Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It Feels Like Christmas Eve

The Wolves have won 11 consecutive home openers. According to an email from the Wolves' office, the team is 300 tickets away from having their first sold out home opener in 10 years.

Coach Casey tells WCCO that "right now, we're ahead defensively more than offensively."

Steve Aschburner presented Garnett with the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award today.

Sam at SLAM Online sums up EA Sports' NBA Live 07 Video Game Simulation of the season. In the simulation, Garnett receives the regular season MVP award.

The Pioneer Press has Coach Casey's scouting report on a few members of the team.

Mad Dog's knee problem may keep him out of the home opener.

The Detroit News says that Minnesota is one of the teams at which the recently waived Jalen Rose might look.

For the second year in a row, Garnett missed the team luncheon with the city's Chamber of Commerce and may be fined.

The Detroit Pistons Today organized a bunch of hoops blogs to preview the opening day games. Scroll down for Wolves Watch's prediction for tomorrow's game against the Kings.

The Wolves are at #20 in ESPN's Power Rankings.

From The Rocky Mountain News:
Point guard Anthony Carter is staying by the phone. "(The Nuggets) told me to stay ready in case they make a move (with one of their many big men)," said Carter, waived last Wednesday, leaving the Nuggets with only two true point guards. Carter is working out in the Minneapolis area .

City Pages Interview With Glen Taylor

Britt Robson's interview with Wolves' owner Glen Taylor is now online and is better than promised. Taylor spoke very openly to Robson about topics including McHale's tenure with the team, the Boston trade, Flip Saunders leaving, Randy Wittman replacing Coach Casey, Chauncey Billups' departure, and, of course, trading Garnett.

NBA Blog Previews

The NBA Blog Previews are finished and listed below for you to check out. Thanks to Jeff at CelticsBlog for his massive efforts in putting this project together.

Jason at Lowpost has provided a chart comparing the preview predictions to last season and oddsmakers picks.

Pacific Division:
Golden St. Warriors (presented by Golden State of Mind and lowpost.net)
Los Angeles Clippers (Presented by Clipsnation)
Los Angeles Lakers (Presented by Forum Blue & Gold, Showtime, and Jones on the NBA)
Phoenix Suns (Presented by Phoenix Suns Rising and Suns Gossip)
Sacramento Kings (Presented by Sactown Royalty)

Southeast Division:
Miami Heat (presented by Crazy from the Heat)
Washington Wizards (Presented by Bullets Fever)
Orlando Magic (Presented by Believing in Magic)
Charlotte Bobcats (Presented by Bobcat Bonfire)
Atlanta Hawks (Presented by Impending Firestorm)

Northwest Division:
Denver Nuggets (presented by The Nugg Doctor)
Seattle Supersonics (Presented by Sonics Central)
Utah Jazz (Presented by LowPost.net)
Minnesota Timberwolves (Presented by I Heart KG)
Portland Trailblazers (Presented by True Hoop)

Central Division:
Cleveland Cavaliers (presented by YAY!Sports)
Chicago Bulls (Presented by Blog-a-Bull)
Detroit Pistons (Presented by Detroit Bad Boys and Need4Sheed)
Milwaukee Bucks (Presented by Five Point Bucks)
Indiana Pacers (Presented by Donning Craig Sager’s Suit)

Southwest Division:
Dallas Mavericks (Presented by Mavs Moneyball)
San Antonio Spurs (Presented by Pounding the Rock)
New Orleans Hornets (Presented by Hornets247.com)
Memphis Grizzlies (Presented by Beale Street Beat)
Houston Rockets (Presented by Rockets Blast)

Atlantic Division:
New Jersey Nets (Presented by Nets Daily)
Philadelphia 76ers (Presented by Passion & Pride)
Boston Celtics (Presented by CelticsBlog, Celtics17 & CelticsStuff Live and LOY’s Place)
Toronto Raptors (Presented by Hoops Addict)
New York Knicks (Presented by Bench Renaldo)

YaySports! NW Division Preview

Yes, I know there are previews for the Northwest Division everywhere and most of them are pretty boring.

This, however, is an entertaining video preview by the Cavalier at YaySports!.

YaySports! Northwest Division Preview

Wolves Updates 10/31

Britt Robson interviews Glen Taylor for the City Pages cover story this week. Some of it is already online.
Glen Taylor: Yeah, I would say that the trade with Boston was pretty complicated. Even the reasons for doing it.

CP: You mean the friction between Garnett and Szczerbiak?

Taylor: I'm just saying there was probably more to it that had to do with Wally that we have chosen not to talk about--that Kevin has never said and we have never said. I am just going to say that no matter what I say, people are going to deny it. But I would say some things came to a head that forced us to get into something we didn't necessarily want to do. I think it would have been pretty dangerous for Kevin McHale not to do the trade. That kind of thing. And that's all I'll say about that...

From The Star Tribune:
Garnett will receive the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award this afternoon at Target Center. The award, announced last spring after the Wolves' season had ended, honors a player or coach for outstanding service to the community.

IGN.com posts an interview with Foye. He talks about playing NBA Live '07:
"I just pass it to myself every time and shoot because I know when the real season starts, it's not going to be like that at all. Believe me, I have no problem passing to K.G. in real life, but in the game, that's when you'll see me put up those M.J.-type numbers."

Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune writes about Foye being a finisher that needs to get some minutes, especially late in the game.

Mark Blount spent the summer working out with a former Navy SEAL.

Coach Casey on Blount: "He is one of the best big-men shooters in the league," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said. "He is a good team defender. [But] like I've always said of Mark, we need rebounding out of him. Everything else, Mark Blount gives us."

Lang at SLAM Online previews the Northwest Division and predicts the Wolves will finish third.

From Sam Smith: Fred Hoiberg, who had to retire because of a heart ailment that required a pacemaker, said he'll probably need surgery again in the next three years to repair a heart valve. But he adds that his health is good and he is enjoying working the other side of the business as Minnesota's new assistant general manager.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hoops Addict The Magazine

Ryan at Hoops Addict, one of the best basketball spots on the net, has just released the first issue of Hoops Addict The Magazine. This issue includes:

* An exclusive interview with 2005 NBA Slam Dunk Champion Josh Smith
* An expose on William Wesley by Henry Abbott
* An entertaining look at the Raptors first ten years called “The Evolution of a Franchise”
* An interview with Adrian Wojnarowski about his national best-seller “The Miracle of St. Anthony”
* Michael Tillery writes a plea to his fellow journalists to be accountable for their writing in a Jerry Maguire-esque article called “How The Media Shape Minds”

You can view the magazine in its entirety (for free) by clicking here.

Kings Preview

Tom at Sactown Royalty previews the Wolves opening day opponent, the Sacramento Kings.

Click here for other team previews.

Wolves Updates 10/30

WCCO posts a video of McCants talking to Garnett about things like his favorite music and tv shows and who he'd get to play him in a movie.

Glen Taylor says he won't ever fire McHale:
"It won't work that way," said Taylor, the Timberwolves owner. "I would never embarrass Kevin. We'll both agree when it's time."

On last season:
"Last year was not fun," Taylor said during the Wolves' first week of camp. "Almost every other year was really fun. The year before last, I thought that was more of a one-year blip with Sam [Cassell] and Spree [Latrell Sprewell]. I was more upset with those two people.

Golden State Of Mind predicts who will have the hottest kicks on opening night and lists Garnett as one of the players.

ESPN has their writers predict who'll be the Rookie Of The Year. Foye receives a few votes though Brandon Roy received the most.

T-Hud on his health:
"I leave it up to God," Hudson said last week. "I feel there is a reason things happen to people."
Hudson paused, then said: "I haven't found the reason yet."

Vin Baker on Eddie Griffin:
"That's more important than anything," Baker said. "If I can help this kid in the next five years by the one year or two years that I'm here with him, that would mean the world to me. It would mean more to me than any all-star team or Olympic team I've been on."

Coach Casey on Vin Baker:
"He's been an excellent leader," Casey said. "Even in a game he didn't play the other night, he was talking to the guys on the bench and giving constructive criticism."

The Wolves site posts an interview with Fred Hoiberg.

Coach Casey on his job security:
"I'm not going to coach this year worrying about losing my job," he said. "I'm worried about what I can do to help this team win. That game, that day."

From the Star Tribune:
Under an arrangement approved by the Minneapolis City Council last summer, the city, which owns Target Center, now pays for half of any operating losses the arena incurs up to a total of $1.2 million; that's not the team's financial shortfalls, if any, but the arena's red ink.

Steve Aschburner- How Will It End For KG?

Steve Ascburner has a great article on Garnett in today's Star Tribune. The whole thing is a must read but below is some of what Garnett has to say on staying or leaving Minnesota.

"I'm pretty sure it would be weird to see me playing in another uniform," Garnett said. "But I can remember Kirb always saying, 'Man, it's about winning and making sure you're happy.' One of the things I took from that dude was always respect winning, and if an organization is not in a position to keep up with that, then you may have to make a decision for yourself.

"Who knows? I take a lot of pride in being the face of the T-Wolves," he said. "Calling the Target Center the 'Garnett Center.' Knowing that I put some of these green seats in here, if not some extra blue and black. ... Owners come and go, some franchises move around, but the connection you have with the city is forever.
"I would love to stay, that's my plan. But it's got to be within the boundaries of winning."

"Getting knocked off, knocking at the door, no one answering -- those things are not only humbling, but they put a different kind of fire in you," Garnett said. "Every time you come up short, it's like seeing that girl in school every day that you're sweet on.
"It's like, she ain't ever said two words to you but all of a sudden she smiles at you. That turns into a 'hi.' A 'hi' turns into a walk down the hall. That turns into sitting with her at lunch. And then when you get that phone number, 'OK, cool!' That turns into a big opportunity.
"When you get to the Western Conference finals, you feel like you've got the phone number. And then you lose the phone number. And she moves away to a different school."
End of story? Uh, not quite.
Garnett sees seedlings of Sprewell and Cassell in Ricky Davis and Mike James, guys to share in the scoring and the drive. But that's potential, not yet real. Number's still lost.
"You have no way of getting in contact with her and you feel like you're moving backwards now," Garnett said. "You don't know any of her friends. But you know what school she's going to, so you can go up there, sit in the parking lot and look really stalk-ish."

"So when I hear about trades and about moving me, those are the things that upset me," Garnett said. "Because I'm dedicated to this. I'm invested in it wholeheartedly, and it's not about dough or any glamour. ... Sometimes you feel like you're taken for granted around here. Like, 'Hey, KG, he's known for doing this.' ... No. To hell with that."

From Glen Taylor:
"If I made a decision that we were going to rebuild, I would probably not ask Kevin to be part of that. Because I 'owe' him? No, because I respect him and all the things that he's done. I would try to help him get on a team that he could use his skills to try to win."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Suns Preview

In a match made in heaven, the always entertaining Suns Gossip and ever informative Lucas at the Rising Suns collaborate on a preview of the Phoenix Suns.

Check out more team previews here.

Lakers Previews

Check out the following sites for informative previews of the Lakers.

Jones On The NBA

Forum Blue And Gold

Show Time

Wolves Updates 10/29

From Ira Winderman:
Don't understate the potential impact of Randy Foye. Among the reasons the Timberwolves went light on the rookie guard during the preseason was an apparent attempt to showcase Troy Hudson and Marko Jaric for trades. Dumping one of the contracts would leave significant minutes for Foye...

The team talks about Red Auerbach.
McHale also talks about his memories of the legendary coach.

T-Hud took "full part" in Sunday's practice and scrimmage.

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press lists reasons the team may or may not be better this season.

Click here for an interview with Glen Taylor. About the trade exception he says, "if the correct opportunity comes along to improve our team, we will use it."

The Wolves site has an interview with Coach Casey.

From The Pioneer Press:
Is Garnett more Scottie Pippen than Michael Jordan? In other words, is he better suited as an elite complementary player instead of a clear-cut lead option?

"That's totally unfair," Casey said. "Kevin Garnett has carried the team all those years they made the playoffs. He's definitely going to be in the Hall of Fame. He can score with the best of them, and he's one of the best defenders in the league."

Garnett on Eddie Griffin:
"Eddie's always had the potential to be something special," Garnett said last week, not long after Griffin scored 10 points, blocked three shots and got 12 rebounds in a preseason overtime victory over Chicago. Garnett has seen it before.

"Eddie's the only person who ever stopped Eddie," Garnett said.

On Garnett:
"As long as you have Kevin Garnett on your team, you have a chance to be a very good team," Milwaukee Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "He is such a dominant force. … The West is really tough, but there's no reason Minnesota's not going to be in the thick of things."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/28

10,000 Takes is launching "The Li'l KG Farewell Tour."

GQ Magazine declares Garnett one of the "16 Coolest Heroes In Sports." Below is some of what he says in the feature:
-"I'm not a point guard," he says. "But can I play it? Damn right."
-"A lot of people want to get respect," he says. "but they don't want to give it. It's kind of a lost art. I'm nice because I'm nice."
-"People get on my back about still being here and not winning a championship. I'm being crucified for being loyal, and that's ass-backward to me."
-"As long as the organization brings talent in here, I'm ready to rock."

KG sings the praises of Foye and Smith:
"I look forward to watching them in the future," Garnett said. "I look forward to someday falling back, retiring and enjoying watching them play the game."

Charley Rosen previews the Northwest Division.

Kelly Dwyer/SI.com lists Garnett at #5 in his preseaon rankings of the top 20 players.

Hoiberg is throwing his support behind the Democratic candidate for governor in Iowa.

Coach Casey on Vin Baker:
"I still trust putting him out there on the floor, because he still knows how to play the game and not hurt us in any kind of way," the coach said. "He still knows what to do."

Preseason: Wolves 101, Bucks 76

The Wolves won the final game of the preseason against the Bucks last night. Click here for the AP recap.

Garnett scored 21 points in 31 minutes.
"I got a little initiative from their bench, so I appreciate that, whoever was talking that trash over there," Garnett said. "I try to play with as much energy as I can."

Coach Casey on Craig Smith's performance:
“He's undersized to the point where you think he can't do it,” Casey said. “But he does it.”

Jaric saw some playing time but T-Hud (sore left ankle) and Mad Dog (sore left knee) didn't make the trip to Grand Forks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

NBA Previews

Check out Lowpost for a "choose your own adventure" style preview of the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State Of Mind should also soon have a preview of the team.

Clips Nation takes a look at the Clippers' upcoming season.

For other team previews, click here.

Wolves Updates 10/27

The Wolves face the Bucks tonight in the last game of the preseason.

In addition to their video of the player, Dime Magazine also has a great article on Randy Foye.

Coach Casey on rookie Craig Smith:

"He knows the offense; he knows the defensive schemes," coach Dwane Casey said Thursday. "He's done a good job."

The team dedicated a new basketball court at Sheffer Park.

"Casey seems to be a little more poised," Garnett said. "He seems to be a little more under control, more comfortable. Could be the year under his belt."

"This is my 27th year in coaching, and you learn something new each year," Casey said. "I just know my team now. I feel comfortable with what we have. ... And I have some great help with my assistant coaches."

Marko Jaric returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday because of a sore calf. Troy Hudson (ankle) did some shooting and some work on the bike. Casey said he should be available for practice by Sunday. Mark Madsen (knee) hopes to return in time for the regular-season opener.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/26

Fox Sports ranks the top 50 players in the NBA and Garnett comes in at #7.
It was a really rugged year for KG and the Wolves, ending his NBA-record streak at six when he failed to reach 5.0 assists per game to go along with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. Nonetheless, he is a uniquely skilled player in dire need of better teammates and a chance to win.

Coach Casey expects T-Hud, Mad Dog, and Jaric to be ready for the season opener next Wednesday.

Stephen Litel/SportsPage Magazine looks at some of the team's "magic numbers."

Ndudi Ebi was waived by the Mavericks.

Sportsnet previews the Northwest Division.

Rip Hamilton upon hearing that some in NBA.com's GM survey cast votes for the Wolves and Magic to win the Finals:
"Minnesota and Orlando?" Hamilton said. "Wow."

Coach Casey on Foye's performance in last night's game against Chicago:
"Some of the mistakes we have to live with because he's a rookie," Casey said. "They're not big mistakes... that he does now as a point guard. The little mistakes he's made are correctable."

"Right now I would rate myself as being average," said Foye, who made 8 of 8 free throws. "But I'm learning every day. If you watched practice, you would see I'm progressing."

The Basketball Jones- Northwest Division Preview

Tas and Skeets at The Basketball Jones invited this site, the Nugg Doctor, Blazer's Blog, and SonicsCentral to help out with their Northwest Division preview podcast. You can check it out here.

ESPN Wolves Preview

ESPN has a special preview edition of the Wolves' season. Thanks to Henry at True Hoop, I got to take part by answering the question, "What would it take for you to get a tattoo of the Wolves' logo on your chest?"

I'd go for a full body suit just to see KG hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy over his head while sporting a Wolves jersey. As that's about as likely as Mark Blount becoming the league's leading rebounder, I'd settle for seeing a fully recovered Rashad McCants by January.

A backcourt consisting of last year's first-round pick along with Mike James and ROY hopeful Randy Foye would be monstrous and a welcome relief after the last two seasons. If all goes well, McCants and Foye are poised to be key, long-term components of the team, with or without Garnett.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Preseason: Wolves 109, Bull 105 OT

The Bulls dropped another preseason game to the Wolves at the Target Center tonight.

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
The Wolves beat the Bulls 109-105 in overtime after letting a seven-point fourth-quarter lead slip away.

Eddie Griffin, who finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes, had five of those points, three rebounds and a block in overtime. Foye finished with 14 points. Ricky Davis scored a game-high 25 points on 8-for-11 shooting.

From the AP recap:
Ben Gordon's offensive struggles continued for a third straight game, and the former UConn star's frustration manifested itself in other ways. Gordon picked up a technical foul in the first quarter after a little skirmish under the basket, then tussled again with Kevin Garnett in the third.

Both stars went after a loose ball and wound up tangled together. Gordon appeared to give a little extra shove as he tried to get to his feet, which irked Garnett. The two players jawed for a moment before Garnett won the jump ball.

Gordon later shoved Griffin in the backcourt after Griffin tried to set a screen and trash talked a little with Timberwolves center Mark Blount after a confrontation under the Chicago basket.

Along with Marko Jaric (who is a very sharp dresser) and Mad Dog (who should let Marko take him shopping), T-Hud sat out after twisting his good ankle in practice.
Hudson: "It's just a tweak. If it were the regular season I'd tape it up extra tight and go."

Wizards Preview

Bullets Fever previews the Washington Wizards.

Check out other team previews here.

HoopsAddict also had a podcast preview of the team.

Wolves Updates 10/25

Hometown boy Craig Finn from The Hold Steady posing with the Claws.

Henry at True Hoop pointed out that, along with picking the Wolves to win the Western Conference, at least one of the GM's in the NBA.com survey picked the Wolves to win the NBA Finals.

From Mike Max/WCCO:
The Timberwolves are hoping Troy Hudson stays healthy enough that he becomes a viable trade option.

There is no doubt Fred Hoiberg is being groomed in the Timberwolves management team, probably for a significant role.

Trent Hassell on his three-point shot:
"I want to get my three-pointer decent enough where I can hit them every once in awhile to open up the court more for people like (Kevin Garnett) and Ricky Davis," said Hassell, who made 39 percent of his three-pointers as a senior at Austin Peay State.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/24

Coach Casey says Justin Reed's limited playing time in the preseason is due to wanting to give Craig Smith more minutes and to see what he can do.

Coach Casey on Smith:
"A lot of guys are big and strong enough to guard [power forwards]," Casey said after Wolves practice Tuesday. "Or quick enough to guard [small forwards]. He does a great job doing both. ... He's been a solid, solid addition to our team."

Deadspin does its "Five Tiny Tidbits" on the Wolves.

KG and McCants dedicated the reading and learning center at the St Paul YWCA today. At the center, a "poem written by McCants called "Can't Hold Me Down" was hung up on the wall adjacent to a magnificent mural of Garnett and McCants."
Along with Mike James, McCants was also on hand as the team dedicated another reading and learning center at St Joseph's Home For Children in Minneapolis.

The Bulls face the Wolves at the Target Center tomorrow night. According to the Star Tribune, Mad Dog (tendinitis in the knee) and Jaric (took a knee to his calf) might be out.

Magic Preview

Believing In Magic preview Orlando's upcoming season.

Check out other team previews here.

Wolves Will Pick Up McCants' Option

According to Steve Aschburner, Kevin McHale said the team is going to exercise its option on the third year of Rashad McCants' contract. That means $1.77 million for McCants next season.

"We like Shaddy," McHale said Monday after the team's practice. "We're going to pick it up. The only way we wouldn't have was if his rehab wasn't going well, to the point where you said, 'The poor kid is never going to do it.' That's not the case."

Bad news for Kings fans, good news for Wolves fans:
Mike Bibby injured his thumb during a Sunday night game and is expected to miss the first couple weeks of the season. That means he won't be playing when the Kings face the Wolves in the Nov 1 season opener.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Heat Preview

Crazy From The Heat posts a preview of the Miami Heat.

Click here for other team previews.

Wolves Updates 10/23

ESPN held a chat with Paul Shirley this afternoon. The whole thing is a must read but below are excerpts. He says:
-the first thing he listened to after he found out he'd been cut was Tool
-the new ball is "an absolute travesty"
-Minnesota girls are hotter than the ones in Kansas City but describes both as "prudish"
-his favorite player is Radmanovic because he's "apathetic"
-he might dress up as an NBA player for Halloween since "that's obviously pretend."
-skipped TV On The Radio while in town to be "responsible" but regrets it
-about the Wolves season: "If they start well, they'll be fine. If they don't, it will quickly disintegrate."
He says that no other NBA teams have been calling and he hasn't figured out his options.

During Saturday's loss to the Pacers, "Mike James blew kisses to the rim after missing the front end of two free throws. The second was good."

The Basketball Jones posts some Wolves haikus they received.

Stephen Litel/SportsPageMagazine writes an almost too optimistic letter to Wolves fans asking them to cheer the team on this season instead of ridiculing them.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/22

From Steve Aschburner:
The Wolves, through six games, rank among the league's worst in turnovers with an average of 21.7. Fifty of their 130 giveaways have come from forwards or centers, led by Mark Blount's 19 and Garnett's 11.

While plenty of those have come from traveling calls, offensive fouls or just plain mishandling of the ball, Casey said that too many have been caused by backcourt players not passing properly to the big men. He said that, in an up-tempo game, the guards are responsible for delivering the ball the right way, at the right time.

Marko Jaric on the fact that, besides the starters, there's no set rotation for the team:
"I think it's still kind of a feeling-out process," Marko Jaric said. "We've played almost 12 players in every game. Maybe the coaches already know who they're supposed to put together in a game, but I think we're still just playing randomly and trying to find the right rhythm."

Garnett on the starters:
"Each game we're getting better," Garnett said. "In practice, when we get on the floor, we try to get better, not just at basketball but at knowing each other. Knowing everybody's tendencies. We're talking, we're communicating. It's a decent starting group, too, that presents a lot of advantages."

Quad-Cities Online says that an "older, wiser and even more mature" Ricky Davis returned to Iowa for a preseason game.

Rob Babcock on Mike James:
"Mike brings a real element of toughness to your basketball team, besides great offensive skills," Babcock said. "He can shoot the three with great range, and he can also put it on the floor, take it to the hole and finish it strong. More importantly, he has the desire and the ability to make big shots when the shot clock is going down. He'll step up and make more than his share."

Preseason: Pacers 98, Wolves 91

The Wolves ended a week long road trip with a loss to the Pacers in Iowa last night. Click here for the stats.

From the Pioneer Press:
...The starters seemed to start some of the games slowly, including Saturday's, when they fell behind 22-13 in the first quarter.

But the starters took control of the third quarter and won it 21-14 to turn a six-point halftime deficit into a 72-71 lead entering the fourth quarter. The lead grew to seven points in the fourth quarter, but the second unit couldn't hold on.

On the road trip:
"Even though it was long for the preseason, we kind of have to make a positive out of it," coach Dwane Casey said. "I think that's one thing they did gain from it, staying together on the road. Just time together on the bus away from family and friends, which was good."

Said forward Kevin Garnett: "We did some positive things on this trip. We still have a little ways to go, but for the most part we made some strides. We're communicating a lot better, executing a lot better. I think the first team is a little ahead of the second team, but that's good, knowing the first group is in a nice little rhythm. For the most part I feel good about our team right now."

NBA Previews

Chase from Impending Firestorm previews the Atlanta Hawks.

Serena from Bobcat Bonfire previews the Charlotte Bobcats.

You can check out other team previews here.

The Basketball Jones has their Southwest Division preview podcast up.

Paul Shirley Won't Be A Timberwolf

In a totally unsurprising move, the Wolves announced today that they've released Paul Shirely and Tyrone Ellis from their roster. Including Vin Baker, their roster is now at 15 players. I was really looking forward to seeing what he had to say in blog format about sitting on the bench for most of the season. Hopefully he won't be unemployed for long.

Here are some stories about fans he encountered while playing in Europe:
"People are especially passionate in Greece. When I was first there, it was right before they switched to the Euro, so they had the old... coins. They weighed about four ounces or something, and fans would chuck those at players sometimes. They'd also throw cell phones. They'd reach for whatever was handy.

"I'd also heard tales about people taking chunks of concrete out of the bathroom to throw at the players.

"(In another game), I was leaving the court, I saw a glint of something silver out of the corner of my eye and ducked just in time to miss a liter-and-a-half bottle of water that was full thrown from 15 rows up at my head. It was insane.

"I saw, in a game between two other teams, fans shoot Roman candles across the court.

"It's madness a lot of times. They don't have as many restrictions against what people can do."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Preseason: Wolves 85, Bulls 83

The Bulls dropped their first preseason game to the Wolves on Friday night.

Eddie Griffin had 17 rebounds, 1 block, and 8 points in 29 minutes of play.

"Consistency is the thing that make the players who they are in this league," Garnett said. "The thing with 'E' is making sure he's still motivated and letting him get some touches. Every player wants to feel like he's part of the team... . When you do that with him, he's more than welcome to block shots and do all that. You've just got to keep him motivated."

"You wish every player was rah-rah, but that's just not his personality," coach Dwane Casey said. "I've seen the focus from Eddie. He's done everything we've asked him to do."

From Steve Aschburner:
There was a bit of tension late in this one. As Minnesota missed 14 of its 15 shots in the fourth, the Bulls whittled a 70-60 deficit to just 83-81 with 18.3 seconds left. With 15 seconds on their shot clock, the Wolves put the ball in Foye's hands and he dribbled around the arc before veering inside to draw a foul. The rookie made both free throws with 1.3 seconds left.

Coach Casey on Foye's performance:
"He did what he does best, which is get into the paint and create," Casey said.

Garnett on why he thinks Ben Wallace is such a great player:
"Some people just cut the grass," Garnett said, revving up, "and they're like, 'Phew, that's it. I ain't going to plant the flowers, chop the wood, cut the grass, hit the hedges and rake the leaves -- and then I've got to rake the little scraps up from when I cut the grass? I ain't going to do all that stuff.'
"That's why Ben Wallace works in this league. He uses the broom. He uses the rake. He sweeps. He doesn't take the blower and blow it. If you're a country boy, you understand that."

Wolves Updates 10/21

Steve Kerr previews the Northwest Division and predicts the Wolves will come out on top:
I can read the emails now: "Minnesota winning the division? What are you, crazy?" Maybe I am. Or maybe it's wishful thinking, having admired Garnett's unselfish game and professional style over the years and hoping he can lead his team back to prominence.
One thing is for sure, though. Nobody is running away with the Northwest. And if the Wolves can hang around, K.G. will give them a chance.

Mad Dog really likes Craig Smith:
I think that Craig is going to be a big time contributor this season as a rookie and it is clear that we got a steal by getting him in the Second round of the draft. One of the reasons why Craig slipped is because he had a wrist injury around draft time and he wasn't able to workout for teams so they didn't want to take the risk. The funny thing is that I've had a similar wrist surgery and the only bad thing about it is that it just takes a long time to get better (3-6 months). Once it's better though, you are as good as new.

Hoopsworld interviews Troy Hudson and asks how it feels to be playing with the team again:
"It feels great, you know. I've been injured for a while, not able to play how I've been able to play, so to come back and feel like my old self again in gratifying."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Jazz Preview

Lowpost has a very amusing preview of the Utah Jazz.

You can check out other team previews here.

Wolves Updates 10/20

Paul Shirley talks about trying to get a roster spot during the preseason:
"In order to do anything well at this level, a person has to put everything he has into it," Shirley said. "That means physical exertion, mental effort and emotional time, into trying to make a team. When it's a constant guessing game, it becomes hard to continue to fight that fight."

Marko Jaric has been doing well coming off the bench as small forward:
"I'm in a position where I'm going to be very aggressive this year," Jaric said. "Every time I get the ball, I'm going to try to make something happen. I'm not going to rush. I'm going to try to wait for my moment. It depends on the momentum of the game. Is it time to get the ball to K.G. or is it time to try to create something, but I'm definitely going to be much more aggressive."

Charley Rosen puts the Wolves on a list of teams that need to win or start over. Rosen also grades the coaches and give "Mike" Casey a "C."

Clem Haskins' son Brent is going to be an advance scout for the team this season.

SI.com previews the Wolves.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sonics Preview

SonicsCentral takes a look at Seattle's upcoming season.

Check out other team previews here.

Wolves Updates 10/19

Mutoni has me field questions related to the Wolves upcoming season at SLAM Online.

NBA.com interviews Coach Casey. Click here for audio, here for a transcript.

Rick Alonzo talks to T-Hud about his days in the CBA. He also has a recap of last night's game.

Dime Magazine talks about Foye and this season's impact rookies.

SI.com has an opposing team's scout take review the Wolves' roster.

From Sid Hartman:
Timberwolves General Manager Jim Stack said last year's team led more games at halftime than it did when the Wolves went to the Western Conference finals.

McCants Poetry Mural

The team is opening a Timberwolves Reading and Learning Center at a St Paul YWCA. Garnett and McCants are helping out with the dedication ceremony next Tuesday which will feature

"a 12-foot high mural highlighting a poem by McCants."

"We really like Rashad's involvement with Read to Achieve, and it's great for him to be able to incorporate some of his poetry and some of his passions as well," said Mattis (community relations manager).

In case you've forgotten, click here for a sample of the works of McCants.

If anyone gets a pic of this mural, please send one to iheartkg@gmail.com.

Preseason: Pistons 112, Wolves 103

Click here for the AP recap.

Steve Aschburner talks to Coach Casey and Jaric about the game.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/18

A few months ago, The Wages Of Wins blog had a post entitled The Tragedy Of Kevin Garnett, a piece in which they discuss how, though KG is consistently the most productive player in the league, he's constantly surrounded by below average players.

Thanks to Matt K. for sending me this post from the Wages Of Wins which features the blog's take on the new roster:
All in all the talent in Minnesota, despite the Szczerbiak trade and potentially questionable move of trading Roy, appears to have improved. Still, beyond KG and James, this is not a very good team.

Steve Aschburner talks to Garnett and Flip Saunders about the latest DWI for the driver who killed Malik Sealy. The Star Tribune also talks to Malik Sealy's mom.

According to the Pioneer Press, Al Harrington said he seriously considered signing with the team because of Garnett.
"It was very close," Harrington said Monday after an exhibition game against the Wolves. "They tried everything they could. It was just Atlanta not wanting to accept anything that they offered (in a sign-and-trade deal). The interest was definitely there. They definitely tried everything they could to get me; it just didn't work out."

NBA.com declares Garnett a "Man On The Spot."

Trail Blazers Preview

Henry at True Hoop has written a preview for the Portland Trail Blazers. You can check it out here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Updates Part II

The Pioneer Press has more info on the most recent DWI for the man charged with killing Malik Sealy.

Garnett had Stephen Jackson's back during yesterday's game in Indiana:
"Stephen's my guy, man," Garnett said. "He's survived in this league. To see some of the things he's been through, it's unfortunate. I just wanted to go hug him and tell him that, y'know, 'we love you, man. Guys got your back, man. Whatever you need, you call me. Whatever I can do to help, I'm there.' "

Each time Jackson entered the game, there was a loud mix of boos and applause from the Indiana fans. Garnett made sure to clap. "I root for the underdog. I root for Rambo. I root for the rebel," he said.

Steve Aschburner pokes fun at Garnett for being so enthusiastic about his teammates during the preseason:
"I love everybody on this team," Garnett said. "I wish we could keep everybody, from [Paul] Shirley to myself. We have a great group of guys here that are meshing and clicking. I know it's a business at the end of the day, but I'm enjoying everybody here."

Vin Baker dislocated his pinkie finger, T-Hud made it through an entire workout despite twisting his knee last night, and Mad Dog's left knee is bothering him. None are expected to miss any time.

John Hollinger/ESPN ranks everyone in the NBA. Garnett comes in at # 6. You can also check out the player efficiency rating of the whole team.

Ryan at HoopsAddict continues his training camp rundown by talking to me about Mike James and the team. You can listen to it here.

Driver In Sealy's Death Gets Another DWI

The driver who hit and killed Malik Sealy was charged with a DWI for a third time yesterday.

Souksangouane Phengsene, 50, of Shakopee, was arrested in Crystal on Saturday and was charged with two counts of drunk driving Monday in Hennepin County District Court.

According to the court file, Phengsene was driving in an erratic manner, weaving in and out of lanes, and driving on the curb. Court papers say he was tested at the police station and his blood alcohol level registered at 0.21 percent. Minnesota's legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Phengsene was driving the wrong way on Highway 100 in St. Louis Park when he hit Sealy's vehicle six years ago, killing the 30-year-old athlete, who was returning home after a birthday party for teammate Kevin Garnett. Phengsene had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent then, when the state's legal limit was 0.10 percent. He pleaded guilty to felony criminal vehicular homicide and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Phengsene was also convicted of DWI in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1997.

Wolves Updates 10/17

Garnett on the rookies:
"I love young fella, him and Craig," Garnett said. "Nothing against Bracey (Wright) and (Rashad) McCants; those two (Foye and Smith) are really hard-working young guys. I like all our young guys. I told Randy this: He's going to be something special.

"Craig knows how to play. He's unselfish. He knows how to work off the ball. He's energetic. Those two are going to be in this league for a long time. I look forward to watching them flourish."

T-Hud wants to bring in a team to a minor league basketball association.

From the Pioneer Press:
A little birdie says that over last season and the upcoming season, the Timberwolves could lose nearly $30 million. It wouldn't be surprising for some of the Wolves' limited partners to be asked to invest more capital.

The Wolves site has a q&a with president Chris Wright and Rob Babcock.

Timberwolves Preview

My Timberwolves preview is up and you can check it out here.

The Hype was kind enough to come up with an awesome illustration of Garnett for the preview so take a look.

Lowpost has some good stuff to add to the preview.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Preseason: Wolves 103, Pacers 87

Click here for a recap.

Casey on the first half of the game:
"They're too good to have those turnovers and lack of execution in the first half," Casey said. "Those guys should know to get off to a good start."

Coach Casey on Randy Foye's great performance tonight:
"Randy is a heady point guard," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "He can get to the paint off the dribble, which is one of the reasons why we drafted him. He's crafty with the basketball. He just needs seasoning and he's going to get there. He's going to be a special little player if he just keeps working on his game."

KG on the team:
"We're a work in progress, but tonight we showed potential of what we can be," he said. "If we run our offense and play hard every night, we'll give ourselves a chance."

T-Hud twisted his knee in the game.
"It's a little sore, but I'm OK," Hudson said.

Coach Casey says he won't make any roster cuts until right before or right after the last preseason game.

Wolves Updates 10/16

Mad Dog and Mike James talk about players who carry guns.

T-Hud talks about the upcoming season:
"A lot of people out there say, 'He can't be a pure point guard, he's not a pure point guard, he's not a leader,' " Hudson said. "So that's a challenge to me. When I see that in the papers, and I hear people saying it, I'm like 'OK, that's a challenge.' I can be a leader, it's just that God gave me the ability to score, so I've been using that, and that's kept me in the league, but this year is really a challenge to me to really see how good I can make the players around me."

Trent Hassell on the post-practice argument he had with Garnett yesterday:
"It was me and another player," he said, declining to offer a name. "KG was trying to get us together as a team, and I'm kind of stubborn when I'm mad. Then [Garnett] said something to me, and I said something to him."

Here's video of McCants talking to Mark Rosen about his rehab.

Mankato wants to know if the Wolves are coming back next year for training camp.

Nuggets Preview

The Nugg Doctor spoils an otherwise awesome preview of the Denver Nuggets by predicting the Wolves will finish 4th in the division. Make sure to check it out.

Other NBA team previews can be found here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

NBA Previews

Donning Craig Sager's Suit has a Pacers preview here.

5-Point Bucks has posted a preview of Milwaukee's season.

Check out NBA Blog Previews for info on other teams in the league.

Ryan at HoopsAddict continues his training camp rundown podcasts.

Check out the Basketball Jones for their podcast preview of the Central Division.

Wolves Updates 10/15

Mad Dog praises the NBA for listening to player feedback about the new ball. He also says that Mike James loves the ball and Jaric is "comfortable" with it.
Garnett, on the other hand, says, "That ball sucks. You can quote me on that."

Trent Hassell is working on his 3-point shooting for the season.

Coach Casey talks about the team's turnover rate from the last couple games.

KG and Trent Hassell were "exchanging displeasure with one another" after Sunday's practice.
"I love the intensity," Casey said. "That's what it's all about. You want that passion. That means everybody cares. ... It's just two brothers discussing things, talking about things. Nothing you haven't seen in sports before."

Bracey Wright says that "All indications are that I'll be here this year" instead of going to the D-League.

The Wolves face the Pacers tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Preseason: Pistons 101, Wolves 96

Click here for an AP recap of the game.

"I think we're getting an identity," coach Dwane Casey said of the reserves. "I think that's something we want out of that group. Troy Hudson is doing a great job of running the show. I think they're getting an identity of coming in and putting points on the board."

KG on the 51 turnovers committed by the Wolves in their last two games:
"Shooting is not our problem. Taking care of the ball [is]."

Coach Casey on advice given to him from George Karl regarding preseason:
"Doug Moe said, 'You want a blowout exhibition game. Then you want a close one. Then you want a losing one real bad -- that way you get the guys' attention,' " Casey said.
"I don't have enough job security for all that."

The Wolves site posted Mike Trudell's log about his trip to Omaha with the team. He managed to get in at least a few shots at Rick Rickert who was playing with the Pistons.

Mad Dog has more to say on the new ball.

Wolves Updates 10/14

Bracey Wright says he "wouldn't go" if the team decided again to send him to the D-League.
"I went down and played extremely well. I was on a winning team. My numbers were great, I did everything they asked, and I really can't see why they would want to send me back."
He also says that he believes he could be an All-Star.

Dime Magazine has video of Randy Foye hanging out in Newark, talking about the season.

MN Sports Fan posts a myspace message from T-Hud that I desperately want to believe is real:


OR Are you a Teacher or a Coach ??? your team have a game ? basketball, football, whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INVITE T-HUD TO YOUR GAME!

HoopsWorld lists 5 things they think must happen for the Wolves to return to the playoffs.

The Timberwolves site has a new feature called "The Mayor's Office." (Click here, it's on the bottom left of the homepage.) This week's interview with Fred Hoiberg features him talking about his optimism for the season, team chemistry, and his excitement over the rookies.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/13

The Wolves face the Pistons tonight in a preseason game in Omaha.

Coach Casey on Vin Baker:
"He's been great for us," Casey said. "He doesn't have the explosion he used to have, but he has the basketball IQ, the basketball smarts."

On Craig Smith:
"Huge," Casey said of Smith's upside. "It's one game, but he's on the plus side right now."

On Ricky Davis' impressive performances against the Bucks:
"When Ricky's not playing big minutes, when he's not playing 42 or 44 minutes, I think he can do that," Casey said. "I think when Ricky gets into trouble volume-wise is when he's playing big minutes and then he's taking some shots when he's fatigued more than anything else."

The Pistons' Lindsey Hunter on Mike James:
"Everyone realizes what Mike can do on the basketball court," Hunter said. "He proved that here and he proved it everywhere he's been. I always look at guys you make relationships with . . . you want them to do well, and Mike has done well for himself."

Click here for a fantasy preview of the Wolves.

Pistons Preview

Natalie at Need4Sheed and Ian from Detroit Bad Boys preview the Detroit Pistons.

Check out other team preview here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/12

KG on the current roster:
"I think we have the potential to be very good," Garnett said. "We're clicking at a very early stage, so that's very good. And we're working hard. Those are some of the key components of a strong team, so I feel very good about that."

Garnett's new shoe, the KG Bounce, comes out on Jan 20, 2007. Click here to check out Adidas' "It Takes 5ive" commercial and behind the scenes clips with KG.

The team was shown a video illustrating the league's "zero-tolerance policy banning demonstrative behavior against officials." One of the incidents used as an example of what not to do was a clip from last season of Garnett tossing the ball into the stands, hitting someone in the face.

Marty Burns/SI.com predicts which rookies will have the biggest impact this season. Foye comes in at #3.
The 6-4 combo guard from Villanova has had a slow start in camp after an impressive summer league. But the T'Wolves need backcourt help off the bench, and Kevin Garnett will push to get the most out of his new teammate.

Stephen Litel/Sports Page Magazine has a recap of last night's preseason game.

Coach Casey on Craig Smith: I was really impressed with his savvy.

Kandiman is working hard to get a roster spot on the Celtics.

NBA Previews

Dime Magazine asked a bunch of hoops blogs, including this one, to write short previews of the teams which they cover. You can check them out here.

The Cavalier at YaySports has his take on Cleveland's upcoming season right here.

Ryan at HoopsAddict is continuing his training camp rundown podcasts.

The Basketball Jones has a podcast preview of the Atlantic Division.

The Hype continues to impress with his humorous illustrations for each team.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Preseason: Wolves 98, Bucks 93

Click here for an AP recap of the game.
Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune also has a list of highlights from tonight.

Ricky Davis was stellar. Alas, Randy Foye was not. Second rounder Craig Smith, however, was very impressive. It's no wonder Coach Casey indicated they don't have plans to send him to the D-League.

Along with realizing that Mark Blount is one of the starters, hearing exponentially more applause for Paul Shirley than for Marko Jaric was both the saddest and most humorous part of the evening. Dr. Boss pointing out that billionaire owner Glen Taylor, who almost got nailed by the ball, was wearing the same sweater he wore the last couple times we saw him at the Target Center was a close second.

Mark Blount's biggest contribution was demonstrating that the refs are serious about giving out technicals for "showboating or excessive reactions after officials make calls." Blount received his second technical for "muttering" about a call and was promptly ejected.

Garnett's response to the crackdown:
"The people that get the techs are emotional people. Do we cross the line sometimes? We walk it. ... If you want to fine the individual person, that's what it is,'' Garnett said. "To the fact that you can't really speak to the refs, the refs don't want to hear it. That's almost like Communism. That's like Castro."

Garnett also had something to say about the more stringent dress code being enforced this season:
"That's not basketball,'' Garnett said. "This league is about basketball, guys who can play it at the highest level. We shouldn't be worried about this nit-picky (stuff)."

Wolves Updates 10/11

Coach Casey on the preseason:
"I feel much more confident," Casey said. "We're ahead of where we were last year."

Coach Casey says Vin Baker will probably remain on the roster:
"He's done everything as far as I'm concerned to get a spot," Casey said. "I trust his game. The key thing is mainly getting the rust off."

Paul Shirley on trying to make the team:
"I've constantly failed," Shirley said. "That's what I've done the best, fail and fail and fail. And I keep getting myself back up and trying again."
"I think it's making me insane, like literally," he said. "I think I might go crazy if I keep doing it again a few more times. It's hard to remember from time to time, but what's important to me is getting as good at basketball as I can, which sounds hokey. At the end of the day, I can only be so good. I have a limit to my ability. … Whatever achievements I make aren't really that important. It's more like, have I put everything I can into it?"

Congrats to Coach Casey for his wedding this summer.

Bulls Preview

Check out Matt from Blog-a-Bull's Chicago Bulls preview here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/10

Steve Aschburner writes about Randy Foye in training camp. Glen Taylor commented that if the Wolves had the #1 pick, they still may have drafted the rookie. Coach Casey says about Foye's progress:
"A lot of the nuances of the NBA are still new to him. He's working his butt off learning -- he's a sponge -- and he's getting a lot of new information thrown at him. I'm sure his head is about to spin off right now ... So it's probably taken away a little bit of his creativity. But once he digests [it] and lets it come naturally, then it's going to help him a lot."

Marko Jaric on playing forward:
"As long as I'm out there, it doesn't matter," Jaric said. "I'll play 1, 2 or 3. I worked a lot in the offseason on my shooting game and on the (shooting guard and small forward positions). I'm ready. Just put me out there, I don't care."

T-Hud and Craig Smith on one of the team's defensive drills.

The Wolves face the Bucks tomorrow in the first game of the preseason.

Spurs Preview

Pounding The Rock takes a look at the San Antonio Spurs.

Check out NBA Blog Previews for info on other teams in the league.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/9

TV On The Radio didn't know the Wolves played basketball but they did like the claws.

T-Hud says after a week of training camp, his ankle is holding up just fine and pain-free.

Second round pick Craig Smith looks like he'll be staying in town instead of going to the D-League.

"They're guys who do the dirty work," Casey said. "Craig is probably the most skilled right now. He's got size, he can pull away from the basket a little bit. He's an excellent passer. His jump shot is getting more solid.
"Whereas Dog [Madsen] is just a paint guy. He's one of those root hog guys, in the paint rooting around, making things happen. Justin is a little more perimeter, especially defensively."

Mike James on playing with the Wolves:
"The Big Ticket is a big reason I came here," James said, referring to T'wolves' star Kevin Garnett. "This team has been underachieving, and he at least deserves a chance to get back to the playoffs. Hopefully we have enough talent here to keep a smile on his face."

Hornets Preview

Check out Hornets 24/7 for a preview of this season's New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

The Hype has a great pic of Chris Paul to go along with it.

Go to NBA Blog Previews for more on other teams.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Owner Glen Taylor says that Garnett is being "really positive"

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press asks Taylor about the upcoming season, Garnett, and the team's newest additions. Excerpts below.

You've been here every day of training camp. What do you see so far that excites you?

They've worked really hard, probably as hard as I've seen in any of the years I've been through. But there's probably been as many smiles and positive attitudes...Part of that is K.G. has really set the tone, being really positive. It's been really neat. It's very competitive.

There seems to be a national perception that Kevin Garnett isn't happy as a Timberwolf. What have you seen from him?

I would say that if you watched him last year when he was playing, he lost the smile on his face. I think it kind of started from that. He was frustrated. He didn't know what to do. I think with the new coach, all the changes and stuff … But it was this summer, very early, I think right after the playoffs, when I met with him, it was already then that he basically started changing. I saw him changing.

He wanted to know about any trades we were going to do. He wanted to be more involved in that. He wanted to know what options we had. We talked about that. He got involved with the Mike James (signing) because that was an important one with us.

Then this summer, you guys heard him say some stuff (in a SLAM Magazine interview). But that wasn't consistent with what he was doing with the team. He was practicing. He was doing all that. He was meeting with the guys. He was taking guys out for dinner. He was doing all kinds of stuff like that, which he hadn't done for a little while.

Even when I read things that sound a little negative, I'm not really (worried) because it's not consistent with what he's telling me.

So do you ever see a situation where you rebuild the team without Kevin Garnett?

I wouldn't want to say to you it wouldn't happen. Let's just say that for some reason or another, the team we've put together here, if for some reason doesn't do any of the things I just said, and then I make up my mind where, God, we've just got to start over, that would be the circumstances where I would talk to Kevin. Do you really want to be around if I'm going to do this...

Taylor describes how Garnett pointed out that Mike James was a lot like him. The owner says that in contrast, Garnett's thoughts on Marcus Banks were "oh God, Marcus is still learning, I've got to take this over."

About Fred Hoiberg, Taylor agrees that he's a GM in waiting for either the Wolves or another team. He says that part of the reason Hoiberg was brought into the front office was in case McHale decided to leave.

Wolves Updates 10/8

The Wolves site has a review of last night's open scrimmage in Mankato. It's a relief to know that the dancers appear to be in "midseason form."

Mike James had this to say of his 15 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in yesterday's game:
"I'm just trying to play the right way," he said. "I try to play this way every night."

T-Hud says he feels like he's "back to my old self.”

Justin Reed has a self-described soft-tissue injury on his right arm caused from falling on his wrist during training camp.

According to Sid Hartman, Coach Casey is the one who pushed for the signing of Vin Baker.

Brian Sieman describes his new role as Wolves radio announcer as his "dream job."

Glen Taylor says the investor who was interested in buying a minority stake in the team has decided against it.

Steve Aschburner write about Tyrone Ellis trying to earn a spot on the roster.

Grizzlies Preview

The Beale Street Beat has up a preview of the Grizzlies' season.

For other team previews, check out NBA Blog Previews.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/7

The Wolves site breaks down the training camp teams and players.

In addition to Mad Dog, both Garnett and T-Hud dislike the new ball as well. Coach Casey says he doesn't mind it:
It's a basketball. It's round. It's not really important what I think, it's what the players think. I think they'll get used to it like everything else. We have to get used to it. I don't think the ball is going to change, so we have to adjust to it. I do remember back in college when they changed from a leather ball to the ball that they have now, and (the players) soon got used to it.

Friday's practice didn't go as well as the previous ones:
"Typical fourth day of training camp," Casey said, noting that physical fatigue leads to poor concentration. "We want to fight through that."

Fred Hoiberg plans to be with the team for the first few months of the season and spend the second half scouting and working on the draft.

Coach Casey talks about Mike James and his "bravado."

From the Timberwolves Training Camp Central:
Mike James loves to talk...to everybody...

John Lucas, the former player who helped out both Griffin and Vin Baker with "their alcoholism aftercare," was at training camp yesterday.

Second round draft pick Loukas Mavrokefalidis is playing for Lottomatica Roma, the team the Phoenix Suns beat 93-100 yesterday.

Rockets Preview

Check out Rockets Blast for a look at next season in Houston.

For other team previews, go to NBA Blog Previews.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mavericks Preview

Wes at Mavs Moneyball has posted a preview of Dallas' upcoming season.

For other team previews, check out NBA Blog Previews.

Wolves Updates 10/6

Garnett has been working on his 3-point shooting.
"It's coming (along)," Garnett said this week. "I'm not going to rely on it, because you all know I'm from the block. The block is what got me here. I'm going to stay with the block. But that's not to say I'm shy about shooting it. I've been working on it, working on it really hard, but I can't forget about that block."

As one of the team's player representatives, Mad Dog says he's going to do everything in his power to get the NBA to revert to using the old ball.

During the summer workouts and in training camp, Coach Casey says Craig Smith has been "a pleasant surprise."

Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune writes about the team's overflow at guard.

Eddie Griffin says about the laser eye surgery he got this summer:
“It’s helping me read the shot clock better,” Griffin said. “But it hasn’t helped me shoot better.”

Randy Foye at training camp:
“I’ve got nothing to prove individually,” Foye said. “The main thing is I just want to win games.”

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Training Camp Recaps

Starting lineup in Mankato so far:
Mike James, Trenton Hassell, Ricky Davis, Kevin Garnett and Mark Blount

Stephen Litel/SportsPageMagazine asks some of the players about, among other things, Vin Baker and the need for a big man
Mike James: “Vin has solidified himself in the league. Then, coming here, he’s going to help the younger players…and Craig is a good player also. Craig, at his size, athletic, can handle the ball, can shoot and can rebound the ball. He’s going to help on the inside and he’s going to surprise people because nobody knows him. He’s gonna sneak up on some people. He’s strong.”

and KG's SLAM interview
Mark Madsen: “I don’t think it put any more pressure on us. Kevin is very honest. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not going to sugarcoat anything. He’s the leader of this team, what you see is what you get. He’s not going to say one thing privately and one thing publicly. When he sees guys who need pressure and need a kick in the butt, he’ll do it behind closed doors. I really respect him for that.”

Vin Baker on training camp:
"My stamina's getting better," said Baker, who played in Seattle when Casey was an assistant there. "Obviously, knowing coach Casey's plays, they're starting to click right back. That could have been an issue, but I know the majority of coach Casey's plays. Sometimes the (age) 34 shows up, when I first get to the gym, but once I get going it's back to business."

Wolves Updates 10/5

One of the dudes from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a Sixers fan but dug the claws and loved talking KG.

Rashad McCants has been listening to Michael Bolton during his rehab.

McHale on McCants' progress:
"'Shaddy looks great," Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said. "Other than the fact that he looks like a middle linebacker. We've got to keep him out of the weight room -- he's getting big, man. ... I would say that he's right on schedule. Every conservative bench mark that they've put out there for him, he's been able to reach."

Mad Dogs blogs about training camp. He talks about how good Foye and Craig Smith are and says that Mike James is a great dude. He also mentions Glen Taylor's hospitality:
The one thing he told us at our meeting was that if we ever wanted to just crash and get away from our hotel in Mankato that we could go over to his house anytime and crash, watch TV, play video games, etc. I've never heard of a team owner giving an open invitation to his home to his team of NBA players but it was well received by the team.

Steve Aschburner has more on the team's second day in Mankato.

Raptors Season Preview

Ryan at HoopsAddict previews the Toronto Raptors and predicts their record will be over .500.

Check out other team previews here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wolves Updates 10/4

Marko Jaric talks about he "couldn't wait for last season to end" and says that he's worked hard during the offseason. Coach Casey says that he has "a totally different look."

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press says that the team's main goal at training camp is "establishing defense as this team's identity."

The Wolves site has posted a recap of Training Camp, Day 2.

Eddie Griffin missed his flight back to the Twin Cities which is why he wasn't at the team's media day.

Coach Casey on Randy Foye at training camp:
"He's still a little bit of a deer in the headlights, but he figures things out quick," coach Dwane Casey said. "He may have been lost a little bit, but he'll be OK."

Ricky Davis isn't a big fan of the new NBA Ball.

NBA.com previews the Wolves' season.