Simons Says - Feb. 20, 2014
I can see the headline now. “Fan named team General Manager.” SO many fans and sports writers/insiders talk trades, improving teams through player movement and deals. The fan likes to think they know what’s best for the franchise. They watch and live or die by the fate of their team. Well, the period to make trades has come and gone. And in this edition of Simons Says, the floor is open to fans that’ve been in touch with me over the past week regarding this intense 72 hour period known as the NBA Trade Deadline.
For the record, the Wolves have stood still. Standing pat. And I like it. Did they make the right move? Minnesota is 26-28 as they hit the road for a very important and extended five-game road swing that begins Saturday in Salt Lake City. The Wolves are 5.5 games out of the 8th and last seed of the NBA’s Western Conference playoff roster. For perspective, the Wolves are 16.5 games back of conference-leading OKC.
That in mind, reaction now to the Wolves works at the trade deadline. With the generous assist from the GameON! Guru, Jeremy Johnson, who’s working with GameON! here in Florida (as GameON! prepares two Twins spring training specials for you), let’s get to the mailbag...
Darrell in Fargo writes: Rod, love your GameON! show on MidCo Sports here in ND. We don’t hear much about this but I’m a big Wolves fan. PLEASE tell me the Wolves aren’t trading Kevin Love nor that he is opting out of his contract. Keep up the good work. Will we see you at the Maris (Golf charity event) this summer?
Darrell, thanks for the note. VP Flip Saunders, coach Rick Adelman and Wolves owner Glen Taylor have NO intention of trading the All-Star and budding MVP. And the Wolves continue to insist that the opting out story is just that, a story and driven by a drama fueled media. Rumors abound that there’s no way of stopping that or sometimes sorting through what appears to be fact or simply fiction. Just know that the Wolves are trying to put a winning team on the floor because THAT is going to be the “X” factor in keeping Love happy in the land of snow and never ending winter. Total team efforts and huge wins over teams like Eastern leading Indiana are big to Love. Those games show what can happen. He’s a smart kid. If he can win, make more $$$ here in Minnesota and make his own way, he’ll stay.
So, on the baseball field today, a fan (name is Eric) pulls up to the Guru (Johnson) and asks him, “Nice to finally meet you Mr. Guru. I’m a fan of your Fantasy work on TV. Thanks for the great picks. Now, can the Wolves get on a run and make the playoffs?"
Jeremy responds, Thanks for the kind words Eric. My sports knowledge is not just limited to fantasy football as I’m a Wolves season ticket holder and a huge high school hoops fan. I believe the Wolves will have to do something they haven’t in some time. That is, similar to their winning streak in 2008-09, they will have to win at least 5 of every six games they play the rest of the way. There are some watchers who believe 48 wins won’t even get a ticket to the post season. I’m a huge fan but doubt is knocking at my door. Hang on. Believe. Keep your GameON! and let’s hope the Pacers win was our spring board.
Melissa in Maple Grove writes, Do the Wolves have enough depth at center without Ronny Turiaf and Nikola Pekovic? Melissa, great question. Turiaf injured late with a bone bruise against Indiana and Big Pek still nursing that ankle injury. Sources tell me Pek could return on the upcoming road trip as he is practicing again. The Wolves will be VERY careful with him. I’m afraid they aren’t deep when those two go down but help is on the mend. Fingers crossed.
Ann in Stillwater with an interesting note to Rod@gameOntvMN.com. She writes, “Big fan of GameON!...thanks for the unique look at Minnesota sports. Hey, I was at the Indiana game and love watching Alex Schmed (actually, it’s Alexey Shved). Why doesn’t he start and get more PT?" Ann, thanks for the great note. Good question, too. If you are a fan of Shved, you ask the same thing. The Russian can flat out play but is streaky and a little inconsistent. That could be because his playing time is up and down. Hard to argue that Shved is improving and compared to last season, is much better. With the addition of Kevin Martin, that steals minutes from Shved. Martin, before his injury, was playing 32 of 48 minutes a night. Shved has to perform well when given the opportunity, whenever that is.
Matt in St. Paul writes, “Of all the trades, which one caught your eye. It seems like much ado about nothing.” Matt, thanks for the note and the Shakespeare reference and I can see why you think that. So, of all the deals, I liked the Charlotte-Milwaukee trade that had Wolves DNA. Former Wolves guards Luke Ridnour and Ramon Sessions traded with Ridnour off to North Carolina and Ramon back to the Bucks. I’m elated that the Wolves didn’t trade just to trade. Let’s get after it with the tools we have!
From here on, 28-left (including the rescheduled San Antonio game originally set for Mexico City) and things have to begin clicking to stay in the playoff chase. I’ll roll with this gang to make it happen. Hey, thanks for dropping in and if time permits, check out our audio version of SimonsSays PODcast here along the Wolves Entertainment Network! Special ones are fresh for you including a special post All Star chat with GameON! colleague Arthur “A-Train” Kuh. As always, make it a great week and don’t forget, keep your GameON!
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