Reminiscing With Ratke: Busy Week For New Wolves, FIBA Action and More
It’s hard to believe that the Wolves made one of the biggest trades in NBA history just eight days ago.
After everything that has gone on (you know, the State Fair, Children’s Hospital, mini Media Day, practices…), it seems like maybe a month. Or maybe it feels that way because of the media speculation on the move earlier this summer. Regardless, it’s over. Or is it just beginning?
This week was a busy one for the new Timberwolves (Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Zach LaVine), but also for some current Timberwolves. With all of the trade talk, we might have overlooked the fact that Gorgui Dieng, Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea are all representing their countries in the FIBA World Cup.
Let’s break down the week that was:
Busy For The New Guys
By all accounts, it looked like it was a pretty successful week for not only the Timberwolves, but also the three acquired players in the Kevin Love trade.
Let’s look at it.
Andrew Wiggins is playing for a team that actually wants him. He doesn’t have to wait for a trade or have to answer any questions about one. He told fans at the State Fair that Minnesota is a place he hopes to be for many, many years. We have a feeling Minnesota fans agree.
Anthony Bennett is getting a second chance after a disappointing rookie season. I won’t call it a wasted season because he learned things on and off the court that are going to help him in the future – even if his box scores last year didn't indicate it. He’s healthy, has lost some weight and he’s already given Wiggins some advice after being picked No. 1 overall. He told Wiggins not to let one bad game affect him for a week or two.
Thaddeus Young loved Philadelphia, but he was clearly disgruntled there and wasn’t a big fan of the direction the team was going. The Western Conference is a tough conference. I’m not sure if the Wolves are going to make the playoffs, but we thought Phoenix was going to be one of the worst teams in the league last season, remember? Minnesota will be exciting and fun. And they will probably win more games than the 76ers this season (then again, that’s not exactly saying a whole lot).
If Philadelphia trades for a post player with a torn ACL at midsesason, don’t be shocked…
These players seem to fit in pretty well. We’ll find out more when Training Camp starts at the end of September.
Dieng, Gorgui Looks Good
When Gorgui Dieng received playing time late last season, he looking pretty good. Like grabbing 20 rebounds to go with 20 points good. He’s kept that up during the FIBA World Cup playing for Senegal. In three games, Dieng is averaging 22 points (4th in tournament play) to go with 11.7 rebounds (2nd). More importantly for him, Senegal is 2-1.
Minnesota of course has Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea competing in the tournament as well. Barea is averaging 20 points per game (6th) and 4.3 assists (14th) in three games. Rubio has Spain off to a 3-0 start. He’s averaging just 3.7 points per game, but he leads the team with six assists (3rd) and 2.3 steals (5th) per contest. He’s also hauling in 5.3 rebounds per game.
Barea and his Puerto Rico squad will next play the Philippines, Senegal will match up against Argentina and Rubio’s Spain squad will play France. All games are scheduled for Wednesday.
Make sure to head to Twolves.com for updates on each player in the tournament.
What’s Going On This Week?
Compared to last week? Pretty much nothing…
Expect in-depth features on Young, LaVine, Wiggins and Bennett. We will also update on the FIBA World Cup. I also hear the Timberwovles Entertainment Network has some pretty awesome content this week.