Simons Says...

Thursday, March 4, 2011

I need to wipe this grin off my face. I’m not one of those people who is quick to say “told you so”. Just not me. Not my style. But I have been keeping my eyes peeled for an old neighbor who has always rubbed me a bit the wrong way. He’s kind of a bandwagon hopper. He just loved the T’Wolves when KG, Spree and Sam were rockin’ the Western Conference. Not all that hard to get into that party. We all did.

But now I’m looking to just get updated. The two of us. I need to take a minute to say what’s up and how do you like ‘em now?! You see, good things are happening and I’m here to tell him about them.

The Wolves visit to Motown helped to turn a Lakers frown upside down. In beating the Pistons and winning their second in three games, the Wolves continue to show us all they are not giving up on the season. After losing 7 straight, they’ve rebounded nicely.

Kevin Love continues to be the all star we all knew he was. Love scored 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds and notched another double/double (48th straight). It was K-Love’s teammates who showed up big time. How about newcomer Anthony Randolph’s 19 points and 10 rebounds?! Add Luke Ridnour’s perfect shooting night (15 points), Jonny Flynn’s career-high 14 assists, Lazar Hayward with his own career high of 16 points and, last but not least, Anthony Tolliver’s 13 points. All in all, how about a 61-point scoring night off the T’Wolves bench.

Wins take care of things in the NBA. Just ask Cleveland players (they still hang on that Lakers win before the all star break). For the Wolves, the timing is perfect. Coming off that loss to the Lakers, it shows a ton of heart and character.

You know, speaking of the Lakers, love ‘em or not, you best not be writing off the defending champion L-A-L. The best measuring stick a team like the Wolves could have rolled into town and played well when needed to get it done. The Lakers are going to be title contenders to the end of the NBA playoffs.

And so many people wrote ‘em off after losing to the Cavs before the All Star break. Wrong thing to do. The Lake show has responded after the mid season siesta and dismantled Atlanta, the Blazers and Minnesota. So they are meandering through the season, they’ll turn it up in time to be ready for another run.

Hey, I say this without being a Lakers fan. True. NOT a fan. But I get what’s happening. This team can’t possibly keep its motor revving that high all season long. That’s why the Lakers didn’t make any moves before the trading deadline. Did they field offers? Yep. Did they see deals that flicked their bic?! Nope. So while Boston, Miami, OKC, the Knicks and Nets and every other team moved and did the trade shimmy, the Lakers stood still. Look out. That team is sly as a fox. And ready to jump at another championship.

SimonsSays MAILBAG:
Darren in Osseo (via
“Your thoughts about Dallas. You rarely talk about the Mavericks but they are having a great season. Think they can win it all?
Rod: Darren, great note. The only reason I haven’t brought ‘em up is just other more important Wolves topics. But since you ask, yes, this is a very good team. 7 straight wins as I write, tons of confidence, tough at home and a loaded roster (that got a bit better with the signing of Corey Brewer). Listen, if the playoffs started tonight, the Mavs could face the Lakers in the second round and then if still running, get OKC/SA down the pike. Dirk, Kidd, Terry and Chandler are tearing it up. Winners in 17 of their last 18, are you kidding me?! But I’d rather peak in a month than right now. Just sayin’ there’s lots of hooping to do and we’ll get a good look at the Mavericks (and former Wolves coach Dwayne Casey) this coming Monday. And yes, they have the tools to tear it up to a title. Indeed.

For basketball fans, this is the month. March Madness! And did you know that there are four, not just two, college basketball tournaments?! The NCAA 68-team dance is the big deal for sure, then there’s the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). 32 teams get invites to this runner-up showcase.

But there’s more. I didn’t know this but there are two others. The College Basketball Invitational is four years old and will involve 16 teams. It costs a school about $40 thousand to participate in early round games. The Tournament will host 24 teams (at about $31k for early games) and in the end, it’s an opportunity to expose some of the teams who didn’t make the Big Dance. Another important goal, not to lose money and go deep in whatever tourney they’re in.

Thanks for the e-mails and the uptick in communication from you out there. I very much enjoy getting those and next week, we’ll share some more of your FAN thoughts in our SimonsSays mailbag. Until then, keep your chin up and see you Sunday on GameON! I’d love to have you out to one of our live GameON! Tapings this next Tuesday at Courtside Bar and Grill in Anoka on Jackson Street. More details and guest listings on our redesigned show website (