Simons Says - Nov. 22, 2012

There was a buzz on the night before Thanksgiving. Certainly, it was great to have friends and relatives rolling back into town for the holiday break. But for the Wolves watchers, social media exploded about 83-minutes prior to tip-off.

That well-kept secret was no longer. The proverbial cat was out of the bag. Kevin Love was back from injury! Within the hour of tip, more than 1,000 tickets were sold for the Wolves-Denver Nuggets game. The Wolves tell me that’s about 20 percent more than they would have expected on this pre-holiday evening. The Wolves were the buzz, on social media and locally amongst anxious fans.

K-Love didn’t disappoint. After missing just the first nine games of the season (I thought it’d be a tad longer) with a broken right hand, the All Star & Olympic Gold Medalist grabbed his first 30pt/10reb outing of the season. Love was impressive scoring 16 of the Wolves first 21 points in the first quarter and that includes 10 of the points in an 11-0 run in the first quarter. Think the Wolves miss Love? K-Love scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the first half.

Admittedly, Love was a bit rusty but getting him back was huge. Remember, the Wolves have been hanging on as they’ve coped with injury after injury after injury after injury. Love’s numbers are hard to ignore and thus the excitement of getting No. 42 back on the court. Love averaged a career-high 26.0 points (4th in the NBA) and 13.3 rebounds last season. Love also led the NBA with 48 double-doubles.

The Wolves might not have beaten the Nuggets but after patch-working the roster to remain competitive, there are now signs that the pieces are coming together and the team people expected to see, that team that has given fans hopes of an April post-season, is coming together.

Love wasn’t the only Wolves star back in the pack. After sitting five games because of a left mid-foot sprain, J.J. Barea got busy. The feisty little guard scored 12 points and set a Wolves individual high for the season hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point land (one shy of his career high). All in all, the Wolves buried 10-of-28 3-point attempts which are also a season highs. I’m a big fan of JJ’s. Savvy, scrappy and a ring winner. He’ll help the Wolves, especially as his injured teammates return.

Rick Adelman knows what he has to get out of this team. He needs his players on the court at the same time. Coach also is preaching protecting the ball (AKA stop the turnovers) and convert free throws.

Despite losing the game, the Wolves still looked like a different team from the one that struggled against the Charlotte Bobcats. A better team. More like the team we’re expecting to watch all season long. Helps that the Wolves also got “The Godfather” Nikola Pekovic back. Soon, Minnesota will have Ricky Rubio on the court as Brandon Roy appears to be an after New Year’s return and Chase Budinger in April (if at all this season).

Good time to get the roster boost. The Wolves hit the road right after Thanksgiving with a western swing to Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and the vastly improved L.A. Clippers (No. 1 in the ESPN/NBA power rankings-Wolves are 18th down from No. 9).

Let’s get busy. Let the season really begin for Minnesota.

Good to see guard Brandon Roy undergo successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. What many fans thought might be the end of his comeback attempt appears to be just a setback. Roy is expected to be out approximately one month.

Equally as nice to have the Wolves go out and get help by signing unrestricted free-agent forward/guard Josh Howard. The 32-year old joins the Wolves with career averages of 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in 9-NBA seasons with Dallas, Washington and Utah.

Remember what I keep telling you. Highs and Low’s included so enjoy the ride. To you and yours, a very Happy Thanksgiving and memorable holiday season. And keep your GameON!

Coats! Coats! Coats!

The Kevin Love coat drive is back for the fifth year to help those in need this winter. It’s already started and runs through Dec. 12 sop all you have to do is bring new and gently used coats to any of eight metro-area drop-off locations, including the Target Center Box Office and Comcast service centers. Love will deliver all donations to The Salvation Army on Dec. 19.

The goal is to make sure no one goes cold. Let’s help out and K-Love is doing his part as he will be posing for photos with fans at Best Buy in Inver Grove Heights on Dec. 1. Fans are encouraged to donate a coat and meet Kevin on that day.

If you donate, Love is saying thanks by giving you tickets to watch the team play. Love has purchased tickets to the Timberwolves' Dec. 26 game vs. the Houston Rockets and the Dec. 29 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. Check out Timberwolves.com for more info.

We’re all on MY at 29!

You know that GameON! is on FOX’s MY29! The Wolves will offer a franchise-record 78 regular-season games will be 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.

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 show comes from Taste of the NFL/Vikings with guests All Pro Running back Adrian Peterson, Pro Bowl Linebacker Chad Greenway, QB Christian Ponder and No. 1 draft pick Matt Kalil. All GameON! 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 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. 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@GameOnTvMn.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.

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