Simons Says - March 14, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This won’t come as “Breaking News” to anyone north of Albert Lea and East of Worthington but spring is officially on “hold” here in the metropolitan Twin Cities area. For that reason, as the snow melts and more storms prepare to unload more white powder on us, I’m OK with it. It’s a miserable wait for this change of season but nothing like the season that Wolves faithful, from fans to players and staff, have had to endure.

It’s to the point where coach Rick Adelman will tell reporters “I’m not talking about injuries anymore. No more.” Quite frankly, I would have zipped my lip a long time ago regarding the dreaded “I” word.

What a season. As soon as the Wolves take one step forward, they then take two steps back. It’s been that way the whole season and one can’t blame the players, still standing and playing, for being tired of the whole thing and wanting a mulligan on the remaining few weeks.

How fitting that the one step forward came against the best team in Texas just the other day. Days after a drubbing at the hands of Dallas, the superb Spurs rolled in and sat All-Stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. They paid for it. In the 107-83 Wolves win, the home team took out three or more months of frustration. Finally, shots were falling. Running the break had a payoff at the end. Playing defense was fun.

Ricky Rubio played a key role and continues to be the light at the end of the tunnel for team Wolves. Thanks to Wolves PR for this information…a list of gigantic stars for Rubio as he continues to improve from his knee injury:

Rubio is leading the way on a team down to nine players. Injuries change the face of the team on a nightly basis but Rubio carries on. His triple-double against the Spurs was his first in the NBA (he had three in Europe play) with a season-high 21 points, 12 assists and a career-high 13 rebounds.

There’s no wonder the Wolves are leading the season ticket campaign, “Get Closer,” with the dynamic and immensely popular point guard. Rubio’s triple-double is the Wolves' first since J.J. Barea's 25-point, 10-rebound, 14-assist effort last season against Oklahoma City and second in the last five seasons. Some other bench marks:

  • Rubio's 21 points were one off his career high of 22.

  • At 22 years and 147 days, Rubio became the fourth-youngest player since the 1985-86 season (youngest since Russell Westbrook on 1/28/11 – 22 years and 77 days) to record a game of 20+ pts, 13+ rebs and 12+ asts (Westbrook, Jay Williams, LeBron James).

  • Rubio's effort was the third 12-assist, 13-rebound game in the NBA this season (Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo).

  • Rubio’s performance was the fourth game of at least 12 points, 12 rebs and 12 asts in Wolves history (Garnett 2, M. Williams 1), and fifth in the NBA this season.

  • Rubio is now averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 2.8 steals in 34.9 minutes per game over the last 17 games.


  • That is clearly the high point of the week with the double dose of downer coming from Wednesday in Indiana and the fact that the injury report isn’t easing for the Wolves.

    Doctors inform the team that Kevin Love won’t be back before the end of March. While Chase Budinger returns to the court and will ease back into practice slowly, the games continue without Nikola Pekovic and forward Andrei Kirilenko.

    If help is on the way, it’s arriving too late to make a difference this season and hopefully, fans will stay engaged and connected for what is ahead.

    My mailbox has been full of how to fix the Wolves notes. One interesting note from a Wolves fan in South America. Hello Rod! I'm Pedro from Brazil. I'm a huge Wolves fan, and started to root for the team a short of time ago, when Garnett still played for MN. And I'm a reader of your blog. Love to keep up with the team that way. Like a real Wolves fan, I really enjoy the way that Rubio and K. Love played together last season, and I think that I'm not the only one. So I ask to you: is it possible still see something magical from them this year like the last season? Or we’ll have wait the next year? By the way, what's your evaluation about Shved? Could he make a good trio with Rubio and Love?

    Pedro, love and appreciate your note. I know the Wolves staff appreciates it too. We’re likely going to have to wait to rekindle the magic between Love and Rubio. The team is not going to risk rushing K-Love this season and risk even more injury and damage. As for Alexey Shved, love him as a player but he too is struggling with the adjustment from Euro Ball to the NBA. Shved with a nice outing against San Antonio with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 7 assists but the very next night, 7 points on 2-of-8 in 27 minutes. Keep the faith. It will get better.

    As I’ve said numerous times in 2013, to tell you it’s been a tough season for the Wolves is perhaps the biggest understatement of the winter. In all my years of work in sports and news from TV to radio and points in between, I’ve never seen anything like what this team has endured. All these injuries have sapped the optimism from everyone involved.

    The little breaks we get, those wins here and there, those positive injury reports, we’re going to have to count on those for highlights. In a season of dashed hopes and positives run nearly out, fans are still thrilled to see good things happen on the court. We’re soon getting the Bulls, the return of KG and the Celtics, the Lake show is back again and tough opponents like Utah and Memphis, too.

    Hang on fans. We all have our choices but I’m going to start scoping out how this team looks and is constructed in the new season to come. With healthy bodies all around, I’m excited and hopeful. I’m just bummed it’s going to take many months to get to that point. Keep your GameON!

    Get Closer

    It was great to be back on the TV broadcast to talk a great deal about “Get Closer.” This is the opportunity/promise that the Timberwolves Basketball Club provides its season ticket members and allows members get closer to the action on court than any other professional sport. It truly differentiates the organization from all others. Wolves season ticket members get closer to the team and its players through benefits only available to them. To this end, the Minnesota Timberwolves have launched their “Get Closer” season ticket membership campaign and you can save big money on tickets.

    Check out the new Rubio commercial that supports the new “Get Closer” campaign. Other players in the television campaign include: Andrei Kirilenko, Nikola Pekovic and Greg Stiemsma, and more ads will debut later this month.

    We are taking membership with the Timberwolves from 43 Target Center home games to a 365-day relationship with benefits throughout the calendar year. With our membership benefits, affordable pricing and a 10 percent playoff refund, we believe now is a tremendous opportunity to become a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball Club. Timberwolves season ticket member pricing still remains one of the best and most affordable values in all of professional sports, with memberships starting as low as $172. There will continue to be more than 1,000 lower-level season tickets priced as low as $20 per game, the most affordable lower-level season ticket in the NBA. Additionally, 6,700 tickets in the upper-level are priced at $7 or less per game, including 2,000 upper-level tickets priced at only $4 per game. These prices are all guaranteed through the end of the regular season (April 17). After April 17, season ticket memberships will increase. Go to Timberwolves.com for more information!

    Schedule set for 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.

    We’re all on MY29!

    You know that GameON! is on FOX’s MY29! The Wolves offer a franchise-record 78 regular-season games televised locally, including 50 on Fox Sports North and 25 on the Wolves' exclusive over-the-air broadcast home, WFTC My29. For the second consecutive season, every Wolves regular season contest will be carried live on News Radio 830 WCCO-AM.

    Breaking News!! See you on TV AT A NEW TIME:

    Catch your Wolves on this Sunday’s GameON! this week!! You don’t want to miss the Emmy nominated GameON! at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend on MidCo Sports Net. Our special show this weekend originates from the Liffey Irish Pub in St. Paul on St. Patrick’s Day (how fitting) and features former Gophers pitcher C.J. Woodrow, Swarm star Jordan MacIntosh, KTWIN radio’s Michael Steele and 96.3 KTWIN-FM Post-Post show co-host Jason Nagel! GameON! is broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes, on our new GameON! App (free and available for Apple/Android) and online at www.gameontvmn.com.

    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, Rod@KTWIN.com 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 Timberwolves.com.

    And last but not least, you can also catch Rod as he hosts the new Twins Post-Post game show w/longtime Minnesota music aficionado Jason Nagel on 96.3 KTWIN-FM radio during the baseball season.

    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 WolvesNation.com