Simons Says - Jan. 30, 2014

ISteps in the right direction. Finally.

It’s been a good 10 days for the Timberwolves. Playing like a team proving itself every night out on the floor, the Wolves have been quietly doing some impressive things. Impressive in that some nights they’ve been flat, and won (against New Orleans). Very solid but lose in a close game (Portland) and flat out strong and win (@ Golden State and @ Chicago).

Fans will lock in on a visible number. That win/loss mark is now in the right real estate for the first time in three months at 23 wins and 22 losses. What I like about it and so do players and staff is how the Wolves worked on their most recent road trip.

It doesn’t matter the professional sport, winning on the road is one of, if not THE toughest challenge for a team. The Wolves and many other teams know this very well. Only seven of the 8-Western Conference team’s playoff ready right now has winning marks. The Wolves are barely holding in the 10th spot with Denver a half-game behind them.

With half the season now behind them, Minnesota’s got some work to do to reach the playoffs and new roadblocks that will make it tougher. The roadblock is a real elephant in the room, a new injury concern to one of the Wolves most valuable players.

Big Pek, Nikola Pekovic, is out and won’t be available for days. How long will that last is the big concern because leg and foot hurts are bad news for NBA players. Like the wheels on a car, if there’s a problem with the tread or anything else, the car has problems. These Range Rover’s and Mercedes are watched closely and Pek is no different. He won’t play before Trainer Gregg Farnam and staff is certain he’s a-ok.

I hear the rumor mill and gossip chain rustle with Coach Adelman is outta’ here at seasons end, the constant Kevin Love trade babble and Ricky Rubio was the worst guard imaginable. These rags are paid by the word. Listen, the Wolves are in a good spot because they are a work-in-progress. The bench is stepping up with the latest injury. Chase Budinger is back and finding his groove. Kevin Love is an All Star starter (Wolves first since K-G all those years ago) and a youthful Rubio is improving his game.

There’s nothing that improves the Wolves outlook like winning. They have some work to do as they see the taillights of OKC, San Antonio, Portland, LAC, Houston, Phoenix, Golden State, Dallas and Memphis. “We can do it but our window is shrinking and we all have to be in. Every night” is what a Wolves player told me recently. Keeping fans engaged and locked in will be easy they can keep adding to their streak of 5 wins in the last 6-games.

And funny, one of our GameON! TV viewers wrote me wanting to talk about the bench. Deep on the bench. Erick wrote, “I love your show and want your thoughts. Why not play Shabazz Muhammad? His legs are fresh. He knows the offense. He’s ready”.

Erick, this is Coach Adelman’s call and his rotation is tight. I’m sure the UCLA rookie will get some PT. Right now, he’s stuck deep on the Wolves bench until Coach sees an opportunity. It could come sooner than later for sure. Just when is unclear.

A week ago we showed you a note from Jannice of MPLS Uptown. She’d met me at our taping @ Bar Abilene and big Pek is her favorite player. She’s hurting right now. “I get the nerve to talk basketball with you and Pekovic and then he gets hurt. I have jinxed him!! OMG! I can’t watch again even when he comes back”!

Jannice, I laughed so hard! If she only knew how many fans believe this with themselves. First of all, keep your eyes on the Wolves! They want you on the bandwagon good or bad. K?! Now, hate to break this to you but you didn’t play a role in Pek’s flat tire. These injuries happen in the rough NBA and when I tell him the story, Pek will offer up that deep, full bodied Barry White styled laugh he has.

As I mentioned recently, Pek flat out is a player and opponents hate to match-up against the man as big as a historic Redwood. The Godfather (as he’s nicknamed by the team marketers) is physical, his play is getting better by the game and aren’t we glad he signed to stay here last summer?!

Hang on Wolves fans! And it’s almost time to catch the big game and all those commercials! Then, hoopaholics rejoice, we’re in the real part of the schedule now!! 45 games down. 37 left. We’re in a playoff chase! Thanks for dropping in and if time permits, check out our audio version of SimonsSays PODcast here along the Wolves Entertainment Network! And don’t forget, keep your GameON!


SimonsSays on TV/PODcast:

You can now get SimonsSays in new PODcast form with insight/input from fans just like you and exclusive player interviews! Keep an eye out for SimonsSays PODcast @ each and every week. And there is always a Wolves update on my TV show, GameON! Don’t miss an episode of the multi-Emmy nominated GameON! @ 10am this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend regionally on MidCo Sports Net.

GameON! is powered by Taste of the NFL & Budweiser and is broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes, on demand via our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online @ GameON! allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal, to meet your favorite players and fellow fans @ our weekly taping location Uptown @ Bar Abilene. GameON! offers in-depth interviews with the top players, great food, sports newsmakers and we get you inside your favorite teams (including the Wolves). We’d love for you to “like” us on Facebook @ 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 rig

ht to use your e-mails here in SimonsSays @

And last but not least, please catch Rod throughout the day on 96.3 KTWIN-FM. Rod keeps you inside the team with the KTWIN 60SecondSportsUpdate & the signature Prep Playbook which can also be found @

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!

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at