2010-11 NBA Season: Various Minnesota Timberwolves Photos Part 1 of 2
The Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to pick up contract options on three of their players—Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington & Lazar Hayward.
Wes was a rookie last season averaging 9ppg, 3rpg & almost 2apg. He also set a franchise record for made-threes by a rookie with 103. Wes will likely be the Wolves starting shooting guard next season, unless they find someone else in free agency—seemingly unlikely.
Wayne Ellington will be picked up for his fourth year in Minnesota. In his time, he’s been a serviceable backup at the 2-guard. Providing a deadly mark from 3.
Lazar was also a rookie last season as he played sparingly behind Michael Beasley & Martell Webster. He’ll likely be the fourth option now at the small forward—since the addition of Derrick Williams throws that off a bit. Beasley & Williams will receive most of the minutes at the 3, Martell will likely get some time at the 2-guard, leaving Lazar as the last option.
The decision(s) to retain these three players has come just two days before the potential labor lockout (7/1). Which could—potentially, wipe out all of next season!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned all year round for your daily TWolves news, information & updates—GO WOLVES!!
The new-look Minnesota Timberwolves, workout-Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph, Wesley Johnson and Martell Webster at the TWolves practice facility!
|—||Kevin Love, following Saturday’s workout with Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee, Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster & Anthony Randolph—about the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|—||Minnesota TWolves all-star forward Kevin Love on the Wolves point guard: Ricky Rubio—after an impromptu workout with Ricky, Anthony Randolph, Wes Johnson, Malcolm Lee, Derrick Williams & Martell Webster at the Target Center earlier this week|
The heads of Minnesota TWolves fans are still spinning as they attempt to decipher who exactly the Wolves drafted and who will be playing in a TWolves uniform next season. I’ll do my best to clear the air, if anyone is still left dazed and confused.
First off, the easy one, with the #2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Arizona forward Derrick Williams. Williams will be thrown in with the bevy of forwards the Wolves already posses—Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph & Anthony Tolliver. Tonight, David Kahn made clear to the media that Derrick Williams will be playing for the Wolves next season and that Michael Beasley ‘supported’ the Wolves selecting Williams. With that being said, Williams could still be moved for a GREAT offer, but it would take some/a special player(s) in return. Furthermore, Michael Beasley could be on the move, though David Kahn stated that Beasley isn’t going anywhere…time will tell.
After the #2 pick things got INCREDIBLY murky for the Wolves.
The next pick Minnesota had was #20 which they acquired before the draft via the Memphis Grizzlies. With the 20th overall pick, the TWolves selected Donatas Motiejunas…though he won’t be a Minnesota Timberwolf. The Minnesota Timberwolves then turned around and sold his rights to Houston, along with Jonny Flynn for Rockets big man-Brad Miller as well as the 23rd & 57th pick(s).
That’s right Wolves fans, Jonny Flynn has played his last game for the Minnesota Timberwolves—though, he may not even play for his new team: the Houston Rockets, as they’re reportedly already looking to move Flynn (the idea being that they shed Miller’s $9M contract for Flynn’s $3M contract).
Then came the Wolves 23rd pick, which they had just acquired from the Rockets. With the 23rd overall pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected…Nikola Mirotic…for the Chicago Bulls! That’s right, Mirotic’s rights were promptly sent to the Bulls for their 28th & 43rd overall picks in the draft.
With that, the Wolves’ next pick was at 28 where they selected…Norris Cole…for the Miami Heat! AGAIN, the Wolves moved the pick to Miami and in return, received the 31st overall pick in the draft as well as a future 2nd rounder and cash considerations. How did the Heat have the 31st pick in the draft you may ask?! Oh, that’s right, it was sent to Miami from Minnesota in the Michael Beasley deal!
All right, the Wolves next pick was then the 31st overall. If you haven’t realized yet, the Wolves have now selected at 2, 20, 23 & 28 and so far have just new rookie on their roster: #2 overall pick: Derrick Williams! With the 31st overall pick, the TWolves selected…Bojan Bogdanovic…for the New Jersey Nets! Is anyone else sensing a pattern? That’s right, the Wolves selected this pick for the New Jersey Nets and in return received…cash considerations.
At this point you may be wondering: “Why do the Wolves keep trading away all their picks for $.” Well, if you’d been on Twitter, the rumor circulating would’ve been, that, since Kurt Rambis had been fired, the Wolves had to finance his buyout because the minority owners didn’t want to pay for it! David Kahn quickly refuted those rumors while talking to the media, but because most fans refer to Kahn as a “Little Weasel”, does that make you want to trust him? Does the way he dragged out the Rambis situation and treated Kurt extremely unprofessionally, make you want to trust him?
Anyway, back to the draft. The Wolves then selected 43rd. This was a pick acquired from Chicago via the Utah Jazz, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected UCLA guard Malcolm Lee…for the…Minnesota Timberwolves. Wait, is that right?…THAT’S RIGHT! David Kahn took and intends to keep Malcolm Lee.
Finally, with the last pick in the draft for the Minnesota Timberwolves the Wolves had the 57th pick. This was acquired in an alternate trade. The Blazers and the Mavericks swapped some picks/players-Rudy Fernandez went to Dallas, the Blazers got the 57th pick and the 26th pick (Jordan Hamilton). Then they sent Hamilton along with Andre Miller to the Nuggets for point guard Raymond Felton! All Wolves fans need to know, we got the 57th pick and with it…Tanguy Ngombo a forward from Qatar. Pete Philo—a scout for the Wolves reported has seen him play more than once and is very high on him. Though Ngombo will stay overseas for a year or two. I, myself have never heard of him, so I had to do a bit of research and rather than regurgitate what I found, follow the link below for an excellent story as well as video highlights of the Wolves’ newest international player.
A small sidenote: the trades that I’ve discussed above are those pertaining to the Minnesota Timberwolves, there were more trades that took place, but I’ve only listed the ones that are relevant to Minnesota!
Well, hopefully we’ve helped to clear the air! I’ll be around as always providing you with daily updates on TWolves news & information. Any questions, comments or concerns about tonight’s draft or anything TWolves feel free to message me or find me on Twitter: @donnycersado27 for clarification. Thanks for reading, GO WOLVES and GOOD NIGHT!
During Derrick Williams’ session with the media yesterday (5/19), he made it abundantly clear that he was and will be a “3” (small forward) in the NBA, not a “4” (power forward). That’s the position he feels he is best suited for and he backed that up by saying, “Whoever picks me will find that out. I’m just a lot more skilled than people think I am.
In a tweet by Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, Zgoda commented that the one thing Williams didn’t lack was confidence.
Williams feels he’s the best player in the draft and he has his sights set on the Rookie of the Year Award. ”I’m not cocky or anything, but that’s the main focus right now, to win the Rookie of the Year.”
After interviewing with the TWolves brass, Williams declared that the Wolves have a chance to select this year’s best player with the draft’s second pick next month.
Williams has had two successful years at the collegiate level and is ready to take his talents to the NBA. In a year he’s gone from possible first-round pick, to one of the draft’s top two players. The question is, will he be a “Wolf”?
With the “logjam” of forwards on the TWolves roster: (Beasley, Webster, Hayward, Love, Randolph and Tolliver), Williams will likely not be a “Timberwolf” next season. As noted before, the Timberwolves are in trade talks about moving the #2 pick and it’s believed if they don’t move the pick, they may take Turkish big man Enes Kanter at #2.
Stay tuned for all the up-to-date Timberwolves news and information all offseason long. Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
There is no word yet, but indications have been strong ever since David Kahn’s end of the year press conference, just before the Wolves’ last game of the season, that 2nd-year Head Coach Kurt Rambis would be, most likely, let go this offseason. Two-years into a 4-year deal he signed with the Wolves, Kurt Rambis has successfully accomplished the feat of being the worst coach in franchise history. I’m not just saying that though!! By his 32-132 overall record. That’s right, it became official about mid-season, Kurt Rambis is the worst coach in franchise history (record-wise at least).
Needless to say, there is a very good chance the Wolves won’t be bringing him back.
Owner Glen Taylor has told David Kahn and his front office staff to gather information and evaluations of Rambis’ & the Wolves last two seasons, for him to look over, before Kahn and himself make a final decision.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune feels quite strongly that Kurt Rambis won’t be courtside for the Wolves next season and he feels that the decision needs to be made sooner rather than later, so the Wolves can acclimate a new coach and have him ready by the Draft this summer.
Zgoda brought up a good point in his article (found here: http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/120214289.html ). He talked about the CBA and the $ situation that could present a problem for the Wolves. Basically, is Taylor going to want to fire Rambis, but still have to pay him as well as a new coach in a season that may be shortened OR may not even happen!
Either way, we’ll take a look at some of the potential coaches the Timberwolves could look to interview, hopefully soon, assuming that Rambis is indeed fired. Which, if you go to almost any TWolves fan site, where comments can be posted, seems to be the general theme!
Furthermore, the fact that when asked, the Timberwolves players didn’t stand up for their new coach. At least most of them didn’t. Of course in the midst of a 17-win season and en-route to the worst record in the NBA who can blame ‘em? I CAN! I’ve always felt the coaches get the most fault for the lackluster play of their team, but when a team thrives, who gets the glory? It’s certainly not the NBA coach who spends every waking hour going through hours of film, coaching and working with 15 different personalities, all the while trying to get them to buy into his system. Let’s face it, these 65 losses this season and the other 67 last season aren’t all on Rambis, at least that’s how I feel! It’s the players fault, it’s GM David Kahn’s fault (when the Wolves drafted Rubio and Flynn in the same draft, before hiring Rambis who had no need for either of those point guards! and, yes Coach Rambis. In a 17-win season, there’s plenty of blame to go around!
However, when asked Kevin Love, “beat around the bush” and said he wouldn’t mind if Rambis stayed, he also said that he wouldn’t mind a change. We know they don’t have the greatest relationship and if it’s going to take a new coach to keep Love happy and in Minnesota, long-term, that alone would seem worth it! Wesley Johnson also said a change wouldn’t be bad, that the Wolves players could handle it, citing when Anthony Randolph came over in the latter stages of the season, how the team was able to adjust. In earlier interviews toward the end of the year, Martell Webster, Anthony Tolliver and Kevin Love have all stated, in some way, that they didn’t believe that all the Timberwolves’ players were buying into his system. However, there was one player, that I know of, that stood up for his coach: Michael Beasley. The first-year Timberwolf backed his coach and hoped Kurt would be staying beyond this season.
Although Rambis does have some support; very little, I think we can all agree that there are certainly some names out there that could possibly be had as new coaches. Below are just a few of the available candidates.
Rick Adelman: He just was “fired” as the Rockets’ head coach. Now at 65/6 no one is going to confuse him from that young guy sitting on the Miami pine, but he still feels he can coach in this League and will certainly be looking for work in the future. But, really, is Adelman going to want to come to this train wreck (it hurts me to say: train wreck, but what else do you call a 17-win season that ended with a 15-game losing streak?!)? Adelman would certainly be a valuable assest to the Wolves bench. His knowledge and wisdom as well as his approach with players and his system have been effective in the past, but ultimately, chances are slim he’ll want anything to do with the Wolves…
Mike Brown: Former Coach of the Year, Former Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I mean, he was fired from the Cavaliers, they hired Byron Scott and suddenly the Cavs went from a 65-win team to a 65-loss team! OH, wait a minute, I nearly forgot LeBron James bolted hometown Cleveland! No, but really, the year Mike Brown won Coach of the Year, I remember laughing about it because, really could the Cavs have won 45 games that year if you replaced LeBron with, let’s say…Jason Kapono (that’s obviously an extreme example), quick answer: NO! I don’t know much about his system or how well he can build a team, because you know watching those Cavs the past few years (not this year!) that they always seemed to have a strong chemistry on and I assume off the court (excluding of course Delonte and LeBron’s mother :/). I have heard from a few people that they would like to see Brown as the Wolves new head coach. It seems to me, that he should certainly get an interview and be a strong suitor for the position, beyond that, I really don’t know!
Jeff Van Gundy: The former New York Knicks and former Houston Rockets coach and current NBA analyst could certainly be a target for the Wolves this offseason. Van Gundy has expressed interest in returning to coaching in an interview with Bill Simmons in 2009. He’s got a 748-430 overall record in his career.
Jim O’Brien: He was fired from the Pacers earlier this year, but he is one of the more/most unlikely options. O’Brien isn’t a great coach and isn’t known as a players coach either. O’Brien’s relationships with his players and the Pacers were struggling as a result. I wouldn’t expect the Wolves to make him an offer or any team in the near future will make him an offer.
Frank Vogel: Frank Vogel is currently the head coach for the Indiana Pacers. He is the current interim coach since O’Brien’s firing. Word is, that at the end of the playoffs for the Pacers, Vogel will be a potential candidate for the long-term job, however chances are good that the Pacers won’t be bringing him back, unless the Pacers have a big upset over the Bulls.
Mike Dunleavy: Dunleavy was the Clippers coach before he was fired and was replaced by Vinny Del Negro. The chances of Dunleavy ever getting another coaching gig is and should be slim. He’s not a great coach and hopefully, if Rambis is indeed let go, is someone that will not be considered, but he’s certainly an option.
Jerry Sloan: Sloan has said in reports that he would consider a return to the pine, while other reports suggest he wouldn’t even consider any offers, as he’s happily retired. I don’t think the Wolves would be a location for the 69-year-old. I don’t see Sloan wanting to be a part of this young, still struggling squad. However, hopefully he’s someone the Wolves at least try and get in contact with.
Kelvin Sampson: Since 2008 Sampson has been an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. This was a name that got brought up in a Star Tribune article earlier in the year, when there was initial word that Rambis may not be back with the TWolves next season. Since the 80s he was a coach for various college teams: Montana Tech, Washington State, Oklahoma & Indiana. If Rambis gets the boot, I’d expect Sampson to be one of the Wolves’ top candidates.
Lawrence Frank: The former-New Jersey Nets head coach and current Boston Celtics assistant is another potential candidate. Like a lot of the coaches in this list he’ll be on the radar of a lot of the coach-seeking teams: Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers & Detroit Pistons. Lawrence Frank is a solid coach despite being the coach of the Nets when they won just 12 games a season ago.
John Kuester: There is little doubt by anyone that John Kuester will indeed be fired this offseason. John Kuester has not had a good career in Detroit missing the playoffs the last two seasons and sour relationships with his players on and off the court. The fact, however, is that Kuester will be available. If the TWolves even consider him, they’ll be making a HUGE mistake.
Keith Smart: There have been no official announcements yet, but chances seem likely that the rookie coach Smart will not be back with the Warriors next season. Chances are good he’ll catch on with another team as an assistant coach again, but chances are slim the TWolves will consider the current Warriors coach.
Mike Woodson: Former Atlanta Hawks coach Woodson is a talented coach that led the Hawks to multiple playoff appearances after rebuilding the team from a number of lousy seasons. This has been a big target of the Houston Rockets recently, but I hope the Timberwolves will seriously consider Woodson.
Larry Brown: Former Charlotte Bobcats coach Brown has stated that he is most interested in returning to college coaching, but he’ll certainly be an option for the Wolves. Larry Brown shouldn’t be a top candidate for the Wolves though, Brown has been notorious for trading away the players he simply doesn’t like (Tyson Chandler, Jason Richardson etc.) the last thing the Wolves need is a coach that’s going to come in and try and blow up the roster.
Kevin McHale: The former Timberwolves coach and current TNT NBA analyst seems like an extremely unlikely hire. Call me crazy, but I don’t see the Wolves re-hiring the guy they fired just two seasons ago. However, you never know, he does have a strong relationship with All-Star Kevin Love, so it’s certainly still a possibility.
Patrick Ewing: The all-star Knicks center and current Magic assistant has long been vocal about wanting the opportunity to get a head coaching gig. He should certainly be on the short list for the Wolves as a possible hire. He could really help to further develop the Timberwolves big men: Love, Beasley, Randolph, Milicic, Pekovic, Tolliver etc.
Eddie Jordan: Former 76ers and Wizards coach seems like another unlikely hire for the Wolves, but like a lot of these guys…he’s available. He was fired after just a season with the 76ers, obviously the guy they got this past summer (Doug Collins) has made the most of his team (7th seed in the East). Jordan should and most likely not a possibility for our Wolves.
Brian Shaw: The current Los Angeles Lakers assistant and likely replacement for Phil Jackson this offseason. Brian Shaw wouldn’t be an ideal hire whatsoever. It would make not sense whatsoever, because he’s “cut from the same cloth” as Rambis as a former Jackson assistant, running the triangle.
Mike Budenholzer: The current San Antonio Spurs assistant is a potential “get” for the Wolves. Budenholzer is a good assistant working under a great coach: Gregg Poppovich. Under Pop, Budenholzer has learned quite a bit, Budenholzer has also been a candidate for the Rockets.
Don Nelson: Former Golden State Warriors coach was fired just before the start of the 10-11 season. In a recent report Nelson has said he will listen to any offer that comes his way. His relationships with a couple of the current Timberwolves’ players could be a good or bad thing (I don’t know their relationships with each other): Anthony Tolliver & Anthony Randolph. I could see him being a serious candidate if Rambis is indeed let go.
Bill Laimbeer, David Wohl, John Blair-Bickerstaff, Reggie Theus: The current set of Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coaches. I doubt that any of these men will get serious consideration. Bill Laimbeer’s name has come up a few times, but chances are slim that the former Detroit Shock (WNBA) head coach will get an offer. He’s continually expressed desire to be a head coach. As for the other three guys, if the Wolves decide to fire Rambis, I’d expect them to “clean house” with his assistants (especially considering the new coach would hire a new set of assistants).
As I said before, there’s no indication at this time as to whether or not Rambis will indeed be fired, but if he is, there’s your list of possible coaching options. Updates will be available on this site if there’s any word on Rambis’ future with the Wolves. Until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves season is over. It mercilessly came to an end a week ago in a 121-102 loss to the Houston Rockets. With that, today we’re taking a look at our roster and handing out a few awards of our own, specifically for the Timberwolves!
First off, the Most Valuable Player for the Wolves this season. This one’s a no brainer, the Wolves’ MVP=Kevin Love. A first-time all-star, set a new record for consecutive double-doubles since the ABA/NBA merger (53), lead the league in total rebounds and rebounds per game and is the likely candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year! Love expanded his game this year with the three-point shot and with Big Al out of the picture, Love got a bump in minutes and his production skyrocketed. He lead the Wolves and the League in rebounds and rebounds per game as well as leading the Wolves in points per game. Kevin Love is your Timberwolves MVP!
Most Improved Player: This is also a no-brainer. The likely candidate to win the League MIP is Kevin Love, the winner of the Wolves MIP is…KEVIN LOVE! With a bump in minutes came a big bump in his stats as well as his popularity in Minnesota and in the League!
Most Disappointing Player: Any Timberwolves fan could name this one right off the bat, it was and is without a doubt the second-year guard Jonny Flynn. Offseason hip surgery saw him miss the first part of the season. Upon his return, we (Wolves fans) had high expectations for Flynn to take over his starting spot from Ridnour and thrive and improve upon his rookie year. Those high expectations were not met, not even close, disappointing; it was beyond disappointing. Needless to say with Rubio on his way, Ridnour on the books for another 3 years and a strong chance of Irving being our first pick, I think it’s more than safe to say Flynn has played his last game for the TWolves game.
"Best" Reserve: There are certainly a few more candidates for this one. The Wolves got great performances from Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver & Martell Webster. They were certainly the three best reserves on this team, but lets try and weed some of these guys out. First off, Randolph didn’t join the Wolves till just before the Trade Deadline, so he played less than half a season for the Wolves, although that time was solid I think we can eliminate him. Both Martell Webster and Anthony Tolliver were down with separate injuries during the season, but both were key contributors for the Wolves. Martell Webster was in and out with his performance. Anthony Tolliver wasn’t a big offensive player or really a great defensive player, but every time he got out there he hustle and worked extremely hard. My “best”/key reserve goes to first-year Timberwolf Anthony Tolliver.
"Mr. Hustle": No more than 2 sentences ago I gave you my pick for “Mr. Hustle”. Anthony Tolliver got out there every night and according to almost every Wolves reporter he was the hardest working man on the roster. In early, out late, a desire to succeed and the determination to put in the time. Anthony Tolliver is your Timberwolves “Mr. Hustle”!
Those are your award-winners, that’s all for now. Stay tuned all summer for some updates on your favorite sports team. We’ll also be bringing you some player biographies, coaching updates, free agent outlooks, CBA updates, draft outlook(s), the Wolves’ biggest needs & we’ll take a look and keep you up to date on what all your favorite Wolves players and what they’re working on this summer. Stay tuned, until then, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!!
Timberwolves fans had yet another season of turmoil this year as they saw their young squad lose an NBA-worst 65 games! With just 17 wins, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have the best mathematical chance of grabbing the top pick in July’s 2011 NBA Draft. They’ll have a 25% at that top pick, but that also means they could fall as far as the fourth pick.
Along the way to the NBA’s worst record, the Timberwolves had a few bright spots.
The first came in the summer, when they were able to steal away Michael Beasley from the Miami Heat for just a second round pick (it’ll end up being the 1st pick in the second round (31st pick) in this year’s Draft). The Miami Heat were trying to clear cap space and they decided to give up 2008s #2 pick for practically nothing! I remember last summer, hearing the Heat were looking to move Beasley for the best offer. I remember really hoping that the Wolves would pursue a trade. I remember hearing the Charlotte Bobcats and the Toronto Raptors were both interested, but ultimately decided against pursuing the “troubled” young forward, the Wolves picked him up and he was, without a doubt a valuable asset to this young team and should be for years to come. A month or two into the season, there was a report that Michael Beasley was happy to be in Minnesota and hoped to get an extension in the future, so he could stay (below this section is a link to this story from my old blog: Michael Beasley Loves Minnesota). At one point Beasley led the Wolves in scoring with 20+ppg but after a few ankle injuries his performance dropped off a bit on the offensive end and Kevin Love took that top scorer spot and never “gave it back”. There’s no doubt he has talent, any Wolves fan can tell you the flashes of greatness they saw this season. However, I think Martell Webster said it best (and I am paraphrasing) but he said something along the lines of, that until these young guys understand they don’t have to lead the league in scoring our team will suffer. I highly doubt he was talking about a much more efficient Love, but rather, the “ball hog” (at times) Beasley.
Another “bright spot” for the Wolves this year was Darko’s improvement at center. The big man labeled bust for his first 8 years in the League signed a 4-year $20M contract with Minnesota last summer and this year, after he got into good conditioning he certainly made some steps forward. However, he was quite inconsistent and seemed to lack confidence and determination while playing. He started the season off atrociously, but after getting comfortable, he seemingly played much better and at one point GM David Kahn stated that he expects Darko to continue to improve and be a strong All-Star candidate in the future. The 25-year-old 8-year veteran saw his performance drop off a bit, there would be most games when he’d contribute a bucket or two, a handful of rebounds and a couple blocks and other games where he’d erupt for 15+ points, grab nearly 10 boards and throw back a handful of shots. However, the problem was that he consistently played awful. At the end of the season press conference GM David Kahn stated that he wasn’t sure what Darko’s role would be next season, that all depends on him (Darko) and how much work he puts in this offseason.
A bright spot for the Timberwolves was certainly the emergence of Kevin Love. The young forward was one of the few things Wolves fans had to boast about. After living in Al Jefferson’s shadow (or at least, because of Big Al, he didn’t get a lot of PT) as well as the questionable relationship with Head Coach (for now) Kurt Rambis. After trading away Jefferson to the Jazz this season, the Timberwolves and Rambis had no choice but to give Love extended minutes and he delivered big time! A small note: during the offseason, David Kahn was looking at potentially trading away Kevin Love to the Golden State Warriors for Anthony Randolph, but Randolph was sent to New York in the David Lee deal and obviously came to the Wolves in the Melo deal. Kevin Love saw improvements in nearly every statistical category this season. Games: 60-73. Games Started: 22-73. Minutes per game: 28.6-35.8. 3-point %: 42%-47%. 3-point FGs: 35/106-88/211. Total Rebounds: 658-1112. Rebounds per game: 11-15.2. Total Points: 842-1476. Points per game: 14-20.2. Assists: 136-184. He was a consistent force for the Wolves every game out and always delivered. His 64 total double-doubles and a record 53-consecutive set a new NBA record since the ABA/NBA merger. He also made the all-star team. He got the snub in the original voting, but the Commissioner David Stern chose him as the injury replacement for Yao Ming. He also grabbed his first NBA rebounding title, beating out Dwight Howard and Zach Randolph. He’s also the most likely candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year award. His 31-31 game against the New York Knicks was impressive as well as the first player since Moses Malone to have a 30-30 game! He’s had a season to remember and at just 22 years of age, he’s only begun to reach his potential, he could be a real star in this League someday!
Yet another bright spot for the Minnesota Timberwolves was being able to grab Anthony Randolph away from the New York Knicks just before the trade deadline. Corey Brewer and 3rd string Kosta Koufos were both a part of that deal. Brewer was sent to the Knicks (and later waived and signed with the Mavs) and Koufos was sent to the Nuggets. Randolph has shown some serious potential in his first 3 years in the League and this season when Love went down with that groin injury he saw a few starts and a big increase in minutes and he continually delivered. Eddy Curry was also part of that deal that sent AR to Minnesota, but the Wolves waived him.
The Wolves have a good group of young talent. With rookie Wesley Johnson, All-star Kevin Love, Michael Beasley & Anthony Randolph as well as a high draft pick this season and Ricky Rubio potentially coming over for next year, they’ve got a solid group of talent.
Sure, the Wolves have had some bright spots this season, but in a season with 17 wins, there are certainly a lot of things, we’d like to forget.
The first of which was the inconsistent game of rookie Wesley Johnson. There were games, especially against the Lakers (for whatever reason; he did get “mentored” in the offseason by superstar Kobe Bryant) but he’d be playing the Wizards and shoot a putrid percentage and score a handful of points. His inconsistency really did hurt the Wolves. When Brewer was still with the team, Brewer was competing with Wes for the starting job and for awhile Corey got the starting shooting guard spot because of his energy, which gave Wes some incentive to step up his game, after he was traded away he seemed to return to old habits.
Another forgettable performance was Jonny Flynn’s season. He returned about 25 games into the season after undergoing offseason hip surgery. When he returned, he did NOT play well at all. As some are calling it: “the lost season” of course this was a “lost season” for the TWolves as a whole. Flynn showed small glimpses of being a capable point guard, but his turnovers, bad passing, questionable decision-making, weak perimeter defense and questionable shots all contributed to an awful season for the second-year player. It’s almost certain Flynn has played his last game for the Wolves, with Ridnour, Rubio and potentially Irving (if the Wolves get the top pick) all in the “cards” for the Wolves.
The Wolves are a young squad, they’ve; like every team; had some good and bad, however in a season where you lose 65 games, the positives are certainly outweighed by the numerous negatives.
There will be more posts throughout the offseason from everything from CBA updates, transactions, offseason workout reports, noteworthy stories, player biographies and all other pertaining Minnesota Timberwolves information. As usual thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
|—||Veteran reserve forward Martell Webster on the Wolves’ atrocious 17-65 record and ending the season on a 15-game losing streak|
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a chance to snap a 13-game losing streak last night in Phoenix at US Airways Center. However, the result was all to familiar as the Wolves grabbed their 64th loss of the season as well as 14th straight, losing 127-135 in OT. They haven’t won a game since March 11th vs. the Jazz. It’s been exactly a month and the Wolves have just one last chance this season Wednesday night versus the Houston Rockets.
The T’Wolves were again without their starting frontcourt: Kevin Love and Darko Milicic, who sat court-side, watching the Wolves play stellar basketball, but unable to get it done. Sebastian Telfair was inactive for the game.
The Suns were without Vince Carter, who was out with a left hip injury. Also, Robin Lopez received DNP-CD as did Mickael Pietrus.
The Timberwolves played quite well and battled back and forth with one of the top offenses in the League. Clearly, by the score, you can see not a lot of solid defense was played by either team.
The Timberwolves jumped out early and every time the Suns would get close, they’d go on a quick spurt to pad the lead, however by the 4th quarter the Suns offense ignited. Channing Frye and Jared Dudley lead the 4th quarter charge as the Suns outscored the Wolves 34-27, to tie the game and send it into overtime. Channing Frye scored 10 of those 34 and Dudley added 6 to fuel the Suns to an OT.
An 8-0 run put the Suns up for the first time since the first quarter 131-124 with 45 seconds to play. Minnesota got some big shots and ended up pulling ahead on a Martell Webster three. The next possession down Nash nailed a straight-away three to put them up two. Minnesota then had the ball with 8 or 9 seconds to play and a Michael Beasley layup tied the game, he was fouled but missed the free throw to keep the game tied at 121. On the final possession, the Suns had 0.9 seconds to get a shot off and a Grant Hill jumper hung on the rim for a good 3-4 seconds before rolling off, to send the game into OT.
In overtime the Suns got a bucket from all 5 of their starters to outscore the Wolves 14-6 in overtime to take the lead and the game. For the Timberwolves Anthony Tolliver had 1 point in OT and Anthony Randolph had the other 5.
Channing Frye had a big game. He converted 9-of-14 three-pointers. Nine made 3’s is a new Phoenix Suns franchise record. His 33 points was also a career-high, his former being 32.
The Timberwolves got some solid offensive play from a lot of different players. Michael Beasley led the Wolves with 26 points (16 of which came in the 4th quarter alone) as well as 6 rebounds and 2 assists. In 33 minutes off the bench Anthony Randolph added 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Anthony Tolliver started at the 4 again and set a season-high in points with 22 also adding 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 44 minutes. Luke Ridnour played a game-high 48 minutes and was tantalizingly close to a triple-double with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists! Rookie Wesley Johnson added 14 points.
The Suns were led by Channing Frye’s 33 points and 4 rebounds. Jared Dudley added 26 as well as 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals. Grant Hill played 34 minutes, but still had 21 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists. Marcin Gortat added 17 and grabbed 8 boards.
The Minnesota Timberwolves fall to 17-64 on the season, with just one last chance to snap this, now: 14-game losing streak. There final game is tomorrow versus the Houston Rockets back at the Target Center. Tipoff is set for7pmCT and a full-gameday preview can be found on this site before then. As always, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting frontcourt are likely done for the season. Kevin Love is still currently nursing a groin injury that has kept him out of 7 of the Wolves’ past 9 games. Darko Milicic has missed 3 of the Wolves’ past 4 games, though he did return for 10 minutes in the game vs. the Suns before re-injuring his ankle.
The Timberwolves have tried a number of different lineups in an attempt to fill the void: Anthony Tolliver, Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley have all started at some point for the Wolves in Love’s absence and Nikola Pekovic has absorbed the majority of the starting minutes in Darko’s absence.
According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, neither of the Wolves starting frontcourt players will play Monday vs. the Suns and therefore, there would be no point in them returning for the Wednesday night finale vs. the Rockets back at the Target Center.
Minnesota has got some better contributions from Michael Beasley as well as from their reserves in Love’s absence. In all 9 of their past games, Michael Beasley has scored in double-figures every night and has scored 20+ points in 5 of those 9 games. In the past 5 games reserve Martell Webster has scored in double-figures in each game, playing between 20-35 minutes in those games. Reserve forward Anthony Randolph got two starts, but in those 9 games he’s scored in double-digits 6 of those games. As well as a new career-high 31 points, in his first start of the season vs. Dallas. Reserve forward Anthony Tolliver has also seen a bump in minutes and he got two starts at the 4-spot and in the 9 games he’s scored in double-figures in all but 3 of them.
The biggest thing that’s been missing in Kevin Love’s absence has been the team’s rebounding. Without the All-Star pulling in 10-25 a night, the Wolves have certainly struggled. They aren’t the same team as the stats say: 1st overall in the NBA with 44.4rpg. In fact in the seven games without Kevin Love the Wolves stats look like this: vs. DAL: 38-43DAL, vs. OKC 40-40, vs. BOS 42-49MIN, vs. MEM 34-44MEM, vs. NJN 46-37MIN, vs. PHO 44-38PHO, vs. DEN 38-49DEN. In 4 of those games they’ve been out-rebounded and the Wolves have reached their 44.4rpg average or more just twice!
Overall, this may be good/bad news. The Timberwolves are currently tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the worst record in the NBA: 17-63, which gives them a 22.5% chance of securing the top pick in June’s draft. If they end with the worst record they’ll have a 25% chance and if they do better than the Cavs they’ll have a 19.9% chance of the top pick. Obviously without their starting frontcourt, they have a decreased chance of losing games (pretty pathetic when you have to word it like that!).
The Timberwolves play Monday night versus the Phoenix Suns. You can expect Darko and Love watching from the sidelines. Tipoff is set for 9pmCT and a full-gameday preview can be found in the previous post on this site; a full gameday recap can be found here, following the final horn. Thanks for reading, enjoy the game and GO WOLVES!