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Timberwolves Week 6

A quartet of games this week. First up are the Utah Jazz at Target Center. Then a home and home against the Knicks on Wednesday and Friday finishing up with a trip Charlotte to take on the Hornets. The old cliche is that every game is winnable but that's not pragmatic enough for my liking. There was little chance we were going to beat the Warriors on Saturday. Of these four I would say that the Hornets game is the most likely loss but I haven't seen the other two at all so they could both be worthy of consideration for that. But it starts on Monday against a division foe who are also looking to break into the playoffs so I'll start there as well!

Turn off that music

This one showed how little I actually know about the NBA overall. I would never have even guessed that the Utah Jazz were one of the top defensive teams in the association. I figured they were a good team but being able to play successful on both ends takes a team from good to great in a hurry. Which kind of means that the Timberwolves are still a bad team because they struggle on either end on any given...possession, really.

For whatever it's worth, the Pups managed to put it through the net for more points then the Jazz average to allow. The ballin music notes in turn put it through for 14 more points then their average.

Gordon Hayward has become WAY better of a player then I thought he would. Rudy Gobert is a stud. Heck even George Hill looked good. They are another example of an idea that I'm clinging too right now. Turn arounds don't have over a single off season.


As dislikable as it is to go into another draft lottery it seems inevitable for the howl. We've got our coach. We have our future all stars. It goes against the instant gratification of today's culture but it's going to take time. I hate to say it but Thibs should be given this year to coach, instill his culture, evaluate the talent that he wants to keep around and then come back next year much more set up for success.

Yeah, punting on another season in November doesn't sit well with me either but I want a ten year run of playoff appearances so giving the new coach one year to help get us there is not too much to ask.

The twelve year playoff drought is moot. We've overhauled the roster a dozen times - at least - in that span. This team has not missed the playoffs a dozen times. They've missed it once. So rubes may take exception to that idea but that's the approach this rube is taking for the remainder of the year!

Big Kat + Small Bench = Loss

Another loss against a team that the squad will need to over come to take the next step. If you're interested in moral victories, the fact that they didn't fold when down big in the fourth quarter could be it. Blind positivity isn't the approach I want to take though. I wish I could. I would to be able to just be ducky and bunny as they say but it's not merited.

Five bench points is all the further I need to look for the sheen of the mega Kat game to be reduced. The bench is hypothetically still better then it was last year but this kind of performances are exactly what still need to be resolved.

Honestly, I'm glad that Melo hit the game winner. A 47 & 18 output should never happen in a loss but the TEAM wasn't good enough, again...still. Thibs can yell all he wants and I presume that he will continue to do so but it's on the players to prove they can actually be professionals. Towns can't and shouldn't have to do any more then what he did last night but it'll never be enough with the construct of the team right now.

Different Equation, Same Result

I hoped to find some context for how bad the bench was on Wednesday but there aren't any websites that I could find which list the worst bench scoring nights in NBA history. The Association has probably put in time to burry that info since it doesn't reflect well on their product. In any case, I can't imagine there are many more pathetic offensive showings then what the non-starters did at midweek.

It seems like Thibs probably chewed their butts in practice on Thursday because they came out with a much more professional showing. Matching the points that Kat scored on his own, the four bench players who got on the court managed 47. In tandem with the 67 that the starters scored, that should be enough to win.

Except when their offense is clicking, their defense isn't. Giving up 118 is proof of that. The fact that on several occasions Rubio was matched on Porzingis is proof of that. The fact that the starting five of the Knicks is all it really took for them to win is proof it that. The fact that some dude named O'Quinn made them look silly is proof of that. Need I go on?

Let me wipe the egg off my face real quick. I underestimated the Knicks before. If Rose manages to play like 80 games this year and the rest of the team can just live up to their various potentials that will be a playoff team. Possibly a high seed in the East when it's all said and done too.

It seems like the Wolves will require the entire season to become a league average team on both ends on a night by night basis. I would take that with open arms right now and just hope it doesn't take longer!

Pulmonary Pups

For the first time in a month the Wolves had a Saturday night game where they weren't the prohibitive underdogs. Not to disparage the Hornets but they're no Warriors or Thunder.

When the Wolves played the Hornets a couple weeks ago it went the way that most of them have gone so far, with the Wolves losing in convincing fashion in the third quarter. Off another back to back it seemed like the latest contest was going to go the same way.

The Wolves started slow, to the tune of a ten point deficit but rallied to close the half only down three. The third quarter woes reared again and they were down double digits when the fourth started. It came down to a flurry of triples in the final forty seconds just for the Wolves to force over time. With the momentum and confident from the way regulation ended the youngsters just kept it rolling. The fifth quarter belonged to the young legs and they finished the comeback off up five points when it counted most.

It's only the sixth win of the season so I'm not going to go the way that the commentators did. I'm not going to buy the notion that this may be a turning point. I've heard it too many times over the years and need to see it before I'll believe it.

What I do take away from this one is that it was like a breathe of pure oxygen. Seeing the fight and the team work when it mattered most was a great sign. I tweeted during the first half that even though they were losing it seemed like the best game so far and the outcome only bolsters that opinion.

So lets not get ahead of ourselves with what this may mean for the rest of the season but also try to strike the balance of enjoying the high that comes with a victory of that sort!

It's a three game week again.

San Antonio on Tuesday (FSN)

At Toronto on Thursday (TNT)

Detroit on Friday (FSN)

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