Simons Says - Feb. 21, 2013

Bring on the second half as the Wolves get a win and the trade winds blow through but not in Minneapolis. Yes there’s Bassy (Sebastian Telfair). Josh Smith and Thomas Robinson. There are those three and more than a dozen more NBA players who change addresses as we watch the trade deadline come and go. It’s been pins and needles time for Wolves fans sitting back wondering what’s next for team Timberwolves in this roller coaster season.

While many of you are back home as winter storm “Q” approaches, it also blows trade winds that appear to have blown past Target Center. I’m surveying the landscape from Twins spring training and a slight temperature change (no rubbing it in for sure). Even here in Ft. Myers, Wolves fans who are taking in baseball for the day pull up and ask, “Any trades Mr. GameON!?” My response, NO and to me, that’s so far…so good.

Granted, there is work to do on the roster but right now, I’m just not in the mood to deal. Unlike many readers and viewers who would like to be a new day Trader Jack. For example, this note from Scotty in Forest Lake, He writes “Rod, you keep writing about how you wouldn’t trade Derrick Williams or Nikola Pekovic. WHY?! The Wolves need to get better and those two could help make that happen”.

Scotty thanks for the note. I’ve always believed you don’t trade just to trade and I want the team to improve when they deal instead of giving and not getting anything in return. Right now, D-Will and Pek are playing good basketball and are helping the Wolves be competitive. In their first game out of the all-star break, the Wolves beat Philadelphia and that duo played a gigantic role. When the time comes and IF it’s needed to move a particular player, then we cross that bridge at that time. Not now. Sorry.

Speaking of those two players and the Wolves beating the Sixers for the third consecutive meeting, I was impressed with the win from more than two thousand miles away. Thanks to the Wolves PR staff for showcasing the highlights for me:

Big Pek, Nikola Pekovic, dropped 27 points and grabbed a career-high-tying 18 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season by halftime. Pek is nearing a contract decision and he’s playing for it with an average of nearly 18 points and 10 rebounds a game in his last 28 games.

And reader Scotty was talking trade with D-Will, he continues his solid play. Against the Sixers, #7 scored 17 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, and eight rebounds. This is D-Will’s fifth double-digit scoring game in his last six and he’s now averaging 16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds over his last six games.

It’s great to have AK-47 back from his injury. Andrei Kirilenko showed no rust after 5-games off by tallying 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks. This note was in my mailbox and AK gets my nod. From Maggie in Buffalo, “Love when you have Wolves players on GameON! Who do you think is the Wolves MVP so far this season?” Maggie thanks for watching and while LeBron James is the NBA’s most valuable, I clearly believe that Kirilenko is the Wolves top gun with Luke Ridnour a close second.

As I recently mentioned here in SimonsSays, the Wolves newcomer is such an all-around contributor. AK-47 drops 13-points in 34 minutes a night, his court vision and his leadership are vital to the sustained improvement of Wolves. Just days ago, the International Basketball Federation named Kirilenko its 2012 FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year. Kirilenko spent last season in Russia playing for CSKA Moscow where he led his team to the EuroLeague Final, a VTB League Championship and a first-place finish in Russia's domestic league, the BEKO PBL. In 17 Euroleague games, Kirilenko averaged 14-points on 60% shooting and AK-47 was named 2012 Euroleague MVP and 2012 Euroleague Best Defender for his efforts.

I’m delighted the Wolves didn’t part with Ridnour. I know the backcourt is undersized and struggles defensively at times, but night in and night out, Ridnour is on the court and competing. With all the injuries this Wolves team has endured, it’s nice to see him out there trying to make a difference. Ridnour has averaged 19.0 ppg over his last six games and the Wolves' leading scorer the three of the last four games. Get this, Ridnour is the only Wolves player to appear in all 51 games (all starts).

I need a nap. I’ve been hanging with every trade rumor and my daughter’s flu bug. I’m tapped. This hoopaholic needs sleep and Wolves wins (not in that order) and thank you Florida for a little warmth and sunshine. So here we go Wolves fans. 31-games remain. Let’s make it happen. Where there’s time there’s always hope.

Playoff chase for Lynx!

Here’s an update on Lynx players working abroad and playing in the playoffs. Seimone Augustus and Sparta&K edged Targoviste in Game 1 of the first round of EuroLeague playoffs. Seimoine scored 16 points in the win, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor, adding six assists and six rebounds in a team-high 34 minutes.

Rebekkah Brunson and USK Praha almost upset Galatasaray in Game 1 of their EuroLeague series, falling 48-49 after Lindsey Harding hit a game-winner with seven seconds left. Brunson scored seven points for USK, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking one shot. Amber Harris posted her fourth consecutive double-double in a losing effort for Bichumi on Monday, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 62-78 loss in the South Korea League. Schedule set for Lynx:

Speaking of the Lynx, great to see that the 2012 Western Conference Champion Minnesota Lynx kick off their 15th anniversary season in the WNBA at home against Connecticut on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. The 2013 WNBA campaign includes 34 regular-season games, dating from May 24 and Sept. 14. This year’s All-Star Game will be held in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, July 27. The Lynx will play Western Conference teams Los Angeles (three times on the road, twice at home) and Phoenix (three times at home, twice on the road) five times this season, while facing off with San Antonio, Seattle and Tulsa four times each, twice at home and twice on the road. Minnesota will face all six Eastern Conference teams twice, once at home and once on the road. The 2013 Lynx campaign also includes two nationally broadcast home games on July 9 vs. Atlanta and Aug. 24 vs. Indiana.

See you on TV

Catch your Wolves on this Sunday’s GameON! this week!! You don’t want to miss the Emmy nominated GameON! this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 at 10:30AM. Our special guests include former Gophers standout & now rapper Lawrence “Mac Irv” McKenzie and friend Lil’ Crazed, former Vikings LB E.J. Henderson, Boxing belt holder “Golden” Caleb Truax and fight specialist Tony “Tony Time” Grygelko and Taste of the NFL’s Wayne Kostroski. GameON! originates from our new home, across the street from Target Center at Kieran’s Irish Pub and allGameON! shows are broadcast in High Definition and can be found on iTunes, on our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online at

GameON! allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal, to meet your favorite players and fellow fans at our weekly tapings at Kieran’s Irish Pub and its sister locations. GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). You can friend us on FaceBook at GameOnTvMN. Drop me a note, GameON! is also seen in North & South Dakota and Western Minnesota on MidCo SportsNet several times a weekend. We reserve the right to use your e-mails here in SimonsSays at

Keep your GameON! See you soon!

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