Simons Says...

Two things have been happening right before my eyes. This warmer than normal winter, the lack of snow and the Timberwolves turnaround has basketball fans all around us searching for their inner MJ. Just yesterday (with hopes of moving it back out in the open), two teenagers were jostling and tugging on their big basketball hoop that had been hibernated by their father. They could peer no more at it. With a concrete court clear of snow and ice, it was time to play Rubio in the driveway. Period.

As we speak, the hoop is still hung up and hibernated under Father Law but you get the point. In this strange winter of a Wolves rebirth (sans Snow-blowers), Team Turnaround continues to turn heads and bring people back to the bus at a much faster rate than would have ever been thought earlier this year.

No one is foolish enough to say its mission accomplished, no, not even close. But talking to players and coaches, there’s a sense that ere is now no doubt about it. Coach Adelman talks to the media nearly every day and one thing that is a constant, when it comes to describing his young team, is consistency.

One bright spot that has developed out of a potential mess. With all the injuries suffered early in the season, the Wolves are getting all their players back and in the center of the scheme, is the emergence of Nikola Pekovic. Since returning from injury, Pek has been gigantic. He’s a load. Just a tick under 7-feet tall, legs like tree trunks and a fear of no one, Pek has left believers in New Jersey, Houston and most recently, Sacramento.

Pek gave DeMarcus Cousins all he could handle and more. Fans are only hoping it’s not a mirage. Pek actually gives the team both defense and scoring. One fan talking to me after the close win against the Kings described the Wolves center position like this, in a musical mention. Fan says to me, “Adelman has his options; he can go from the rougher side with Pekovic, and a Metallica styled game, to a Manilow flow with Darko.” Bottom line, whatever wins gets the nod. The Wolves need help in the middle to allow Kevin Love to do his work. Pek has been fitting the bill of late. Well done.

A note to SimonsSays if we might.

For what it's worth my opinion is that K Love, R Rubio and hopefully D Williams are the only ones worth building around. All others are bench/role players. Maybe trades could provide draft picks to package current players to move up in the draft to fill one of the needs. I don't see much help in what going to be available for FA next year.

Keith M

Keith thanks for the note. David Kahn has a good handle on what his shopping list looks like and the work has just started. Safe to say, at this point in the season with the nice start the Wolves are enjoying, it’s going to be easier to prepare that list. There’s more to build around, in my opinion.

You Go Rubio!

Congrats to Ricky Rubio as he has made it to GQ! Rubio is in GQ’S FEBRUARY ISSUE and now NBA fans, even those outside Minnesota, who’ve long been awaiting Rubio’s debut will get to see the 21-year-old, will now get Ricky off the court. As GQ describes it, GQ was eager to catch up with the floppy-banged prodigy and get a better sense of what he thinks of America’s love for the NBA and if the Minnesota Timberwolves are the right fit for him.

Ricky Rubio on America’s die-hard NBA fans: “Barcelona is very similar to Santa Monica. I was out there two years ago to watch the NBA Finals. I got a sense of the place – that the people were crazy for the Lakers.”

…on moving from coastal Spain to hardy Minneapolis: “…When you play in the NBA, the city, I think, is not the most important thing. The better place might be one that’s not at the top right now – a place that can use me, that can grant me experience.”

Hey…Time to help cover up for Good Cause:

Still time to help out and make a difference as Kevin Love’s coat drive is winding down to help those in need this winter. Just because it’s been milder doesn’t mean there isn’t a need. Love is inviting all fans to bring new coats to any of eight metro-area drop-off locations, including the Target Center Box Office and Comcast service centers before February 17, with all donations supporting The Salvation Army.

"We've had a mild start to the winter, but it's starting to get pretty cold in Minnesota and many people are in need of new winter coats," Love said. "I want to help out again this year, and with the support of The Salvation Army, Comcast and Wolves fans, we can make a difference this winter for those in need."

As a thank you to those who donate, Love has purchased tickets to the Timberwolves' Feb. 22 game vs. the Utah Jazz. Fans will receive a pair of tickets to this game for each new coat they donate (limit four tickets per family while supplies last).

Locations and specific information you might need can be found at

Throwback Time:

It didn’t go too well in its debut against Indiana but you catch any of the remaining five Wolves home games this season that link you to a bit of throwback history. The Wolves will wear the 1967-68 Minnesota Muskies uni’s for this weekend’s upcoming home games against Dallas & the Knicks (back to back nights), the Clips and Lake show as well as the Celtics on March 30.

Lynx Update:

It’s still kinda’ early to be talking summer and the WNBA Champion Lynx (still has a nice erring to it) but we know who they’ll play now as the Lynx will tip off their 14th season on Sunday, May 20 against Phoenix at Target Center. It’s one of four nationally televised games this year. In all, 34 regular-season contests (17 home/17 away) from May 20 through September 23. The WNBA will break from July 14 to August 15 to allow WNBA players compete for their respective countries in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

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