T-Wolves -vs- Celtics (10.10.07)
I didn’t know if I was going to recap this game tonight or not… however, after watching the game with Bonk, I couldn’t help myself but bring back the "Musings of a Wolves Fan…" series by Yours Truly. This presentation is brought to you by DVR and my computer, god bless technology.
I’m not gonna lie, we didn’t look very good. With that said, it’s only our second pre-season game. It’s in London. We are playing the paper champion Boston Celtics. I didn’t expect us to dominate. Being that this was our second game, with a team composed of a plethora of new players, I’m not going to delve too deep into what we did wrong or focus solely on the negatives. We’ve still got more than half a month of training camp to work out the kinks, establish a set rotation and pecking order, cut some guys, make trades, find a new coach, etc. (Yes, I am aware this team has a long ways to go.) Am I confident in our Front Office and Coach Wittman’s ability to ready this cluster**** of a roster into a cohesive unit come November 2nd? I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to get back to you on that. We’ll keep this "Musings" on the lighter side, there’s still an entire season left for spewing negativity. Don’t get me wrong, I like most of our roster and I think we’ve got great potential… I just hope that our Front Office, coaching staff, and the players can eventually put it all together at some point.
Click "Read More…" for thoughts and analysis.
– My first thought was, wow… the new look Celtics sure look pretty darn good. The green sure seems to suit KG and Ray Allen quite well. I heard Paul Pierce lost about 15 pounds this summer. I’m not so sure, he looked to be packing some neck fat.
– KG’s first trip to the free throw line goes something like this. Misses the shot and is denied fist pounds by Rondo and Perkins. Uh-oh. That’s not something I’d ever do. Gotta stay on his good side. If I was on the Celtics, I’d go out of my way to give KG pounds. "Hey Kevin, can I carry your luggage? How about a fist pound? Where you eating tonight? Want another fist pound? You played awesome again. Let’s do a double pound this time…" Rondo and Perkins will learn.
– Is Coach Doc "Glen" Rivers going to play his "Big 3" the entire first quarter? My god. It’s the second pre-season game! You should be thinking championship, not trying to impress the Brits. A graphic flashed on the screen showing that the "Big 3" all played like 33 or so minutes the FIRST pre-season game. WHAT?!?! No one on the Raptors (their opponent) played more than 24 minutes. My lord.
– Nope, looks like Ray Allen got a break. Pierce and KG get a 12 second rest before the end of the first quarter. I was hoping they’d stay in.
– Ricky Davis had 18 points in the first half, 16 in the first quarter I believe. He didn’t play much of the second quarter at all. Contract year!
– Does McCants ever not complain? He’s complaining to the ref after a terrible drive, thinking he got fouled. In reality, he’s too slow and seems to have lost his lift. He wasn’t fouled, yet complains to the ref about it instead of running back to play defense. This will happen more than once over the course of the game. Also, note his displeasure whenever a defensive foul is called against him. "What? Me? How can you call a foul on me when I wasn’t even playing defense in the first place!"
– WHERE is the Big Al post up? Did it get lost between the cushions? Shouldn’t he be one of the primary focuses of our offense? Not much went through him in the first half. It’s not Jefferson’s fault. Our players either can’t make an entry pass or Wittman just isn’t drawing up plays for him. ‘Tis a shame.
– I sure hope that Foye can live up to his self proclaimed "leader of this team" statement. Our "leader" went from KG (last season), to a point guard that isn’t really a point guard (this season.) Maybe he’s hurt… I dunno. I guess some websites are saying he’s got "knee tendonitis", which seems to me another excuse for "I’m tired, London sucks, let’s go home." In all seriousness, I saw more stagnant offense, bad shot selection, and errant passes. All stuff I was worried about last season. I hope he can pull it together. Our only other point guard is "New York point GOD" Sebastion Telfair. Gulp.
– Just a little more griping, be patient. Does McCants ever even move when he doesn’t have the ball? I don’t think so. Does he really do anything out there? Oh wait… He can shoot, he can drive, he can stand around an NBA three-point line clapping for the ball, and he can stand around a college three-point line. Far too much standing around. I could go out there and stand and clap for 1/100th of the cost. It’s beyond frustrating. He’s terrible. In case anyone new is reading this, yes, I am very "anti-McCants." I’m sorry, I just don’t see it. Please don’t play him over Brewer or Gerald Green this season. I know GG is a volume shooter and has a low basketball IQ, I don’t care. He is MUCH more athletic than McCants and his upside is through the roof. I’d take him any day of the week over an undersized SG (McCants) that is slow and has lost his explosiveness.
– Overall Marko played decent out there. Not great, but decent. One thing that boggled my mind was that he was playing point guard. Didn’t our Front Office learn from that failed experiment two seasons ago? I guess not. I liked when he tried to post up Rondo though, before the ball was hit away.
– The Celtics had some great team ball movement at times. KG and Perkins are two solid passing big men. Well, KG is awesome and Perkins is serviceable, which averages them out to "solid" as a pair.
– The Ryan Gomes mancrush is on like donkey kong. Well, it has actually been "on" for quite some time now… The rest of the free world will slowly but surely find out about how great Gomes truly is, which is what I’ve been saying for quite a while now. Fans will be pleasantly surprised.
– Brewer looked overwhelmed. Kinda "deer-in-headlights" overwhelmed. Just give him some time, I think he’ll be alright. He needs to get used to the speed of the NBA game, as well as bulk up his body. He won’t be playing huge minutes right off the bat, but he will be a pretty good player eventually. Plus… how can you not love his baby fro?
– Theo Ratliff looked (surprisingly) very good out there. I’d be ecstatic if Ratliff, Madsen, and Chris Richard could hold down the center position so that we never had to play Blount again. Unfortunately, the "over/under" for the remaining number of games until Ratliff suffers a season ending injury is only 5.5 games.
– That announcing team was awful. Hubie Brown, you need to hang it up. With 3:08 left in the 2nd quarter, Ray Allen nails a smooth jumper off a sweet pass from KG to Rondo cutting underneath the basket, and then from Rondo to Allen on the wing. Both announcers rave about the "great shot by Rondo." Huh? That was clearly Ray Allen. They are both now talking about "Rondo" and how he has improved his jump shooting this offseason and blah blah blah. A replay is shown. The non Hubie Brown announcer says, "that last shot by Rondo…" and I’m thinking to myself, ok, they will correct themselves now. Nope, they go on to talk about "Rondo’s" shot. Are you serious? Even after watching a replay they thought Ray Allen was Rondo? Huh?!?! Idiots.
50-43 Celtics lead. The Wolves have 11 turnovers to the Celtics 6, which is too many for the good guys. The Celtics are shooting 53% to the Wolves 38%! Wow, if these numbers hold up it could be a long season. N o t good.
We learn from a halftime feature about KG, Pierce, and Ray Allen, that KG is calling the Celtics "Big 3" the "Ceatles." That’s right, the "Ceatles." Like, the famous band the "Beatles", except with a ‘C’. Because of the "Celtics." Get it? Now sure that one should stick. Oh boy.
– The second half wasn’t too exciting to tell you the truth. The game was getting pretty sloppy at this point and lots of mistakes were made by both teams. An interesting note is that Foye didn’t play the second half. Injured? I have no idea.
– Hubie Brown continued to display a callous disregard for the English language. That man just loves to hear himself speak in the 2nd person. Honestly, it’s amazing. And hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, we thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonder… is that how he casually talks to friends or groups of people in everyday conversation? My guess would be yes. "You gotta pass that ball when you are double teamed, if you don’t you, will get stuck with it and you will make a bad decision or force a turnover. You just can’t do that when you are out there on the court or you won’t be playing." – Hubie Brown, in-game announcing while analyzing a replay. No Hubie… no, I don’t need to worry about that. Know why? Because I am not out there on the court. I am watching this game from the comfort of my couch.
– Also, from here on out, every time you hear Hubie Brown announce a game, you will now recognize this glaring deficiency nearly every time he speaks. My bet is that you’ll love it and embrace it as much as Bonk and I do.
– More Hubie Brown fun. As per "Hubie the walking quote machine," here are some of the players that were at tonight’s game: "Ricky Green" (Ricky Davis), "Mark BlOWWnt" (Mark Blount), "Kevin Durant" (KG), "Marko JARic" (Marko Jaric), and Ray Allen mind-bendingly transformed into "Rajon Rondo." Amazing.
– Good to see that the stadium phenomenon, "The Wave", finally crossed the pond. Only 20-something years too late. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, however.
– Mark Blount: DNP. There is a god!!!