Those of you who are faithful, the type that cheers and supports despite the toughest of times, you are standouts. And when I say it ain’t easy, I’m not talking about the casual type. You know, the person who cheers for a player then bags on that same Wolves player when he’s had a bad game. Make no mistake, it’s cool to call it like it is. I’m all for it. But to blindly bag with no rhyme or reason, to complain with no emotional investment, you are casual fan and not the true, invested fan.
I highlight this because, over the past week, it’s been downright difficult to stand tall with your team. Impossible, no but difficult, certainly. That road trip and its one-sided losses were horrible on the stomach. Heck, for me, watching the games wasn’t the hard part. That came the next day as I had to listen to all the casual’s (and that’s we’ll call those bandwagon riding types that I described earlier) kicking the Wolves like a can in the street.
Granted, the Wolves played badly on the road and have to take their lumps. But as the casual’s forget, at the start of the season, patience was the word I was selling to anyone who’d listen.
Young and athletic. Talented but untested. Raw and rough around the wingspan, we now know too well that these Wolves will delight one night and dangle us on many others.
I still have nightmares about that loss to the Pelicans. Forget that it happened in a place they actually call the Smoothie Center, NOTHING worked for the Wolves that night and it has tattooed a new ethic in the minds of those Wolves players who endured the beat down.
This will be a season of highs and lows. Too bad the lows aren’t done for the year. Heck, we had enough for one season last week alone. And for as much as I want to blame it on the man with friends in low places, it’s not Garth Brooks fault for keeping the Wolves on the road for nearly a month (ok…not that long but sure felt like it).
I took to social media last week lamenting the Wolves weaknesses and disappointing effort away from Minnesota. I was harpooned. Some dude verbally clubbed me, using “rose-colored-whiner” and “rube” to describe my discussion of the Wolves shortcomings. I laughed.
You see, I’m not a casual. I come by this basketball relationship naturally. I know where the Wolves have holes. Even hoopaholics can come clean. And I know where they can hold an advantage. I often try to see the “glass-half-full” side of the T’Wolves and yes, on that just concluded road trip, I needed bifocals to find ‘em.
So, when the Wolves came home, the same casuals who ripped them a new rump for their road work, were certain that the Triangle-Challenged NY Knicks were next to serve T’Wolves on a stick during a Minnesota winter BBQ. Didn’t happen. Missing Ricky Rubio, Thad Young, Big Pek and playing with an ill Kevin Martin, somehow…someway…the Wolves rode Martin’s 37 to regain some confidence and begin to exorcize their recent road woes while pounding the Knicks by 16... Made me think of a letter I got last week from a reader who wants nothing to do with Martin. Here it is: It was Dan in MPLS who wrote::” The Wolves need to unload (Kevin) Martin at any cost. Has always been overrated, but his body language now shouts his desire to not be on this team. In 35 years of coaching I have never seen a lazier, one-dimensional player. The Wolves need more offense, (especially now without Rubio providing assists), but this guy is not worth having on the court. Whatever he gives you on offense, is more than lost on the other end of the court. Great free throw shooter, but needs a volume of shots and very inconsistent--more importantly, selfish as can be.
Dan’s thoughts were appreciated but I disagreed then and I still do now.
So, with the road trip still lingering in our minds and the “W” over the NY’s fresher, this question. How will the Wolves stack up in back to back’s this weekend against the defending NBA Champion Spurs and the vastly improved Sacramento Kings? Much like the sting of that time away, these two games concern me. I believe San Antonio will rest many of its marquee stars but still have plenty in the tank to be hard for Minnesota to manage.
The Kings on the other hand are athletic and talented like the Wolves, in fact, a bit of a mirror image, but more seasoned. And the growth of DeMarcus Cousins may be too much for Minnesota.
Whatever the case, we’re 10-games in. 72-to go. The casuals have staked out their territory and are holding ground with little intention of giving any. Wins will take care of it. For me, getting Thad an d Pek back, keeping C-Brew and not trading him while growing some of these young talents will be satisfying for me, for sure. I love seeing Shabazz dunks on ESPN’s top-10 highlights. I’m grateful for a win after a road trip that would have made Rand McNally’s knees buckle (is the Rand reference too old school?!).
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Target Center for a rare back to back home weekend. Then Sunday, it’s the Border Battle for the footballers in town. And quite frankly, that outcome might make the Wolves road trip look like a company Christmas party. The Pack could do some damage. This blog stays purple however.
What’s on your mind?!
If you are a serious Timberwolves fan (and even casuals are allowed), drop me a note with your thoughts. In fact, the best note before the end of the holiday season gets tickets to a game, on me! We’ll talk Wolves tip-off to the final buzzer. Write me at rod@gameONtvMN.com.
It’s great to have this time with you each and every week! Enjoy the return of the Wolves in stunning HDTC (High Def @ Target Center). Keep that glass half full & Keep Your GameON!
The Ricky “9” pack!!
Hoping the get him back soon from injury and to celebrate Ricky Rubio's multi-year commitment to the Wolves and the State of Minnesota, the team has a 'Ricky Rubio No. 9 Pack,' a package of this season's best matchups chosen directly by Rubio himself. Any fan who purchases Rubio's favorite eight games by Nov. 26 will receive free tickets to that night's game vs. Milwaukee, purchased by Rubio as his way of saying thank you for their support..
Packages start at $225 for upper level sideline seats. Lower level locations are also available Call 612-673-1234 or visit www.timberwolves.com/Rubio to purchase the package today.
Can’t make Rubio’s favorite games? Fans can pick their own eight games and Rubio will still buy the Nov. 26 game vs. Milwaukee. Prices will vary based on the games selected.
Tune in for Twolves!
Timberwolves games will be on radio for the 2014-15 NBA season and all 82 regular season games can be heard on News Radio 830 WCCO-AM, while La Mera Buena 107.5 and La Neta 95.9 will carry 15 games.
This is the Wolves’ fourth season on their flagship station, News Radio 830 WCCO-AM. Alan Horton returns for his eighth season as the Wolves play-by-play announcer. Horton will team up with studio host John Focke to produce 30-minute pre- and post-game shows that will be featured on-air and streamed online at www.wcco.com for every game.
SimonsSays on TV/PODcast:
GameON! and Rod Simons are winners of a 2014 Emmy award for show host! It’s exciting news as GameON! starts its new season and continues to showcase the Timberwolves like no other broadcast show in the region. GameON! is powered by Budweiser and is broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes, on demand via our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online @ www.gameontvmn.com. There is always a Wolves update on my TV show, GameON! Don’t miss an episode of the Emmy winning GameON! @ 10am this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend regionally on MidCo Sports Net.
GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). We’d love for you to “like” us on Facebook @ GameOnTvMN. Drop me a note, Rod@KTWIN.com
GameON! is also seen in North & South Dakota and Western Minnesota on MidCo SportsNet several times a weekend. We reserve the right to use your e-mails here in SimonsSays @ Timberwolves.com. You can now get SimonsSays in new PODcast form with insight/input from fans just like you and exclusive player interviews! Keep an eye out for SimonsSays PODcast @ Timberwolves.com each and every week.
And last but not least, please catch Rod throughout the day on 96.3 KTWIN-FM. Rod keeps you inside the team with This Is Twins Territory & the signature Prep Playbook which can also be found @ www.KTWIN.com.
We talk Wolves. Every day. High’s & lows. We’re there because we are fans, just like you! Keep your GameON! See you soon!