This has been a great week. I was able to return safely from a great week of work for a tremendous charity in Arizona. The team I cheered won Super Bowl 49. The snow and cold aren’t knocking me out as it did a year ago at this time. Spring is right around the corner and the Wolves played and won a game the way I KNOW they can play.
I was in sheer hoop heaven Wednesday night as Minnesota hosted the Heat at Target Center. For once, our big guns were strutting on the hardwood. Together. Not injured. It was must see for me.
You see, no one feels sorry for the NBA team with injuries. They all have them. Teams play through them and find ways to win and lose games in the process. Throughout this NBA season, the piling on to these hindered and battered Wolves has been greater than the snowplows stacking snow in your nearby Super Target parking lot. But who’s belly-aching’?! It is what it is and you play through it. Until the posse rolls back into town.
I couldn’t wait to get through 48 minutes and believe it or not, I wasn’t stressin’ the first three quarters against Miami. Ricky Rubio being back was joyous for me after watching a nice effort against the Mavs down in Dallas. But to see Kevin Martin sliding off picks and burying “3-balls”, to see Nikola Pekovic get in some mid game grillin’ with Chris Bosh or any other who’d get in his way and to see Mo Williams feast on veteran love…it was sweet.
(Editor’s note: Wolves Naysayers or “Casual Fan” Alert: Writer SimonsSays is going to go off on a tangent now) This Wolves team is simply not as bad as some would think or like them to be. When this ball team is healthy, the pieces are nice. Championship?! I don’t think so but very competitive and a perfect environment for a young cat named Wiggins to grow his game is exactly what this team is.
The fourth quarter was magic. Hey, Miami’s big guy, Hassan Whiteside was serious! Big fella can play, huh?! Despite Hassan, the Wolves beat the decent Heat and at the heart of the win (and comeback) was the heart of this Wolves franchise, Rubio.
He makes everyone better. Rubio demonstrates to the detractors what CAN happen when your studs are in the line-up. It’s WAY too easy to feast on a team hurting and trying to get healthy. The starting lineup of Wiggins, Thad Young, Pek, Rubio and Martin is a legit NBA starting-5. They showed it too.
In that fateful 4th, the Wolves stood tall after being admonished by head coach Flip Saunders for being “soft” and under-performing. Wiggins played 37 minutes with 6 points but had a huge basket late. Martin was making me dizzy with 11 of 23 in 40 minutes and 30 points. Young is the man I’ve been telling everyone all season. T-Young scored 16 but was a perfect fit in the paint and on the other side of Pek or Gorgui Dieng to make plays that don’t show in the box score.
The Wolves are not going to be a team that blows out other clubs night in and night out but they also, when healthy, are not dang doormats. If you believe that, you need to enroll in my hoopology 201 courses coming to a coffee shop near you soon. This Wolves team has the ability to play inside and out. They can get rough if need be. They will greyhound you if need be up and down the floor too. Make no mistake, that win over the Heat did wonders for this team. A little shot of “I KNEW we had this in us” goes a long way.
I had a buddy e-mail me the day after the Heat with this little shot and had to share. Patrick wrote “OK, OK…settle down. It’s one win and it’s not in the playoffs. Do you really think they can stack up some wins? Be real Rod?” I loved this because it was after a 45 minute phone call with him while as I stared at Sports Center for Wolves highlight sightings.
Listen, the Wolves can string some wins. This is a tough month this February thing is a bit daunting for sure. Yikes! Memphis, @ Detroit , Golden State and Atlanta and Phoenix before we come up for air? The plan is hope to simply keep ‘em close and then see where it goes. Granted, there are some teams like the Warriors and Hawks who are making big headlines and waves but they can be taken. Free of injuries, anything can happen. Right? Keep the faith.
No Love for K-Love?!
I caught this note in my e-mail and had to comment. Ryan in Brooklyn Park writes “I went to the Cavs-Wolves game and thought the crowd was sad. I also think you are a little harsh on the contributions of Kevin Love during his time as a Minnesota player. Just sayin’..
Ryan, thanks for the note and your thoughts. I had many friends in the crowd for the Love-return and they told me it was tame and good natured. Were you there? I watched from Arizona and felt the same way. As for me being tough on K-Love, not a chance. I call it like I see it and yes, he did good things here but his trade was nothing sort of genius for the Wolves. I’m over it. The two teams have played, we have growing to do and Love has free agent moves to make at seasons end.
In fact, these healthier Wolves have some team hopping’ to work on and on our radar are the Lakers, Kings and Jazz. We’ll get past the Knicks to allow them the NBA’s worst record.
Team Flip is on the mend and that’s a good thing. It’s made my week much better. I love being in a pro sports town that has team’s that represent and your Wolves are back in business. Let’s just keep the Doctors and Trainer Farnam on the bench.
That’s it for now. Until next week, keep your Game ON! and do not be a “casual” fan. Stay on board. Keep the faith! See you on TV!
What’s on your mind?!
If you are a serious Timberwolves fan (and even the casual fan is allowed), drop me a note with your thoughts. 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@go963MN.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 GO96.3 FM. Rod keeps you inside the team with This Is Twins Territory & the signature Prep Playbook which can also be found @ www.go963MN.com.
We talk Wolves. Every day. High’s & lows. We’re there because we’re fans, just like you! Keep your GameON! See you soon!