Simons Says - Nov. 28, 2013












Much of the talk focused on turkey and big spending deals on a full tummy. Almost taken for granted was the team in the powder (or Carolina if you so choose) blue jerseys. It’s kinda’ been that way for the first weeks of this regular season of great expectations. Team Adelman sleep walked through a game they certainly should have won in route to a loss before the home throng.

There is no question to this blogster that fans are dialed in to the season of great expectations. A terrific, festive and engaged pack of hoopaholics expected more but got less in the home game against Denver even if they were treated to a fashion first. Those new alternative jerseys, in groovy black with dashing lines and sumptuous sleeves, were the bomb. But do remember fans. Pro athletes, I don’t care the sport, are a VERY discriminating and superstitious lot. A debut loss in the trendy new duds might get a pass but too many more without a win will turn the must have alternatives into “leave in the locker” lugs. So, from a fashion standpoint and more importantly, to the Wolves marketers, let’s get a few W’s so they can wear Bad in Black proudly and with the expectation of a “W.”

As I was leaving Target Center from the Nuggets thumping’ and making my way to a Black Friday line (and a home-away-from-home tent), some interesting messages flashed before my eyes. Since this is and always will be ‘tis the season, I’ll share what’s on the mind of other fans just like you: From Mark in Edina: “All I expect is a game. This team reads its headlines, they played the Nuggets like they could turn it on and then make it happen. It doesn’t happen all the time especially against teams as athletic as you. You cover these guys, do they get that?”

Mark, great note and I’m with you the whole way. As I was watching I thought the same thing at points. I spoke to assistant coach Jack Sikma about the veteran influence on this team and a few weeks ago, he pointed at that being a very important element as we head into an intense stretch of games. “They know what they have to do (this team and its veteran pack of players). They have all the tools but executing night in and night out is what separates the playoff teams from the others”. Sikma’s right on target. It starts with defense. The Wolves can score. They can run the break and move the ball better than ever. But to climb the ladder as they hope to do, Team Adelman has to shut down teams on the defensive end. That ain’t happening. The Nuggets got more free looks than should be allowed on any Minnesota visit. 117 points and 8-players scoring in double figures? Are you kidding me?! The Nuggets bench outscoring the Wolves pine 47-to-10?! There’s more but you get my point. Ahead is road work in Dallas, OKC, Mexico City against the red-hot Spurs and then home against the two time defending champion Heat. That’s a migraine waiting to happen for any team. For a Wolves team that’s lost 5 of their last 6 and three straight, it should be cause for concern. Mark, good question. Keep the faith.

Donald/Golden Valley: Thank you for saying hello at the game. Man, I saw you sitting in the crowd and cheering for the Wolves…I thought you always sat in those good press chairs. How often are you a fan? Keep up the good work and GameON! Rod.”

Donald, I remember our short visit and thanks for the question. I believe the media types who take in games get this one all the time but here goes. Just so happens I was looking forward to catching the game after two long weeks of work and family. Donald, I’m always a fan. I was spouting good things in the Wolves dark days when all the other media had turned their collective shoulder at the team. It’s easy to find the things that are wrong with any team but it’s better to balance and give your audience more to chew on. And no, I don’t always sit in the press seats (LOL). There are nights I’ll be on assignment and roam, listening to fans reaction while watching the game. Thank you for the interesting note and the kind words, they go a long way. And remember, this cat is always a fan.

Hey, Wolves fans. We have much for which to be grateful. Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving was peaceful and enjoyable. Wherever you might be, here’s wishing your holiday, however you celebrate, is uplifting. And as you dial your basketball radar into the month of December, keep an eye on this vital stretch of games. The Wolves need to define themselves this month. And to team Adelman, keep your GameON!

SIMONSSAYS SHORT TAKES

Help someone stay warm:

A few weeks remain to help one of our fellow Minnesotans in this cold time of year. All Star Kevin Love continues 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. Kinda’ 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 at 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 at 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 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, 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 at 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!


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