They are right before our eyes and as the NBA season winds into its halftime of sorts, it’s very interesting to me to see and gauge fan reaction via social media/press to the unraveling of rosters, injuries and performances.
Case in point, I’m slowing down for the first time this holiday season and I’m able to grab the couch & clicker to zap between bowl playoff games and the Wolves/Sac Kings.
First thing, I’m NOT crazy for wanting to the Wolves/Kings. Sac has always been an interesting hoops town for me. They’ve great players, moderate levels of success and never that title every team dreams of.
Watching Rudy Gay, D-Cousins (whom I now admit we should have drafted despite his jagged personal edges) and the Kings squeak out a close one over the Wolves, my buddy Hoops hits me with a few high hard questions.
Hoops are welcomed anytime and followed our family from the left coast to Minnesota years ago. He’s known as “Uncle Hoops” to my daughter, showers her with fun little gifts and still enjoys joining me with a Wolves game, on TV or in person, every chance we get. Hoops can’t stop talking about seeing KG, in his prime, at Seattle’s Key Arena against his then favorite team, the Sonics.
Anyway, Hoops is bellyaching about the calls when he hits me with this. Hoops had been going on and on and about Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio and big Pek being out of the line-up when he cross court’s this one to me. “Ya know, we’re not the only team in the NBA with injury and roster problems. Look at the Cadavers (his term of endearment for the Cleveland Cavaliers). Now THAT’s a team in a big mess”.
I stopped and had to agree with him. Hoops was trying to justify another Wolves loss, which is understandable, but at the same time making light of another team’s serious problems, on a slightly higher profile and place. On the spot, I nodded.
The Cav’s are a mess. Granted losing 10-straight games and 16 of your last-17 is no walk in the park but in C-town, the fans are beyond on-edge. Holy moly.
Out for the next two weeks is King James (LeBron) and out for the season is Anderson Verejao. Hoops brings it up because it’s his way to open the book and begin the jabs at one Kevin Love.
Hoops is convinced that Love is Cleveland’s version of Walking Dead. That man who wears the number 0 now is gone with the start of the off-season. After this two week stretch of no LeBron, the tussle over who controls what between Love and a still mending Kyrie Irving and the seeing the shaky ground on which rookie Head Coach David Blatt is operating, Love will have made his decision. “O” doesn’t only stand for Ohio but also Outta-here.
Its basketball’s haves and have-nots. The Cavs never dreamed they’d be starting Mike Miller, Tristan Thompson, Irving, Love and a cat named Matthew Dellavedova in the first week of the New Year 2015. And as the Cavs are 4-games over 500, can they stay there and remain a playoff contender?
The two teams, the Wolves and Cavs, are in completely different situations. The rebuild on blueprint here in the MInneapple while the Cav’s are hoping to survive this mid winter pothole en-route to the playoffs and an NBA Championship. The Cavs are still in it. But injuries hit even the NBA “haves” not just the “have-nots”. And for fans, it stings one way or the other.
So, as the holiday season ends the Wolves get a nice long home stretch in which I see them picking up a few wins with home cooking. While bummed about this current losing streak, I see good things about the Wolves. One reader chided me about it too…Earle in Golden Valley writes: “I’m curious, who do you like on this rebooted Wolves team? They have to work so much harder to win while missing those injured players”.
Great note Earle and thanks for dropping in. I agree, getting a “W” for this team is not easy while missing the injured but if you watch, they remain competitive and are not quitting. I have two players who are stepping up. One is Andrew Wiggins who hit a career high 21 in the first half vs. the Kings (27 on the night) and is aggressively making a bigger impact in games in his rookie season. The second & perhaps the player who is most impressive to me is Shabazz.
Muhammad will turn out to be a better player than the one the Wolves thought they were getting on draft night a few years ago. Now more well rounded than during his playing days @ UCLA, Muhammad works hard in practice, doesn’t make the same mistake on the court over and over and is a serious shooter.
Shabazz’s upside is enormous and he’s young, just like Wiggins and Guard Zach LeVine. These are nice building blocks but is this trio enough? No. We need to get the injured vets back on the court and have a little of our own luck to see how they all come together. Remember (this to the frustrated fan in all of us) that Wolves management knows that much more is needed and in time it’ll turn for the better.
For now, I’ll take the little steps of improvement and player development in a season that has just 5 wins in some 30-games. In those situations, a little bit of hope is better than none at all. From the haves or the have-nots.
Here’s hoping you’re off to a great 2015, that your Christmas holiday season was joyful and relaxing. And remember, don’t be a “casual” fan. Stay on board. Keep the faith and keep your GameON! Cheers to you in the New Year!
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.
This is cool! The Wolves have launched a new mobile app that gives fans instant access to exclusive Wolves content and live game coverage. Fans can download the free app on iOS and Android devices by visiting Timberwolves.com/mobile.
The official Timberwolves app offers fans the ability to follow live game content including the score, stats, shot charts and related social media conversations via the Game Tracker. The app also allows fans to seamlessly check the team’s schedule, roster and conference standings. Fans on the go can stay engaged and updated with the team by accessing Wolves articles, photo galleries and original videos through the app. New features including ticket sales integrations, fan experience modules, exclusive membership content and more will be added to the app in the near future. The app is another step the Wolves have taken to accommodate the continued growth of mobile web use. Last season, the Wolves launched their re-designed website that is optimized for mobile viewing.
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!