Thursday, October 22, 2009
If you're like me, you don't much care about the NBA until the playoffs even though you love the game of basketball. You also find yourself irrationally getting a little excited before the start of every NBA season, only to have that excitement and "caring" wear off as soon as you watch your first game. Since I haven't watched a preseason game or anything, I still have that tiny bit of excitement on me, much like the blood and mucus all over a new born baby, but I have one question, "Who the hell is on the Wolves?"
Seriously, with David "the" Kahn taking over and making trade after trade after signing, and with Ricky Rubio chilling over in Spain for a few more years, I really don't know who ended up on the team. So let's see.
- Jonny Flynn. You probably know who this is. The rookie from Syracuse who has scared Rubio so much that he won't even cross the Atlantic, and will likely start from Day 1, I think. He's had a huge preseason, leading the team in assists and coming up second in scoring at 13.8 points per game. Since I assume NBA Preseason success correlates perfectly with NBA Regular Season success, much like MLB or the NFL, I'm going to call him as rookie of the year, and probably a first ballot hall-of-famer.
- Ramon Sessions. I remember watching him at Nevada, and then I remember being surprised he was in the NBA, and then I remember being really surprised that the Wolves signed him for $4 million a year for four years, and then I remember being shockingly stunningly surprised by this article and the following comments that the $16 million contract was a steal for the Wolves. Looking up the stats on my internet device, it appears he averaged 12 points and 6 assists per game last year, which sounds pretty good to me. So, I guess like, good job Kahny?
- Antonio Daniels. Huh. My brain tells me that this guy was a pretty decent player for the Spurs a few years back, and it seems odd that they would bring him in given the two point guards I already wrote about. Let me confirm, hold on. Yep, turns out he was a pretty decent player for ten years on a couple of pretty good teams - too bad he's coming into year 13 right now. He put up career worst stats last season, but with two young and promising point guards on the team, a veteran who has been on more than a couple of playoffs team is probably a good idea for a mentor. I approve of this.
- Jason Hart. This guy is still kicking around? I remember him as somewhat of a disappointment coming out of Syracuse, but he's carved out a nice nichey career for himself as a third point guard on bad teams. Now that I write it down, it feels like a match made in heaven.
- Mustafa Shakur. I'm laughing right now, I'm seriously laughing. There's not a chance in hell this guy makes the team, but god bless you for trying. He wasn't even that good at Arizona, and he spent the last few years playing in a Polish league with guys like the pride of UW-Green Bay Jeff Nordgaard and MSU benchwarmer Drew Naymick. I wish I had known he was on the team, I totally would have gone to a preseason game.
- Sasha Pavlovic. Clearly this is a pretty big weakness for the team, given that I'm listing this grease ball as the starter. Actually guess what? I have no idea who this is. I thought it was the guy from the Lakers, but it turns out this guy has played for the Cavaliers for the last five years. Seriously, I have no idea who this is, but he has a career scoring average of less than six per game. Awesome.
- Wayne Ellington. He hasn't been great in the preseason, but he has shot 46% from three, which is awesome and exactly what they drafted him to do - hit the three pointer. Of course, it's hard to fathom how a team would use a three point bomber when they're terrible, but with Al Jefferson requiring a double-team and a good drive-and-kick style guard like Flynn, Ellington will have opportunities to fill it up. I anticipate some big games out of Ellington, surrounded by a lot of nothing games, but that's fine, as long as somebody can shoot the ball.
- Damien Wilkins. Meh. I mean, he's totally meh. He's not awful, but he's not going to make your pants tight or anything.
- Devin Green. I have no idea who this is. Instead, you should know that Rusty Gatenby is a really funny name.
- Corey Brewer. Coming off a major injury, it's pretty much go time for the guy I said would be "The best player in this draft not named Durant." So yeah, let's do it Corey. He filled it up in the preseaons, leading the Wolves with 14.3 points per game, although he's shot just 37%, which is completely terrifying. Hopefully he can still play defense, or he's gunning for some kind of Least Valuable Player award. Also, he's almost certainly going to be starting at shooting guard, thanks to shitbox collection of shooting guards on this team and because they're far more talented at SF.
- Ryan Gomes. The likely starter, this guy has turned into a pretty good player since coming out of Providence and being drafted late in the second round. Gomes has developed a really good mid-range jumper, and if he wasn't just a little bit too slow to be a true 3 and a little bit undersized to be a true 4, he might be an all-star. I'm totally serious, and perhaps slightly delusional.
- Kevin Love. He has been screwed, as in he now has several screws in his left hand and is going to miss six-to-eight weeks of action, which sucks. Love won't ever be like, a perennial all-star type, but he's a damn fine player and had a very good rookie season in which he almost averaged a double-double. He was getting better and better too, and in the last 8 games of last season he recorded six double-doubles. I really like this kid, and this injury sucks.
- Oleksiy Pecherov. I don't really know who this is, but I know two things: 1) he's seven feet tall, but just 234 lbs., is listed as a PF instead of a center, and is a commie Euro so he is clearly softer than The Todd's belly after a visit to Pancheros, and 2) Pecker off. ahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahah.
- Brian Cardinal. God it makes me very upset that this guy is on a Minnesota team, but not as upset as realizing he's made several tens of millions of dollars in his career by having zero talent but being slightly tall and possessing an embarrassing willingness to fall on the ground. Seriously, you remember this doofus nerd from Purdue, right? Did you know he won Purdue's "Mr Hustle" and "Courage" award all four years he was there? Barf.
- Al Jefferson. Definitely the star of the team, definitely more a PF than a center but forced to play center, and definitely is dealing with both the flu and an achilles tendon problem, which always sounds like the most painful thing in the world to me. You know, if you slice someones achilles and they try to golf, when his weight displacement goes back he won't be able to come through because his weight will all be on his right foot and he'll push everything to the right. Probably end up quitting the game.
- Ryan Hollins. UCLA guy, typical college center type, good scorer around the basket and automatically a good rebounder by virtue of being seven feet tall, but really nothing special. Sadly, he's the best of a mishmash of crappy back up centers.
- Mark Blount. This guy was on the team before, and he sucked and was overpaid then. Now he's older and is making $8 million dollars a year to score four points a game. The only way having him on the team even makes a lick of sense at this point is if they got him as part of a trade and he's coming off the books after this year so they can make a run at LeBron. *giggle*
- Jared Reiner. The internet tells me that this goofball played for Iowa, and I know it wouldn't lie to me, but I sure as hell don't remember him. That could be because Iowa has consistantly had a string of high energy, no talent, tall, skinny, worthless centers who all somehow manage to grab a cup of coffee in the NBA. Remember Brad Lohaus? Don't tell me cloning a human isn't possible, because Iowa has been doing it since he graduated.
So that's the roster as it stands right now. I know there were a lot of moves and some guys who were here are gone, but I have no idea where. I know they had Quentin Richardson (pure shooter), Etan Thomas (defensive force at the Cuse), and the communist from Wake Forest all at some point, but it seems they're gone now. Looking like a long year folks, but, with a little luck and a few more injuries, that #1 pick will be in reach.