Simons Says - Nov. 21, 2013
Fans were grouchy and grumbling big time as they left Target Center and shuffled into the Minnesota cold. A valiant effort against the L.A. Clippers didn’t do the trick for many. A close loss wasn’t what the fans expected.
“We can beat Cleveland and get a sweet win on the road against the Knicks but busting the Clips? We can’t do that” muttered one fan. Well, truth be told, these are the growing pains of a very talented team.
Be reassured that the Wolves had plenty of chances but shooting 22 percent (5-for-22) from the land of three, misfiring from the field with 37 percent (a dreadful 34-for-90) and being unable to slow down the Clippers Chairman of the Court Chris Paul did ‘em all in.
Again, Mr. Glass Half-Full (that’s me…if you haven’t quite figured it out yet) sees it differently. The Clips, like it or not (especially all you Lakers Denial’ers), are the co-toast of the West. I still San Antonio is THE team to beat. The Wolves are “just as” in so many ways with the Clippers. Just as talented, just as athletic, and just as physical but not yet just as confident. They’ll get there.
Twitter was a flutter after home losses against the Golden State Warriors and this recent hiccup against the Clips. The range of emotion was expected, from “Bogus” to “Tall Paul steps on Wolves” to “give it time”. Personally, SimonsSays it’s good to have that kind of emotion this early in the season. I chalk this one up to a “remember game”. A game Rick Adelman’s team will use as motivation and education down this seasonal road.
As they sit, the Wolves are 13 games into the regular season. Comparatively speaking, that is about 2 NFL games and shouldn’t elicit a reaction one way or the other.
It’s growing pains. Some nights the Wolves are scary on the court. When they ran the Knicks out of the Garden to the East River or dominated the Cavs, the Mavs and the Thunder in their own house. It’s still a team in transition but a team that needs its focus sharp every night, especially on defense.
If the Wolves are going to rise to the Conference elite, shutting down CP3 and Blake Griffin will have to happen in these Clipper match-ups. If Paul isn’t dishing (11 assists against the Wolves), that offense is sputtering. That cat makes everyone better on LAC.
Listen, it wasn’t a blow out! It was close and a game this team could have won. They will wind up getting more and more of those kind of games this year than in recent memory.
As we continued our walk outside of Target Center, I couldn’t miss the fans in front of me continuing their grumble and grind on the game just concluded. “All they (Wolves guards) have to do it keep Paul out of the paint and we’re good. Man…” Misery loves company and for the 12th time this season, Paul has notched a double-double. Easier said than done when playing against Paul. So the Wolves weren’t the first to be treated to a troublesome matchup. And Paul’s 16 points in the final quarter (He scored 20 total) showcased just why he’s the LAC MVP.
I’m in the corner who says learn from this one, remember it and move on quickly. In a span of four days, the Wolves will see ol’ friend KG Friday with the struggling but dangerous Brooklyn Nets. A national audience will watch the Wolves visit Kevin McHale’s Houston Rockets the next night and then Monday, the beast of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, Indiana, welcomes the Wolves to town.
I still stand by what I said to start the season. This is a vastly improved team and good teams get it fixed fast. They can’t afford prolonged slumps and quite frankly, this is just a pothole on the road to the playoffs.
I purposely let my phone go to V/m as my buddy “Hoop” rang in to rehash what had just happened. I got all the earful I wanted as I left the game to get home. I too wanted a different outcome but I’m good with what happened. The growing will bloom soon. As the snow prepares to fly and our winter stepping into season, I know that these are good days. We have plenty for which to be thankful as the Holidays begin in earnest. So, hang on, don’t lose that optimistic outlook and for Pete’s sake, keep your GameON!
SIMONSSAYS SHORT TAKES:
Help someone stay warm:
Cool to see All Star Kevin Love continue his Coat Drive! Love is partnered with The Salvation Army to gather coats to help those in need this winter. It’s started and will end December 18 as Love invites all fans to bring new and gently used coats to the Target Center Box Office. Love will personally deliver all donations to The Salvation Army on Dec. 17, and remind fans that there is one more day to contribute to the coat drive.
"Cold weather is here and many people are in need of winter coats," Love said. "With the support of The Salvation Army and Wolves fans, we can make a difference again this winter for those in need."
Donate and Love has purchased tickets to the Timberwolves' Jan. 1 game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans and the Jan. 8 game vs. the Phoenix Suns. Fans will receive a pair of tickets to one of these games for each coat they donate (limit four tickets per family on a first come, first served basis while supplies last).
Vote now and often:
The NBA’s All-Star Balloting is underway! Timberwolves starters Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio highlight Wolves representatives on the ballot as fans worldwide have the opportunity to vote for their favorite players as starters for the 63rd NBA All-Star Game. Also representing the Wolves on the ballot is forward Derrick Williams.
This is the second straight year that fans can vote for their favorite player via social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Twitter voting allows fans to tweet a vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the All-Star balloting period. Kind of makes it feel like a Chicago election. Kidding!!
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 @ Timberwolves.com 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 @ www.gameontvmn.com. 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, 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 @ Timberwolves.com.
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 @ www.KTWIN.com.
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!