The New Timberwolves [UPDATED]Published 10:38am Monday, January 2, 2012 Updated 10:40am Monday, January 2, 2012
This is now 2012 which, according to some, will be the last year we will be around or at least the last year as we know it to be. Weather changes throughout the world have been crazy and the world itself has been a little crazier than normal and now the Timberwolves are the most exciting pro team inMinnesotaright now. The world must be coming to an end.
I have watched all of the games on TV so far including the last exhibition game and have found this team most enjoyable to watch. They are just a different team to watch than the last number of years and there are a number of reasons why.
It all starts with the coach. Rick Adelman is a Hall of Fame coach meaning he actually will be, should be, elected into the Hall of Fame. He is the best coach the Wolves have ever had and that includes Flip Saunders and Bill Musselman. Saunders had great players, Musselman had expansion retreads, and Adelman has the youngest team in the league. Adelman’s knowledge of the game of basketball is invaluable to a young team like the Wolves and having his calming presence on the floor will add tremendously to the Wolves this season.
He has this team playing like a team even in a NBA league where me and myself and I and self promotion are the norm. It is refreshing to watch a team work together for the good of the team and to watch them have fun playing the game and rejoicing for each other after a great play. Yes, I am aware that the team is now 1-3, but the 3 games they lost were only by a total of 9 points. Two of those loses came against teams thought to be front runners to be in the finals and the one win was against last years champions.
The team is made up of high draft choices, some from their own draft and others from other teams who didn’t pan out so the talent is there. But the new guy on the block is Ricky Rubio. I hesitate to say too much about the guy because I don’t want to be caught up behind all the hype he has gotten already. But taking all the hype away, he is the best point guard the Wolves have had since Sam Cassell and point guard has bee a bottomless pit since Cassell. The fact that he knows how to run an offense at that position is enough of a godsend to this team. The fun part is, he is just a joy to watch and to truly watch him you can not take your eyes of him when he has the ball or you will miss something.
His passing hasn’t reached the “Pistol Pete” Marovich status yet, but few have. He may not have reached the John Stockton or Steve Nash level yet either but I can at least see that happening. Sunday night he drove the basket then threw a bounce pass between Dirk Nowitski’s legs to Anthony Toliver in the corner that made a three. Not only was it a great pass but it was at a key part of the game. Rubio is a coachable kid who has a tremendous feel of the court and who just loves to play basketball. He reminds you of the gym rat at any local high school.
As hyped up Rubio is and as important he has been for the team, the star of the team is Kevin Love. He is the ultimate professional andMinnesotafans are lucky to have such a player and a guy on their team. He made some key three point baskets Sunday night but it is his steady consistent play every game that makes him a star. Like Rubio he works hard at the game and he enjoys playing it. He has a double/double every game which he makes look easy but is not easy and he does it will little fan fare or self promotion like a lot of the days athletes.
The Wolves bench is also something that has improved. The other night againstMiami, a two point loss, the Wolves bench outscoredMiami’s bench by 20 or more points. Guys like Anthony Randolph, Anthony Toliver, Luke Redenour, and Derrick Williams have really stepped up their game in crucial moments.
I know its early and I also know the Wolves more than likely are not going to make the playoffs, but to climb out of the sewer system they have been hanging out in and play like they are now is something unexpected and just what the Dr. ordered for a sad state of pro affairs in the state of Minnesota right now.
-Speaking of guys who work hard and love to play the game congrats goes out to Jared Allen for breaking the Viking season sack record held by one of my favorites, Chris Doleman. Allen finished just .5 sacks from the NFL record for sacks in a season. As we all know the Vikings had a sad season this year but Allen was the highlight. He just wasn’t out for the sacks but to watch him run down running backs and just cause mayhem for other team’s offense’s made the Vikings worth watching.
-The Wild has had the same problems the Twins had; and that is injuries. Earlier in the year they were able to bring players up and the responded very well and they were still winning. Now the players they brought up are getting hurt. I have never seenMinnesotapro teams suffer so many injuries as they have this past season.