Your newly signed backup? White Chocolate.

I...I...there aren't enough words...


I found this vid from what appears to be the Rookie/Sophomores game from that time period. First off, the announcers are a clown. But more importantly, notice some of the names. LaFrentz, Ratliff, Odom, Griffin. A lot of winners in that group.

August 4, 2008

Ron Artest Has Developed Ricky Henderson Syndrome

He's now referring to himself in the third person more than half the time.

Here's proof.

You think Houston's worried? I would be.

August 1, 2008

The OKC Vultures?

Boy, Uniwatch has done it again. Check out some of the low-tech submissions. Fan-tastic!

July 31, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes

The re-signing of Ryan Gomes leaves the Wolves with only one free agent left. 14 players down, one to go. After taking a look here to find out what kind of deals Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Ryan Gomes were signed to, I decided to look back to about this time last season to see exactly what had changed. It's pretty amazing really. Gone are the dead weight contracts of Mark Blount, Marko Jaric, and Troy Hudson. No more Gerald Green or Trenton Hassell either for that matter. There are signs that show the Wolves may - may - be able to avoid past mistakes. They went from T-Hud's 6-year $30 million to Bassy's 3-year $7.5 millon. From Marko's 6-year $66 million to Gomes's 2-year $7.3 million. That looks, to me anyways, like appropriate amounts of money thrown at appropriately talented players. I mean sure, Rhino got a 300% raise, but $2.3 million seems reasonable for a solid, backup power forward.

Now, I've been a Wolves fan for too long to really let the bubbles of hope that we've seen this offseason get me too excited. But it's hard not to think that this team may be starting to turn this thing back around. "Dave! You almost sound like you believe in Kevin Mchale!?" Don't make that mistake. I know who's in charge of this franchise, so there's no reason to think that all these moves will end up working out. But so far, we're looking a whole lot better now than we did a year ago.

July 30, 2008

I Actually Read This Today

"There are rumors that Montegranaro may sign Vin Baker in case Shawn Kemp doesn't join the team."

Again, this may belong in the failure blog, but seriously. Your choices are a fat, washed up alcoholic or a fat, washed up, coke addict?

Boy, must be slim pickins in Italy.

July 21, 2008

The Thunder

The Thunder?

The Oklahoma City Thunder?

That is an unprecedented strike-out in franchise naming history.

July 14, 2008

You asked, and we listened!

Hey sports fans! College basketball fans! CBS Sports here. You remember us - we've been here for years and shown you everything from the Ice Bowl to Super Bowl XIV to Brent Musburger calling college baseball.

Good to see you. Now, the reason I'm writing is one you've bugged me about for a long, long time. And because we want to stay your friend, we've done something just for you! We've let Billy Packer go. Now, ok...yes, you're welcome. I knew you'd be happy. Haha, yes! Ok, thank you. Can I explain...ok, let me explain and give some history to this.

New CBS Sports exec Terry O'Neill pushed for us to take the NCAA basketball tournament contact. It was up after the 1981 season, and he thought it was a good deal for the money. And it wasn't until an NBA game of ours was doubled by The Superstars and Wide World of Sports on ABC that his boss allegedly screamed: "That's it! I want those kids, those cheerleaders. I want some fucking lung power!" Well, that's what he got. And nearly immediately it paid off for us. Now, we already had some basketball announcers, as you saw we had the NBA contract. But no one was watching junkies play (except those who know). So we wanted to see who was available. Billy was on NBC and we thought he would give good analysis. And at the start he did.

Lest we forget...yes, you've still been let go Billy. Let me finish. That was a long time ago. And by the mid-90s Billy was getting more and more bitter. It was less analysis and more opinion. In fact, I remember the last time Billy just said what was happening without his personal attitude: it was 2001, where the refs were calling the game so much for Duke (with fans a championship game no less!) he even said that it was happening. Jim "Milquetoast" Nantz wasn't too happy with that boat-rocking. Why do I remember that? I guess I should have thought of that sooner. Had I realized it had been so long he would have been let go a while ago. And my lawyers have told me I am not allowed to respond to his comments such as "since when do we let women control who gets into a mens basketball game?" or such personal comments as "This might not surprise you, but I've never really been a sports fan."

He's gone. He'll be replaced with someone who uses words like "spurtability." Now, wait a minute, hold on. If I put Kevin Harlan with John Thompson and Bill Raftery (as we did on CBS Radio) that means Bill and Verne "Early Times" Lundquist would no longer be a pair. Ah, I knew you'd see it our way. Or at least until next April.

So, remember, we're still your friends here. You didn't want him - you won't get him! Unless another channel picks him up. Then don't blame us is Musburger, hungover from another rowdy drinking night in East Lansing (what other kind of night is there in that town?) is paired with him. The door is to your right, Billy. Your relevancy was well past its prime. And hey, let's not say goodbye, let's say "so long."

July 10, 2008

2009 NBA Draft And Beyond

I know, I know. The 2008 NBA Draft just ended. had a decent article explaining the situation with all the draft picks that have been involved in various trades over the past few seasons and I thought this would be a good place to put that info.

Then I looked at and saw who they have us selecting in the mock draft...

I suggest reading some of the comments on that video as well. Wow.

Big Al?

I hop off the bus home from work, wander into the apartment, and prepare to go running. Out the door, down the block, and towards lake Harriet. I hit the path running and who do I see?

Al Jefferson, dragging either his trainer or a security guy around the lake. On second thought, the guy looked like Carl Winslow, so it's doubtful he was a trainer. Big Al on the otherhand, for all the flack he takes for not being an athlete, he looked pretty damn ripped. Especially for the offseason. Nice to see him in town working for next season. Gives me a little more hope.

On a side note, Al is listed at 6'10" - only an inch shorter than KG. If Big Al is indeed 6'10" - which I believe he is - then KG has got to be 7'1" atleast. Seriously.

July 9, 2008

As God as My Witness...

...I sit here typing a full-on Clippers update with all this shit going down, and then Jim Timmons does it first and better (if lacking the emotion of a fan). It could be worse - I could be Bill Plaschke. Or Hulk Hogan, trying to explain basketball to...oh, anyone.

Me? Well, I adjust the shades and continue cleaning out the cobwebs in California Gold.

Half Mast

Boy, it sure is tough to be the Clippers these days, huh? First, the face of your franchise decides to opt out of his ginormous contract, then you pull a coup and ink another big time, surprise, free agent. With word on the street that you’ve been able to retain your man as well, you settle in to accept the praise – and suspicion - from your contemporaries. Life is grand. But that’s when it all goes wrong. Two other teams swoop in and throw MORE generous offers at the face of your franchise and instead of the thank-you-but-no-thank-you response you expect him to give, he simply says “hmmm...

Oh shit. Then he’s gone.

To top it off, he takes a contract deal that is perverbial pennies more with another team. In the mean time your other big free agent has signed an agreement elsewhere because you weren’t going to have the money to sign him assuming everything went as planned. Then reports surface questioning your new free agents desire to join as well.

So now what? I guess we could sing about it.

Based on the consistently bad luck/karma of Donald Sterling, I can only assume that Baron Davis will back out of his arrangement and sign with a contender for the midlevel exception and all other free agent offers will be met with either silence or matched by another team. The rest of their team is pretty bad. Not untalented, just not good. Cuttino Mobley hasn’t been an NBA-calibur player in 5 years. Chris Kaman has the attention span and focus of a puppy on coke. Eric Gordon is a rookie. The only “shining light” they have for next season is Al Thornton, and he played college ball at Florida State. Home attendence could suck next season.

In one fell swoop, the Clippers may lose two big-time free agents and screw up signing their first All-Star caliber point guard since Mark Jackson left a decade-and-a-half ago. It may not end up that way. Maybe Baron will sign and they can sign Josh Smith away from Atlanta. But this is the Clippers we’re talking about, so I have a hard time believing anything other than worst case scenario. Of course if they had suceeded in re-signing Elton Brand he probably would've ended up like Shaun Livingston.

Just glad we could help.

July 2, 2008

Probably Belongs In The Failure Blog But...

Just read this.

I wonder if this really is just a "mistake" or if his Memphis roots will finally start to show?

Not the way to start your NBA career Mr. Rose.

Oops, I Did It Again...

I’ve discussed McFail’s trade history on this blog before, but I feel like it deserves a quick peek before going into what’s out there as far as trades this off season.

For the most part the trades that the Wolves Braintrust have made usually don’t work out, at least right off the bat. Sure, Donyell Marshall for Tom Gugliotta was a solid trade that immediately paid dividends, but it usually takes another deal to really make that deal count for something (turning down the Googs for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell deal still hurts though). Take the Ray Allen-for-Stephon Marbury swap. It was pretty good for a couple years. It resulted in the first trip to the playoffs and first 50-win season in franchise history. Then Steph turned into Starbury and became the crazy psycho he is today. Well, then we turned Starbury into Terrell Brandon and had a solid point guard for two and a half seasons until his wheel broke, then we were stuck with MWII – that’s Michael Williams II if you didn’t catch it. But we’re not done yet. We then turned TBEC – that’s Terrell Brandon’s Expiring Contract – into Latrell Sprewell. That, with some other help, got the Wolves into the Western Conference Finals in 2004. Not bad really. Ray Allen netted us the players that got us into the playoffs for the first time and, eventually, a trip to the Conference Finals. It took nearly a decade to happen, but it happened. So trading Ray Allen was a good thing?

Now another deal is trying to make its way into that company.

Boy, remember that Joe Smith contract? Yeah, that was special, especially since we just signed him to it a year later anyways - $11 million a year, for that slug? Seems excessive for a guy who’s career is based on taking charges. So in 2003 we sent him, along with Anthony Peeler, to the Bucks for Ervin Johnson and Sam Cassell (who we almost acquired when we traded for TB). That, along with the “Ray Allen Trade” put us in the Conference Finals as we discussed above. Then, once again, the Wolves point guard situation devolved into a psychological nightmare and we shipped two s’s and two l’s to the Clip ship for MJ. No, not that one. For Marko Jaric.

A couple of seasons later, after returning to a life of futility, we decided to turn Walter Robert Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi, into Ricky Davis and Mark Blount with the hopes that they may change our fortunes. Not so much. After further burrowing into a world of hurt, the unthinkable happened (not going to mention it now), which nearly emptied the state of fans. Six months later we tricked Miami into taking out some of our trash. Buckets and Blount were kicked out of town, and Antoine Walker arrived, ready to contribute to a young and supposedly budding team. Aw, but then he spent the vast majority of the season whining about not playing and warming seats on the end of the bench. On a positive note though, the suits he wore made him look less fat than the jersey did.

Four years of keeping Marko confused and a half season of making Toine pout led us to the second worst record in the NBA (behind Miami, funny enough) and the third pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. As we know, OJ Mayo was a member of the Wolves for about 2 hours longer than Ray Allen was. Four straight seasons without a playoff appearance finally put us in a position to “complete” the “Joe Smith Trade” and the “Walter Szczerbiak Trade.” Marko, Toine, and OJ were exchanged for Mike Miller and Kevin Love. So basically we traded Wally World and Joe Smith for Mike Miller and Kevin Love (I figure OJ is part of Joe because of all the draft picks he cost us). That doesn’t sound that bad. Of course, what we don’t know is if this is the final stop for this trade or if the positives of this trade will be realized in a later deal.

With that said, let’s move onto what other deals we could start this off season.

Our needs in the trade market are pretty much identical to our needs in free agency. We need a point guard, a shooting guard, and possibly a bigger big.

There are a ton of players that have been mentioned in various trade rumors, or have said to be available. Joe Dumars ranted about his entire roster being available except for Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell but we don’t have the pieces or cap room to get anything of value from them, namely Tayshaun Prince or Chauncey Billups. Not that I’d necessarily want either player’s contract. Marcus Camby and Kirk Hinrich have been mentioned a lot, although word is that they may be dealt for each other. Hinrich to Golden State for Al Harrington has been mentioned in the wake of Baron Davis’ jump to the Clip ship. Now that Corey Maggette opted out he could be had in a sign-and-trade, but there are far more attractive teams for him to join. Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa have both been tagged as available, although they’re expensive and we don’t have an experienced point guard to send the Suns, which they’re seeking.

There are also a handful of players who are available whom I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Jamaal Tinsley and Shawne Williams are supposedly being shopped by Indiana. Unless you’re having a weed smoking or cap peeling contest you have nothing to gain by acquiring either of those “gentlemen.” Charlie Bell and Nate Robinson only pretend to be point guards, while Ron Artest is Ron Artest. All I can say is I pray that McHale doesn’t view any of those guys like he did Ricky Davis or Darrick Martin.

So that leaves us with a group of players that have been mentioned in other trades, or have been made “publicly” available, that may hold some value for our franchise.

Raymond Felton PG Charlotte Bobcats
He’s a pretty good player and, although a little short, he’s strong and quick. He can definitely play both ends of the floor. After drafting D.J. Augustin, word is that the Bobcats patience has worn thin with Felton and that they might be looking to move him. Of course he seems to be mentioned almost every year, so who knows how much of a reality his availability is. A future first rounder (or a number of second-rounders) and some trash may net us a starting-calibur point guard.

Luke Ridnour and Kyle Lowry have also been named in a number of trade rumors. Seattle has a bit of a point guard controversy between Ridnour and Earl Watson, with Watson being the winner last year. Before the Sonics traded Delonte West, Ridnour was battling him for third place in the pecking order. Although the Sonics seem to have settled on Watson as their starter, a recent thumb injury may dictate what they do about Ridnour. Kyle Lowry has been on the block since before the Pau Gasol trade and the talk has done nothing but heat up since they acquired Javaris Crittenton and Marko. He’s not necessarily starting quality now, but he could develop into a part-time starter or solid backup. It doesn’t hurt that he and Randy Foye played well together at Villanova.

Ronnie Brewer SG Utah Jazz
Ronnie burst onto the scene a year ago as a solid scorer, starting 76 games for the Jazz last season. He’s a 6’7” slasher who could be a Sprewell-style compliment to Mike Miller’s dead-eye shooting. Brewer averaged 12 points per game while playing just under 30 minutes a night. Utah has recently shown interest in Ryan Gomes so there could be some talks between the Jazz and the Wolves. Hopefully his name gets mentioned.

J.J. Redick (for good measure) and Damien Wilkins have spent the better part of the past year complaining about their lack of playing time while being relatively unproductive when they did see action. That being said, both have some talent and a change of scenery could be what the doctor ordered. Redick would be a little redundant with Mike Miller in the mix but then again, you can never have too many great shooters. With new star Kevin Durant taking up time at shooting guard for the Sonics and the fact that the contract Wilkins is under right now was the one the Wolves offered three years ago, there may be enough mutual interest to get conversations going.

Obviously I don’t have any idea what’s going to happen, but the way the roster is built right now, something definitely needs to happen if the Wolves expect to compete at all next season.

Also, in case you forgot.

July 1, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

This is what the roster looks like right now. I listed the starters as I would have them start – which means very little compared to what might actually happen.

G Randy Foye
G Rashad McCants
F Mike Miller
F Kevin Love
C Al Jefferson

F Corey Brewer
F Brian Cardinal (Potsy, this is for you. It's spelled H-E-R-O)
F Mark Madsen
C Jason Collins
F Ryan Gomes*
F Craig Smith*
C Chris Richard*

* denotes restricted free agents to whom the Wolves have extended the qualifying offer.

As it stands now, there are a total of three players who could actually play the guard position – Mike Miller could be the 6th man if Wittless wanted to start Ryan Gomes at the 3 instead. They didn’t extend the qualifying offer to Sebastian Telfair or Kirk Snyder, although it sounds like they’re still trying to work out a deal with Telfair. Clearly this roster went from overloaded with wing players to overloaded with post players – most of whom are undersized at that. That means there needs to be more happening, either via trade or free agency.

Who’s out there? (Free agents)

There are a few point guards out there that could be of interest, although I’m not sure the Wolves have the means to sign them. Obviously I’d love to have Boom Dizzle but with only the mid-level exception available and no real tradable assets left, he’s not really available to us. Chris Duhon and Beno Udrih (why did we dump him again?) are both unrestricted free agents but they may end up being a bit expensive, costing most, if not all of, the mid-level. I don’t know how I feel about spending that much money on a career backup – think Troy Hudson. Carlos Arroyo could also fill a void with his ability to play both guard positions, but my faith in the Wolves ability to get much out of foreign players is very, very low. Juan Dixon is also available in a pinch. At this point, when it comes to free agents, resigning Bassy may be the best available option, assuming they can get him inked to a reasonable deal – say 2 years, $6 million, with a player/team option for a third or fourth year. It gives him a chance to get out if his value goes up and the Wolves a reasonable contract if he bottoms out.

As far as two-guards there are also a few out there who may be more easily acquired. Boston didn’t make the qualifying offer to Tony Allen, a very athletic swing man who can play defense as well as get into trouble. James Jones, a good shooter and streaky scorer ala Anthony Peeler, is unrestricted. Quintin Ross is a 6-6 guard who has given the Wolves fits on the defensive end and has shown he can shoot a little bit. Antoine Wright, from Dallas could be a good option here, although I don’t think the Mavs will let him get away cheap enough for us. Kareem Rush is also available, although who knows how much he’s got left in the tank – he plays old. Casey Jacobsen could be had on the cheap too, but he’s not Fred Hoiberg. Of course, as I’ve stated previously, I’d really like to see the Wolves resign Kirk Snyder, who played very well towards the end of the year for us. He’s athletic, can play a little defense, and has shown flashes of talent on the offensive end. Snyder would be a low risk/high reward type player who could fill a starting guard spot or offer some experience off the bench.

We don’t really need a small forward at the moment, although Corey Brewer’s off season growth – or lack thereof – may change that. Also, if Gomes gets an offer we don’t want to match that would also open up some minutes at the 3. Clearly we’re not going to end up with Corey Maggette but there are a few other options out there. The Warriors have Mickeal Pietrus and Matt Barnes although I don’t really like either of them – or think we could realistically afford them. I’d really like to have Carlos Delfino, but he’ll be too expensive for sure. Jarvis Hayes could be a good option, although he’ll be too expensive for us. So really, our best bet here would be to make sure we resign Ryan Gomes and pray Brewer found something resembling a jumper this off season.

As far as bigs go, we don’t really have much need, although depending on trades, there may be some that arise. I hate to mention his name here but depending on how low league execs are on him, Kwame Brown** may be cheap enough to qualify as a risk worth taking. As they like to say “you can’t teach size,” and Kwame is a big dude. He’s still young and maybe with another change of scenery he could develop into a poor mans Tyson Chandler. Doubtful, but maybe worth the risk at the right price. Jamaal Magloire is out there as well but he’s probably got his eyes on a contender, that and he’s had effort issues in the past as well. It would be nice to get another big who’s a little taller than our glut of 6’8” F/C. Earl Barron could be an option. He’s a 7-foot, 245lb monster who played fairly well for Miami last year.
**(reminded me of Michael Olowokandi)

Next Up: What mistakes can we make? (trades)

June 28, 2008

I Wish The Pro Basketball Team In The City I Live In Was As Smart As Other Pro Basketball Teams In Other Cities

It has happened again, as we thought it would, as we prayed it wouldn't, and as we knew it should. Kevin McHale horsed the team over once again, and this time I'm not drinking the Kool Aid. Every single move that Deadzo makes should be seen as negative, until proven otherwise. This is the United States, not Russia.

In a long list of terrible, backward-thinking moves, this one is the latest and greatest, and will no doubt take a few years to "correct", by which time hopefully every good player has left the organization and they have to start their next "3 year plan". I have watched the Timberwolves for a very long time, and there have been only 2... TWO times that they have gotten "better" as an organization before my eyes: Drafting KG, and the Sam and Spree year. These were the only two times that I ever noticed improvement in the way the team was run and the conduct on and off the court by the players and staff. Every single other season, we've seen regression. Don't believe me? The Wolves drafted KG, then Stephon (I'll lump him in with KG, being that they came so close together) and all of a sudden the Wolves were in the playoffs. But they were getting bounced in the first round. EVERY YEAR. Then Stephon left. They still got bounced from the first round. Chauncey came and went. Bounced. Rasho. Bounced. Troy, Wally, Googs, TB. Bounced, bounced, bounced. After 7 years, they had not improved at all. If anything, they had wasted that time of KG's career. The obvious improvement came in the Spree and Sam year, when they also landed The Mayor and Mad-Dog, and the rag-tag bunch went all the way to the Conference Finals. Now, that season was magical. Number one seed? Hell yeah. KG 4 MVP? Yes and Yes.

(long pause...................)

Of course we've seen how it's played out since then. Every single move, every single transaction, has been negative. They have regressed to being back to the absolute bottom of the barrel (I maintain that they were EXTREMELY lucky to win as many games as they did last year... they have virtually no talent, no effort, and a terrible coach... they should have lost 70 games), and now they dig themselves even further.

I suppose we should get into the nuts and bolts of this thing...

Having the number 3 pick in the draft is pretty special. It doesn't happen all the time. It means your number was actually drawn in the lottery, not just taking what position had been given to you, but actually, technically, winning something. That's pretty good.

If you turned on the TV or paid any attention at all to anyone who even said the word "draft" in the past two months, you would know the following to be true: There was no debate on who the top 2 players would be, only the order they would be drafted in, and the third best player in the draft was OJ Mayo. These things were not just agreed upon, they were assumed as gospel. When McHale talked about Kevin Love, it was like he was daring someone to put a hit out on him. He was truly making like Donald Rumsfeld, just pissing right into your face and daring you to do something. But everyone knew that you couldn't possibly draft Love at #3, that would be ridiculous.

Only the Wolves, REPEAT, ONLY THE WOLVES, could take the #3 pick and turn it into the #5 pick.

The other pieces swapped in this trade are a joke. There has been talk about "getting out from under" Marko's contract. Who fucking signed that? And Antoine Walker? Oh, so now he's a malcontent who brought the team down? YEAH NO SHIT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IT'S WRITTEN IN MARKER ON HIS DUFFEL BAG. WHY DID YOU TRADE FOR HIM? Could it possibly have been the fact that his HUGE FUCKING ENORMOUS CONTRACT COMES OFF THE BOOKS THIS YEAR AND HE WOULD BE A VERY VALUABLE PIECE IN A TRADE AT THE DEADLINE TO A TEAM WANTING TO REBUILD FOR THE FUTURE??????????? COULD THAT BE IT???????????

I'm sorry to shout like this. You see what happens when I start to think about Deadzo.

Ok, if I calm down a little, I can respect getting a guy like Mike Miller, who is as consistent as Fred was, if not as good of a basketball player. Brian Cardinal is absolute garbage, with an extra year on his contract. Jason Collins is a career loser, who can't score the basketball. In short, besides Miller, the other guys the Wolves got in this trade are perfect for your Failure Fantasy team.

But I suppose it all makes sense, because Deadzo "rid himself of the bad contracts". Don't believe the hype. Marko didn't make max money, he could've sat on the bench while the other real live NBA players performed on the court. You didn't have to absolutely dump him right then. Hey, I hate his face as much as anyone, and lord knows Wittless can't help himself when he's on the bench and crying, but you don't need to trade a bad contract for a bad contract. Good franchises eat their mistakes, and make up for them by doing other good things. Not overreacting like a dumb child and trading shit for shit. "Hey, Blount is just as bad as Kandi, let's make a swap so that I can continue to decompose! Sure, throw Ricky in for Wally!!!!!!! Why the hell not!!!!" And Walker, as discussed, was a pretty large asset that could've, nay SHOULD'VE been moved by himself, to a team looking to make a fresh start next year. They would've given up something a lot better than Brian Goddamned Cardinal.

And then there's the issue of Mayo for Love.

I happen to think that OJ Mayo is a preening prick-ass who will likely fall apart and settle in being a poor-man's Vince Carter, all offense and nothing else. He has never had a strong coach in his life, and now he's in the NBA, where coaches are as strong as the refs. Whatever team he ends up on (because Christ knows it's not going to be Memphis for longer than 4 years) will cater to him as this giant star and he will drag them down with his spotty effort (Oh please let it be the Knicks!). HOWEVER. He is a legitimate offensive threat, something that Wolves lack entirely. He demands attention, right now, even as a rookie. That sure would make things on a struggling offense run a bit less stressful, wouldn't it? We thought McCants would provide that. Wrong. McCAN'TANDWON'TTRY. Mayo would at least create his own offense, which would possibly free up others to do other things... assuming that Wittless doesn't tell them to run into each other and fall down because it would amuse him.

The underlying aspect in all of this, the thing that nobody wants to say or talk about, is of course, race, but I don't want to pull that card out right now. It's too much to get into, so let's just make like the last 200 years and pretend it doesn't exist.

The TRUE underlying aspect is that the Wolves traded a guy who was a legitimate #3 pick in the draft for a guy who was the #5 pick. You and everyone you know can sit here all day and try to make that make sense. It won't.

It's all justification, all blame transfer and heading off possible criticism, and we've all bought into it, instead of just calling McHale what he truly is. A loser. A goddamned loser who has made enough good moves in his tenure as GM to count on two fingers. And he's made enough mistakes to keep the Target Center at half capacity for the next decade.

I'm glad. Because I don't like this team anymore. And I don't like KG, or Boston, or any of it. I don't like basketball as much as I used to. It's his fault. I want him to go away.

Sorry, but inevitably, every post is going to end this way.

June 27, 2008

The Draft is Done, But Are The Wolves?

The Deal

Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, and Greg Buckner


Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins

Frankly, I'm a pretty big fan of this deal so far. While I like OJ Mayo's potential more than I like Kevin Love's, I like the combo of Love's potential, Mike Miller's skills, and the loss of Marko's contract more than Mayo's potential. That and is OJ Mayo really going to want to stay in Minnesota long-term? No, not a chance. He's been pimped since he was in 7th grade, played college ball at USC in media-frenzied Los Angeles, and just signed a four-year deal with Nike. He's not a midwest personality. Kevin Love and Mike Miller are. Brian Cardinal is an overpaid combination of Mark Madsen and Pat Garrity in almost every sense of the combo. He shoots the three and makes up for his lack of skill with aggressive, high energy play. I would guess he's not a good dancer either.

The Rest of the Draft

Marion Chalmers for two future second-round picks and cash.

This doesn't make any sense to me. We need a point guard, we draft a point guard, but we don't keep the point guard? He's better than anything else we have on our roster (no, Randy is not a point guard). Seems silly to me.

#31 Nikola Pekovic

Why? Have we not learned that we do not have the ability to appropriately judge foreing talent? Two names: Igor Rakocevic. Stoiko Vrankovic. Enough said. This pick is especially bothersome because CDR and Bill Walker were both on the board. We could use a scoring guard as an additional excuse to rid our backcourt of a stiff (more on that below). I've seen footage of Pekovic. He's slow, lumbering, and doesn't look very athletic. I don't get paid to scout players, but even I can tell when a guy is going to be a total slouch (see: Felton Spencer).

Overall I can't complain about this years draft too much. I feel much more comfortable at this point this season than I have in either of the last four drafts. We have an actuall small forward - the first since Spree. We've got a very solid tandem up front even if they're a little undersized. Collins will provide depth (read: fouls) against teams that are giant up front and Cardinal could prove to be an asset off the bench because he plays hard and can shoot the ball - not holding my breath though. The skeptic in me is waiting for the perverbial "other shoe" to drop - Kevin Love is a crackhead or Mike Miller is broken.

A Couple Extras

I'd really like to see the Wolves re-sign Kirk Snyder. He's big, he's athletic, and he can play a little defense.

If you're going to give Corey Brewer more minutes and probably re-sign Craig Smith, it's hard to see where there are enough minutes to keep Ryan Gomes happy, which is sad to me. If I had my choice, I'd keep Gomes and let Smith go. He can play both the SF and PF, can score a little, shoot, rebound, and defend some too. Gomes would give the Wolves more flexibility off the bench, if that's a role he'd be willing to accept.

I would also like to see the Wolves rid themselves of Rashad McCants, although I don't know how likely that is since everyone knows what kind of player he is.

June 26, 2008

Coffee Beans. Everywhere.

No, Michael Beasely isn't going to drop into our lap.

Yes, O.J. Mayo is more talented than any wing player currently on our roster.

Yes, Brook Lopez is second coming of Felton Longley Grant

No, the automatic coffee maker isn't working.


This draft is one that's ripe with the potential to fail. Our team just won't be able to get this one right. There isn't one chance in a million they make the correct decision. Not one.

Now, before you start throwing rocks with Wolves logos on them, let me explain the extreme negativity. I'm trying to take the Sports Guy Angle on this draft - the reverse jinx if you will. I want nothing more than for this franchise to fall ass-backwards into the best player they can. I want them to steal another gem out of the draft a la Kevin Garnett. Unfortunately, I believe the best case scenario is that they draft the next Len Bias. They need some draft sympathy points from David Stern's office - they did orchestrate the perfect NBA Finals so maybe they could ensure that the Wolves land the next sure thing in a future draft.

They really like Love, but not at #3. They're not totally sold on Mayo, not to mention the glut of wing players already on the rosters. Brook Lopez, who's slipping down the draft board, sounds like Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. No, seriously, he really does.

It places the ball in the basket...


An option that I could get behind would be swapping picks with the Clippers(#7), take Kevin Love, and get Al Thornton out of the deal as well. This would give us two very complimentary bigs in Love and Jefferson plus it would fill a glaring need at the small forward position. If we could throw McCants into the deal I would be an even bigger fan.

June 24, 2008

Even the Strib is having fun

McHale not sure if Wolves will keep pick or trade it

Do read the comments.

Also, I noticed in the article a gentleman by the name of Longar Longar. Played his senior year at Rochester John Marshall. That is right here in MN if you didn't know. Consensus top 75 national player out of high school. That would have been nice to have.

June 18, 2008

What's Up With KG?

Was it just me, or did he sound like a total retard last night? I mean, I realize how much winning means to him, but what was with the babbling beginning to the Tafoya interview? And yelling 'Anything is possible' and giving shout out to cities? It was kind of embarassing.

Don't get me wrong I love KG. I love the fact that the first shout out he gave was 'Sota and NOT Boston. I'm glad that he got what he's always wanted and that he is indeed on 'top of the world' as he so vehemently put it. He just sounded like kind of a moron, which is not normally how KG and his extreme emotions come off.

Anyways, enough with the negativity.

Congrats KG, welcome to history son, welcome to history.

June 17, 2008

No, see, he already does have a ring . . . I mean two

I was sitting at a bar watching Game 5 with a friend of mine. We were talking about how it would only be correct if KG won a Ring. I then said,

"I guess Sam, too."

I was quickly corrected and told Sam I Am already is a champion.

"Yeah, with the Rockets."
" . . . Jesus, I guess he did win one."
"No, two."


June 5, 2008

NBA Officials

They're already "setting the tone" in the Finals by getting in the way. They've been terrible the entire playoffs and are continuing to hamper the game with their inability to make the correct call at the correct time.

David Stern needs to look at the officiating crews this offseason and figure something out for the playoffs next year because it's been almost unwatchable this season.

Coffee On My Mind

In a perfect world, trades and drafts are easy to do. Of course, in reality, they’re extremely difficult to pull off. In the vacuum of a perfect world, this is what I try to do as the Wolves GM.

Step 1: Movin on up, err down.

Marko, McCants, #3, #31, #34 to New Jersey for: Richard Jefferson, #10, #21.

We dump Marko
He whines, he complains, he still thinks he’s a PG
We dump Buckets 2.0
He can shoot, but that’s about all he cares about
We turn two second round picks into another first round pick
We’ve got a lot of 2nd round picks signed from the past couple years, so the available roster spots are somewhat of a concern.
We get a proven NBA player with star ability and marketability
Jefferson can get his own shot, shoot the three, and isn’t a complete liability on defense. That and any way we can use the show The Jefferson’s to market this franchise is a good thing. Moooovin’ on up!
We take care of a glaring need
RJ gives us a true SF so we don’t have to rely on Brewer to play a ton of minutes

We take on a bigger contract
Instead of 3 years 21 million, it’s 3 years 42 million
We take on an injury concern
Jefferson suffered a pretty severe ankle injury that took him a year and a half to come back to 100% from. When it comes to feet and ankles, all I think about is Terrell Brandon and Michael Williams.
We give up a really high draft pick
#3 is a guaranteed star, #10 may not be.

Where does that leave us?

Well, for starters….

G Foye
F Jefferson
F Jefferson

So we still need a C and either a PG or a SG. Okay, so let’s move on.

Step 2: The Draft

#10 options

D.J. Augustin - he’s a true, pass first PG. He’s small, but makes up for that with his quickness. He’s like a more controlled, slightly slower, version of TJ Ford. He’s a good leader and a solid character. Oh, and he beat cancer, so both of our starting guards will have overcome something physical.

Brook Lopez - Word is, he’s slipping down the draft, which may make it more paletable for us fans if the braintrust loves him as much as everyone thinks. He’s a true NBA-ready body who can score in the post and step out and hit some mid-range jumpers. He’s an underachiever on the glass but an underrated defender.

DeAndre Jordan – He’s big, strong, and physically gifted. He’s a true center and, when he wants to, can rebound and play defense with anyone. But that’s the question mark with him – will he work hard all the time? Tough to say, but at #10, he may be worth the risk.

Chase Budinger – He’s an Arizona grad in the mold of Luke Walton. He can score, he can pass, he can shoot, he can rebound. He doesn’t do anything spectacularly, but he’s a fairly skilled all around player. He is seen as a defensive liability, but so is every rookie 2-guard coming into the NBA. He also has a tendency to disappear for stretches in games, which could be a concern. He’s a prototypical NBA SG though. 10 might be a stretch, but he’d make up for Foye’s lack of size in the backcourt.

#21 options

Ty Lawson – He’s regarded as the #2 PG available in the draft. He’s a proven floor leader who knows how to run a team. He can score and has the ability to take over games and would be a good fit for the system the Wolves claim they’re trying to run. He’s also a little undersized and he’s not as quick as Augustin, but he’s crafty in the mold of Sam Cassell, just without the killer mid-range game. Yet.

Chris Douglas-Roberts – He can score. It’s not always pretty or conventional, but he knows how to put the ball in the basket. He likes to go to the basket and gets to the free throw line, something the Wolves have ALWAYS lacked. He’d be a nice fit next to Foye if they didn’t draft Augustin with #10, and he’d be a great 6th man if they did.

Brandon Rush – He’s probably one of my favorite players in the draft. He’s a long 2-guard who can shoot, slash, and defend. Sound like someone else in recent Wolves lore? Think Latrell Sprewell, just not crazy. He’s not as developed offensively as Spree was, but he’s got the potential to be a very similar player. If he hadn’t had the knee injury he’d probably be a top-10 pick.

Robin Lopez – Yes, I’m sad to include BOTH the Lopez twins in this post, but it’s unavoidable. Unlike his brother, Robin has been rumored to be moving up the draft boards. He’s the defensive, hustle version of Brook. He’s a very active defender, with a true NBA body, and he can rebound. The guy he’s mostly compared to is Anderson Varajao from Clevelend. He’s even got the hair.

What I Would Do:

I’d grab Lopez if he’s still there, otherwise I’d take Augustin at #10. I put Lopez ahead of Augustin only because quality bigs are hard to come by in free agency and there’s still an outside shot the Wolves bring back Bassy. I would then take Rush with #21 if he’s still there. CDR if he’s not. Ty Lawson if CDR’s not.

Here’s what we’d be left with.

PG Randy Foye
SG Brandon Rush
SF Richard Jefferson
PF Al Jefferson
C Brook Lopez

The bench is a total crap shoot at this point, what with all the free agents we’ve got outstanding. Corey Brewer, Mark Madsen, and Greg Buckner are the only guys with contracts. Kirk Snyder and Sebastian Telfair both have the option of taking a qualifying offer from the Wolves but Gomes, Smith, and Richard are all restricted free agents.

Clearly I’m just a blog-rube with an annoying tendency to overanalyze these things, but that’s why you keep reading, right? Good luck, and enjoy watching the Braintrust drowns in coffee beans up to, and after, June 26

June 4, 2008

I Ain't Got Nothin' On My Mind, But Gettin' In Some Trouble

The firing of another coach reminds me just how short-sighted the NBA can be, but it also provides me an opportunity to look back upon one career defined by failure to get over the hump, and situations where-in coaching changes are actually warranted, even in successful environments.

And I suppose there will be 2pac lyrics, too.

"They call my name out and niggaz run / Best prepare for the outlaws, here we come"

We'll start with the firing of Flip, the league's best proponent of the motion offense. His style of coaching always seemed a bit more cerebral to me than most coaches (which explains why guys like Kandi would often look out of place). In so many words, Flip's offense moved the ball. The passing was paramount, and everyone on the floor needed to be able to identify and execute "shows" (my word, not Flip's, meaning someone popping out looking for a pass). Over the Wolves years, nobody ever did it better than KG, but there were other examples of players who seemed to play well within that system. The list is long - Marc Jackson, Oliver Miller, Big Swerve, Spree, Sam, Chauncey, Rasho, Fred Hoiberg, etc. These are all guys who passed well, and had good court intelligence when it came to moving the ball. To simplify this even more, they complete antithesis of this system is Stockton-Malone, or Wade-Shaq. Flip's style got all 5 guys playing different roles, moving the rock inside and out, and never passing up an open teammate. Most of the guys on that list above raised their games when they played for the Wolves... it seemed as though certain strengths that they had were accentuated by the Flipster. And, finally, it was within that system of offense that KG developed his game, one that is endlessly derided as being "unclutch" and "unselfish". He never learned to score in large numbers. Flip's system does not allow for that kind of thing.

"My homey slipped and now he paid the price, he did a drive-by"

As we all know, Flip went to the playoffs 7 straight years. And 7 of those times his team lost in the first round. Then Glen Failor and Deadzo walked ass backwards into the following set of circumstances:

1. Sam Cassell was absolutely hated in Milwaukee, both by fans and by his coach, who is overweight. They were ready to trade him for a Grainbelt T-shirt.

2. Latrell Sprewell was getting to be the epitome of "ghetto" in New York, and Terrell Brandon's huge contract was going to expire. Dumbo Dolan called McHale to initiate this one.

3. Fred Hoiberg decided he wanted to play basketball in an area that had good schools.

4. Mark Madsen wanted to sign with a team that would pay him to play basketball.

And so Owner and Mini-Owner found themselves a winner. We went hard into the Lakers in the West Finals, but Sam's back was broken and Shaq was quite fat, and we had to settle for being the 4th best team in the NBA that year.

The next year, Deadzo fired Flip because Sam and Spree stopped trying. It made perfect sense.

Flip caught on with Detroit and let them to 3 straight conference finals appearances, but no championships to show for it. He was shown the door by Joe Dumars yesterday, turning loose a man who accumulated a .715 winning percentage just because he couldn't win a championship.

"Some say the game is corrupted / Fucked in this shit"

Here's the thing about Flip... can you say that Flip is out-coached in games? I watched the great majority of his games coaching the Wolves (and ain't watched shit since) and never remember being embarrassed or frustrated with our coach. Sure, when he went up against guys like Phil or Don Nelson, you could sense a competitive edge. But Flip's guys always were ready to play, and his in-game adjustments seemed to help more than they hurt. Hell, at least he took timeouts at the right time (Doc Rivers, I'm looking at you here). Flip was a very good coach when he was here, elevating his team to the occasional surprise victory - (remember 2003 against the Lakers, game 3? GET SOME KID!) - but mostly just doing what he could with the players he was given. Was he great? Probably not. But he was solid, and sometimes, that's all you need. The name Gregg Popovich comes to mind.

Flip was fired by the Timberwolves because their management are idiots. He was fired by the Pistons because this is essentially the same team that won a championship in 2004 and went to game 7 in 2005, and Flip hasn't gotten them back there since.

I won't pretend to understand what Joe Dumars is thinking about when he fires Flip, and so the only thing I can do is put it in the context of other, similar coaching changes...

"But now that you're gone, I'm in the zone / Thinkin' I don't wanna die all alone"

The Tampa Bay Bucs fired Tony Dungy and the next season, they won the super bowl with Jon Gruden. Byron Scott was fired by the Nets after two consecutive Finals appearances. And these Detroit Pistons themselves fired Rick Carlisle after taking them to the conference finals, and replaced him with Larry Brown - y'all know the rest. I think the point here is that sometimes, sustained success isn't enough for some GMs. For whatever reason, they can see the potential there. Is Joe Dumars smart enough to see that? Does he look at this Detroit team - THIS TEAM - and think they could've won the NBA championship with a different coach? Is there someone else out there that represents a better chance at a championship both now and down the road? Apparently he thinks there is. Carlisle got them back into contention within 2 years, first to the playoffs then deep into them. He was fired and then the next year they won it all with Larry. Joe looks like a genius, not unlike Riley in Miami in 06. Nobody in Tampa even remembers Dungy.

But for every one of those moves, there are so many stupid moves made with regards to NBA coaches.

Flip's been on the stupid side of it. It remains to be seen if he'll end up on the smart side this time.

June 1, 2008

An Explaination?

David Stern, who in a moment of candor earlier this season said he was
hoping, deep down in his heart, for another Lakers-Celtics Finals.

Maybe this explains why the officiating has been so terrible in this years playoffs? Hey, Tim Donaghy.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'

May 30, 2008

No Owner, you're wrong . . . again

Honestly, I don't care about Sid, but when you see Owner being quoted you have to read. Am I happy I did.

On 3/19 Owner was quoted saying this:

"I don't like that so much," Taylor said Tuesday of the suggestion the Wolves tanked at the end of last season, which ended on a seven-game losing streak. "It was more like, I'd say, KG tanked it."

KG responded with this:

"I'm in Boston,'' Garnett said on TNT, holding up the Celtics logo on his jersey after Boston ended Houston's 22-game winning streak 94-74 Tuesday night. "I [couldn't] care less what Glen Taylor thinks of Kevin Garnett. .... That's nonsense. I don't even know why he'd bring that up, but it shows the taste of some people.''

OK, fast forward to today's column:

"Well, not quite like that. I'm just saying my intent is always to get a championship, but it doesn't bother me to watch these games," Taylor said. "I still consider Flip a friend and KG a friend. So, to me, I enjoy just the competition. But I'm not envious or anything like that -- I enjoy watching them. They're just both in different environments now, and I wish them well."

I am sure KG will call you first if he gets by DEtroit and Kobe, Owner. Actually, he will call McFail and thank him for the trade.

Did we mess up the draft, yet?

Don't forget to pick your "European" second rounder.

A. Mazing.

May 29, 2008

Bos/Det. Game 6

Detroit will win. Probably because they are better. You know what is going to happen though. Time running out, Boston down by 1, Pierce takes it to the hoop . . . no foul. Game 7 happens. Hooray, more revenue.

May 27, 2008

Double Whaaaaa?!

"Joey Crawford, one of the best referees in the league."
--Marv Albert

Oldest, sure.
IRS investigation for falsifying income, check
4 technical fouls given out in the first ten minutes of a game, check

"I am satisfied that Joey understands the standards of game management and professionalism the NBA expects from him and that he will be able to conduct himself in accordance with those standards"

That quote, from one D. Stern, explains everything you need to know on the NBA and how it views its own refs...the exact opposite of the rest of the world.

Must the announcers say shit like that to make sure the league doesn't send terse memos to the networks? Yes, ignore the fact this man just called a foul that no one can figure out why or explain, AGAIN...he's "one of the best" so we'll just have to trust him. Phil is right - the "guys with the whistles" have more control over who wins and fails than anything else.

Fuck off.


"power forward Jason Maxiell, a long-armed glass-basher so aggressive that you can buy T-shirts that read "Jason Maxiell Eats Babies" on the Internet."


May 21, 2008

Who cares about the 1st round pick

It is the second round that is interesting. From a few posts back, we know the Woofies will take a European player. It is just a matter who. I found this link and we should all put in 5 dollars. Do your research and pick a player.

Go Team.

May 20, 2008


I don't need to go into exact reasons as to why it makes perfect sense for the Failure Wolves to draft Failure Mayo, and so luckily, McFail is already wayyyyyyy ahead of me.

Oh please take Mayo and some European in the second round. Please cock this franchise up more. Please ride yourself out of town on that rail of incompetence you rode in on.

May 18, 2008

I don't know if I want to watch these playoffs anymore

I would make a comment about the officiating in Game 7, but I'll just say Bennett Salvatore, and leave it at that.

May 13, 2008

The Torch Has Been Passed

Kevin Harlan just co-opted his best description of a dunk to the new kid. And he was absolutely correct.

If he busts out "He's got mad cow's disease!", I'm giving up.

May 10, 2008

I wish this was a Sportsline poll

I don't know that I can adequately put into words just how horrible the officiating is in the NBA playoffs. I seriously can't believe it. I remember thinking a few years ago that it couldn't have possibly gotten worse - thinking back to the Kings in 2002. But now, it's gone to a new level. The home team gets such an amazing amount of calls, and there are just no fouls called against them, ever. I've seen it in every single game that I've watched this year. The only game where it wasn't impacting the outcome was the Lakers in Denver. But that's just because they're that much better.

Cleveland is going to win this game. Utah will go back to LA tied 2-2. Orlando lost today, but only by a hair. The fix is in. Get those wallets ready.

May 8, 2008

Guys, I need to get the memo

So, I am watching the Celtics here in Game 2 vs. the Cavs. Something named Joe Smith checked into the game. What? Is that possible? This here NBA is crazy.

Anybody else I should know about in the league? Scott Roth? Gerald Glass?

May 6, 2008

Denver Nuggets Culture

I could try to express what I think about how terrible the atmosphere in Denver is, but this picture lays it out so much better than I ever could.

May 3, 2008


So Boston.



How's it going guys?

I'm addressing this to Boston.

The Boston basketball team.


May 2, 2008

Just One Quick Thing....

Apparently Utah fans are wearing diapers and McGrady jerseys.

That's fantastic.


May 1, 2008

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah - Spooky Scary

We're neck-deep into the grand spectacle that is the NBA playoffs, and I have seen a few things that need attention. I don't know where I get off in writing this stuff, seeing as I'm more concerned in getting that Nova off the blocks in my front yard, but let's take a stab.

(it's going to be mostly Ice Cube lyrics... like always)

1. "Now clearin' em out meant casualties / Still had the LA mentality"

Goodbye you drunk-driving, delinquent fuck! You moody, mouthy, overpaid, overrated scorer! This is what happens when everyone on your team hates their teammates. This is what happens when your coach not only doesn't believe in team chemistry, but openly praises animosity between players. This is what happens when you acquire a shoot-first point guard to go with a shoot-first point forward. And mostly, this is what happens when you play in Denver.

Man, ever since Francisco Elson and Marcus Camby opened their mouths while getting whitewashed by the Wolves in 04, I haven't been able to stop hating the Nuggets. They could play the Boston Red Sox in a 7 game series, and I would be up front with Big B on my hat. Luckily, every year I get to see them disappear.

On the other side of that coin is the Lakers, a legitimate team in this year's hunt for the crown. I will stop right here and explain that anybody who claims that the Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, Hornets or Jazz have any better chance than the rest of them to win the title doesn't really know what they're talking about. It's literally a crapshoot this year, and it's going to be entertaining as hell to watch. But if you ask me who is coming out of the west, my money stays in my pocket.

2. "Fresh outta school cause I was a high school grad, gotsta get a job cause I was a high school dad."

As if this could go to anyone but LeBron.

When he has the ball, good things happen. I think he can jump 6 feet in the air. His team is so utterly garbage around him though. Seriously, look at that roster: Ben Wallace? Joe Smith? Wally World? What, Cherokee Parks had a no-trade clause? Marc Jackson wouldn't sign for the midlevel? Will Avery failed a physical? Jesus.

I don't know much about Cleveland, except that Washington and them don't get along, so I find it funny that they meet every year in the playoffs... to put on my Simmons hat for a moment here, I'm really digging the "new" rivalries that are being established in the NBA these days, it reminds me of the old times when the Bulls hated the Knicks, the Lakers hated the Celtics, and the Pistons hated everyone. Now we've got CLE/WAS, PHO/SAS, and of course don't forget about New York and New Jersey, two teams fighting to prove who is the most pathetically run.

Can Cleveland beat Boston? Christ, it's the east. Stranger things have happened.

Speaking of...

3. "Hey! Yeah you, motherfucker, you know who I'm talkin to. Yeah, you that motherfucker that betrayed your homeboys and you ain't shit. Yeah, you 'bout to get your motherfuckin ghetto pass revoked, motherfucker."

To KG.

Look, I won't say much, but I'm pretty sure that I would characterize this stage of our break-up as the "anger" portion. I'm to the point now where seeing his intensity just makes me queasy, and the energy from the fake fans and the Johnny-Come-Latelys (which we should really just rename "Boston Basketball Fans") and all the adulation is fucking tiresome. I see holes in his game like I used to see here, I hear the same criticisms, and now I just want to be shut of it. Why oh why couldn't they have just traded him to Milwaukee? Just dump him in some trash market with no exposure. Just go away, KG, seriously. I'm so fucking over it.

Now then, Boston...

The fact that they lost two games to an Atlanta team that was THIRTY SEVEN AND FORTY FIVE during the regular season speaks in airliner-level decibels to the fact that they have the poorest coach of teams considered to have a chance at winning the championship. You think Flip doesn't want these guys when Detroit is in one of their "we care now" cycles? You think Popp is going to dictate the pace AND tempo of the entire series, should they make it that far? And Phil? Oh my dear god. We would not have seen such a disparity in coaching since that one time Mike Tice went up against Bill Parcells. Seriously, there's nothing I'm waiting for more than the Celtics to run up against a properly coached team that actually has talent. That's all I'm saying.

And I know that I'm a pompous fuck for wishing them harm and saying all that stuff about KG. But that's what's happening right now. I'm sorry.

4. "God damn! The bigger the cap, the bigger the peeling. And when dealing with the Lench Mob, you gots to know that Steady Mobbin is not just the name of this jam, but a way of life. Bound together by motherfuckers that's known to break em off somethin, give it to me..."

We don't have a Ghetto State in this year's playoffs, but we do have ghetto, and they're repping ATL. Does Joe Johnson care? Zaza, do you think you could fight KG and win? (closed circuit to Zaza: YOU COULD. KG is notoriously soft when it comes to fights... see Peeler, Anthony) Al Horford, do you sometimes dunk and then scream at the other team the whole way down the floor? Oh, and did anybody tell you that you LOST 8 MORE GAMES THAN YOU WON THIS SEASON?

No? Cool.

The series is over (again, unless Doc gets in the way), but it was fun to watch. I love ghetto ball.


Well, that about does it. The second round should be one of the hottest in recent memory. Out west, you'll have nothing but contenders (assuming Houston pulls a Houston) and in the east, you'll at least have less games to watch. I'm looking forward to watching this one as a fan (read: NOT BETTING). Enjoy.

April 30, 2008

And The Coach Of The Year Is......FIRED!!!

On the eve of the hour that the Dallas Mavericks fired Avery Johnson for his "inability" to get out from underneath a bad trade - er I mean out of the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, it seems that there are a number of coaches that are on the chopping block - Mike D'antoni in Phoenix and, very quietly, Sam Mitchell in Toronto.

Know what those guys all have in common?

Yep, they all won the NBA Coach of the Year Award. D'antoni in 2005, Avery in 2006, and Mitchell last season.

Jeez, these guys were all considered the best of the best not all that long ago, and now they're all going to be in the unemployment line. That's a pretty big swing in a couple years.

Curious. So is the NBA COY the new Madden curse? Take a look at the list below and I'll let you decide.

2007 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto Raptors - Possibly on the block

2006 - Avery Johnson, Dallas Mavericks - 2 years later he's looking for a new job(read:fired)

2005 - Mike D'antoni, Phoenix Suns - 3 years later, he's rumored to be out in AZ

2004 - Hubie Brown - Memphis Grizzlies - quit 12 games into the following season, siting health concerns

2003 - Gregg Popovich - San Antonio Spurs - He's an example against the theory

2002 - Rick Carlisle - Detroit Pistons - Lasted one more season(50 wins) before getting the axe

2001 - Larry Brown - Philadelphia 76ers - 2 years later he left amidst a tiff with his star player and the continuation of his vagabond ways

2000 - Doc Rivers - Orlando Magic - Was fired 12 games into the 4 season

1999 - Mike Dunleavy - Portland Trailblazers - Lasted 2 more years before getting fired

1998 - Larry Bird - Indiana Pacers - Moved into the front office full time after 2 more years on the bench

Maybe there's something to, maybe there isn't. It's still an interesting pheonomenon.

Personally, I think it's Red's way of getting back at the NBA for putting his name on such a stupid looking trophy.

April 22, 2008

Naw, We Didn't Need That...

Congrats to KG on his Defensive Player of the Year award.

Cheers to your continued success sir!



April 20, 2008

Atl/Boston Game #1

As any avid reader of this blog can tell you, I have not been following the NBA this season. I was flipping through the channels tonight and found Game 1 of Hawks/Celtics. I concluded a few things instantly:
A. KG did well for his new team
B. I assumed the Celtics were the #1 seed
C. The Hawks must be the #8 seed
D. The Hawks made the playoffs?!
E. The East hasn't changed

Oh, it gets better. There was a player for Atlanta, with a mohawk, named West (not Doug, though). Someone named Rondo might be 14 years old. Big Baby! Nice pick by Boston.

All that is great and dandy, but one thing blew my mind. When did Admiral Big Ball Dance join the Celtics? I . . . I didn't get that memo. Seriously? Just once . . . once, I hope to see him hit that jumper to put the game out of reach . . . then a dance.

Go Celts.