A Look at the Timberwolves
OK...that's a lie. I won't make you look at the Timberwolves. That would be cruel and unusual punishment considering you'll have to watch them for two whole hours tonight. Seriously, they are awful. Everything the Blazers have been in the past couple of years, the `Wolves now are. They cannot defend. Worse, they cannot score. They can't shoot free throws. They turn the ball over. They don't force turnovers. They give up a horrific 8 more free throw attempts per game than they shoot. If it weren't for Al Jefferson they'd be the worst rebounding team in the league. They're disjointed and disappointing. This is really sad to me. I was in Minnesota in the very beginning of the Garnett-Marbury era. If you recall the Timberwolves had been the worst team in the league for a decade...from their expansion year onward. The locals got so excited when KG came to town and they were speculating he and Stephon would be a dominant duo forever. They were talking championships. Of course that was premature, but it was still nice to see them have something to cheer about. To look now and see the opportunity thrown away and to see them at 4-23, hearkening back to the days when they couldn't win to save their lives...it's just discouraging. I'm not saying I like the team that much even, just that I have empathy, especially given how hard our franchise fell.
The big bright spot in the `Wolves solar system right now is Jefferson, who is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds a game. He's legit on the offensive end but it still feels fruitless. When you're 19 games below .500 after only 27 games not much matters. Sebastian Telfair has also made occasional waves but that's more of a "this team needs something to cheer about" thing than any real promise. Antoine Walker is having a poor season. Everybody else is playing at a decent level. There just isn't enough talent here to make a difference. Dominant scoring power forward...severe scoring problems...weak defense...horrible record...see what I mean about the flashbacks?
What I'd Like to See
The last time I said we ought to win a game was the infamous second half collapse against Philadelphia but...we really ought to win this game. The only thing we need to do is come out with the same intensity and unselfishness we usually do. They cannot hang with us, score on us, or defend us. The Timberwolves have not won this season without scoring 100 points. They've only topped 100 seven times, winning four of those. If we let them score 100 tonight there's something seriously wrong with us.
That said, we are not a team that can take any game for granted. We are capable of losing to any team in this league. If we start believing in the streak and the press more than in what has gotten us here we can expect to face a challenge tonight. I don't think anybody wants to see that. So no laziness, drive the ball and take advantage of the free throw gap, don't give them easy points, and just choke them into the 90's or less while we sail on to Chalupaville and win number 12.
P.S. Don't forget the Jersey Contest form here.