Blog Profile Central: Timberpups.com
Get To Know: Timberpups.com
Editor's Note: The Timberwolves community is fortunate to have a collection of dedicated, knowledgeable blogs that cover the team year in and year out. It's a network of gifted writers who bring a mixture of insightful analysis and humor to the game of basketball and the Wolves. Over the next nine weeks, Timberwolves.com will profile nine members of this community through a series of Q&A sessions with the founders and main contributors at each site. Part VI focuses on Timberpups.com, a site that opened its doors in January 2012 as a way to voice opinions and initiate conversation about the team.
Blog Name: Timberpups.com
Web Address: www.timberpups.com
Year Established: January 2012
Main Administrators (with Twitter handles): Alex Glennon @alexgtimberpups, John Flesta @jflesta
Contributors (with Twitter Handles): Andy Devine @andydevine18, Jack Ulrichson (no Twitter)
What sparked the creation of Timberpups.com and what is the focus message you try to send to your readers?
My brother and I created the blog as a way to voice our opinions concerning the team to an increasingly larger audience on the Internet. Through the website, we hope to connect with fans who carry similar opinions and to hopefully converse with those fans who dissent in order to hold productive conversation about the team.
What will readers find on Timberpups.com?
The writers at Timberpups.com provide game previews and recaps, team updates, trade rumors and NBA Draft coverage. We are in the process of creating a forum where anyone will be able to post their ideas concerning various developments and topics surrounding the franchise.
From a feedback standpoint, why do viewers choose to come to your site?
We wholeheartedly believe the opinions expressed on our site are not only credible, but also fun to read and that the level of writing exhibited by our various writers is captivating for the average Timberwolves fan.
What keeps you so dedicated toward analyzing and following the Timberwolves each year?
Our collective loyalty keeps us following the Wolves with upbeat enthusiasm. Regardless of how the team is playing, we love to love the Timberwolves and will always root them on. Basketball has always been my favorite sport and even when the Timberwolves have faltered as a team, they have had a good history of having fun-to-watch players on the roster.
Favorite Wolves memory?
I think the happiest moment for me was when Ricky Rubio hit the game tying 3 against the Clippers at the Staples Center with only 20 seconds remaining after previously having shot 0-10 from the field in nationally televised game. The excitement and energy he showed after that shot got me out of my seat and high fiving everyone in the room watching with me, and it was one of the first times Timberwolves fans were able to witness the clutch nature of our Spanish import. As if that wasn’t enough, the ensuing Kevin Love game-winning 3 followed by him raising his arms up in the middle of the court made me believe that we were witnessing the spark of a glorious new era in Timberwolves history. Never have I been more proud of a Timberwolves victory and been more hopeful of the team’s future than after watching K-Love and Ricky captivate the national TV audience in LA.
Biggest decision the Wolves need to make/address this offseason?
I am a firm believer that next season’s success will hinge on our ability to address 3-point shooting as a team, both through the draft and free agency. As Minnesota ranked dead last in the league shooting from long-range last season, it is imperative to keep defenders on the perimeter honest in order to create more space in the interior for Pekovic and Love. The glaring need for a true shooting guard and wing scorer who can create his own shot could potentially be addressed by drafting a player like Shabazz Muhammad or Victor Oladipo, but both players could be gone by the time the Timberwolves pick. I can’t stress the importance of retaining both Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger enough, and the team will need to satisfy the financial needs of both players without drastically overpaying to secure them.
How do you view the Flip Saunders hire as the new President of Basketball Operations?
Management has been a hot topic surrounding the team for as long as I can remember, and the recent dismissal of David Kahn seemed to draw as much praise as any decision the franchise has made in quite some time. While I truly believe that it was time for the team to head in a different direction, it remains to be seen how the team will perform with Flip at the helm. Don’t get me wrong, Flip was the leader of some of the best seasons of the franchises history and he has a very charismatic sense about him that seems to captivate fans, including me. However, he was also the same coach who led us to seven consecutive first-round playoff exits while not being able to build a team around Kevin Garnett. Now that we have a very comparable situation with Kevin Love, I am worried that history may repeat itself and the franchise will be unable to build enough of a supporting cast around our superstar in order to convince him to stay for the long haul. However, Love does have one thing that KG never had: a rising star at point guard in Ricky Rubio. If both Love and Rubio can manage to stay healthy, I am very confident that this team can go places that the KG-led Wolves failed to.
If you’re making selections for this team in the draft, who do you ideally take with that first pick?
With the 9th pick I believe that the team should take the best overall value, especially if a talent like Alex Len (Maryland) slips and becomes available. Remember, last years 9th overall pick turned out to be the now budding superstar Andre Drummond, and the Wolves cannot afford to pass up a talent like Len even if they are currently blessed with Pekovic at the center position. As I mentioned before, guys like Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) and Victor Oladipo (Indiana) would address multiple needs and would fit right in playing both shooting guard and small forward. If both are gone by the time Minnesota is on the clock, I would love to see Minnesota nab a guy like CJ McCollum (Lehigh), as he could potentially make a Damian Lillard type of splash in the NBA next season.
For the 26th selection, I would like to see Minnesota either trade the pick or take an international prospect. One name that comes to mind is Giannis Adetokunbo, an 18-year-old hyper-athletic wing who played this past season in Greece. Although he may not be ready yet for NBA action, the Wolves could hold on to his rights and have him come over in a few seasons as they did with Pekovic and Rubio.
Minnesota also holds the 52nd and 59th overall selections in the second round, and with these I would like to see the team take a few hard-working, chip-on-their-shoulder kinds of players that can really push the players around them in camp for roster spots. It is important to create the most competitive environment in order to push everyone to work their hardest, and selecting guys like Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) or CJ Leslie (NC State) could give the Timberwolves a few high effort guys who also possess enough talent to potentially end up being steals in the second round.
What was the most enjoyable storyline in the NBA this season? Why?
As hard as it is to cheer for a Western Conference rival, it was very nice to see things come together for the Golden State Warriors this season. As they are constantly dealing with a myriad of injuries to their core players (Timberwolves fans can relate to this suffering), Stephen Curry stayed healthy for the majority of the season and showed how lethal he can be when getting in a rhythm, setting the all-time record for 3-pointers made in a season. Curry has quickly solidified himself as a future perennial All-Star if he can stay on the court, and he is a joy to watch as he can drain threes like nobody else in the NBA. While he is dealing with two very troubled ankles, as does Warriors center Andrew Bogut, Golden State has shown that when they are healthy as a unit, they could be a title contender for years to come.
Which beat writers do you follow closely to get more information on the Wolves?
Jerry Zgoda is as on top of the Wolves as humanly possible, and is a must follow on Twitter for Timberwolves fans. His blog On the Wolves is also very informative, and I really appreciate his diligent covering of the team. Another favorite of mine is AP guy Jon Krawczynski, as he has the latest breaking news on everything Minnesota sports and I have grown to really trust his opinions and critical analysis on team developments as much as any other reporter. During the season, Alan Horton provides excellent game coverage and is great at tweeting stats relevant to either the Timberwolves current struggles or successes. The numerous Timberwolves blogs usually do a very good job of tweeting breaking stories as they break, and I can trust my Twitter feed for up-to-date information about the team. Oh yeah, and that Mark Remme guy is no slouch himself!
Which are some of your favorite NBA- and Timberwolves-related blogs you follow?
Zach Harper’s A Wolf Among Wolves is my favorite Timberwolves blog, as he has been analyzing the Wolves a very long time and I feel like he really understands the NBA landscape from the honest perspective of a Minnesota sports fan. On the Wolves, Howlin’ T-Wolf and Punch Drunk Wolves are also favorites of mine and all are very fun to follow and interact with on Twitter.