Archive for November, 2013

Derrick Williams, who struggled for playing time and often had too much glue on his hands, has been traded to the Sacramento Kings. Photo from washingtonpost.com

Derrick Williams is pulled from a game after accidentally gluing his hand to his jersey.  Photo from washingtonpost.com

A lot of Timberwolves fans are upset about the Derrick Williams for Luc Mbah a Moute trade with the Sacramento Kings.  Unless those people have a phobia of mispronouncing names, they should just calm down.

Derrick Williams is talented.  Unfortunately, most of those talents don’t equate being a good team basketball player.  If the league had a double-pump contest, or a “Who can make the most bone-headed play immediately after doing something good?” showdown, Derrick would probably win.  Other than that, he was mostly useless to us.  Yeah, he’s talented.  But guess what?  So is every player in the NBA.  If that wasn’t the case then I’d be suited up in my Larry Bird/John Stockton shorts doing whirly-bird hook-shots from half-court.  Another airball!  Where’s my paycheck?  Ca-ching!

Maybe Williams will go on to super-stardom in the happy, functional, mature, totally not cursed, non-violent family that is the Sacramento Kings?  I hope you understand sarcasm, son, because you just got bitch-slapped with it.  This is vicious Western Conference.  Almost literally every team is .500 or higher, while in the East you make the playoffs if you have a pulse and a can name which team Michael Jordan was on.  If you’re not with us, you’re against us.  I hope that DeMarcus Cousins headbutts Derrick Williams and he ricochets into Ben Mclemore, giving them all soap opera style amnesia and they forget how to play basketball.

So how long before we trade Shabazz?

Go Wolves.

"Hey tiny lady.  Wanna sneak into the Rookie Symposium together?" Photo by tricountysentry.com

“Hey tiny lady. Wanna sneak into the Rookie Symposium together?” Photo by tricountysentry.com

Well, this is awkward.

Current Nets coach Jason Kidd is one of the greatest point guards ever, a guaranteed future Hall of Famer and an NBA champion.  He is also possibly the worst coach in NBA history.  Like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a pole-vault contest bad. With the exception of Bill Russell, who was a player/coach, nobody has risen faster to the conductor’s stand than Kidd.  He literally had zero coaching experience before this year.  And unfortunately, it’s looking likely that he’ll be the first coach kicked to the curb this year, as well.

"Say, you guys wouldn't want to coach an NBA team for just a second, would you?  I'll be right back." Photo from assets.nydailynews.com

“Say, you guys wouldn’t want to coach an NBA team for just a second, would you? I’ll be right back.” Photo from assets.nydailynews.com

The Timberwolves played the Nets on Friday and ended up squashing them 111-81.  Nothing that Kidd tried worked.  His staring?  Did nothing.  His nervous pacing?  Didn’t even result in a basket.  His desperate pleas for acceptance and hugs?  Not reciprocated. For a second he thought the standing ovation for KG was for him, but then he sat down quietly whispering to himself “Hey, I know that guy. We’re friends. Somebody…help me.”

Look, everybody respects Jason Kidd as a player.  He was one of the best.  But just because Ron Jeremy was good at boinkin’, it doesn’t mean you want him directing you in bed, okay?  It’s super early in the season.  Maybe Brooklyn can get an annulment?  They can just mulligan the whole beginning of the season and pretend that this never happened.  And Jason Kidd can just get in his car, (provided there’s no bottles in it) and drive away into the non-coaching sunset.

Just make sure that Net’s owner Mikhail Prokhorov actually hires a real coach, instead of Kwame Brown or Prince or Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV.  I understand bad decisions.  I live in a state that purposely elected Jesse Ventura.  But listen up, Brooklyn: You don’t hire a bartender who’s never had a drink.  Now go to your room and don’t come out until you’ve got George Karl.

Next up, the Wolves play Houston and that little bitch Dwight Howard.  All Pek has to do is punch him in the kidneys and tell him he’s not funny.  Go Wolves!

It's November, Corey. Put on a coat! Photo from dimemag.com

It’s November, Corey. Put on a coat! Kevin’s got some. Photo from dimemag.com

Hey, we’re 7-4!  Not bad!  And it’s not just the usual faces like Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic who are helping this time around.  We’ve got a handful of new additions on the Timberwolves this year.  Let’s see how they’ve stacked up:

Corey Brewer

PRO – He’s hit some much needed corner 3’s, leaks out the back for outlet passes from Kevin Love and has made some nice hustle/defensive plays.  And he has a nice smile.

CON – He’s balding a little prematurely.  Not sure what his opinions on the Orchestra strike are.

GRADE – B+

Gorgui Dieng

PRO – He can block a shot.

CON – He can also manage to foul out of a game during pre-game warm-ups.  Seriously, the dude just walks around hitting things and hopes it turns into a block.  But he’s young.

GRADE – C

Robbie Hummel

PRO – He has the heart of a lion, after coming back from two, count ’em, two ACL injuries in college.

CON – He looks like he should be working concessions instead of playing pro ball.  Also, “Robbie” is a drug-dealer’s name, like “Traintrack Robbie” or “Robbie Bathsalts.”

GRADE – B

Kevin Martin

PRO – Jesus has returned and his name is K-MART!  He’s everything we’ve needed at the shooting guard position.  Screw defense!  I LOVE KEVIN MARTIN!

CON – He has probably the weirdest looking shot since Bill Cartwright, but it goes in.  I wouldn’t care if he vomited blood and played the Insane Clown Posse from his ears, belly button and butt as long as the shot went in.

GRADE – A+++++++

Shabazz Muhammad

PRO – He has arms and legs.

CON – He has arms and legs.

GRADE – F

A.J. Price

PRO – Who?

CON – Who?

GRADE – N/A – Because I’m not convinced he’s actually a Timberwolf.

Ronny Turiaf

PRO – A friend of mine who works at Jimmy John’s delivered to him in his fancy-pants apartment and he said that he tipped well, called him sir and was the nicest guy in the world.

CON – He’s from the Caribbean and February in Minnesota hasn’t hit yet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the nearest jet ski out of town once it does.

GRADE – B

We’ve got a rough stretch of games coming up involving the Clippers, Nets, Rockets, Pacers, Nuggets, Mavs, Thunder and Spurs.  YIKES.   But first up we play the Wizards and the perennially “He’s going to be a superstar next year” John Wall.  We got this.  Go Wolves!

Kevin Love Game Winner

Kevin Love’s last minute buzzer beater against the Clips. (Ignore non-current Wolf Wayne Ellington in this picture.) Photo from jocksandstilettojill.com 

“Hey Mike Brody, that buzzer beater is from almost two years ago. Last night Kevin Love actually missed a point blank game-tying bunny at the buzzer. And we lost to the Clippers.”

See, that might seem true to you right now, but what you don’t realize is that I have a Minnesota Timberwolves time machine.  I actually went back in time and physically replaced November 2013 Clippers game Kevin Love with January 2012 Clippers game-winning shot Kevin Love and replaced them for the last ten seconds.  2012 Love made the shot and we won.  Then I swapped them back because 2012 Love wanted doughnuts.

While I was at it, I decided to go back further in the space/time vortex and create my own superteam, a la Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  It was a little awkward leaving Christian Laettner sitting there at the IDS Center Jamba Juice in 1994, but he made the Dream Team so screw that fratboy.

The All-Time Timberwolves team:

Starting PG: Ricky Rubio – “Change This Face…Be happy…Enjoy!” gets you on the all-time team.

Starting SG: Kevin Martin – Kevin is a brand new Wolf, but our second best shooting guard ever was Clyde Drexler, so it was an easy one.

Starting SF: Latrell Sprewell – Latrell helped take us to the 2004 WCF even though he couldn’t afford to feed his kids.  How selfless!

Starting PF: Kevin Love – I also went into the future and just so you know, Kevin Love will retire a Timberwolf.  In fact, he’ll be buried at 95 years old clutching his “I love Minnesota!” plateware set.

Starting C: Kevin Garnett – I know he was really a tall PF for us, but he played C for the Celtics too and can you just imagine the combo of Love and KG together?  It’d be like pizza made out of money that is also your chauffeur.

Bench:

Jonny Fynn – Just kidding.

Nikola Pekovic – He’s my all-time favorite Wolf, so I feel guilty about benching him.  But KG, dude.

Sam Cassell – Alien-headed clutch machine.

Sam Mitchell – The blue-collar work horse!  The very spirit of the Timberwolves!

Wally Gugliotta – I combined Wally Szczerbiak and Tom Gugliotta to conserve space. Meet the whitest player ever.

Tony Campbell – The OG.

JR Rider – The actual OG, even though the “Jailwolves” never really had a good ring to it.

Al Jefferson – Eh, why not?

In suits:

Joe Smith – So he can pay us back all the money he owes us.

Pooh Richardson – His name is Pooh.

Troy Hudson –  Just so he doesn’t have time to pursue his rap career.

Ballboy – Stephon Marbury

Ballboy’s assistant – David Kahn

Next up, we get revenge on the Cleveland Comic Sans.  Go Wolves!

I'm going to just leave this right here.  Photo from sportsillustrated.com

I’m going to just leave this right here. Photo from sportsillustrated.com

My hatred of the Los Angeles Lakers is well-documented.

To add insult to injury, the Minnesota Timberwolves previously had not beaten the Lakers since 2007, when gas cost a nickel a gallon and Bing Crosby ruled the pop charts.  I say “previously” because THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, we finally beat the Lakers!

Here’s where the whiners come in.  “Oh, oh, the Lakers are injured! Sob. Sob.”  Really?  Cry us a river about injuries there, Tammy Faye Bryant.  Kobe is still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and Steve Nash is having his face formaldehyde replenished.  Two players.  Whoopee.  Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Josh Howard, Brandon Roy, Malcolm Lee, Andrei Kirilenko every other game, even our damn coach missed large stretches of time.  I’m not even sure if Chase Budinger is a real person outside of rumor.  It’s possible that he’s just a well-preserved corpse being carted around a la “Weekend At Bernies” for some kind of tax reasons.

So what happens when the T-Wolves are finally, unbelievably, free of injury?  We stomp the Lakers’ asses, that’s what.  Not only did we beat them by 23, we had 47 points in the first quarter.  No, you didn’t read that wrong.  No, that’s not the first half.  The first QUARTER.  It was three points off from being an NBA record.  All five Minnesota starters had double digit points.  Ricky Rubio had a triple double.  It may have been the single most satisfying victory of my entire Timberwolves watching career.  You could just see all the Lakers fans wondering how they’d look in Clippers’ red & blue.  Poor, old Jack Nicholson probably goes to bed in his Lakers’ pajamas wondering if he’ll ever see the playoffs again.

I’ll give credit where credit is due, though.  I was holed up in a hotel, watching the game through a shady internet feed and I must say I like Lakers’ TV announcers.  Most “homer” announcers blindly hand-job their own team (Utah and Houston, I’m looking at you.)  But the Lakers, as evil as they are, come from a winning environment.  So there’s no way they can paint this season in a good light.  Every time the Wolves would go up big and force an LA time-out, the announcers would just sigh and say “Well, we are not a good team.”  Webster’s Dictionary defines “schadenfreude” as: a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people, or when the cocky-ass Lakers have a shitty-ass season.”

In conclusion:

– The Timberwolves, barring a god-hates-us injury, are definitely going to the playoffs with this team.

– The Lakers will not make the playoffs, because Kobe doesn’t know how to play in moderation.  He’s going to re-pop that crickety heel and that’s all she wrote.  Steve Nash is finally going to collapse into a pile of dust and sugar-free Larabars.   Welcome to the Nick Van Exel years 2.0.

1995 - Nick Van Exel attempts to keep his bobble head from falling off his shoulders mid-game.  Photo from img.bleacherreport.netimg.bleacherreport.ne

FEB 24, 1995 – Nick Van Exel’s bobble head rolls off his shoulders, requiring him to play the rest of the game in reclining position.  Photo from img.bleacherreport.net

Next up, the Wolves play the actually decent LA team – the Clippers at the Staples Center.  Our games against the Clippers are always entertaining, either with close games or fights or both.  Go Wolves!  Nobody step on Ricky!

Dell Curry's son warms up before the game.  Photo by Mike Brody

Dell Curry’s son warms up before the game. Photo by Mike Brody

Oof. Just when you think we’re going to be the next NBA champions/greatest team of all time/first basketball team in space, the Timberwolves get all Timberwolfy and lose two in a row.

A friend of mine scored free tickets in Row E up front for us, so I got to see our stomping with my very own eyes.  In a game where Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry both played limited minutes, from foul trouble and a minor injury respectively, we should have been able to capitalize and cruise to a victory.  But the Golden State Warriors are good.  They are really, really good.  Klay Thompson was a killer.  He scored 30 points on us, mostly on three point shots from out in the First Ave parking lot.  He looks so cocky too, flappin’ his arms around after each shot.  Luckily, I saw an interview with his dad, who said that he controls all his son’s finances so he won’t go broke and only gives him a small allowance each month.  After a stinging loss like this, it gives me solace to know that Klay Thompson might be out there begging teammate Harrison Barnes for $10 so he can see “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.”  Keep pumping that lemonade stand, Klay, you’ll get that new Huffy someday!

Klay Thompson shoots a free throw

Klay Thompson, a grown man who doesn’t control his own money, shoots probably his closest shot of the night, presumably with his dad’s permission.  Photo by Mike Brody.

I still had fun at the game, even with the crappy loss.  My favorite part was the weird Bushwacker dudes that were sitting next to us.  They screamed and hooted and shrieked ear-piercing cries on nearly every play.  I loved it.  Who didn’t love it, though, were the fuddy-duddy old dudes in the row in front of us, who seemingly accidentally showed up early for the Donny & Marie Christmas. They plugged their ears with their fingers and turned around every five minutes to shoot daggers with their eyes.  All they needed were monocles, top-hats and a little Monopoly dog in their arms to come off more like douchey, blue-blooded hurumpfers.  Frickin’ Minnesotans.  We’re so damn Norwegian that we can’t even make noise at a sporting event.

Photo by Mike Brody.

Crunch meets the Bushwackers. Photo by Mike Brody.

Next up, we play the Dallas Mavericks at home.  If we win, we’ll be 4-2 and sitting in a pretty decent position.  If we lose, we fall to 3-3 and things begin to get a little panicky.  We need a big game from Pek about now, so somebody punch a map of Montenegro in front of him and piss him off.  Go Wolves!

Carmelo Anthony's patented "Mime In a Box" defense failed to stop the Wolves on Sunday.  Photo from mediamrs.com

Carmelo Anthony’s patented “Angry Mime In a Box” defense failed to stop the Wolves on Sunday. Photo from mediamrs.com

Somebody pinch me.

We’re 3-0 for the first time since 2001, something even the 2004 Western Conference Finals Timberwolves with KG couldn’t do.  We’re not just winning either, we’re really sticking it to teams.  At one point in the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks games we were up 34 and 23 respectively.  Kevin Love and Kevin Martin are playing like beasts.  Even the perennially confused and goat-faced Derrick Williams is looking good.

To be fair, Derrick Williams spent the whole summer training against the toughest competition.  Photo from 1.bp.blogspot.com

To be fair, Derrick Williams spent the whole summer training against the toughest competition. Photo from 1.bp.blogspot.com

“Yeah,” you say.  “But the Philadelphia 76ers are also 3-0 and they’re worse than the fat kid from Teen Wolf.”  Shut up!  Philly is just a fluke, okay?  They’re in the Eastern Conference.  They’ve played against two marching bands and a sock.  (Actually, the Bulls, Wizards and Heat. But I still stand by my Wizards/sock comparison.)

Here’s the part that really freaked me out: I went on Twitter and found tons of tweets of surprise and intrigue, like “Wow, the Timberwolves are for real this year!  They’re stomping the Knicks!”  But there were also a lot of “I’m jumping on the T-Wolves bandwagon!”  Now, it should be known that we need bandwagon fans.  The more popular and “cool” the Wolves seem, the better chances of Kevin Love staying.  That said, who are these spineless, trendy, fairweather fans that come out of nowhere?  For the last ten years, the Timberwolves have been about as appealing as Bill Laimbeer in a boy band.  I’m sorry, but you don’t get to call yourselves a real Timberwolves fan unless you either live in Minnesota or the very idea of Kurt Rambis makes you want to barf all over Troy Hudson’s rap album.

Enough of the negatives.  Here’s the positive: We’re healthy and we’re going to prove ourselves to a ton of people this year.  And most importantly, we got a bit of swagger.  After we went up big on the Knicks on Sunday, they came back and we still fought them off.  Kevin Love hit a crazy, off balance shot to pretty much seal it for us.  And when he ran down the sideline he shoved his hand in Knicks’ superfan Spike Lee’s face and yanked a high five from him.  I love it.  It sums up this Minnesota Timberwolves team perfectly: We’ve been overlooked to the point of non-existence.  But we’re here, we’re whooping your team’s ass and your lousy movie-directing ass can’t ignore us anymore.  So do the right thing and watch us get ours this year.

Up next, we play the team that LeBron James definitely won’t be going back to.  Will the Wolves go 4-0? Or will Kyrie Irving and the corpse of Andrew Bynum stop our streak?  Go Wolves!