Maybe it was the cold weather? It WAS, what…-80 below when we entered Target Center the other day. Then again, maybe it was just the day. Wednesday’s are tough. Hump day has its claws on all of us every now and then. Or maybe it was the opponent. Houston rolled into town one of the NBA’s hottest teams. In fact, owning the third best record.
Then there’s James Harden and the possibility of him in our face all night long, I’m not sure just what it was
But, if you weren’t there or didn’t see it on TV, you missed a great Wolves game. A game to remember for this young pack.
You see, much is made of the Wolves and their talent and their inability to turn losses into wins in the second half of NBA games this season. Houston is a text book case for
Minnesota. Young, aggressive, great shooting and very talented. But on this night, aided by poor Rockets shooting out of the gate, the Wolves set the tone early. Minnesota outrebounded the Rockets by nearly 20-boards. The Wolves outscored the Rockets in every quarter but the second.
The Wolves bench outscored the H-guys bench by ten. And shooting? The Wolves got huge contributions with six players scoring in double figures, the team shot a nice 54% from the field and the Wolves outran the high flyers on the break by 20-7.
I bring this to your attention because, since the start of the new year, I’ve been hammered by the hoop “have-nots” via social media, buying groceries or shoveling snow.
Love ‘em but they are not the serious fan. More of the fair-weather flair. Those naysayers have given up on a season
That has a lot more in the tank. Yes, the shaky start did not kill
You’re Wolves. Make no mistake, there’s work to do. But be on the bus. The Wolves are a substantial winning streak away from vaulting into eighth place in the Western Conference playoff chase and we aren’t even at the all-star break yet. Play like the Wolves did in their win against the Rockets, do it night in and out…gain that consistency that’s been missing
especially down the stretch, and it’s GameON! A few more nights like the -80 below beast that provided the romp over the Rockets will do just fine.
Who’s Your Bestie?
So my buddy Hoops gets me going while watching the Rockets-Wolves.
As you know, my guy Hoops, has hung with me for a long time. Thick and thin. Hot and cold. Fire and ice. That’s we two.
Hoops is in love with the Harden’s and Steph’s. ‘Bron, Westbrook and KD…Hoops believes (and I agree) that the NBA talent pool is the best it’s been since early MJ, Bird and Magic. You know, those Dream Team days.
It’s impressive when you think about it too. King James and his Cavs crew to Curry and all those Warriors standouts grab most of the attention. Truth be told, every team has a star or two that supports my greatness theory. Another example is Toronto, then how about the continued greatness of the San Antonio Spurs and OKC winning after the departure of Durant.
Hoops then busts me up with this one. “Hey”, Hoops shouts. “You’re in love with all this young talent. OK then, give me your top-5 of the young Bucks”.
Funny to think that a shouting out high-5’s to
Karl-Anthony Towns against the Rockets would drive Hoops to get after me. But I was up for it. And Hoops got me thinking.
I DO love the young blood pumping up the league now. So, here are my five…and I’m hoping you share your top-5 in comparison.
1.) Giannis Antetokounmpo. I took a very long hard look at this kid over the course of this season (thanks NBA League Pass) and he’s amazing. 6-11, runs the court better than most everyone else and can flat out play. in the last ten games, GA has dropped 25 points in 34 minutes a game. He’s an OK rebounder but remember, he plays away from the basket a bunch. If you are a Bucks fan, there’s good reason to be optimistic.
2.) Kyrie Irving. Numbers don’t even come close to telling this story. Passionate, hard working and can do whatever it takes to beat you. Played only one short season @ Duke then bolted for the NBA. He knew he could play. Now everyone else does. Including the Golden State Warriors.
3.) KAT. ((Hoops told me I couldn’t name more than one Wolves young stud to the list so that’s why Andrew Wiggins is missing)). OK, I’m slightly biased but I see KAT as potentially one of the best in the game. How great?! Still not sure. But KAT’s numbers will –WOW- you. In 36 minutes a game he double-double’s you to death. 21 points and 12 rebounds with a block or two. KAT gets knocked for his “D” but that’ll come. KAT is ALL upside. Just like Antetokounmpo. And b-t-w, so is Wiggins.
4.) Isaiah Thomas. He is so much fun to watch. That little engine that could. Thomas is getting better with every game. One NBA coach told me recently that defending Thomas is tough because of his range, ability and passion. Thomas shows up for every game. The Celtics love him and for good reason. Scoring 28 a night up and 10-points better than his career average. If you haven’t seen Isaiah Thomas, do yourself a favor. This guard can play. And he’s from Tacoma, Washington. A former SimonsSays stop on the ol’ life road map.
5.) Kristaps Porzingis. How can this list NOT have this big fella on it. 7-3, 240 pounds and because Carmelo Anthony is there in NYC, KP doesn’t get as many touches as he should. That will change. Needs to rebound more but, again, ALL upside on this Knick. And do you remember all the boos when Knicks fans heard his name on draft night?! #HowDoyoulikeMeNow
Hoops smiled with agreement. Hoops looked at my scribbled list and replied, “Nice. Very nice. You left off a few I would have added but the "Greek Freak" is going to be elite. I love KAT too. I can’t cheer for the Cats but I understand
Why you did that. Nice Simons. Nice”.
And to you, i admit I likely didn’t pick the same cats as you might have. But I like my bunch. And I’m still driving or sitting near the front of the Wolves bandwagon. I’m not giving in or up. This roller coaster season is simply growing pains. This is a good basketball team that will be great. And soon I believe.
Drop me your team and fave-5-youngsters by e-mailing me at Rod@GameONtvMN.com. Feel free to compare notes. And keep your GameON!
Still keeping Sid in our thoughts! Sid Hartman is getting better but still needs some good vibes. He’s 96 years old and still goes stronger than many of us. As legends go, Sid Hartman is one of Minnesota’s largest and he’s on the mend. Sid is healing after falling and breaking his hip. Sid had surgery the next day and then, 24-hours after that, he was gently back on his feet. Hey Sid, feel better! You got your GameON!
Say What Rod?!
I’d love to get your feedback and your thoughts? You know, communication is a two-way street. So let me know what you think. I’ve always loved your notes and we’ll be engaged…ready to talk Wolves and the NBA! You can e-mail me your comments, just send it to rod@gameonTVmn.com
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