Simons Says - October 10, 2013
Greetings again fellow HoopAholics! We hope you are enjoying the warm-up to the NBA marathon known as the regular season. Heck, if you were to ask an NBA veteran how long the preseason should extend, they’d quickly offer up “a few games and a few weeks”. Well, that’s right where the Wolves sit in this NBA preseason and so far, so good for Team Adelman.
Fresh off a nice win in Toronto, the Timberwolves are easing any remaining court rust off vital veterans and kicking the tires with a handful of rookies and free agents hoping to fill the Wolves roster. A good outing for Kevin Love as he gets 26 minutes on the floor with 20 points and 9-rebounds. Maybe most impressive to me was that point total in the third quarter. Twenty-eight points out of the locker room at half erased the Raptors lead and the Wolves rallied to win over the border.
It’s nearly time to “tip” the season and the taste that is still lingering in the mouths’ of most fans is a season of A L L those injuries.
Ask a Wolves fan or even better, a player or team staffer and the “I” word, you know, injuries, is not mentioned, muttered or mistakenly mumbled. All those forced line-up changes and a wild ride that affected everyone involved from the coach to the last player on the court. Well, good for us that the “I” season is in the rear-view and with the turn of the seasonal page, this is a basketball team with the potential of reaching the playoffs and then who knows!
SimonsSays is enjoying watching the pieces that were added to the Wolves roster in the off season. Kudos to Glen Taylor and his ownership group for opening up the checkbook and from one end of the house to the other, adding pieces to improve this team. And for as quietly as the team ended its season last April, Wolves management roared with a powerful free agency run of players and front office personnel that made the Timberwolves more of a player than ever before.
I get asked this all the time and here they are, the best Wolves deals this off season:
5. Resigning Nikola Pekovic. Big Pek is emerging as a top flight NBA big man. He’s as solid as any player in the paint, a strong rebounder, and get’s an A-plus for beating and banging and bruising his opponents. An intangible that doesn’t show up in boxscores. The other “I” factor, the I n t I m I d a t I o n factor. Gotta’ have a big man to win in the NBA and I like Pek.
4. A new Kmart in town and not the box store but the scorer! Kevin Martin from OKC to Minneapolis. I was SO pumped to see this transaction and no mistake, I’ve always been a fan of his. Martin is a shooter, defender, he’s long, at six-7 and Martin is VERY athletic. At 4-years and $28 million, he’s a bit of a bargan too. Martin will win fans over here. The perfect complement to Ricky Rubio in the back court. Our guards, as a whole, were too small…out is Luke Ridnour whose effort was appreciated. I’ll keep J.J. Barea with tons of heart & knows how to win.
3. Coach stays. Rick Adelman staying put could be No. 1. I’m a huge fan of the one-day-Hall of Fame coach. Even in his 60’s he can talk to younger players and make sense. Just gets it done. Players want to work for him, he treats others around him as HE would like to be treated. And importantly, Adelman knows what this team has to do to win. It’s that simple.
2. Welcome home Flip Saunders, goodbye David Kahn. The biggest move of the off season. In just a few months of watching the former Gopher and NBA head coach that Flip’s knowledge, his IQ, his passion for the game and the region AND his ability to talk to big money making, tender ego’d players and staff will be key to this team’s ascension.
1. Without Flip, Kevin Love’s mood and desire to play for the Wolves might have changed. Love is special…A scoring and rebounding machine. Love gets Coach Adelman…Coach loves that K-Love. Love needs K-Martin and the assets assembled to improve this team. Add Ricky Rubio, Pek, Dante Cunningham, the return of a veteran star in Corey Brewer and veteran strong man Ronnie Turiaf. SimonsSays it could be a special winter…and when the thaw arrives in March…we’ll be talking about spring, the return of baseball and how it all mixes so nicely with the NBA’s playoff season that the Wolves have signed up to be a part of.
It’s going to be an exciting season. So use what’s left of this pre-season to get your Wolves GameON! Drop me a note here and see you at Target Center on the 30th for the season opening tip!
SIMONSSAYS SHORT TAKES
Here’s hoping the Lynx finish off the Atlanta Dream and secure the team’s second WNBA title in three years! What an amazing season and how about this team, eh!? So cool too that when you look at the WNBA’s All-First Team you find two Lynx stars. Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen and forward Maya Moore are on the All-WNBA First Team. Guard Seimone Augustus earned All-WNBA Second Team honors. This season is the third time in Whalen’s 10-year career she’s earned All-WNBA First Team honors, the first for Moore and the fourth time Augustus has been named to the All-WNBA Second Team. This year marks the first time in franchise history the Lynx have had two representatives selected to the All-WNBA First Team.
SimonsSays on TV/PODcast:
You can now get SimonsSays in new PODcast form with player sound and insight/input from fans just like you! Keep an eye out for SimonsSays PODcast at 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 Emmy nominated GameON! at 10am this Sunday morning on FOX’s My29 and throughout the weekend regionally on MidCo Sports Net. This weekGameON! features Vikings deep snapper Cullen Loeffler, Boxer Jamal “Shango” James, LegalInsider Terry Moore, Racing’s Scott Robinson and Fantasy Football “Guru” Jeremy Johnson.
' 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 @ 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 and 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!