Timberwolves Week 9
The season has reached a light at the end of the tunnel stage I think. Not because it's nearly over or because it's a foregone conclusion that they'll be in the lottery again, but because the entirety of sports in this swath of the world are so bad right now.
Sure, you can go down to the high school and lower college levels to find some positivity. The Wild and hockey may be the reprieve but I don't count myself a fan of those, so they don't help me.
The Timberwolves are just one of many black spots on the landscape and I think are getting the benefit of disguise from the Vikings, Gophers and Bison. The way things have been going with those teams and programs lately are drawing undue attention from the Pups, which is good considering the hype train they were on. Now they can just develop as they should always have been allowed to. I'm tired of the years of losing too but a bunch of 21 year olds have only played a small role in the misery. Now they've been bought some time to learn the system and become the team everyone thinks they can be.
But enough about that, onto the games.
Win three quarters, win the game. Not always a recipe for success but in the quitter land that the NBA can be, winning 3/4 can lead to the other team throwing it in early. Coming off Saturday's mind numbing loss to the Houston Rockets I was curious to see how they come out against the Suns. Could they win one quarter, let alone three or four?
They did and then some. Sure it would be nice for them to be effective enough on defense to hold teams under 100 but even now their offense can still make up for the deficiency, at times. The Suns are a competent team but not markedly better then the Wolves, even at this stage.
The Wolves lost another third quarter but only by four, which was not enough to derail their start or keep them from regaining the points in the fourth. The game as a whole was a bounce back, as was the fourth quarter. With respect and perspective on Saturday, they've put together three good games in a row now. So things are trending upward ever so slightly, at just the right time. Hopefully they are able to remain in the shadows for a while longer, until they are truly fitting of the attention that they received previously. Last night was a good win. Another good game and a needed encore, one of many I still hope!
Well it happened, the Timberwolves finally swung their first set of back to back wins. It was also the fourth consecutive good overall game. Not having Dwight Howard last night is a little disappointing because I still want KAT to have to go against the toughest competition as often as possible.
That wasn't what I found myself thinking about most during the game though. My mind wandered to the possibility of Zach Lavine becoming a knockdown three point shooter. I've heard it's a goal of his, which is the best sign that it may happen because of his athleticism and his stated work ethic. Well it just so happens that the Hawks have a guy that I would consider to be just that - Kyle Korver.
Athletically there is no comparison but since I was thinking about during this game I think Korver is the best example to use from the other team. 15 years into his career his three point shooting percentage has dropped off from what it was in the past, but he's still only shot under 38% once in his career. Having a skill not based on athletics can lead to a long career, just look at Ray Allen if you need an even better example.
Zach is attempting twice as many threes per game this year as he did last year and is making practically the same amount of three. Unless he goes on a big swing of hot shooting from deep he will probably not top 40% for the season which is a bit disappointing. Ultimately the answer won't be known for years to come because he is still developing but a shooter like Korver hopefully the ceiling that Lavine can get to!
None of that is to bury the lead.
The Pups won for the first time in consecutive games! Three in a row for Thibodeau. Three in a row for Thibodeau! Say it with me. Let's go! Could they make up for the potential gut punch that would be a loss to the cheesers with their game on Christmas day? Questions with future answers. For now, lets enjoy the progress that seems to be happening in front of us!
When your star player has two open looks at game tying shots as time winds down yet misses both it shouldn't feel good. Early though, right about the time the Timberwolves were losing the lead tonight I thought of that clip.
Their was the nifty little four game run of positivity yet the wave always comes to bring ruin. There were a myriad of positives from tonights game, as there usually is but it still doesn't feel even as good as the Rockets loss did - though it took a minute for that one to sink in. Tomorrow it'll likely be better.
The NegaTopic is those misses at the end of game. KAT can hit from deep, I'm not trying to say he shouldn't ever try em but even when he's the hottest of the trio, he shouldn't be the one to take that. Lavine was obnoxious today. Seemed for most of the game like whatever he threw up was going in. Sure he cooled off as time waned but his development definitely showed through. After Wednesday I speculated about him becoming as good as Kyle Korver. If tonight's any any indication, he absolutely can get there and beyond. It's not like he was getting Rubio like wide open shots. At times he was just toying with the defense though. As his technique improves he'll become a full tool force on offense & defense!
I don't really know how to wrap this one up. So just take the positives that were there. Then take the negatives as well. Now, hope that the better team manages to show up on Sunday!