Simons Says...

Thursday, April 22, 2011

I couldn’t help but notice as I was motoring around over the past few days. The snow and cold was putting’ a funk on all of us and I was missing being around the Wolves.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all over the playoffs. I’m enjoying the NBA and the NHL second seasons for sure. In fact, you don’t have to have your ear to the ground to get the bad vibe that’s being created by our two winter teams missing the post season and the egg that our summer-9 are laying as they get out of the gate for the marathon that is the Major League Baseball season.

But as Target Field welcomes all back for outdoor ball while all those playoff games rage elsewhere, I want the Wolves back in the hunt.

I’ve had a number of folk’s drop me email @ my GameON! box. Loved the notes and the thoughts too. Here’s a couple.

Bryan in Brooklyn Park:
“You have to be bummed that Harrison Barnes is staying at North Carolina. He was my #1 pick in the draft. Who goes number one now”?

That didn’t surprise me all that much considering his teammate, Tyler Zellar, decided to come back for his senior season. It appears that the Heels will make a serious run at the National Championship with most of their team returning. That will make Wolves sharp shooter Wayne Ellington (and my Tar Heel wife) very happy. If I’m a betting man (and I’m not), I would think a certain Dukie named Irving will likely go #1. Stay tuned.

Doug in Eden Prairie: “You might not remember but I wrote you last year at this same time and my question was….The Wolves were horrible in April. Will that carry over into the season” They played well in the first half of the season and then gave up. Do you REALLY think they’ll improve?

Doug, I went back and found your note (I’m an email pack rat). I was right too. That final line-up against the Detroit Pistons a year ago in April was different that the Wolves who played better early. I’ll agree with you, there’s still no good reason for the team to be so bad in the last 8 weeks. The Wolves will be better next season. The core of a very promising young and athletic team will be back with hopefully strong draft picks and (I hope) a trifecta of veteran free agents who will truly lead after getting big contracts to play in Minnesota.

Listen. I said it then around Doug’s note. I still see a major transformation percolating for the T’Wolves. Call me too optimistic. I can see that. But as I watch Memphis play the Spurs and the Hornets hang with the Lakers, I see winds of change taking over in the NBA and that tide of youth making its house call.

There’s nowhere to go but up. Sometimes hope is a good thing. We can only hope that this thing gets turned around so while the Twins are dusting off their spikes for a long season starting in April, the Wolves are enjoying NBA home playoff games at the same time.

Talk about change, last year at this time, the most talked about team was King James and Cleveland. Now, in his new address in South Florida, he is again the man as part of the “Big-3” for the Heat. But are there two bigger players than Chicago’s Derrick Rose and OKC’s Kevin Durrant in this second season?!

Both lead very young and talented teams and both do it so unassumingly as compared to Miami’s media hyped and headline grabbing Heat.

I was very impressed when Chicago rolled into Target Center a couple weeks back and instead of mailing in a win against the Wolves, they played hard and with the determination that few other teams show that time of year. I love the way they go about their business and if you have a team rebuilding, what a team to copy. Right?!

I can see the Bulls getting to the finals. The Celtics look vulnerable, the Heat is starting to groove but still can be rattled. I think Boston will regret the day it traded Kendrick Perkins to OKC. Forget KG and Ray Allen and P2. I believe Perkins was that one piece that brought ‘em all together. It will cost Boston for making the move in advance of Perkins pending free agency.

The games, the energy and excitement. It just makes me long for the hometown team to get back to the playoffs. I can see it. I can kinda’ feel it. It’s just not going to’ happen, right now. How about next year? There’s your glass half full.

Cheers to K-Love and more on that next week and to all of you, Happy Easter and keep your GameON! See you Sunday morning at 11AM on FOX9.

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 (