Column | Big Week For Wolves, Bledsoe Trade & More
Welcome back to the Friday column.
How are you? Good? Me too. I don’t have much for creative juices as far as an intro goes, so let’s get this thing rolling Limp Biztkit style.
Current State Of The Wolves
As I type this, the Wolves are 7-4, tied for third in the Western Conference.
They’ll have the Suns in Phoenix on Saturday, a talented young team, but a team that is 4-8, beatable and a squad the Wolves took down three times last year. If the Wolves win, and the Grizzlies lose to the Rockets in Houston (probably expected), we are looking at the Wolves having sole possession of third place 12 games into the season.
I was in a content meeting this morning and brought up that stat and one of our PR guys rolled his eyes at me, “standings watch in November . . .”
Sure, maybe it’s premature. But the Western Conference is loaded. Between the Wolves and the eight seed is a game and a half difference. That’s not much wiggle room so . . . cliché coach talk coming . . . EVERY GAME MATTERS.
A few intriguing tidbits about the Wolves as of 12:09 p.m., Friday, Nov. 10:
- Nemanja Bjelica is shooting 59.3 percent from the 3-point line on 2.5 attempts per game. That leads the NBA. If you had that in your 2017-18 predictions, I don’t believe you. Maybe it’s a small sample size, but 16-for-27 is pretty dang good.
- The Wolves are 5-0 this year in one-possession games.
- Minnesota has lost to: The defending champions, a surprise 8-3 Pistons squad, the Pacers and a well-oiled Spurs team on opening night. The only bad loss there on paper is against Indiana, in my opinion. There’s a chance for the Wolves to take a step forward in the next two weeks. They play the Suns twice, the Spurs, Mavericks, Pistons, Hornets, Magic and Heat.
It’s early, but it’s okay to look at the standings and be excited.
Bledsoe To Bucks
The big news over the last week is the Bucks acquiring guard Eric Bledsoe for a future first-round pick and Greg Monroe. I think it’s a win for both teams. For Phoenix to get a pick and a valuable player in exchange for a player the team pretty much announced it was trading (thus losing leverage) is pretty good. And for the Bucks, they got a top-15 point guard in the league to pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
For as good as the Greek Freak has been this year (31.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.8 APG), the Bucks have not been, sitting at 4-6, 12th in the East.
Bledsoe brings Milwaukee athleticism and if Jason Kidd wanted to play Bledsoe and last year’s Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, he certainly could considering Bledsoe has the build to also guard shooting guards, despite being just 6’1.
This is a move that turns up the pressure for both sides. There will be a honeymoon period for the Bucks and Bledsoe to feel things out, but for Bledsoe (27) it’s a chance to prove again that he’s one of the better two-way players in the league. For the Bucks, the pressure is probably to be a top-six seed in a depleted Eastern Conference. With an MVP candidate, Bledsoe, and rotational guys like Khris Middleton and Tony Snell, they should be able to do so.
We are cutting this week’s column short because I am running late to a groom’s dinner. My best friend from high school is getting married tomorrow and I paid him $400 to put me in the wedding. Turns out weddings are expensive, so he decided to make me part of it. I can no longer afford a gift. Sorry!
I’m very excited for you and your future, Adam. Love you, buddy, despite your weird obsession with Marcus Camby. Maggie, best of luck. Adam is a weirdo.
Here are my predictions heading into the weekend:
- The Vikings will defeat Washington this week. The Redskins are coming off a big win against Seattle and it only feels right for them to come back to earth.
- The wedding is on Saturday. I will not feel good Sunday.
- Dallas falls to the Cavs on Saturday, but rookie Dennis Smith Jr. finishes with 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
That’s all for this week. As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend.