Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rashad McCants Poetry Ringtones

The only thing better than reading Rashad McCants' poetry is listening to HIM read it. The only thing better than that is being able to make his mini-poetry readings your new ringtone.

Click here to hear McCants read snippets of some of his "Def Poetry," including this one.

There are also some non-poetry ringtones which include:
"Hey, Rashad McCants here. Yeah yeah , I know. How do I have time to do ringbacks when I'm playing in the NBA. The summer, baby. The summer..."

"Yo, this is Rashad McCants. Pick up the phone, sexy."

"'Sup girl. I know why you're calling me. Because I'm Rashad McCants. You think I got time to talk to you. But I don't..."

Mr. Fourth Quarter

Though I think it has a nice, endearing ring to it, there has been some talk on the message boards about wanting to come up with a better nickname for Randy Foye than Young Fella, the name by which KG and at least some of his teammates refer to the rookie. Now Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press has dubbed Foye "Mr. Fourth Quarter," saying fans have started seeing why the team believes he'll be "Mr. Great Player."

"Just like Jermaine O'Neal and all them guys, I wait for my turn," Foye said. "People who say that (I should start), they really don't know. They're just trying to build up a stir."

Stephen Litel/SportsPageMagazine believes about Trent Hassell that "it's time to shut him down completely for a while" in favor of starting Marko Jaric and having Justin Reed come off the bench.

Mutoni says he's done feeling sorry for Garnett.

Wolves Updates 11/30

Dr. Dog and The Black Keys were very excited about the claws and KG.

From Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:
If the Timberwolves played entire games the way they have played in the fourth quarter lately, they wouldn't just be better off. They'd be headed for immortality...

Said Kevin Garnett: "It shows the positive things, that we're pretty good in the fourth quarter. Randy's aggressive. We have a unit in there that's pretty good. The cohesiveness between everybody is pretty strong."

Rockets Coach Jeff Van Gundy referred to Craig Smith as "[butt] kicker."

DaddyFatSax and DeROK post their assessment of the team so far.

Hoopsworld interviews Bracey Wright about his teammates, lack of minutes, and his feelings on the NBA D-League.

Hoopsworld also talks to Marko Jaric about his European playing days and the Wolves.
"I dedicated my summer to getting ready for the next season", Jaric explains. "I came back stronger and I feel better than before. I am more calm, both mentally and physically. I had many discussion with Coach Casey on what he wants me to do. We are starting to find some common ground and we got a few victories. I know every player has his opinions, but I think this team would do better with me as a starter."

Mike James on not signing with the Rockets this past summer:
"It was business, nothing personal," James said. "But after what they did to me the first time, I couldn't leave myself open again."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

KFAN Interview With Mike James

Chad Hartman and Mark Rosen talked to Mike James today on KFAN. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

Rosen asked if Coach Casey had talked to him about a rotation or his expectations of the player. James' response was that Coach was trying to figure out "internally" what's going on with the team and that right now, there's no communication between both sides on those matters.

More McCants Poetry

Courtesy of Wolftracks the magazine, another poem from Rashad McCants that hangs on walls in the St. Joseph Home For Children library and in the St Paul YWCA Reading and Learning Center. The Wolves FastBreak Foundation recently renovated both rooms.

Can't Hold Me Down
by Rashad McCants

Am I trapped in the wardrobe,
no lion no witch. No clothes no doors.
Just a light.
and that shining light under the door,
is a star to be born,
a man no longer a boy...
But if that door is locked and that key is lost
then that star isn't a star.
That star is a light under the door,
just another light under another door.
Shine light shine.
But only for so long you ignore that sound,
of a hungry blood hound.
Scratching, clawing, biting through that door,
He's going to get to the other side
even if he has to burst through the floor.
Denying his presence
makes him hot like the earth's core,
It's unbelievable doubt on the other side
but he's screaming doubt some more.
It's scary to see the destruction he'll do
when he got through the door.

Updates Part II

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Eddie Griffin, the allegations surrounding his spring driving accident, his drinking, and John Lucas. McHale says about Griffin that "all his free passes are up" but that he has seen "positives and a lot of growth on Eddie."
Also from the article:
In a recent interview, Griffin would not comment about the suit or his conduct the night of the crash. Many alcoholics who have gone through recovery programs can pinpoint when they took their last drink. But when that question was put to Griffin, he avoided specifics.
"It was a while ago," he said with a laugh. "A long time ago."

Coach Casey says he won't insert Randy Foye into the starting lineup yet but does plan on giving him more minutes.
"It's hard to say how much," Casey said. "I don't know because it still depends on how Randy Foye plays. The last two games, he's been building that confidence and that trust just because of the way he played. I'm not just going throw him out there because he's Randy Foye and everybody wants to see him.

Britt Robson/City Pages recaps the game at the Rockets and has this to say about Mike James:
To be waffling on such a significant investment after such a short amount of time makes no sense. As I mentioned in my last trey, James hasn't exactly enjoyed the sort of career that gives him sustenance when the coach starts diddling with his minutes.

Wolves Updates 11/29

Make sure to check out DeROK's new Timberwolves message board. He's also devoted a section to other teams in the league as well as the NFL.

Sportable found some pics of NBA stars as kids, including the one of KG on the left.

From Mike Max/WCCO:
The Timberwolves' Rashad McCants continues to rehab. He told me that, while he's still shooting to return in mid-January, he will be more cautious and less impatient about meeting his self-imposed deadline.

The Wolves move up from #26 to #15 in this week's ESPN Power Rankings.

Trent Hassell on his decreased production and minutes:
"I've been struggling to find my rhythm," Hassell said. "But what I do, I don't need a lot of minutes to find it."

Dan Barreiro/KFAN thinks that Garnett deserves no sympathy for being on a mediocre team.

Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune on how "the basketball situation at Minnesota's top levels has declined precipitously."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wolves 75, Rockets 82

AP Recap

Box Score

From Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:
In their 82-75 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night at the Toyota Center, the Wolves looked entirely capable of staging yet another fourth-quarter thrill ride, not unlike their comeback efforts against the Los Angeles Clippers (good) and the Dallas Mavericks (not good enough). They turned a 54-47 deficit into a 68-68 tie with plenty of time to spare. They sank 10 of their 14 shots over the final 12 minutes.

But they couldn't shut down Houston's attack, especially from the outside. The Rockets, who took 25 three-pointers in the game and made 10, went 4-for-6 in that fourth quarter, including three in rapid succession that snuffed Minnesota's rally.

Tonight's loss puts the Wolves at 6-8.

Hoopsworld Interview With Coach Casey

Bill Ingram at Hoopsworld interviewed Coach Casey about the season so far. Ingram also asked if there was any truth to the Garnett trade rumors.

"Absolutely not. You can talk to Kevin McHale, Kevin Garnett - everywhere we go people ask. Kevin is a loyal guy and I'm going to say there won't ever come a day (where KG is traded), but Kevin is a guy who's in Minnesota, he's loyal to Minnesota, and it's not a subject he's talked about since the season started."

Coach Casey elaborates by agreeing the rumors have become just "white noise" and that it's never speculation by the local media, but mostly by Sam Smith.

"Exactly - white noise. It's always that guy in the Chicago Tribune. I think he's writing pure fantasy. A lot of the deals you hear about - after a while you don't even read it. They don't make any sense."

Wolves Updates 11/28

Free Darko believes Craig Smith has given Wolves fans a reasons to watch their team again, saying that Smith has "the perfect qualifications for a fan favorite: good at rebounding, good at dunking, underdog exceeding expectations, and most importantly, FAT."

Jason at Lowpost interviews J.E. Skeets about the Basketball Jones. Those dudes deserve a ton of respect for getting up at 5am to recap the previous night's league action and discuss such topics as trading Garnett for their daily hoops podcast.

Tracy McGrady on Garnett:
"Me knowing KG, I know how loyal he is," McGrady said. "He's been there so long, he's stuck through everything that's been going on there. Everybody is talking about how he should demand things and get out, but he's a loyal guy."

The Rockets were also a team whose offer Mike James declined when signing with Minnesota.
Coach Jeff Van Gundy on James:
"I really respect Mike. I didn't like the decision he made this summer, but he made the decision he thought was in his best interests.''

Tracy McGrady on what he wants from James in tonight's game:
"We want Mike James to be launching,'' Tracy McGrady said. ``That takes away from Kevin Garnett. That will help us out. Any time there is a little controversy between a team and a player, guys want to come out and try to put up numbers. As long as we get the `W,' I don't care if he gets 50.''

Stephen Litel/SportsPageMagazine interviews Mark Blount. On stacking up to the league's other centers, Blount says, "I know I can hold my own. I’m not too worried about that." On his nickname Blizz, Blount says his teammates just started calling him "Blizzard" and it came from that.

James on his shooting slump:
"Once I get that Drano and figure out this mental blockage, where it's at... I'm going to continue to keep grinding," he said. "I won't make excuses for nothing. I hold myself accountable for everything I do, especially my performance on the court."

Britt Robson/City Pages recaps last night's game.

Coach Casey on Randy Foye's performance in the loss to Dallas:
"He's building trust in everybody," Casey said. "I thought his play got us back in the game."

Rick Kamla on Foye:
"Well, I've seen enough to know Randy Foye is the bomb. Question is, has Dwane Casey seen enough to give the budding superstar the minutes he needs and deserves? Dude has 15 and 17 points in the last two games, and he needs to be picked up at once."

Sam Smith proposes another Bulls/Garnett trade scenario.

Mark Cuban- "He's a Toys R Us Kid"

About signing with Minnesota over the Mavs and other teams vying for him, Mike James said he felt the Wolves were "a little bit more serious about" him. Mark Cuban believes that James' decision was "all about the money, always was."

James and Cuban exchanged some "heated" texts this past summer. The Mavs owner "had questioned James' claimed desire to win" after he signed with the Wolves.

"Mark Cuban, that's my boy," James said. "He's a Toys 'R' Us kid. He don't want to grow up. He's cooler than the fan. But he's a Toys 'R' Us kid. And I ain't mad at him. He's old, he's wise, he's got a lot of money. But he's a kid at heart."

To which, Cuban said: "I like that."

Also from the Star Tribune:
Casey is the one facing the tougher challenge: How long to stick with James while he works his way back vs. turning to Troy Hudson or Randy Foye as more productive alternatives.
"Right now, we're trying to win games," Casey said. "It's tough to give up possessions just to get him going. I've tried to go with guys who are rolling." ranks Craig Smith at #4 in both the weekly and overall rookie rankings. Randy Foye is listed under the "noteworthy" category.

Steve Aschburner previews tonight's game at the Rockets.

From the Houston Chronicle:
Center Mark Blount has done so well against the Rockets with the Timberwolves and Celtics that Jeff Van Gundy assumed that Blount circles the Rockets games on his schedule in excitement.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wolves 87, Mavericks 93

Tonight's win over the Wolves in Dallas made for the Mavs' 10th consecutive victory.

AP Recap

Box Score

From Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:
Down by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, 16 in the second and 20 in the third, the Wolves -- trailing 76-61 heading into the fourth -- were set up for the sort of stirring comeback that salvaged their game against the L.A. Clippers Saturday at Target Center.

Except, of course, these weren't the Clippers they were facing, this wasn't Minneapolis and that's a reckless way to work through a game. Rather rare way to win one, too: Rallying from 12 points down was the Wolves' biggest fourth-quarter recovery in nearly seven years and only the sixth time in 10 seasons that they had overcome a deficit of 10 points or more to win.

Foye, who sparked Saturday's comeback with 14 points in the final quarter, almost did it again. He scored 11 points in the first 8:14 of the period, getting the Wolves to within 84-80.

Mike James broke his two game scoreless streak with 10 points in tonight's game.

Wolves Updates 11/27

Coach Casey on Mike James being held scoreless in the last two games:
"Mike's going to be OK," Casey said Sunday. "I trust his game. Right now, he's not shooting the ball the way he'd like to. He works on it consistently. You watch him working out (in practice), he knocks them down. Somehow, some way, he's got to find a niche in our offensive sets to get those same shots."

From the Dallas Morning News:
There have been whispers around the league that Garnett could be dealt if things do not go well for the Wolves this season. But the prevailing wisdom is that vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale will be patient and give this group a chance to grow.

This run is just the third time Coach Casey has won three games in a row since being head coach.

According to Hoopsworld, every season there are a couple second rounders whose rookie cards send collectors scrambing to find them. The article states that this year, those players are Craig Smith and the Jazz's Paul Millsap.

Wolves Face The Mavericks Tonight

A preview of tonight's game at Dallas.

On KG being "forced to carry the franchise's fading hopes"
"It's sad to see," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "A guy like that, that's working that hard and is trying to do all the right things, you hate to see him in a situation where he won't make the playoffs.
"He's playing his heart out night in and night out. So it's just tough to see him go through that stretch."

Randy Foye on his "surprising success" Saturday night:
"I just try to keep my head and my focus straight ahead, and never look back," he said. "Whatever happened the first couple games happened. I don't even know if I'm going to play against Dallas, but I know, when my number's called, I'm going to be ready to play."

Wolves advance scout Brent Haskins offers some insight into tomorrow's game.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Updates Part II

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press and Stephen Litel/City Pages recap last night's celebration. I can't believe that the one game I'll probably miss all season had to be the most exciting game since the team last made it to the playoffs. I'm never going home for the holidays again.

From the Pioneer Press:
Cassell said Garnett keeps quiet about the situation in Minnesota.
"He's all right," Cassell said. "Kevin ain't going to complain too much. Kevin's going to be Kevin. He's never going to complain about too much of anything. He's going to make it a game of poker. He's going to play the hand that he was dealt and play it to the best of his ability. That's one thing I respect about him."

Cassell on being traded by the Wolves:
"I don't hold grudges," Cassell said. "What's done is done. But to blame me for our faults, the year after I helped take this team to the Western Conference finals (in 2003-04) when I was injured, was totally uncalled for. I'm over it now.

Paul Shirley on his Iowa State connection with Fred Hoiberg.
"Knowing Fred," Shirley mused, "really came through for me, didn't it?"

From the Star-Telegram:
There are whispers within the Mavericks' organization that they're glad they weren't able to come to terms with then-free agent guard Mike James this past summer. James would have used up the Mavs' entire $5.1 million mid-level exception. Instead, the Mavs were able to split it and sign both Greg Buckner and Devean George.

Wolves Updates 11/26

Though Trent Hassell suggested Marko Jaric could better serve the team by replacing him in the starting lineup, Coach Casey says he likes Jaric coming off the bench.

Mad Dog, in his latest post, calls Sam Cassell one of his "all-time favorite teammates" and talks about the team's "up and coming future star in Randy Foye."
Composure is one thing that coaches can't teach and Randy Foye has it in spades.

Jaric on last night's win:
"I don't remember honestly," said Marko Jaric, when asked the last time he remembered when the home crowd was so loud.
"It was really emotional, so emotional. And it was so important for us."

KG on Foye's performance in the game:
"The kid has no conscience," Kevin Garnett said of Foye afterward. This is a good thing. "He doesn't think twice about taking over, shooting the shot. Sometimes you have to have that. ... It's a great win. This reminded me of a playoff game. It's a beautiful win for us."

Mike James has been scoreless the last two games.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wolves 104, Clippers 96

Dr. Boss provided me with updates on tonight's game because I am out of town. Since he is not normally inclined to use the term "holy cow," I can only assume I missed an amazing game. The text messages he sent are below. Game started a little after 7:00pm CST.

At 8:54pm- Foye looking sweet tonight. Losing though 81-75

At 9:15pm- Holy holy holy cow! This game is too much!

At 9:23pm- Holy cow! Best Wolves game in two years! Foye's coming out party. Marko will also start from today on. KG looked most pumped tonight since MVP.

Garnett said tonight reminded him of a playoff game and that it was a "beautiful win" for the team.

AP Recap

Box Score

Foye scored 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, rallying Minnesota to a thrilling 104-96 victory over the Clippers.

Foye had scored just 14 points in his previous five games, but was by far the best player on the court when it counted on Saturday night.

"I've been kind of waiting for this," Foye said. "I just wanted the chance to do what I did in college, have the ball in my hands and make plays."

"I think you saw a young man, Randy Foye, grow up tonight and become the player we knew we drafted," Casey said. "He showed some stuff tonight."

The jaw-dropping performance stole the show from Cassell, who was dominant for the first three periods.

Wolves Updates 11/25

A preview of tonight's game against the Clippers.

Trent Hassell thinks Marko Jaric should be starting in his place:
"Maybe that's something they need in the first unit," Hassell said. "I'm out there to play defense, but that's about it. He brings offense, and he plays defense. He's just playing real well."

Chris Mannix/ takes a look at Coach Casey and other coaches in the hotseat. He believes possible replacements for Coach Casey are Randy Wittman, Jim O'Brien, Marc Iavaroni, Larry Brown, and Phil Johnson.

College Wolf compares the Timberwolves to different "types of chicks."

KG on Ricky Davis:
"Rick's a scorer," forward Kevin Garnett said. "I think that's what floats his boat. When Rick's energized, we get everything out of him, not to say that we don't when he's not shooting the ball well. The one thing I loved is that he kept attacking. We feed off that."

Coach Casey on the D-League:
"I'm sure there are a lot of teams that are not sending guys down," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said. "With us not being at [the roster maximum of] 15 and with Bracey being here, I think that's the right thing for us right now. Randy, we want to develop. So I don't see any situation to send any guys down."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wolves 86, Hornets 79

The Star Tribune points out that tonight's win in Oklahoma City was
1) the first home loss of the season for the Hornets
2) the second road win of the season for the Wolves
3) only the third road win since the All-Star break for the Wolves

AP Recap

Box Score

The Hornets...scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to erase a 66-60 deficit, but the Timberwolves responded with their big run to take control for good.

The Hornets, coming off a poor shooting night in a loss at Phoenix on Wednesday, continued their struggles against the Timberwolves, hitting just 37.8 percent from the floor in the first half. Yet they managed to stay close, in part because Garnett wasn't much of a factor early - he took only five shots and scored seven points.

Wolves Updates 11/24

A preview of tonight's game at the Hornets.

News OK writes about Garnett being overshadowed by the league's younger stars.

A director of marketing at Adidas talks about how Garnett's 2005 interview with TNT (the one in which he breaks down and talks about how he hates to lose) was a "very pivotal moment" for Adidas and inspired their team-oriented shoe campaign.

Coach Casey on Craig Smith:
"Mark Blount does an excellent job [as the starting center], but Craig comes in and changes the game," coach Dwane Casey said. "It's just his intensity, smarts. He's always where he's supposed to be."

Smith on keeeping his weight under control:
"It's something I've definitely got to watch, but I try to do the extra things in practice, hopping on the (stationary) bike, things like that," Smith said. "It's all about eating right. It's not that bad. I think if you take care of yourself the right way, you shouldn't have any problems."

The New York Times describes Eddie Griffin as an "afterthought" with Coach Casey because of his lack of playing time.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/23

Charley Rosen/Fox Sports thinks what the Wolves need most is "to play the vast majority of their games against the nebbishy NY Nix."

According to the Pioneer Press, Fred Hoiberg got 6 write-in votes for mayor in Chaska, MN in the most recent election.

City Pages looks at last night's game.

From the Pioneer Press:
Casey said before Wednesday's game that he hasn't given any thought to changing the starting lineup to give the Wolves a different look in the wake of their 3-6 start.
But he did say he has considered altering the rotation to give reserve guard Troy Hudson more playing time with starters while possibly having starting point guard Mike James play more with reserves. James would play more in the off-guard position with the reserves.

Coach Casey empathizes with Isiah Thomas and says that "all the coaches in this league are on borrowed time."

Thanksgiving With Ricky Davis

Ricky Davis is hosting Mad Dog and other teammates for Thanksgiving dinner before they head out for Friday's game at the Hornets.

I just hope that Ricky isn't the one cooking the Turkey and the stuffing. He can shoot the three and go to the hole with the best in the world, but I'd never trust him to cook me anything....maybe that's why he has a full time chef!

Mad Dog reiterates how great a player he thinks Craig Smith is, saying he's "still shocked that we got Craig in the second round. Garnett also spoke highly of Smith, calling the rookie a "beast" after tonight's game.

Happy Thanksgiving!

KG on McHale and Isiah Thomas' reputation as players versus their unsuccessful careers as team execs:
"When you're playing sports, your only responsibility is to yourself and how well you condition yourself and get yourself ready for an 82-game NBA season," the Wolves star said. "It's pretty different when you're in an executive's seat. You have so many outlets, as far as putting a team together. Money, players, free-agent market. So many different entities that you're worrying about.
"No one can control team chemistry. No one can control players leaving in free agency."

Dave D'Alessandro/Sporting News makes arguments for not firing some of the NBA coaches currently on the hot seat, including Coach Casey.

Fred Hoiberg talks to the Des Moines Register about his new job:
"I'll be doing a lot of scouting this year, going to a lot of college games," Hoiberg said as he watched Iowa State's 68-63 win at Minnesota. "I'll be going overseas to do some international scouting in February.

Cavalier Attitude thinks Danny Ferry could orchestrate a trade to get KG to play along side LeBron.

Nikoloz Tskitishvili was invited to try out for the Russian team, Spartak Primorye.

The pic above is from a Wolves FastBreak Foundation event earlier this week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wolves 107, Knicks 89

How long has it been since anyone's seen a pic of Garnett smiling during a game? The Wolves early, sustained lead made for a relaxed atmosphere among the few fans at tonight's game. Except for wondering why Mad Dog got so much playing time so early and Foye didn't (showcasing T-Hud?), this was the first game of the season in which one could comfortably sit back in the seat as opposed to on the edge of it. Granted, one dude I ran into described the game as "boring" but I guarantee he hadn't sat through the last few games.

I knew it was going to be a fun night when I looked at the Knicks website prior to the game and it referred to tonight's matchup as "David Lee and the New York Knicks face Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves." I really hope someone asked Starbury about that.

Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune recap.

AP Recap

Box Score

Bill Simmons On KG

Bill Simmons has a great column on how someone "needs to save" KG so that fans can see what he is truly capable of:

KG's basketball career has become a borderline American tragedy. Here's one of the greatest big men ever, one of the fiercest competitors in any sport, someone who could finish his career with historic scoring and rebounding numbers ... and yet we have absolutely no clue how good he really is.

Paul Shirley, after he was cut from the team, sent Simmons a "gushing e-mail about KG's everyday brilliance that said if KG had played on a contender his entire career, "people would speak of him as a candidate for best player ever."

Simmons also mentions how it's "depressing to watch" Garnett's body language because it makes him seem like a "unhappy husband who can't stomach the thought of a divorce because he doesn't want to hurt his children."

He thinks that David Stern should get involved and get the Wolves to make a move to send Garnett elsewhere because instead of leaving the team, KG "just keeps busting his butt and waiting to be saved."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wolves- Worst Dressed Team In The League ranks the 15 worst dressed team in sports. The Wolves come in at #14, the only basketball team on the list. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing because the Wild follows the Wolves on the list.

While other teams are getting shoes like this for the spring, the Wolves are getting shoes with their seriously outdated logo in a position too large and too prominent on the shoes. I couldn't find a pic, but there's a billboard in Uptown that displays the hideous kicks.

In other news:
Jack McCallum was on KFAN with Chad Hartman today talking about his new book. Hartman asked McCallum what he thought Garnett's value would be if offered up to another organization. McCallum's response was, "extremely high." He believes that even with a change of scenery, KG would be unbelievable for any team and that few guys in the league could command as much as him. You can listen to the interview here.

Britt Robson/City Pages writes on Coach Casey trying to save the team and his job.

Mike James on his performance thus far:
"I've been cheating the fans," James said after practice Tuesday. "I seriously have. I've been cheating the fans and the organization since I've been here."

"Sometimes I get caught up in being `the point guard,' " James said. " `Pass first, make sure Ticket gets the ball, make sure Rick gets the ball.' But then, my scoring is needed, because a lot of times, that's what energizes our team and will help us get going."

A preview of Wednesday's game against the Knicks.

Newsday wonders if Marbury could end up back with the Wolves.

Updates Part II

The Timberwolves site interviews Randy Foye and Craig Smith. Both rookies agree that Mark Blount (Blizz???) is the team's best dresser. The interviewer also touches upon the fact that Foye is making more than Smith.

MT: Craig, do you make the first-rounder pay for the meals when you go out?

CS: No man, we switch it off.

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press takes a look at what's wrong with the team.

Wolves Updates 11/21

Bringing It To The Table lists the top 10 ways to improve the NBA. Making Mad Dog and Pat Riley dance at half-time is #5.

Sports Central proposes a "Short Big Men For Equality Anonymous" group for players like Craig Smith.

Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune writes that the team spent most of yesterday's practice "working on ways to beat Paul or any other opposing ball handler downcourt." KG also worked with Craig Smith on defending the pick and roll.

Ricky Davis and Justin Reed plan to hand out gift baskets tonight at St Anne's Place, a Minneapolis shelter for women and children.

Craig Smith is at #5 in this week's rookie rankings.

From Tony Mejia/CBS Sportsline:
Barring a trade, the notion that Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen will end their championship droughts this season is laughable. Three of the top eight active scoring leaders are wasting their time with their current organizations, putting together another solid effort that won't even be good enough to make the playoffs.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Book Reviews

Ryan at HoopsAddict talks to Matt de la Pena about his first book, Ball Don't Lie, in which the author "has combined his love for the game, his experiences as a former collegiate player and his Masters of Fine Arts degree to produce an epic novel that will enthral any basketball fan."

Henry at True Hoop gives rave reviews to Jack McCallum's Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Phoenix Suns.

Updates Part II

Coach Casey on his decision not to put KG and T-Hud into the game against the Hornets earlier than he did:
"You look back on a game like that, you can question a lot of things," Casey said. "You should have done this, you should have done that... ."

The Basketball Jones and Blazer's Edge talk KG trade rumors.

Check out Lowpost's interview with Suns Gossip.

Wolves Updates 11/20

Glen Taylor is one of eight owners who sent a letter to the league commissioner which "pleaded with Stern to adopt revenue sharing."
"We are asking you to embrace this issue because the hard truth is that our current economic system works only for larger-market teams and a few teams that have extraordinary success on the court and for the latter group of teams, only when they experience extraordinary success. The rest of us are looking at significant and unacceptable annual financial losses."

Stephen Litel/City Pages thinks that the team needs to be more "focused."
Watch this team closely when they are in the huddle. Kevin Garnett, Randy Foye and Craig Smith are the only players seemingly hanging on what Coach Casey is trying to communicate to the team. Other than the two players named, everyone else is doing their own thing.

Although fans love it, Mark Madsen is always speaking to spectators while Mark Blount is chatting with Troy Hudson. Trenton Hassell is working on his bum knee while Ricky Davis is dancing to the music filling the Target Center. Mike James sits back in his chair and zones out while Marko Jaric is zoned out.

Love And Basketball says that T-Hud's new album "Undrafted," initially scheduled for a summer release, is set to come out early next year. The record features David Banner, Clipse, and Twista. Still Listen has a link to one of the songs from the new album.

From the Pioneer Press:
Timberwolves guard Ricky Davis not only practices 200 shots most mornings, but when in Minneapolis on many off nights, he'll go to Target Center and shoot an additional 200 times.
"No, I don't get tired shooting; I've got an AK-47 for an arm," he said.

KG on Saturday's loss to the Hornets:
"You try not to think about it," he said. "Easier said than done. We have three days to prepare for New York. Our plan is to try to get a string of wins and get ready for New York."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/19

Coach Casey says the team has no plans to send Bracey Wright to the D-League though the guard has played just two minutes this season. Casey says they're "an injury away from him getting minutes."

Nets Daily posts an interview with Nenad Krstic in which the interviewer states that the Serbian public expects "much more" from Marko Jaric among others. Krstic responds that he expects Jaric to return to the starting lineup.

In addition to his two pit bulls, Mike James owns a white Maserati.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wolves 96, Hornets 99

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
The game had just been tied by Mike James' nerve-busting three-pointer from the top of the key that appeared would send a game that looked like it had gotten away into overtime.

With 5.6 seconds left, the Hornets inbounded the ball. Stojakovic screened down and popped back out off of Tyson Chandler. He took the ball, turned and shot while falling away from 25 feet.

Swish. Game.

AP Recap

Box Score

"We've got to make plays at the end," James said. "Peja made a tough shot to win the game, put the nail in the coffin. But it shouldn't have come down to that. We had a lead and let it get away from us."

Updates Part II

The Plain Dealer has a short Q & A with Garnett. He talks about the LeBron shoe commercials and says they're "real good."

Mad Dog digs Mr. Eko from Lost as well as Scooby Doo.

Filling in for Britt Robson, Stephen Litel/City Pages recaps last night's game.

Mike James on the loss in Cleveland:
"It's about learning how to win in this game," James said. "We've got to string some wins together. We've got to go out there and play with some heart, play aggressive and just leave it all on the court. I think there are times when we slack up. And those two or three minutes when we slack up, that's when they go on their runs and it's hard to come back, especially at the end of the game when a team makes a run."

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press writes about the bad luck Randy Wittman had when coaching the Cavs.

Wolves Updates 11/18

A preview of tonight's game against the Hornets.

Marc Stein/ESPN think it's time to trade Garnett.
Trading him this season, as opposed to delaying the inevitable until the February '08 trading deadline or scrambling to concoct a sign-and-trade in July '08, is more likely to net Minnesota the package of quality youth, size and draft picks it would naturally want in return.

He also remarks that "the Wolves' next big move, according to team insiders, is to transfer control of the front office at season's end from the under-fire Kevin McHale to Fred Hoiberg..."

Chad Ford reiterates and suggests the Lakers as a possible destination for Garnett.

Chad Hartman/KFAN had assistant coach Randy Wittman on the air yesterday. Click here for Part I and here for Part II of the interview.

Kelly Dwyer/ lists KG at #7 in this week's player rankings.

KG sings the praises of Gerald Levert and is rooting for Ohio State in today's game.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wolves 76, Cavaliers 92

From Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:
Horrible shooting in the second half and an inattention to detail defensively spoiled any chance the Wolves had of beating one of the NBA's rising teams and its sizzling star (LeBron James) on a night when they were, for at least 35 minutes or so, quite beatable.

The glaring numbers all but leap out of the boxscore, their hair on fire: Kevin Garnett, Ricky Davis and Mike James combined to shoot 10-for-35. The Wolves en masse shot 28.6 percent in the second half and, in the final period, missed 14 of their first 17 attempts.

AP Recap

Box Score

"We missed a lot of easy shots," coach Dwane Casey said. "Shots we normally make.
"They did turn the tempo up. They attacked us coast-to-coast, they attacked us off the dribble and we just didn't take care of the ball. It's the same thing that we have to do, is attack."

Center Mark Blount needed three stitches to close a gash in his head after LeBron James elbowed him in the third quarter. But Blount returned and should be available tonight.

Wolves Updates 11/17

Steve Aschburner compares Garnett to a rock star looking for a band, "going from the Pips to the E Street Band to the Family Stone every year or two."
"What's the band now? Y'all don't know yet?" Wolves guard Mike James wondered the other day after practice.
Hopefully, someone said, not the Heartbreakers. "No, not the Heartbreakers," James said, grinning. "We don't want the Heartbreakers."

SLAM Online's weekly " The Dirty 30" lists the team at #21:
Oh. This team is kind of in the same boat as Philly. Except KG is more consistent and their games are determined by whether or not one of his teammates can get hot. That hasn’t been happening much.

A preview of tonight's game at Cleveland.

The team on "keeping up" with LeBron James in tonight's game.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Updates Part II

Tas and Skeets at the Basketball Jones address the question of whether to "Free Garnett" in today's episode of their daily podcast, The Fix.

Check out HoopsAddict for a great pic of Sam Mitchell. The Hype also had some fun with the pic.

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press, in regards to an open roster spot on the team because of Vin Baker's departure:
Stack avoided saying a trade wouldn't happen. But it's clear the team wants to stick with the current lineup for at least the foreseeable future.

Vin Baker is planning to work out with John Lucas in Houston as he "wants another crack at the league."

Stephen Litel/SportsPage Magazine interviews Randy Foye.

Billy Hunter, the executive director of the NBA Players Association, says he's heard from Garnett and other players who are feeling "stifled" from the new league rules about appearance.

From the Pioneer Press:
Former Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg recently had the speed of his pacemaker increased in order to control leaking in his aorta. He said he is doing fine.

Wolves Updates 11/16

From Mike Max/WCCO:
1) The word is Eddie Griffin is getting an earful and some creative signage on the road for his off the court problems.

It should be against the rules to write something like that without a picture or something more specific to illustrate what that means. Is it cardboard signs? Hand gestures? What exactly are people saying?

2) If you're wondering what Timberwolves veterans may be perceived as potential problems, keep an eye on Ricky Davis.

The organization doesn't appear to mind as they've made Davis a focal point of the team in terms of promotion. It's hard to avoid all the attention they're putting into his Get Buckets Brigade.

Coach Casey on how he feels after the win over Portland:
"Unbelievable," coach Dwane Casey said. "Everything smells different, tastes different. The enthusiasm in practice [is greater]. Plus it sells what you're trying to do. It reinforces it, whether it's offensive execution, defensive execution. The guys don't look at you and think, 'Well, we did that last night, Coach, and it didn't work.' "

Among this year's rookies, Craig Smith is ranked #6 in scoring (8.3 ppg) while Randy Foye is at #10 (5.3 ppg).

10,000 Takes makes a list of the MN coaches most likely to be fired.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Maybe we should bring in our second round pick, currently playing for Lottomatica Roma. Loukas Mavrokefalidis' nickname is Lucky.

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press writes that "the word "attack" was written in red ink and underlined on a board in the Timberwolves' locker room before Tuesday night's game at Target Center."

Garnett said that Vin Baker's departure was tough to deal with.
"He gave us depth, he gave us knowledge, experience obviously," Garnett said. "He was able to communicate with some of the younger guys and get them to understand the importance of focus and getting ready for the games. The small things that people don't always see — leadership."

HoopsWorld's Greg White says it's possible that KG has lost a step because "too many frontcourt players are getting off on the Wolves."

Ryan at HoopsAddict asks "where's the love for Sam Mitchell?"

Wolves Updates 11/15

John Hollinger writes about this year's draft class "living up to its reputation as one of the weakest in memory." Foye is one of the rookies he uses to illustrate this:
Sixth pick Randy Foye was touted by many as a Rookie of the Year pick after dominating in summer league, but against more stout competition, he has struggled to get off the T'wolves' bench. He's shooting a mere 34.5% from the floor, though his high scoring rate offers hope that he might snap out of the funk. He'll have to if he wants to play, because Minnesota's backcourt is as deep as any in basketball.

Britt Robson/City Pages discusses last night's win:
Heading into tonight's wire-to-wire win over Portland, the Wolves were getting tossed about by one of those bouts of trepidation--call it a prelude to panic--where serious consequences like somebody getting fired or traded or benched are mulled over if not endlessly discussed. A four-game losing streak that offered no clues, directions, or much hope for the team's future was the cause. The ballclub needed to stem the negativity that pervaded the squad, and they did, in the best way possible; not by one or two spectacular individual performances, but with their most unified and completely performed effort of the still-young season.

Robson also mentions:
When Blount was bowled over in the fourth quarter, KG ran from midcourt down to the paint to help him up. You can name the superstars on one hand who would do that for a teammate.

From Mad Dog's Blog:
I'm glad that young players are able to come to the NBA if they are ready. But, it is amazing how players like Ricky, Kevin Garnett and Kobe are able to make the jump at such a young age. When I was 17 years old there is no way that I was mentally capable of thinking about going up against people like Shaq, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone.

Derok writes about the five stages of grief involved with the likelihood of Garnett leaving Minnesota.

Regarding Davis' "roaches" comment, Coach Casey says he's not going to tell his players what they can't say:
"They're grown men," he said. "You hope everyone's professional. We don't condone trash talking, but these are grown men. We don't want to feed the other teams bulletin board. I can't tell Ricky how to carry himself -- there's freedom of speech but ... if that got them fired up, I don't want to give it to them. You let your defense and your hooping do the talking."

The departure of Vin Baker leaves the Wolves with 14 players on the roster, but according to GM Jim Stack, "there is nothing imminent" regarding any moves or trades.

Rashad McCants is back in North Carolina attending the funeral of his grandfather.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wolves 101, Blazers 89

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Actions, apparently, speak louder than words.

Just ask Ricky Davis. On Nov. 4 he opened up his mouth, spouting a little trash during a game in Portland, a game in which the Timberwolves led by 16 but eventually lost.

In Tuesday night's rematch between the two teams, at Target Center, Davis opened up his arsenal instead. As a result the Wolves opened the game like they'd been shot out of a gun and never stopped, blowing away the Trail Blazers 101-89.

"That's his nickname, Get Buckets," guard Mike James said. "Tonight he was on his game. That's what we need Ricky to do."

AP Recap

Box Score

"He came in early this morning and got 200 shots off," Casey said. "That's what you have to do. If you're a golfer, you hit golf balls. If you're a basketball player in a shooting slump, you come out and shoot. Hopefully he has that stroke back."

Nate McMillan On Coach Casey

Mike Trudell at the Wolves site talks to the Blazers' Jarrett Jack and head coach Nate McMillan as well as Wolves assistant Kalamian before tonight's game. Trudell asks McMillan about Coach Casey.

MT: Can you talk about your relationship with Wolves head coach Dwane Casey?

NM: We're close. I was an assistant with coach Casey in Seattle, and learned a lot from him as a young assistant coming in off the bench. When I got the head coaching position, he became my head assistant, and a lot of things that I did, he believed in, and some of the things that he liked to do, I believed in. He's a very focused coach, a hard worker, and as a matter of fact, when they were offering me the job I recommended that they hire Casey, because he was ready for that position. He's definitely a well-prepared coach, and he and I think a lot along the same lines as far as what we want to do defensively and offensively. He's been around a number of different coaches and systems, and I think he's a good young coach.

Wolves Updates 11/14

Click here for a preview of tonight's game against the Trail Blazers.

Mike James on the "pack of roaches" comment:
"That's not really trash-talking," James said, "but I told Ricky today in practice, if that's how you feel, call them that again tomorrow. It ain't got nothing to do with how we lost the game. That's how he felt. Listen, if one of our teammates feels like that, we've got to stand behind him."

Casey said he won't put a gag order on Davis tonight, but he doesn't want his players to give the Blazers any extra incentive.

KG, Mike James, Ricky Davis, and Mark Blount are on the NBA All-Star ballot.

Chris at End Of The Bench brings up a valid point about the new Adidas "It Takes 5ive" commercial with Garnett.

Coach Casey on Randy Foye:
"He's a sponge offensively," Casey said of Foye. "Where he's been, there's not much he hasn't seen. [Villanova coach] Jay Wright has done a great job of coaching him.
"Maturity is a big thing with him. He played four years of college and played some big games in the NCAA tournament. I see that confidence in Randy Foye, and I see the moxie he has in getting to the rim."

Coach Casey on the team releasing Vin Baker:
"I hurt because Vin has worked hard to come back and work at it, but it's a numbers situation more than anything else," Casey said. "He did a great job. No abuse, nothing to do with his personal life. It was just a numbers thing."'s power rankings put the Wolves at #25. Yahoo/Steve Kerr lists them at #24.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pat Neshek At The Wolves Game

Pat Neshek (Minnesota Twins) and his brother were at the Orlando game on Saturday night with the Wolves' Mike Trudell. Trudell recounts the experience on the team's site. I'm not a Twins fan by any means, but, as I have a crush on Neshek, figured it'd be alright to link to it. In case you're wondering, Neshek thinks Hedo Turkoglu is the ugliest member of the Magic.

About KG, Neshek says:
"I'm really impressed with how hard Garnett goes all the time," comments Pat. "He has no off switch."

Wolves Release Vin Baker

From The Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves on Monday announced that they have released forward Vin Baker, the veteran who was trying to revive his career after battling alcohol abuse.

Baker was signed to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Wolves on Oct. 2 before training camp started. Baker did not play in any of the first six games of this season. He was a low-risk addition because of his minimal contract.

Coach Dwane Casey said Baker did everything that was asked of him and did not have any alcohol-related setbacks while with the team. Casey said Baker was released because forward Mark Madsen appears healthy enough to be available for action for the first time this season starting with tomorrow night's game against Portland.

The Boston Celtics released Baker in Feb. 2004 after he violated conditions of his aftercare treatment. Since then, Baker has bounced around with several different NBA teams.

Post-Orlando Musings

KG after the Orlando game:
"We had two tough practices," said Garnett, who finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. "I thought we would have more energy as a team. We are trying to figure things out. Everybody has to get in a better rhythm."
"I don't think confidence is a problem," Garnett said. "It's being consistent for 48 minutes. Can we stay together when a team makes a run on us?"

Britt Robson/City Pages on
Saturday's game:
Lots and lots of things felt wrong about Saturday's loss to Orlando, a game that added to the grim and ominous vibe that is suddenly upon this franchise just a half-dozen games into the season. But perhaps the hardest part was the near-total dominance of manchild pivot man Dwight Howard in the game-deciding first quarter...

When the period was over, Howard had more boards than the entire Wolves' team, 9-7, including a 3-3 tie on their own glass. Coach Dwane Casey had played ten guys and all but Blount, and KG early, looked listless and forlorn.

The roster:
Meanwhile, the team is bereft of front-line studs to assist Garnett. Craig Smith is a nice story, but I'm not convinced his upside will ultimately guarantee him 15-20 minutes in an 8-9 man rotation on a quality team. Blount is the default starting center, and hustles, hits the open j and right now seems like a plus in terms of team chemistry. He's also easily overwhelmed in the low block, rebounds poorly and collects fouls and turnovers in bunches too frequently. Griffin is flailing.

Winning the Northwest Division:
...Utah already looks like winning the Northwest will be tougher than bagging a 7 or 8 seed.

Carnival Of The NBA #37

Check out the Rising Suns for Carnival Of The NBA #37 and all things Phoenix Suns.

Wolves Updates 11/13

No Roy/Foye matchup at the Target Center anytime soon. Steve Aschburner says Brandon Roy's heel injury will keep him out of Tuesday's game against Portland.

Also from Aschburner:
In the past three games, the Wolves have trailed after the first quarter each night, by an average of 6.3 points. That means the starters haven't been getting the job done.

Sam Smith lists another possible Garnett trade scenario and comments on the loss to Orlando:
The Timberwolves are already the mess that was predicted and reportedly were ripped by lame-duck coach Dwane Casey and Garnett after another uninspired home loss, this time to Orlando on Saturday. Grant Hill, who has been healthy and terrific this season, was rested as a precaution by the Magic. It reminded me of a few years ago here when teams would rest their best players against the Bulls because they could beat them with the rest. Amazingly, this appears to be what teams think of Garnett's team.

Still Listen To Gangsta Music has pics of some new NBA/Adidas shoes due out next spring.

McHale's hometown has got his back. The Hibbing Daily Tribune thinks that he'll "get it turned around and the Wolves will get back respectability once again."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/12

From the New York Daily News:
Bad omen for Dwane Casey: One Minnesota veteran said the team needs "five balls" and that Casey won't last the season.

Coach Casey on last night's game:
"We were flat. We were flat. And I don't know . . ." coach Dwane Casey said, his hands white-knuckling on the sides of the postgame podium. "I told the players, 'We took a week and a half to dig this hole, it's not going to take only a night to dig out of it."

Tom Powers/Pioneer Press thinks the solution to the team's lethargic performances thus far is "out with the old."
There is no doubt in my mind that Hudson and Jaric would be gone if the Wolves could find somebody to take their contracts. But they can't. So they are going to continue clogging things up here. Griffin, convinced he needs to play more, should be sent elsewhere.
Foye and Smith surely will continue to improve. That will mean even fewer minutes for the others. Eventually, morale will break down completely.

T-Hud is unhappy with his lack of minutes:
"Coach (Dwane Casey) has told me he has confidence in me, but I've been here three years and have been told the same thing," he said. "There was no prenuptial signing, so I can't get out of the marriage. I just have to stick around. I'll try to do that mentally and physically for my teammates."

Wolves 98, Magic 109

Coach Casey said that assistant coach Randy Wittman, who spent last season as an assistant in Orlando, used his familiarity with the Magic to help with the team's prep for last night's game. Despite that, Dwight Howard, Darko, and crew took the Wolves to town in their second home game of the season.

AP Recap

Box Score

Dwight Howard on Garnett:
"When I first played against him, I was like, 'Whoa, that's KG.' I was just happy to play against him," said Howard, who already has grabbed at least 20 rebounds in a game six times in his career.
"After my first two years, I was like, 'I know I have to play KG. I know all the things he's going to do.' I just really tried to get after him and go back at him every time they scored."

Though it's still early in the season, the look on Garnett's face when he signalled to the bench that he wanted out with less than a few minutes left in the game made the loss seem even more like another nail in the coffin.

Other team updates from Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:

Mad Dog did not play last night and said that the team wanted him to have a "few more good practices under my belt" before he did.

Coach Casey on McCants:
"Shaddy is working hard. He's ahead of schedule," Casey said. "But caution is the best word. He's got a whole career to think about."

About the veterans who are unhappy with lack of playing time due to Smith and Foye getting more minutes:
"You can't quit. You can't say, 'Coach doesn't care about me anymore,'" Casey said. "That's a defeatist attitude. We haven't really established a set rotation yet. So I hope nobody gets it in his mind that he can't play."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/11

A preview of tonight's game against Orlando.

McHale and Coach Casey talk about the Magic's star, Dwight Howard.

Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune writes on how the rookies are getting attention around the league. During the Portland game last weekend, Jamaal Magloire commented to Craig Smith, "Good game yesterday."

HoopsWorld interviews Mike James. When asked about why he chose to come to MN, James responded:
I mean, I was offered the same amount of money with Houston and also with Dallas, so it wasn't like I was talking to teams that were bottom-dwellers. This summer I was talking to teams that want to win championships, and I felt like the best situation for me was here. Also, I felt like this was the best situation where I felt like I could win an NBA championship.

Coach Casey on the road losses:
"The mistakes that we're making are very correctable," said Casey. "We're no different from 95% of the teams right now at this stage in the game. We're not panicking, we're just pinpointing some things that we need to focus on and going from there."

From the Star Tribune regarding complaints about the signal strength of Wolves' radio partner Bob 106 FM:
Ted Johnson, the Wolves' vice president of communications, said work is being done to accommodate those listeners but made it clear he believes more fans can hear Wolves games now than could when they were on the AM dial.

Ricky Davis' former teammate Paul Pierce on the "pack of roaches" comment:
"If you're not motivated before the game regardless of what everybody else says, [then that won't do it]," said Pierce. "It doesn't drive me further up or anywhere down. I don't feed into it. That's for high school. In high school, you have chalkboard talk."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mike James On KFAN

Mike James was just on KFAN with Chad Hartman. Below are some of the highlights from the interview:

(Update: You can listen to the interview here.)

James said the recent losses on the road were tough and that they were a test for the team's character.

James got a bit fired up when asked about Davis calling the Blazers "a pack of roaches."
He said that if Davis feels that way, the whole team feels that way because they stick together. He also said that loss had nothing to do with the Blazers but everything to do with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Hartman asked about James asserting himself offensively and James said he was just trying to be a playmaker.

When asked who was the best trash talker in the NBA, James' response was Garnett because KG backs up everything he says.

About the zero-tolerance policy with the refs:
James said this is a league of emotion and people are going to say things they don't mean. He feels that now you can't even get mad at yourself on the court without getting into trouble. He also said that the refs should be held accountable for the trash-talking they do on the court.

A listener called in and asked James about how he feels about players using foul language in front of the kids and families in the stands. James said kids sometimes hear worse things at home and that players are only human and deal with their anger like everyone else.

When asked about the area in which the team needs the most improvement, James said the defense needs to be more consistent.

About Orlando's Dwight Howard, James said he's a man-child who continues to get better.

Wolves Updates 11/10

From the Pioneer Press:
Marko Jaric and Randy Foye were involved in a brief scuffle near the end of Thursday's practice, but it was quickly defused. Teammates Davis and Madsen were peacemakers. Casey said it was no big deal and just a typical NBA practice incident.

Happy Birthday to Craig Smith who turns 23 today.

Lang at Slam Online listed Smith as one of his "Eight Players To Watch."

Via Detroit Bad Boys, an article from HoopsWorld that makes the claim that some of Glen Taylor's statements in the Britt Robson interview were untruthful.

Mike James on his season-high 23 points against Sacramento:
"I've learned to be just more aggressive and understanding where to pick and choose and get my attempts, and I'm slowing down a lot more. Things are starting to open up more, and I'm understanding more what the Wolves want me to do."

Ricky Davis on making only 10 of his past 34 shots:
"I've just been trying to find my way," Davis said. "I feel my game is good, even though I'm not in the shooting rhythm I want to be in."

Mad Dog practiced at "full-speed" yesterday and, according to Coach Casey, "he looks like a new player."

In his latest blog post, Mad Dog talks about his friendship with Jason Terry, the "emergence of Randy Foye," the new ball, and the zero tolerance policy concerning refs.
I'm not in favor of berating officials under any circumstances, but players must be allowed to speak to refs in heated moments without fear of getting tossed. I think in the end, the fans are getting the short end of the stick. Fans come to games to be able to see passionate basketball played very hard.

Get Buckets Brigade

As he did in Boston and perhaps in part to alleviate the backlash surrounding his comments on the Trail Blazers, Ricky Davis is trying to assemble the "Get Buckets Bridgade," his own fan section in the Target Center.

Click here for a letter from Matt B/Perkolators, a member of the "Get Buckets Brigade" in Boston, explaining how the group initially formed.

Below is some info from the Timberwolves site.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Ricky Davis is looking for the most passionate Timberwolves and Ricky Davis fans in Minnesota. Davis will award 5 pairs of Timberwolves season tickets for the remainder of the 2006-07 NBA season, with games beginning on Dec. 1, to the fans that exhibit the most Timberwolves "True Blue" pride. The tickets, personally purchased by Davis, will be part of the "Get Buckets Brigade," the new Ricky Davis fan section at Target Center, which also debuts on Dec. 1.

"I'm looking for the most passionate Timberwolves fans out there," said Davis. "Wolves fans are some of the best in the NBA, and I want to personally reward some of them with season tickets. I'm looking for the wildest, craziest and loudest Timberwolves fans to head up the 'Get Buckets Brigade.' I'm challenging Wolves fans to put on their face paint, wear their Timberwolves gear and pull out all the stops in showing me why they should win the tickets."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/9

An article in the New York Sun uses the Wolves as an example of a team that doesn't pay enough attention to the D-League and waiver wire.

Derok at Twolves Blog grades the team's performance thus far.

Coach Casey on re-evaluating the team:
"We're going to look at the whole situation as far as how we start the first quarter and the third quarter," Casey said. "I'm not saying we're making changes or anything like that. I'm just saying we're going to look at what we can do differently."

The Wolves site has a story on Vin Baker called "The Game Of Life."

The driver convicted in the death of Malik Sealy has pleaded guilty to another DWI and is scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"What's Up With Kevin Garnett's Beard?"

I've never been a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan but can't help but love the following from Flea's blog on

Bynum: Told You So
so lakers/ twolves tonight
my wife says "whats up with kevin garnett's beard?........he looks like some
kind of polygamist
or an amish guy or something"
well that made me laugh (he does have a pretty trippy beard right now)
but even though the twolves are our western conference rival
kevin garnett is a very loveable man and i admire him greatly
he has kept his chin up to the sky and played with intensity and passion
despite only once(i think) ever making it pass the first round of the playoffs
and having to deal with that weird season last year after sprewell and cassell
and having terrible luck with that whole joe smith imbroglio
and worst of all losing the beautiful man malik sealy.....
kevin garnett is great and has a great vibe he is smart and funny
i love him

Arash Markazi/ thinks Garnett is possibly the key to the Lakers' quest for a championship. He suggests Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and a couple draft picks in trade for KG.
"Jimmy Jam" Harris, KG's brother-in-law, says about Garnett's future:
"I have no idea. I have no say in that," said Harris, who was chatting with Garnett and Bonds after the game. "Even if I did, I wouldn't use it. I just want what's best for [Kevin]. I want him to sniff that ring."

The Wolves site/Mike Trudell interviews Marko Jaric. After Jaric brings up the war in Iraq, he's then posed with questions regarding his favorite food, movies, and places to shop.

From Steve Aschburner:
The Wolves had to be one of the most thoroughly staffed teams in the NBA over the weekend, based on the presence of their own personnel men on the trip. General Manager Jim Stack, assistants Rob Babcock and Fred Hoiberg and director of international scouting Zarko Durisic all joined the team for some or all of the trip...

"After a while, we'll start breaking it up," Hoiberg said Tuesday before the Wolves lost to the Lakers. "One of us will go on the trip, the others will do some scouting."

Wolves Updates 11/8

For my friend at 10,000 Takes, a pic of Robert Randolph who, after grabbing a girl's ass with them, agreed to pose with the claws.

According to's Lenovo +/- stats, the 16th best 5-player combination so far this season is:
Garnett, Blount, Jaric, James, and Hassell

At #20 is:
Garnett, Hudson, Jaric, Hassell, and Smith

Some post-game quotes from the Wolves and Lakers.
Garnett on getting momentum: “We’re still a work in progress. We had good momentum. Portland had the best momentum as well as our loss tonight. We’re still a work in progress.

Garnett on what the team needs to work on:“We need to work together. We tend to separate which is expected with new guys. We need to keep our turnovers down and be more effective. We have potential to be a really good team.”

HoopsWorld talks to Randy Foye about the season and asks if there's any pressure on him:
I can't go out there and worry about being rookie of the year, because there's over eighty games left. At the end of that, it will determine who is going to be rookie of the year. But it really doesn't matter, it's just one year. I still know that I'm going to be a good player in this league.

Steve Aschburner writes about whether Garnett can and should score more:
"My style is to score. I don't want you to misconstrue that," Garnett said this week. "But the thing is, compared to an A.I. [Iverson], compared to a real scorer, I'm [defending] the best offensive player on the other end, and sometimes that wears me out a little bit. Messing with Zach [Randolph] for 37-plus minutes ain't an easy task. It becomes a little toll."

Marcus Camby says Latrell Sprewell told him this summer that he has no interest in returning to the NBA.

Fred Hoiberg and Ronny Turiaf, the Laker who had heart surgery in the summer of 2005, met for the first time last night.
"He's the one who showed me the way after my surgery," Turiaf said. "He was there for me. He was trying to show me what to expect. I was definitely blessed, and I mean that, to be able to talk to him and know what to expect."

Wolves 88, Lakers 95

The Wolves dropped another game on the road, losing to the Lakers last night. This brings their record on this trip to 1-3, almost keeping the team on pace with their 9 road wins from last season.

AP Recap

Box Score

From Steve Aschburner:
On Tuesday, the Wolves looked as road weary as Willy Loman squeezing in one more sales stop. They again came out as if they weren't really ready to play and wound up trailing wire-to-wire for the second game in a row...

The Wolves' biggest problem in this one was Andrew Bynum, the 19-year-old man-child in the middle who set career highs in both points (20) and rebounds (19)...

"We knew this was going to be a tough road trip coming in," said coach Dwane Casey, whose team packed five games into the season's first seven nights. "We know we have some work to do. Keep pushing. We're a work in progress ... like 85-90 percent of the teams."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wolves Updates 11/7

Britt Robson/City Pages discusses the "declining role of Kevin Garnett."

Ricky Davis was unapologetic about calling the Blazers "a pack of roaches."
"They're in our division. They're not going to win the division, put it that way," Davis said after the Wolves' morning shootaround. "We just have to make sure next time, when we get up 15, we bury them."

Garnett on the matter:
"I'm sure some of those guys have been called worse than that," Kevin Garnett said. "I don't think he meant that internally, but I'm not Rick Davis -- I'm not apologizing for him. Different guys get up different ways.

Stephen Litel/Sports Page Magazine thinks it's time to give Foye more minutes.

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Garnett said sometimes his energy on offense is affected by his workload defensively but added he isn't caught up in how many shots he gets. He averaged a robust 23.7 points through the first three games.

"I just want to be aggressive and effective," Garnett said. "If I feel like we're not doing some things, or we're not getting quality shots, then I'll step up and take the initiative to take certain shots. I don't mind that. The coaching staff wants me to get up (Allen Iverson)- and Kobe-type shots, but I do a lot of different things, so that's really not my speed. I try to find a medium in that, being aggressive, reading between the lines, trying to get to the free-throw line."

A preview of tonight's game at the Lakers.

Wolves 81, Kings 93

AP Recap

Box Score

Coach Casey on last night's loss in Sacramento's home opener:
"That was just a stinker," coach Dwane Casey said. "I just didn't think we matched their intensity. I thought we came out and sleepwalked in the first quarter."

Mike James on the game:
"We just made a lot of boneheaded mistakes," James said. "All of us."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rookie Rankings ranks the rookies based on the first week of the season.

At #1 is Brandon Roy.

Not surprisingly for Wolves fans, Craig Smith comes in at #4 after being "unranked" during the preseason.

Randy Foye gets an honorable mention.

Updates Part II

The Rocky Mountain News on the Nuggets's benched big man, Reggie Evans:
Evans is eligible to be dealt Dec. 15. There have been rumblings Minnesota, which has a trade exception worth slightly more than $4 million, might show interest.

HoopsWorld interviews GM Jim Stack who says the team has a "good mix" of players.

The Oregonian talks to Fred Hoiberg about his heart surgery and his bond with Lakers forward Ronny Turiaf who underwent the same procedure.

Coach Casey talks to Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press. One of the things he says is:
It's not important to be known as a great coach. I want to be known as a winner. If my teams are winning and competing and playing hard, that's more important than any personal recognition I get.

Sam Smith speculates that Garnett could head to the Lakers after next season.

Coach Casey on T-Hud's 9 minutes in Saturday's game at Portland:
"I thought Mike (James) and Trenton (Hassell) and that group had a good thing going in the fourth quarter. It's going to be different people different nights. That's how we flow. That's how we've got to play."

Wolves Updates 11/6

Make sure to check out Twolves Blog, an awesome new site dedicated to the team.

The Wolves face the Kings again tonight, this time in Sacramento. Click here for a preview. For all things Sacramento Kings, check out Sactown Royalty.

Steve Aschburner writes on Craig Smith being an impressive, immediate contributor to the team:
"Any time I go in a game, I'm trying to make a statement," the rookie said. "A lot of people were saying I couldn't play at this level, I should be in the D League. I'm just looking to prove people wrong."

Aschburner also ranks the Wolves' top 5 second-round picks.