Category Archives: SB Nation Minnesota

Boy howdy, but are the Timberwolves up and down. They won four in a row, then lost to Orlando; they got slaughtered by the Heat, then beat the Thunder, in the span of three days. There are no sure things. Will Nik Pekovic make his layups? Will Kevin Love get his shots to fall? Will Good J.J. Barea show up, or will we see Bad J.J.? Will Andrei Kirilenko pull the team out of the fire yet again? Will Dante Cunningham  and Greg Stiemsma and Derrick Williams make a meaningful contribution, or will they show up and flounder and end up -18 for the night?

All of these things are up in the air on a nightly basis, which is why the team is so up and down – the subject of my week seven review at SB Nation Minnesota.

My weekly Timberwolves recap didn’t get too much love from anyone, which I thought was a shame, because I really liked it pretty well.  So if you want to read the definitive unliked column about Kevin Love, you can’t do better than this one.

The Wolves won twice and lost once in the fifth week of their season, right in line with their current level of talent and level of play. It was a calm, normal, average week for the Wolves – but that sense of normality is about to get upended, thanks to Ricky Rubio’s impending return.

 

Minnesota Stars captain Kyle Altman may well be the team’s most important free agent this off-season – but, as it turns out, the Stars not only have to compete with other soccer teams for his signature, but with the possibility he’ll go to medical school.

As an aside: Altman was an all-star last year, and probably should have been one in 2011. He was a two-time first-team D3 All-American in college. And he’s doing all of this while also being a genius and taking deferrals from medical school. In conclusion, we have to say that Kyle Altman is better than you at whatever it is you’re doing, and if he shows up to take your job, you should probably just let him instead of getting embarrassed.

The Minnesota Stars began their offseason by picking up contract options on 13 different players, including the core of their defense and exciting young winger Miguel Ibarra. However, questions still remain, mainly regarding free-agent team captain Kyle Altman and the team’s lack of any options at forward.

In week four, it became apparent that Minnesota’s biggest struggle is the ability to shoot the ball from more than five feet away from the hoop.

A Wolves team that was a shocking 5-2, and had players coming back from injury, is now 6-8 and has almost a full complement of players. To say that disappointment is rising would be an understatement.

Tuesday, the North American Soccer League introduced new commissioner Bill Peterson, a veteran of several different facets of the sports industry. I had a chance to participate in the conference call to ask about a few things, including Peterson’s plans for the league going forward, and the split season – and what that might mean for Stars fans.

Everybody who was out short-term for the Timberwolves is back in the lineup now. Ricky Rubio is on his way back, but won’t be much of a factor until the new year. As I look back on the third week of the Wolves’ season at SB Nation Minnesota, it’s striking to me that the team that lost to Denver on Wednesday is, effectively, the Wolves’ team for most of 2012-13.

 

Last Thursday, I looked back at the week that was for the Timberwolves, a week in which everybody got hurt. This was depressing.

Since then, the Wolves have lost to Golden State at home, and now it’s come out this morning that Brandon Roy needs more knee surgery. This is doubly depressing.

I need Ricky Rubio and his sense of wonder and his dreamy eyes to come back soon.

The first week of the Timberwolves season is in the books, and it’s been a good week for the optimists. At the time I wrote about the first week for SBN Minnesota, the Wolves were 3-1 and had impressed most.

Last night, the Wolves went one better, beating Indiana 96-94 at home on a buzzer-beating Chase Budinger layup. The Pacers were missing Danny Granger, out until February, but are still a good team – and the Wolves’ injury problems are much worse. Brandon Roy did not return in the second half after one of his “knees” got sore (quotations because Roy’s “knees” are not really knees, anymore), and J.J. Barea – who drives the second unit – was missing with a foot injury. Add in Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, and that’s nearly an entire potential lineup missing for the Wolves.

And despite all that they still won, and deserved to win.

Yep, it’s been a good week – now week and a half – for the optimists.