Simons Says - Oct. 5, 2012
I said it a month ago and now you can really tell. Yes, you can feel it in the air and it’s right there on the court to see. The Timberwolves have returned.
The Wolves have quietly made it back to play. No lockout. No disagreements (flopping issue notwithstanding). I say quietly because the Vikings did a pretty good job of surprising folks with their 3-for-4 September and the Lynx just dispatched a Storm and continue in the WNBA playoffs. They are gunning for a repeat, which would be sweet.
To see the team, on the court, at the same time, ready to go is pretty good stuff for a hoopaholic like myself. All the pieces are in place. JJ Barea telling me he’s healthy, feeling good, his outlook on the upcoming season is set. To see the lean and mean Derrick Williams and know he’s got a lot to prove and play for this season, very cool.
The Russians are in the house and happy to be here. I was a bit surprised at how tall Alexey Shved is up close. He’s sticking close to Andrei Kirilenko since this is Shved’s first spin in the states and the NBA.
Appearing serious but surveying the court, coach Rick Adelman is much happier with this roster than when he entered his first season, post lock-out, with the Wolves last year. Coach told me “These guys are athletic, they have come here in shape and they all want to win.” Adelman is the man and the players enjoy playing for him. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and as a young hooper (hoopaholic would happen later in life), I remember Adelman from his playing days in Portland. With guys like Geoff Petrie, Dale Schlueter, Dorie Murrey and Ed Manning (former Kansas & NBA forward Danny’s Dad), those Blazers help create the foundation for Adelman’s coaching style.
You need a roster to recognize the new faces and players on this team. Having talked about the Wolves time and time again on GameON! and via our social medias, a few of you have questions. I promised to get to them and here we go:
From Todd in Bloomington: “I can appreciate when the Wolves only give us vague information while giving us news regarding Rubio's actual return. Now the latest is December is possible. I know many of us Wolves fan just want to hear the best possible news, but do you have any predictions based upon the knowledge you have to pinpoint a target date like Dec. 3 or at least a 1-2 window prediction?”
Todd, thanks. I actually had the opportunity to get Rubio 1 on 1 for a short conversation that will air next Sunday (Oct 14) on GameON! I tried to pin him down, yes Rubio himself, on a target date. I believe it will be sometime in December when he returns. Just a hunch. He’ll be back and Rubio will make a difference.
From William in Minnetonka: How do you think D-Will will react to being part of trade rumors after just one season and all the forwards they have in camp now?”
William, great question. So far, so good. Derrick is focused and he now understands that delivering on that talent and expectation has to happen. If D-Will does what most people think he can, Coach will have to play him. They say it all the time in the NBA. Playing time is earned and they won’t be able to keep him off the court if he molds into the Adelman system.
From Terry in Edina: “Who are you keeping an eye on as pre-season games start?”
I actually have three players I’m very curious about. The first is Kirilenko. AK has always caught my eye in his NBA days and now, with his maturity and experience, I believe he could have a career best season in his first go-around in Minnesota. I watched every Olympic game he played and I was impressed by his leadership, his savvy and he’s still not afraid to shoot. Kirilenko will also help Shved and that’s a bonus. Good reason and a safe bet to have high expectations for No. 47.
Secondly, Greg Stiemsma. VERY impressed with his playoff work with Boston last spring. He’s a good shooter, mixes it up in the middle and with confidence gained from that run along with playing for a winner (in Boston and in college at Wisconsin), No. 34 may have been the best off-season addition. Love this move.
Third is No. 3, Brandon Roy. I’ve followed his career since his junior high days and if he’s knees hold up, we’re in for a treat. The coaches know how to play him and do the roster tweaking. Now, is Roy ready? He’s still young and in very good shape. The experiment begins and the bounty at the end could be a playoff berth.
Let the games begin and let’s have fun with this seasons run. 82 games and a team loaded for the haul.
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
K-Love has his GameON! this week!! You don’t want to miss GameON! powered by SEVEN Steakhouse/Sushi/Ultralounge & Skybar this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 at 10:30AM. Our special guests include the Wolves All Star and Olympic Gold medalist! Also with us, Vikings starting Wide Receiver Jerome Simpson, FOX 9 Anchor Dawn Mitchell, from LA the star of “Here Comes the Boom” and formerly “King Of Queens” Kevin James one on one, and Fantasy Guru Jeremy Johnson. All GameON! shows are broadcast in High Definition and can be found on ITunes & online at www.gameontvmn.com.
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Keep your GameON! See you soon!