Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves

A website for information and opinion on Kevin Garnett and the team he's lead for over ten years.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Legend Gone, and Far Too Soon


I cannot express in words how much Kirby Puckett meant to me growing up. My father was born and raised in Minnesota and has been following the Twins since the mid 60's. When I was an impressionable young 6 year old kid in 1991, I thought my dad was it. I loved everything he loved, Minnesota sports, and especially the Minnesota Twins, included. I still remember that night over 14 years ago. Game 6, 1991 World Series. Even though I was only 6 years old, I knew enough to know how big Kirby was that night. For all of my friends that think I'm too obsessed with sports, with the Twins, with Kevin Garnett, with Johan Santana... I can trace it all back to the catch. To the home run. Kirby Puckett made me a sports fan. I can never thank him enough for the joy he brought to me for years and years, and still brought to this day everytime I looked through my 50+ Puck baseball card collection, held my Kirby Puckett wooden bat, put on my Kirby Puckett glove, or wore my Minnesota Twins hat. Thank you Kirby, you will be missed.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Yours Truly on ESPN

Okay, no, I was not providing analysis for NBA Fastbreak... although I'm sure I could do a better job than 75% of their broadcast team... but I did get one of my email responses to a recent Tim Legler article posted on ESPN.com's Daily Dime feature.


Click on the image for the full size.

"Legs" wrote that he would have left Kevin Garnett (21.7 points, 12 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.55 steals and blocks, and 53% FG's) off of the all-star team in favor of Carmelo Anthony (26 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 steals and blocks, 46% FG's), Chris Paul (15.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 7.7 apg, 2.25 steals and blocks, 43% FG's), and Marcus Camby (14.8 ppg, 12 rpg, 1.5 apg, 4.5 steals and blocks, 48% FG's, in 33 games). Now, are these three players all star caliber this season? Yes. Are they more all star caliber than Kevin Garnett? Hell. Freaking. No.

Here's some advice Mr. Legler. Don't get caught up in hype, hot streaks, or short term trends. Kevin Garnett's brilliance is easy to overlook because he's been doing it for 10 years. I have a feeling you went a little too much on instinct. "Wow, Camby has been playing really well this year... he should be an all star!" Or, "Chris Paul is doing a great job leading the young Hornets, and he's only a rookie!" Or even, "Holy shit, 'Melo is actually making more smart decisions than dumb ones for a change... let's make HIM an all star!" I'm sure that's what was going through your head when you made those ridiculous claims, and obviously you just forgot the "Wow, Kevin Garnett is still one of the top 3 or 4 most dominant and all around players in the league," statement. I forgive you, because I know you will never carry enough clought to actually turn your idiotic fantasies into realities, thus deeming you relatively harmless.

Here is a transcript of my email respone, with a link to the Daily Dime it was printed in.

Yes, Tim Legler, you were wrong. There is no way that Kevin Garnett should have been left off of the All-Star team. It should not matter how his team is doing because he is doing everything in his power to get them wins. Who's more valuable and more of an All-Star, the player that gets you 55-60 wins instead of 45-50 (a la the Spurs with and without Duncan) or a player that gets you 40-45 wins instead of 10-15 (a la the Wolves with and without Garnett)?
-- Ryan (Santa Barbara)


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Garnett a Controversial All-Star? If You're an Idiot.

I love (hate) all these experts that are saying Kevin Garnett did not deserve an all star spot. You'd think that the guys they let write for nationally published web sites would have some common sense, but instead, they really don't see the whole picture.

I've been trying to decipher why exactly Greg Anthony and Tim Legler, to name a couple, have said KG is undeserving this year. The best I can come up with... they are punishing for past greatness. That's the only thing that makes sense. It is clear that they are not basing it on this year alone, because The Big Ticket has still been producing better all around numbers than any forward in the West. An argument can be made for Elton Brand, and I suppose one for Shawn Marion, but I still think KG comes out on top. His assists have always been what sets him apart from the others, and even though his are down this year, they are still better than those of his fellow elite Western Conference forwards. His points are right around 22, despite taking fewer than 16 shots per game. Why, you ask? Because he is putting up an astounding 54% field goal percentage... as a guy who takes flak for shooting too many perimeter jumpers.

So it must be his past that is hurting him. He has been so dominant in recent years, that his play this year pales in comparison. Well let me ask you Greg Anthony... is Kevin Garnett competing for an all star spot against the likes of Shawn Marion and Carmelo Anthony, or is he competing against the Kevin Garnett of 2003-2004? 2004-2005?

He should not be penalized just because his numbers are slightly down. They are still better than nearly everyone elses.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

'Wolves Making Moves

As you've probably heard, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics have just completed a seven player trade. The primary players involved in this trade are Minnesota forward, Wally Szczerbiak and Boston guard-forward, Ricky Davis. The Celtics will also be receiving center Michael Olowokandi, rookie center Dwayne Jones, and a future first round draft pick. The Timberwolves will also be receiving center Mark Blount, point guard Marcus Banks, forward Justin Reed, and two second round draft pick.

The 'Wolves also traded Nikoloz Tskitishvili to the Phoenix Suns for a second round pick.


After years of speculation, the 'Wolves have finally moved the chic styles (and sharp shooting) of Wally Szczerbiak.


Analysis


Well, initially I was very confused by this trade. Wally Szczerbiak is mor of a Timberwolf than anyone on earth not named Kevin Garnett. He's been there since 1999, and like him or hate him, we've all come to know him as a 'Wolf. Now he is no longer. After thinking it over, I've decided that this is a good trade for the Wolves. The way I see it, Davis is slightly better than Wally and Blount is slightly better than Olowokandi. We certainly just lost some shooting and rebounding, but in Davis, the Wolves have acquired the all-around, slasher type player that they need. He opened this season on fire, but has cooled off dramatically... basically the opposite of Wally World. Hopefully the chance to play with Kevin Garnett will get Davis alive, juiced, and ready to put up those 20-6-6 numbers that we were seeing in November.


The 'Wolves acquired an athletic, but historically volatile player, in Ricky Davis.


Blount and Olowokandi... eh, they're both overpaid, undertalented centers that are a waste of space. The Wolves lost the opprotunity to dump Kandi's contract after this year and picked up a bloated one in Blount, but they saved money in the Wally-Davis exchange. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wolves trade Blount at seasons end if he does anything at all resembling his '03-'04 season in the second half of this year.

I'm not too sure why the Wolves got Marcus Banks. They already have three point guards with clearly defined roles. If anything else, it could be because Banks' $2 million contract expires after this season.

I don't know anything about Justin Reed other than he is a 6'8", 240 pounder who only averages 1 rebound every 13 minutes. Great.... our rebounding just got worse.

The draft picks are interesting. It seems like Kevin McHale has become so accustomed to not having first round picks, that he has decided to just trade them away from now on. Or maybe he is dumping them because if he doesn't have a first round pick, there's no way he can get blamed for making a bad first round pick. I have a feeling that was his thought process behind it. So yeah, the Wolves have now lost a first rounder to the Clippers (Cassell trade) and to the Celtics. We do have plenty of second rounders, however, which McHale can use on guys like Rick Rickert and Blake Stepp. I'm psyched.

In the end, I'm happy about this if for no other reason than SOMETHING NEEDED TO BE DONE. I don't know if the Wolves improved upon their talent, but they took the plunge and made a move. At least we know they're trying... somewhat. Who knows, maybe the high-energy play of Ricky Davis will rejuvinate Kevin Garnett. Maybe the chance to play with a dominant power forward will allow Mark Blount to blossom into a crappy player instead of an extremely crappy player. Maybe Marcus Banks will actually become a point guard and the Wolves can trade Troy Hudson for LeBron James.... just maybe.

Note: Timberwolves host Boston on Monday. It'll be weird, but interesting to see Wally in the Target Center in an opposing uniform.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All-Star Special

Various sites around the web have began publishing their picks for the 2006 NBA All Star game, so I figure I'll follow suit. So here it is, the Kevin Garnett Source All Star Special.

Celebrity All Star Game
who I'd like to see...


First of all, I really don't give a shit. But if I had my way, the teams would looks like this:

Hollywood's Heroes

Paris Hilton
Ashlee Simpson
Lindsay Lohan
Mary Kate Olson
Ashley Olson

reserves:

Britney Spears
Jessica Simpson
Hillary Duff
Terry Bradshaw




















Unfortunately, there is no lip-syncing in basketball.


Mamma Said Knock You Out
Imagine Spiderman catchin' alley-oops from Vince Young.


Randy Moss
Torii Hunter
Julius Peppers
Tony Gonzales
Antonio Gates



Tony's basketball past should serve him well in the Celebrity All Star Game.


reserves:
Michael Vick
LaDainian Tomlinson
Vince Young
Reggie Bush
Jessica Alba


The teams seem pretty even to me. Both are made up of a mixture of ex-or active professional athlete celebrities and Hollywood celebrities.

Okay... so basically, I just want to see the likes of Paris Hilton and Ashlee Simpson get completely and utterly obliterated. I don't like them, I don't think they're celebrities, and I hope one of Antonio Gates' feet 'accidentally' land on Paris Hilton's dog... because you know it would be on their bench.



With all the moves Reggie shows on the field, you know he'd be special on the court.


Okay... so basically, I just want to see the likes of Paris Hilton and Ashlee Simpson get completely and utterly obliterated. I don't like them, I don't think they're celebrities, and I hope one of Antonio Gates' feet 'accidentally' land on Paris Hilton's dog... because you know it would be on their bench.

Predicted score (40 minute game, running clock):

Mamma Said Knock You Out - 320
Hollywood's Heroes - 3 (on a Terry Bradshaw hail mary at the buzzer)

















Mrs. Alba-Kinkade would likely be the X-factor for her team.




3-Point Shooting Contest


Participants I'd like to see

Ray Allen
Dirk Nowitzki
Wally Szczerbiak
Kyle Korver
Chauncey Billups
Michael Redd

What's a three point contest without Ray-Ray's smooth stroke?


Slam Dunk Contest

Participants I'd like to see

Josh Smith
LeBron James
JR Smith
Tony Allen
Vince Carter
Kobe Bryant
Tracy McGrady
Desmond Mason
With dunks like these, it's not hard to image a repeat for J-Smooth.

All Star Game

Western Conference Starters

G - Steve Nash
G - Kobe Bryant
F - Kevin Garnett
F - Elton Brand
C - Tim Duncan

Okay, first of all, I know Tim Duncan is not eligible to start at center. But something needs to be done to allow this. With Yao and Marcus Camby both hurt, there is no deserving starting center on the Western Conference ballot. With current voting, it appears the the Western Conference front line will be Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan, and Mehmet Okur. Repeat... Mehmet Okur. Now, does Okur deserve to be an all star? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say yes. But does he deserve to be a starter? Hell freakin' no. Are you telling me the NBA can't step in move Tim Duncan to center and allow KG, Brand, or Dirk the other starting forward spot?

The other positions are pretty clear. Nash is the best point guard in the game. Even though I hate Kobe, I won't deny his talent or the fact that he will be starting in this game whether I like it or not. Brand and Garnett have been the two best forwards in basketball, with Duncan, The Matrix, and Dirk close behind.

West Reserves

Dirk Nowitski
Shawn Marion
Tony Parker
Carmelo Anthony
Ray Allen
Brad Miller
Baron Davis

Close, bu no cigar

Jason Richardson
Pau Gasol
Tracy McGrady
Rashard Lewis
Chris Paul
Mehmet Okur


Eastern Conference Starters

G - Allen Iverson
G - Dwyane Wade
F - LeBron James
F - Chris Bosh
C - Ben Walace

I wanted to put Paul Pierce at the 2nd forward spot in front of Chris Bosh simply because a front line of Brand, KG, and Duncan would abuse James, Pierce, and Wallace. Pierce and Bosh were close, so I went with Bosh simply for the size. I don't think there are really any other arguments about who should be starting for the East.

East Reserves

Chauncey Billups
Rip Hamilton
Paul Pierce
Vince Carter
Gilbert Arenas
Shaquille O'neal
Jermaine O'neal

Yeah, so I put three Pistons on the team. They deserve it. I had half the mind to put Rasheed on there too, he is, after all, the best fantasy center in the NBA so far this year. Nevertheless, three was the most I wanted from any one team.

Close, but no cigar

Rasheed Wallace
Jason Kidd
Brevin Knight
Michael Redd
Chris Webber
Antawn Jamison
Dwight Howard

Monday, January 16, 2006

Garnett On Fire

If Kevin Garnett seemed sluggish on defense and rebounding early in the season, he seems to have livened up as of late. In his past 3 games (all Timberwolves wins) The Big Ticket has averaged 27.67 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and is shooting a jaw-dropping 70% from the field. He's also had a double-double in 11 straight games. The KG we all know and love is returning.

Also, he only needs 3 rebounds to reach 9,000. That would give him over 16,000 points, 9,000 boards, and he is approaching 4,000 assists. Those are all around numbers that have been reached by few players in history.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Not Gone Yet

Yeah, I've pretty much sucked as far as keeping this up. It started with a rough finals schedule and continued with an extremely relaxed and apathetic-toward-basketball winter break. I'm back home in Santa Barbara now and should have much more time to keep this up. Timberwolves early season review forthcoming...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

All I Want For Christmas...

Is Paul Pierce in a Timberwolves uniform. This must happen. He solves just about every glaring problem the Timberwolves have. He's also about the only star that is rumored to be available through trades. I don't know what we would be giving up, but if the initals are something other than KG, then we have nothing to lose. How 'bout something like Kandi, Wally, and picks... or Kandi, Hudson, picks... or Kandi, Hudson, Wally for Pierce and Blount. Something... anything.

Today I reviewed some of the Timberwolves team stats. They are 2nd in FG% and 2nd in FG% defense. They're also 1st in turnovers forced and 5th in scoring defense. You'd think those are the stats of a great team..... BUT. They are near the bottom in rebounding (about all aspects of it) and free throw attempts. Paul Pierce leads his team in rebounding as a small forward. Paul Pierce gets to the free throw line. Paul Pierce can create his own shot and is reliable, unlike our current 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th,.....nth scoring options. I wish I could put a camera in McHales office and tap his phone line... because if he doesn't make a SERIOUS effort to try and get Pierce or someone good, he needs to be fired. I'm sure that they'll say "we were in contact with several teams and nothing could get worked out" if nothing in fact works out, but frankly I am skeptical and cynical enough to not believe a word that man says.

I want Paul Pierce in a 'Wolves uniform before February. I need Paul Pierce in a Wolves uniform before February. Kevin Garnett REALLY needs Paul Pierce in a Timberwolves uniform as soon as possible. I hope the Celtics take a serious dive starting now so that they still look to shop him around. In the end, however, I think KG and his fans are destined for more heartache and heartbreak. Somehow KG hit the jackpot in the genepool/head lottery, but can't get a break when it comes to situations.

P.S. Kobe is complete and utter trash. 33 shots and only 25 points with NO ASSISTS. You have to try to be that bad.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Garnett Trade Rumors Gone Wild

If you woke up today, chances are you saw something about Kevin Garnett being traded to someone by sometime. Well... I would really not be worried. Kevin Garnett is not going to get traded unless a team offers some SERIOUS talent in return, and the rumors I've heard so far do not meet such criteria. I don't want to fuel this fire anymore, so I'll leave it at this until something substantial comes.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Prediction: 11/19 - Charlotte Bobcats at Minnesota Timberwolves (-10)
Last game: incorrect
Season (4-4)

There has been a Kevin Garnett sighting. The Timberwolves beat the Wizards behind Kevin Garnett's 25 points, 14 rebounds (he had one that was credited to Hudson), and 9 assists. It's about time. He did, however, have to play the entire second half for the T-Wolves to be able to hang on, which is not good. They will have to start learning to play without him, because he cannot continue to play 41 minutes a game. D Case said before the season that he would limit the Big Ticket to somewhere around 35 or 36 minutes a game... something that is obviously easier said than done when your win-loss record is on the line. Overall, however, the Wolves played well against the Wiz. Gilbert Arenas was in a little zone for much of the game, but the Wolves were able to limit the rest of the team, aside from giving up a few easy dunks to Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas. Kevin Garnett was guarding Antawn Jamison most of the game, and held him to 12 points and 4 rebounds. Good signs...

Todays game is against the Bobcats, who just played last night in Indiana. This should mean an easy win for us, however, if you haven't noticed by now, nothing comes easy to the Minnesota Timberwolves. I expect Rashad McCants to get more minutes tonight, as there is no real offensive threat on the Bobcats that will require extended service from Trenton Hassell. I hope this team can jump out to a big halftime lead and atually maintain it through the 3rd quarter. I know they don't have another game for 4 days after this one, but I'd still like to see KG get some rest. In the end though, I think the Wolves will let the other team stay close... again. I think the Wolves will win, but 'Cats will cover.

Charlotte Bobcats (+10) over MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES... (MN) 95-87.

Home team in caps