Photo from clevescene.com.

Photo from clevescene.com.

Sweet Jesus, Hallelujah!  We beat the Heat!  Best game ever!

Wow. We just beat arguably the best team in the league on the road in double overtime.  How are we not making the playoffs?  Seriously, screw the East.  We would be the third best team in that conference.  The East should be allowed to put two teams in the playoffs: Miami, Indiana and maybe the Knicks purely for comedic train-wreck effect. Just put in Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and some manatees in Knicks uniforms.  Would anybody even notice the difference?  “Man, Raymond Felton looks like he really lost some weight!”

I'm just glad manatee Raymond Felton doesn't have a gun.

“I’m just glad manatee Raymond Felton didn’t bring his guns.”

By the way, how bought and sold are the refs in Miami’s favor?  The Heat got away with murder all game against us.  They got ticky-tack fouls called their way all night and had about 400 no-calls when they uncle-molested us in various fashion over and over.  At one point LeBron James plowed over Ricky Rubio so hard that I’m pretty sure a small panda in Spain died.  (Did I tell you that Ricky has a split soul with a fuzzy panda in Barcelona?  How else do you explain him?)  After the game, Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra had the audacity to question the last second call that was FINALLY in the Wolves favor.  Are you kidding me?!  That’s like the rich kid frat boy who gets pissed because only 99% of the party gave him blowjobs.

Well, this one feels good. (That wasn’t a blowjob reference.)  If we’re not making the playoffs, we can at least get moral victories and spoil some seeds.  This was a hugely important game for Miami for Eastern Conference seeding purposes and we mucked it up for them.  “The Heat didn’t have Dwyane Wade!”  Oh, boo-hoo.  We didn’t have Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin.  Besides, do people really think that Dwyane Wade is a factor anymore? That dude may be 32, but he’s got the body of a paper-mache Abe Vigoda.  If he bumped into Greg Oden the floor would get sprayed with tendons and ACLs and that weird grey packaging filler you find inside of UPS envelopes.  Holographic 2pac is sturdier.

It feels like we just won a playoff game.  It feels like a game where, no matter how we end up, or if Kevin Love leaves, or if we get the top two draft picks and take Ren & Stimpy, we can still look back and smile upon this moment.  Maybe that’s a loser mentality, but in a decade full of David Kahn, Jonny Flynn, Troy Hudson rap albums and Michael Beasley spilling his bong water on everybody’s grandma, we’ll take it.

Next up, we play the Orlando Magic in Disneytown.  They are fucking awful, so of course they’ll beat us.

Go Wolves!

Los Angeles Lakers 107 – 143 Minnesota Timberwolves

If that’s your sales pitch for Kevin Love then I’m not too worried about 2015.

Nice game, douchebags.

lakerlosers

Photoshop by José Eça de Queiroz.

Photoshop by José Eça de Queiroz

You know how when people die they supposedly see the light and feel a sense of calm and peace?  That’s how I feel right now with the potential Minnesota death of Kevin Love.  I see the light.  I don’t feel the pain anymore.  I’m accepting of whatever fate may be.  A semi-truck named David Kahn t-boned my Ford Focus of a Timberwolves team and I’m screwed.  But Gorgui Dieng is giving me CPR.  And Robbie Hummel is calling 911.  Shabazz Muhammad is playing Angry Birds but he really is thinking about helping.

It’s not the end of the world.  If Love stays, we’ll have a big future.  If he leaves, life goes on.  I make fun of Shabazz a lot, but he really does have the potential to be what everybody thought Michael Beasley could be.  He also has the potential to be just Michael Beasley.  The pendulum swings wide on Shabazz.  Here’s to hoping he doesn’t like weed.

Robbie Hummel doesn’t play a lot, but when he does he hussles his ass off and makes nice threes.  Unfortunately, he’s had more surgeries than Mickey Rourke’s face.  I have a firm belief that if Robbie “The Wrestler” Hummel can do enough yoga and pilates or whatever NBA players do to stay healthy, he could be a really solid NBA role player.  Here’s to hoping he doesn’t like bungee jumping.

Which brings me to the Senegal Sensation, Gorgui Dieng.  Nothing but positivity here.  Who saw this shit coming?  He’s averaging 13 points, 14 rebounds and nearly 60% shooting in the last six games, all of which he started in place of the injured Nikola Pekovic. In those six games, he had one 22 point/21 rebound game and one 15/15 game.  BEAST!  I love Pek.  He’s my favorite player.  But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the hell out of watching Gorgui gallop around the court like a wobbly, newborn, giant moose unleashed on a world-full of unsuspecting Precious Moments figurines.  He’s not quite there yet, but you can see it in him.  He’s already great defensively and actually has some nice offensive moves too.  Here’s my favorite part: His first name means “Old one” in his native tongue of Wolof.  He even speaks Wolf.

Gorgui Dieng - Born Minnesotan. Photo from sportsde.com

Gorgui Dieng – Born in Senegal/spiritually Minnesotan. Photo from sportsde.com

Look, Gorgui Dieng obviously isn’t the next Kevin Love. (Even though his rebounding stats have rivaled his in this stretch.)  He’s just a wee-little Timberpup right now.  But I need hope.  Kevin Love has been dragging my tattered Timberwolves heart around for too long.  We don’t need him.  We’ve sucked for ten years, so what’s sucking for a few more with players that actually want to be here?  In two years, we could conceivably have a line-up that consists of Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammed, Corey Brewer, Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic.  Good enough to get into the playoffs?  Who knows?  Maybe the Bucks will get bought by the Seattle group and Minnesota will move to the Eastern Conference and we can sport a 10-72 record and still be the third best team in the East?  Do you know what all of those players have in common, though?  They’re tough as nails and don’t bitch and whine when things don’t go their way.  They don’t have rich uncle Beach Boys and need to be around a UCLA umbrella in Sun Tan Land at all times.  I just don’t get it.  I would play in a jar full of jelly in Siberia for the money these dudes are making.  Who cares if you live in a hip town?  Just suck it up for ten years, make your money and retire to Valhalla!

Next up, we play the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at home.  I’d rather be an NBA team on the slow crescendo up than a faltering behemoth of a crumbling dynasty.  For the love of god, let’s beat this Lindsay Lohan of a team.

Go Wolves!

Photo from cleveland.com

Photo from cleveland.com

Let’s face it, the Timberwolves aren’t making the playoffs.  It’s still technically possible, but there’d have to be some kind of Gorgui Dieng/Robbie Hummel Space Jam Monstar transformation and then we’d probably have to pay Bugs Bunny somehow, so screw it.  I’m past all these playoff pipe dreams.  Here’s the five things I’d actually like to happen the remainder of this season:

1) Stay where we are in the seeds:  We traded a draft pick to the Phoenix Suns that is Top 13 protected.  In other words, if we do better and pass Phoenix, we lose our pick. I’d still like to end with a winning record, so I don’t think we should tank the rest of the games.  What’s the term for just hanging around?  Floating?  Someone call up Oliver Miller and get his doughy, buoy ass back on the team.  Float City!  (Bonus wish: Andrew Wiggins falls to #13 and cultivates a weird lutefisk obsession, keeping him in Minnesota forever.)

2) More Shabazz: I never thought I’d say this, but I like him.  Yeah, he’s got weird acne and I’m not entirely sure he’s ever passed the ball on purpose, but the dude’s got spirit.  All it took was 50 games of DNPs and countless hours of Rick Adelman staring him down with his beady coach eyes.  But he’s already better than Derrick Williams.  Plus, if Kevin Love leaves, our future starting line-up could conceivably have a killer boy band name line-up: Ricky, Robbie, Gorgui, Nikky and Shabazz. They could be called “Knot 2 Shabby.”  Okay, I’m not exactly Lou Pearlman.  Fuck off.

3) Less JJ: Notice that I didn’t include JJ in the boy band even though he’s 5’3″ and his name just screams silk shirt?  THAT’S BECAUSE I HATE HIM!  I’m sorry, we all thought he was great on the 2011 Mavericks, but this dude has outworn his welcome.  Here’s a tip: Don’t spend as much time in the paint as Hakeem Olajuwon if you’re the size of a waterbug.

4) Pekovic toughens up Budinger:  I love Chase, but he’s seemed kind of timid for most of the season, even for an albino snow angel.  Is it too much to ask for Big Pek to take him back to Montenegro and teach him how to be a man, Eastern European style?  They can skip the track suits and chains.  Just don’t bring him back until he looks like this:

Photo from Marvel.com

Photo from Marvel.com

5) Everyone, watch Kevin Love run: This is kind of a weird wish, but next time you watch a Timberwolves game, watch K-Love move up the court.  He runs like a Choo-choo train.

"ALL ABOARD!  Next stop, Old Man Kobe's New Bitch Town!" Photo from http://bestclipartblog.com

“ALL ABOARD! Next stop, Old Man Kobe’s New Bitch Town!” Photo from bestclipartblog.com

Next up, we play the Mavericks at home.  Think they’ll take JJ back?  I bet we can slip him into Dirk’s shoes without anybody noticing.

Go Wolves!

There a few NBA franchises that I consider kindred spirits.  I don’t root for these teams, but I feel their pain completely because their mismanagement, hopelessness and dumbassery feel oh so familiar to me.    It’s the exact opposite of the Lakers optimism/hubris that says “Of course we’ll be contenders next year.”  It’s the Milwaukee Bucks’ “Did you know we have a team?” vibe.  The Bobcats/Pistons “Oh shit, an NBA legend is running us into the ground and nobody can get rid of him” vibe.  The Clippers’ “Just give it four or five years and we’ll be the old Clippers again and nobody will care except Billy Crystal” vibe.  It’s the New York Knicks in general.

I’m talking about Donald Sterling, Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Jerry Dolan and whoever the hell is running the Milwaukee Bucks/future Supersonics right now.  (It’s rumored that David Kahn wants to buy the Bucks.  Don’t let it happen, Milwaukee!  Protest!  Riot!  Put up a camouflage shield so he can’t find your town.  He’s dumb, it’ll work!  Being last place in the league is preferable to being last place for the foreseeable future with him.)

Donald Sterling: Clippers' owner and hungry, hungry hippo. Photo from jsportsblogger.files.wordpress.com

Donald Sterling: Horrendous Clippers’ owner and hungry, hungry hippo. Photo from jsportsblogger.files.wordpress.com

As a Timberwolves fan who’s had to live through David Kahn, Flip Saunders and any other bumbling brain-dead Dodo bird with a clipboard that Glen Taylor hires, I understand.  It’s not our fault!  We’re just the fans, with no say in the decisions, but we suffer just the same.  Minnesota didn’t deserve a guy who drafted three point guards in the first round and still missed the good one.  Detroit didn’t deserve Josh Smith, the abandoned skyscraper of basketball players.  Get this: The Knicks acquired Andrea Bargnani on purpose!  I worked at Jimmy John’s in my 30s and even I’m put together enough to know that’s a bad idea.

So what to do?  We can sit here and let these numbskulls ruin the vicarious joy that we feel from other people accomplishing things, or we can put a stop to it.  You know how they elect sheriffs even though nobody seems to know why?  We need to do that with our owners and front office.  It’s election time, bitches.  Better start earning your jobs!

“What’s that, Mr. Kahn?  You’re thinking about signing Darko Milicic to a four-year 20 million dollar deal?  I don’t think that’s a good idea.  Midterm elections are coming up and Fancy Ray McCloney is rising in the polls.  He’s promised to sign Prince and make the players’ jerseys out of crushed velvet.”

"The Best Looking Man In Comedy!"

Fancy Ray McCloney – “The Best Looking Man In Comedy!”

Tonight we play our brothers in ineptitude, The New York Knicks.  Actually, I don’t want to admit it, but we’re 6-1 in the last seven games and five of our next six games are at home against losing teams.  The one away game is against the Boobcats.  I am not going to get optimistic, because every time I do, we lose.  So I’ll just leave you with something Fancy:

I’m depressed.

This season has sucked ass.  Two years ago sucked, but it was the beginning of hope.  A year ago sucked, but we hadn’t all played together yet.  This season just feels like time slipping away.  Next year Kevin Love can opt out after the season and what’s to keep him from doing it?

Well, there’s only one way for a true upper Midwesterner to combat depression that doesn’t involve a bathtub and a toaster: Pure, unadulterated passive-aggressive shit-talking.  Strap in, this one’s gonna get bitter.

My top ten least favorite NBA teams and why:

10) Boston Celtics - Last summer I read a comment from a Boston fan on a sports page that said “It’s going to be really hard to see Kevin Garnett playing in a different jersey.”  Oh really, Boston?  We had him for 12 versus your six.  Cry us a goddamn river.  Then freeze it, cut a hole in it, stick your head in it and get kicked in your drunk, freckly ass.

9) Indiana Pacers - I’ll admit, this has more to do with the actual state than this team.  The team itself is impressively put together and has a shot at the championship this year.  But the state is full of peach-fuzz mustachioed racists, unnecessary toll-booths and enthusiastic inbreeding.  This is the state that brought us the town of Gary.  Have you ever seen the movie “Hoosiers”?  That movie is actually set in 2014 Indiana.

8) Washington Wizards – This is the Island Of Misfits Toys for basketball players if you added guns and made all the toys completely unlikeable.  The only bright spot is that my friend John Conroy is a Wizards fan for some reason and was in this Gilbert Arenas commercial.

7) Atlanta Hawks – When I was a kid growing up in Iowa in the 80s and 90s, you could watch two NBA teams regularly: The Chicago Bulls on WGN or the Atlanta Hawks on TBS.  The choice was obvious: The greatest team/player ever or the soul-sucking echo chamber that was the Omni Center.  I’m pretty sure Dominique Wilkins played his entire prime in front of four bribed fans who may have actually been the janitors.

6) Miami Heat – The trust-fund kids of the NBA. I’ve never met a current Miami Heat fan who knows who Willie Burton or Bimbo Coles is.  I miss the days when the thought of Miami brought up images of Gloria Estefan or killing a hooker and taking your money back on “Grand Theft Auto – Vice City.”

5) Houston Rockets - ARGH!  Nothing pisses me off more than a team that takes like one year to rebuild!  You’re supposed to do it like us: lose the 2004 Western Conference Finals, eventually trade your superstar for peanuts, suck for ten years, start to show glimmers of hope and then potentially lose your new superstar to a forced trade/free agency.  Repeat.  Also, their jerseys are McDonald’s uniforms.

The Houston Rockets unveil their new jersey. Photo from foodrepublic.com

The Houston Rockets unveil their new jerseys. Photo from foodrepublic.com

4) Bill Simmons - Yeah, he’s not a team but he’s such a piece of shit that I had to include him.  I used to like Boston until this elitist prick homer started blabbering about.  He sucks on-air and the only time he’ll write now is about how great the fucking Eagles are.  The Eagles are the Indiana of music!  And the ONLY time he mentions Minnesota is to talk massive shit for no real reason that I can discern other than that it’s cold here.  I’d rather have a frozen lake than three million Marky Marks, dickweed.

GIF from img.gawkerassets.com

3) Utah Jazz - Worst. Announcers. Ever.  There are homers and then there are the douchebag Jazz announcers.  I remember watching an inconsequential game a few years back and Paul Millsap (who is now an Atlanta Hawk) had a decent game.  The announcers preened and swooned about him and gushed that “Paul Millsap should bronze the ball to remember this game forever!”  Bronze MY balls, and put them on your face.  I hope you enjoyed the 90s, Utah, because Malone-Stockton will never happen again.

2) Portland Trailblazers - The Blazers are our arch-nemesis.  Have you ever just looked at someone and thought “That dude definitely roofies people.”  That’s Portland.

1) Los Angeles Lakers -

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

And the big Kevin Love better not go to LA Exhibit C

Next up we play the Suns in Phoenix.  Maybe they’ll remember they’re supposed to be the Sixers this year and we’ll win!

Paul George attempts to dunk over Ronny "The Happiest Journeyman Ever" Turiaf.  Photo by Mike Brody.

Paul George attempts to dunk over Ronny “The Happiest Journeyman Ever” Turiaf. Photo by Mike Brody.

Boy, how a few years can make a difference.

The last time I went to a Pacers-Timberwolves game in Minneapolis the place was so empty, I could have walked to half-court and asked to play.  I think half the people there were accidentally there for a Rod Stewart concert.  We lost.  This time around, the Pacers are arguably the best team in the league, the place was mostly full, and we won!  And most people cared!  (Except the two girls next to us who were there for a Rod Stewart concert.)

I love going to see the games live, because you notice things that you don’t on TV.  Such as:

- Corey Brewer starts leaking out for the outlet pass almost immediately.  It’s crazy to see in person because the camera is usually still on the players near the ball.  Most players practice free throws or three pointers.  I think Brewer just practices his lizard run.

Corey Brewer leaks out for another fast break. Photo from National Georgraphic.

Corey Brewer leaks out for another fast break. Photo from National Georgraphic.

- Without announcers, it’s easy to not notice everything that Kevin Love does.  I knew he had a good game, but I was shocked when I realized he had 42 points and 16 rebounds.  It’s productive and dull at the same time.  He’s like watching a really bland vanilla machine make more vanilla than anybody’s ever made.

- Conversely, Lance Stephenson is a freaking maniac. The man is all over the place.  He’s Indiana’s JJ Barea. Dribbling side-to-side, yelling, complaining, flopping around.  At one point I think he set up an omelet bar on court.  The dude is all bravado and NYC swag and I’m not sure if he’s the next superstar or the worst player in the league. He had ten points.

- Ricky Rubio tied the franchise record with 17 assists last night.  He also got hit on the top of his noggin and I swear every woman in the audience’s mother/girlfriend impulse kicked in immediately.  Women were instinctively reaching for band aids and looking for blankets to swaddle Ricky in.  That man is so adorable.  He’s like a Spanish baby who likes to share.

- Crunch is a pimp.

Photo by Mike Brody

Crunch and the Rod Stewart girls. Photo by Mike Brody

Next up, we play the Jazz in Utah.  Okay, Utah, you don’t like us and we don’t like you.  But you’re tanking and we’re trying to make the playoffs.  So how’s-about you lose and we win and we’ll both celebrate over RC Cola or whatever soda company the Mormon church bought even though they’re not supposed to drink caffeine so they changed the rule to HOT caffeine.  Phew!

Go Wolves!