Simons Says - Oct. 18, 2012

Sucker punch. There’s no other way to describe the feeling after hearing the news that came out of Wolves HQ regarding the injury to Kevin Love. Love was injured hours after a great preseason home win and it’s not just another injury.

Love broke two bones in his shooting hand and will now be away from the court for possibly eight weeks. No need to hash over the details that you are still hearing on all media, from neighbors and from friends.

No question about this one. Not even Mr. Glass Half Timberwolves Full will tell you otherwise. This is not good for the Wolves. Especially since the teams sophomore point guard is still recovering and won’t be back until the month of Christmas.

So the season will begin Nov. 2 against Sacramento without K-Love and Ricky Rubio. Both out, give or take a few days or weeks, until the last month of this calendar year. Too bad too because watching the Wolves work in this young preseason, when they had guns loaded on the court, has been good fun.

In fact, the Wolves were just showing off that amazing Love no-look, behind-the-head pass from last night’s win over Maccabi Haifa/Israel (MH/I). It was exactly the kind of play I was expecting with the level of talent the Wolves have brought in this off-season. Andrei Kirilenko was busting out on a break, over-half court passed to a streaking Love who touched the pass to Nikola Pekovic for a monster jam. It was remarkable.

It’s been that type of preseason for the Wolves. The newcomers have stepped up and made plays and forced fans to take notice.

 

  • Brandon Roy debuted at Target Center with 13 points against the Bulls over a week ago and then against MH/I, knocked down 19 with 12 in the third quarter. Roy is showing signs that he’s still got it. Roy was 2-for-2 from beyond -3- and with AK and KLove, combined for 26 points against MH/I on 14 of 27 shooting, 19 rebounds and 7 assists. Roy’s back-em-in, baseline turn around in your face is a thing of beauty. Patented in Portland, B-Roy is going to make music with that in Minnesota this winter.

 

  • Kirilenko. It’s clear this was a brilliant signing. AK is a flat out serious passer and an all-around contributor. Against MH/I, 13 points, 7 boards with 5 dishes, 2 steals and a block. You gotta’ watch closely with AK. In the first quarter, his crisp outlet was pin point to love for the Pek jam. Later, Kirilenko was leading the break then tossed a behind the back pass to Dante Cunningham for a high percentage jam.

 

  • Pekovic. Big year expected from him in the paint.

 

  • Team play. Vastly improved. Against the Bulls, the bench took names with rookie Alexi Shved leading the way in the important second half with 15 total, 12 of those in the last 2 quarters. Against MH/I, the bench was big time with 45 points on 17-of-32 shooting. On this night, sparkplug JJ Barea bulldozed with 11 points and missed only one of 4 3-bombs.

 

  • Rick Adelman. Love this coach. Starting different line-ups, trying different and numerous line-ups so he has all the looks he needs come November. Against MH/I, Coach A started his fourth different line-up in as many games.


I bring all this up because the Wolves will not fold and hunch over like they did on March 10 until the final game of last season when Rubio went down. Yes, it’s NOT good that Rubio and Love are out. But, as these guys love to say, it is what it is and this year, there IS more depth of this Wolves team. Far more than last season and in recent years.

Hey, this too. Love is out 6-to-8 weeks, he’s young, heals fast and with a few weeks before the season opening tip, he could be back right as you are planning your Christmas shopping list (Editor’s Note: that should be started by Dec. 1, fellas).

Yes, this is not good but it’s not the end of the end of this shopaholic’s playoff fantasy either. These guys get up and down the court, they look to play defense, we have a legitimate center in the Godfather and there’s up-side as we start this season. Up’s that weren’t there a year ago.

A few notes came in that I have to share. Call it a pity party or whatever. It works.

Dan in Brooklyn Park:

Spin this one SimonsSays. Love out means the season is shot. No other way to put it.

Dan, first of all, easy does it on bustin’ at me. And even Love will tell you, he has confidence in this team and their collective ability to hold the fort until he returns. For all the reasons just listed. No. The season hasn’t even started for Pete’s sake (not Jim Petersen either). Relax. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you might leave a game in the first quarter when the Wolves fall behind. Just relax.

Bonnie in Osseo:

I loved meeting (Nikola) Pekovic at your GameON! Taping downtown a few weeks ago. He signed my hat and talked for a few minutes. I was in awe. He’s my favorite player. Why doesn’t he get more publicity? He’s good and tall and is one of our best players.

Bonnie, first of all, thanks for taking time to come out and join us at SEVEN Steakhouse for our Game ON! Taping. Pek is a gem. Wonderful guy, quiet and confident and friendly like few others. The Godfather is one of the Wolves best and don’t you worry, he is already turning heads. Pek’s big payday is coming and his star is being shined as we speak. Great letter. Thanks for sharing your time with us on the TV show and here at Timberwolves.com.

There are plenty of observers out there who don’t spend much time really watching the team. They also kick out a lot of conversation invoking drabble…most of which just drives you crazy. Sure as I’m sitting here I’m still convinced this is going to be a playoff team. Finally, seasoned veterans are in the mix. Players who’ve been there. Guys who want to win.

Players who have a competitive pulse. I keep saying it and I’ll stick with it. There’s a lot of season to play out. Enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a good one. And can’t end without a high-5 shout out to the Lynx! Nice work beating Indiana decisively in Game 2 on the road to repeat in the WNBA Finals! Finally found a screen while on the road and nice to catch the fourth quarter. And GREAT crowd too! More to come!

We’re all on MY@29!

You know that GameON! is on FOX’s MY29 and now 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.

The 2012-13 Wolves Home Opener against Sacramento will be broadcast on WFTC MY29, beginning a string of 36 consecutive televised games to start the season.

See you on TV

Catch your Wolves on this Sunday’s Game ON! this week!! You don’t want to miss the Emmy nominated Game ON! powered by SEVEN Steakhouse Sushi Ultralounge & Skybar this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 at 10:30AM. Our special guests include Vikings alums Matt Blair & Willie Howard and from the Wolves quick visits with point guard Alexi Shved and Greg Steinsma! Also, Fantasy Guru Jeremy Johnson and all Game ON! shows are broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes & online at www.gameontvmn.com.

Game ON! powered by SEVEN allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal, to meet your favorite players and fellow fans @ our weekly tapings next door to Target Center at SEVEN (7th and Hennepin). Game ON! 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. Game ON! 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 Game ON! See you soon!


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