Simons Says - April 18, 2014









I needed extra time.

Extra time to catch my breath. Extra time to reassess after spending the entire season planning my early spring around a Wolves playoff foray. Extra time to mend.

And as it turns out, the Wolves season ended with a thud after a double OT loss to Utah. As the pieces were being picked up the day after, you could have heard a pin drop at Wolves HQ yesterday at Target Center.

For the 10th consecutive season, the Wolves are on the outside looking in as the NBA’s title chase begins. I love that Minnesota has improved its win total but loathe the fact that we don’t have playoff hoops to enjoy, live and local.

So much is being made of coach Rick Adelman’s plans and his future but there is a lot of work to do outside the coach’s box. That is what friends and fans have been busting me with on radio and at GameON! TV. Let’s check the temperature of fans. Fever state? Nope and that’s what bugs me. They are just flat out grumpy. Check this: Dane from St. Paul: “Did you really think the Wolves would get to the playoffs? Was that just making your bosses happy? I love hockey not “hoops” as you call it and don’t see the Wolves being good for a long time. How’s that for a dose of reality?”

Dane, thanks for your note (I think) but get out of the basement and smell the fresh air. I, like so many others, thought the pieces were in place for a Wolves run. Losing so many back-to-backs and close games was the Wolves death-nail. As for the bosses bit, nope, my writing is uncensored for as much as I know. And as for the Wolves and not good for a long time, I can’t jump on that with you. This team is close. Very close. If you choose that road, so be it, but the Wolves will get it dialed in and we’ll all be better for it. Cheers to you my friend.

George in Minnetonka: “Will Coach Adelman’s assistants take over when he leaves?” George thanks for the note but as I write this, Coach is still Coach. While it does appear that Coach is going to leave this bench, I would doubt the Wolves would fill the void by hiring from within. There’s no doubt that this team will be altered, due in large part, because of the Adelman departure and because they missed the playoffs. President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders has a tremendous sense of this team and is already mulling over options. Would Flip return to the bench? Hoping not. We need his guidance to build and mesh this team.

Danny from Osseo writes “I loved talking hoops with you at your GameON! taping. Love the show and love your radio stuff on KTWIN. I forgot to ask you, what’s up with the Wolves rookies? As the season ends, I like them more than on draft night and think they have a future. Your thoughts?”

Danny thanks for joining us at BarAbilene and I agree, Shabazz and Gorgui have bright futures. Shabazz might not have had a ton of playing time but what he’s shown is enough for me. He can play! The hot shot from UCLA averaged about 8 a night and Dieng popped 13 a game. Both are solid players and with playing time will be good NBA players. Will it be here? That is to be determined.

Toni from Maple Grove “who’s going to win the NBA championship this season? Toni, thanks for the note and checking in. I like four teams and they will be around as the Championship gets closer. Miami and Indiana are going to battle for the East. I can see the Pacers getting through the Heat if they minimize mistakes but the stretch run hasn’t been good for Indiana. Miami is the defending champ. Need to say anything else? Any new title runs through South Beach. In the West, OKC has to punch its ticket to the Finals if the aging Spurs run out of gas. Call me crazy (but nothing else please) but I could see San Antonio capping off their great season. The best record in the NBA at 62-20. Impressive. And a team the Wolves played tough.

Andrew from Minneapolis writes, “Help me forget about the Wolves for a second. Who’s the best player NOT in the playoffs?” Andrew, great question. Thanks for checking in. For fear of sounding like a homer, I’ll give you three. Wolves’ All-Star Kevin Love is clearly the best with 26 points/12 rebounds per game and New York’s Carmelo Anthony at 27 pts is strong too. Honorable mention goes to New Orleans’ Anthony Davis is 21 a night/10 rebounds and stands tall among future stars. Thanks for the note. Well done!

So, the hoops healing continues. I’m hoping the Wolves find the off-season to their liking as it appears they will be busy. And the Lynx are preparing to defend their title in less than a month! More on the lady Lynx to come as well. As always, great to hear from you so please drop us your thoughts. We’ll be back with updates as team moves and transactions take center stage. More next week as the season moves into the playoffs without our Wolves. Keep that glass half full!

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As we have for years, we talk Wolves. Every day. High’s & lows. We’re there because we are fans, just like you! Keep your GameON! See you soon!