AlKings

Musings of a Wolves Fan… (11/7/08)

Musings of a Wolves Fan (11.7.08)
vs. Sacramento Kings

Season Record: 1-4

Wolves 109 – Sacramento Kings 121

Hmm.

You can take anything positive that I wrote in my first “Musings” recap (season opener vs. the Kings) and pretty much turn it on its side.  By and large, the Wolves looked putrid en route to losing their fourth straight game.  I am pretty sure I blabbered on about beating teams like the Kings is something we must do if we ever seriously plan on being title contenders.  Well, we failed miserably.  If we can’t beat the sucktastic up-and-coming Kings, it’s going to be a long season.  It shouldn’t even matter that this game was on the road, as teams like the Kings are “must wins.”  I humbly rescind my pre-season prediction of 34 wins.  I know it’s early and all, but if things don’t start turning around quickly, I don’t see how we can even hope to win triple ten.  I’m not sure what anyone would really want to hear about this from me?  Was it a “good” game? Ehhh, not really.  We were behind from the get go and never really made a serious effort to narrow the 10-pointish deficit that faced us for most of the game.  There is zero excuse for giving up at least 26 effing points per quarter to any team, let alone the boring azz Kings.  That’s just sad, pathetic defense and a lack of effort from everyone.  Long story short, we lost a game (again) that most people would think we could win, and looked horrible doing so.  You know it’s really sad when Kevin Love was probably the biggest bright spot of the night.  That’s not a knock on him, but rather the rest of our team.

Please click “Read More” for further thoughts and analysis…
- Sometimes it’s incredibly depressing/painful/ridiculous a bit hard to do these recaps at 1AM after such a horrific loss, but I’ll do my best for ya’ll.  We’ve got a good Wolves community here on TWolvesblog, and not everyone can always catch the games, so I feel like my incredibly witty and articulate prose at least serves some purpose to enlighten others.  Or I could be horribly, horribly wrong.  I’ll let you decide for yourself.  Before the game, it was nigh impossible to predict the winner because both teams would be starting two white guys.  KLove and Mike Miller for the Wolves, against Beno Udrih and Brad Miller for the Kings.  Everyone should know by now that the team which starts fewer white guys will usually win.  It’s quite a gimmicky and possibly immature observation trend.  Believe me.

- What really cost us this win?  I’d say terribly inept coaching, along with some mind-numbingly absurd rotations.  Our bench killed us.  But then again, what do you expect when two of our better bench players (Kevin Love and Sebastion Telfair) were moved into the starting rotation tonight?  I guess in that regard, it was one of the (very) few things that Coach (Dim)Wittman has done right this season.  He finally benched Randy Foye as our starting point guard, as it’s incredibly obvious to everyone except the 601 Country Club that Foye just won’t cut it as an NBA caliber starting PG.  With that said, Wittman doesn’t have many bullets left in the chamber if the Wolves don’t start winning soon.  He’s already given his uninspiring motivational and highly rousing speeches/sound bites, and just shook up the starting rotation by inserting Telfair and Love.  What else can he do at this point (well, besides learn how to actually coach, but that’s pretty much out of the question.)  He is a career .333 winning percentage coach, and I’d assume its only a short matter of time until he’s sent packing… unless things get drastically better drastically quick.  I drastically don’t see that happening.  And yes I drastically am repeating the word drastically an inordinate amount of times on purpose.  My only options to release my frustrations at this point are stabbing myself in the eye with a rusty fork or venting in this game recap article.  And I like being able to see.  So there.

- For anyone that cares, Brad Miller was back from his five game league mandated suspension.  I’m not sure what drugs it was that he took, but I just can’t see him as someone that would take steroids. My guess is the reefer… or perhaps PCP.  Maybe PCP laced with cyanide.  He started instead of Spencer “Grown Man” Hawes.  Either way, the Kings would have still had two white guys in the starting rotation, so Miller starting didn’t affect the outcome of the game.

- I know that no one cares about this, but Kevin Martin is no longer on my Western Conference Only Auction Keeper League Fantasy Basketball Team.  I traded him this week for Allen Iverson.  Was it a good move?  I think so.  Then again, KMart had a somewhat “off” night while dropping 26 points, 5 boards, 6 assists, and 6 free throws in 40 minutes of action.  On the positive side, he was 9 of 23 from the field, so I won’t miss the volume shooting aspect of his game.  But man, he sure is starting to get some sick calls in his favor.  I bet you don’t know this, but last year he led the entire league in made free throws per game with 8.2.  I don’t see that slowing down this season with some of the calls he’s getting.  And for anyone that is wondering, NO, I can’t keep Iverson on my team for the next season since it’s a Western Conference Only league and he was traded to the East. I need to free up the Auction dollars anyways since I’ll be keeping Big Al, Durant, Thornton, BRoy, and maybe T-Mac.

- Our friendly neighborhood stumblebums television announcers (Hanney and Jim Pete) informed me that the Kings were last in the league in turnovers so far this season.  The Wolves and Kings both only had 10 turnovers, so I guess that’s a moral victory of sorts for both teams.

- John Salmons looks like the rapper Tech N9ne without a headband on.  This is not an insult.  It is respekt.

- No disrespect to KLove and his solid skills and all-around game, but man he has really flabby old man arms.  What is up with the lack of muscle definition?  Is that too much to ask?  It’s weird seeing them jiggle when he runs, especially since he’s only 20 years old.  There is not even any unintentional comedy to be found here.  Just horror.

- I don’t have stats on this and don’t care about looking it up since it’s almost 2 A.M., but it seems like the Wolves have been getting out rebounded this year in the games I’ve watched.  We were a pretty good rebounding team last year, so what gives?  I just checked the boxscore and we were indeed outrebounded tonight, albeit only by 2 boards.  Ok, so maybe I am just hallucinating.
- As I already mentioned, the first quarter was a terrible display of defense, as the Wolves gave up 36 points to the almighty Kings of Sacramento.  Let’s just crown their asses already I guess.
- At some point in the second quarter, the Wolves “big men” were Ryan Gomes and the Rhino Craig Smith.  You don’t need a PH.D in basketball to know that this will never, ever, ever, bever, sever, never work.  Never.  You don’t even need to be 10 years old to know this is a bad idea.  In fact, CW Jr. started crying when he saw the lineup of Gomes, Smith, McFoye, and I think it was Telfair.  He’s only 8 months old and already knows the difference between good (not this lineup) and evil (this lineup.)  I mean, who guards anyone on the other team over 6’8″?  Who guards anyone on the perimeter?  For that matter, who guards anyone at all?  Gomes and Telfair are servicable defenders in a team situation with other solid defenders, but these five guys playing together is the Hinderburg Blimp of horrible defense.  Ok, I’m going to stop trying to analyze this before I have an aneurysm.

- Our wonderful television commentator (Tom Hanneman) called the Kings Brad Miller “Mike Miller” at least three times.  I was going to make a mean joke about this but then I realized they are both white and look like they live in a trailer park.  I guess I could see how he would repeatedly mistake them.

- The attendance was downright pitiful “sparse” to put it nicely.  It looked like a crowd that you would see at a Wolves pre-season game. The official listed attendance was 10,592, but I almost think you could almost cut that number in half.  At times you could hear individual fans yelling comments to specific players/coaches/referees.  It was bad.  My favorite comment clearly overheard on the TV broadcast was to one of the refs: “C’mon Phil get your head out of your butt!”  I laughed.  CW Jr. cried some more.

- We are still not playing any much defense, as the Kings have 62 points at halftime.

- What does Craig Smith do for us?  Why is he here?  Why did we re-sign him?  He played 14 minutes, went 1 of 4 from the field with 8 points, and had 2 turnovers and 4 fouls.  And he can’t guard people bigger than him which is 87% of the league, and 99% of all “big men.”  Again, I use that term loosely.  Unfortunately if I didn’t have such a ginormous and irrational mancrush was objective, I could say the exact same thing about my boy Ryan Gomes.  I won’t list Gomes’ stat line because it was bad.  Still, I’d rather have him over Craig Smith.  At least he’s a legit 6’8″ (compared to 6’6″ tops for Smith.)  Also, Gomes has a higher basketball IQ and not all the refs hate him, as Craig Smith can’t get a foul call to go his way if his life depends on it.  Seriously, if he was lying on the floor with a ruptured spleen and bleeding profusely from every orifice; and the only thing that could save his life was shooting two free throws, the refs would still call him for a charge.
- Ok, it’s true.  Gomes has pretty much stunk so far this year.  I will admit it.  I know he can turn it around, but it might not be easy playing with reserves like Smith, McFoye, Cardinal, Ollie, etc, etc, etc.  To be honest, it’s not his fault that he is stuck guarding PF’s.  The coaching staff/Front Office assembled this cluster @$#! of a roster and it has multiple players playing out of position.  Oy Vey!

- Foye played “better” off the bench, but comparing that to his previous four games is like saying he’s the least blind man on an island full of people with no eyes.  I don’t see how he could play worse than he did so far this season.  Anyways, I guess it is not all Foye’s fault that the front office is infatuated with him and basically tried to force him to be our PG of the Future.  That’s a lot of weight on his shoulders.  Especially after they traded Brandon Roy (the fuc…?) to get him on draft night.  The shorter Randy played 26 minutes while going 4 of 8 from the field for 11 points, 4 assists and only 1 turnover.  He didn’t play a ton of PG and that’s good, because he sucks at it.  I could live with him coming off the bench as the backup PG, but preferrably I think I would have him in a SG/Instant offense role.  Oh wait, that’s what Rashad McCants is supposed to do.  Therein lies the conundrum of drafting these two players in consecutive drafts.  Both are reserves, and both are undersized guards.  The more I think about it, I think I would be most happy if we just traded them both.  For anything.

- I’ll admit that it’s probably a bit unfair to lump the stats of Foye with McCants for this game, but then again, there is a reason that I call them “McFoye.”  Tonight McFoye was 6 of 17 from the field for 19 points and 5 assists.  BUT, McFoye only had 1 combined turnover and foul!  Holy Schmoley, I didn’t know the latter of that stat line was even possible.  Color me impressed slightly intrigued.  The Rashad part of McFoye really sucked though tonight.  Like really.  I couldn’t take him hoisting up anymore bricks.  When he’s off, which is a lot of the time, it’s brutal to watch.
- Now seems like a good time to mention that Sebastian Telfair played awesome as our starting PG.  Finally, that’s what I’ve been waiting for.  He can run the offense and facilitate plays like Foye is just incapable of doing.  Heck, he was even finishing lay-ups tonight, which he was much aligned for missing last season.  The final stat line was 5 of 12 from the field for 15 points, 7 assists and zero turnovers.  Hell yeah I can live with that.
- Third quarter defense check.  Nope.  Still nowhere to be found.  30 more points for the Kings.
- On the bright side for any fans of the boring to watch Kings, Beno Udrih looked much better tonight than he did in the season opener.  He had 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting, but only 1 assist (and only 1 turnover!)  Too bad the Wolves cut him 3.6 seconds after acquiring him last year, as I do think he could help us.  But… not for $40 million.
- Big Al was forcing a lot of bad shots tonight.  That’s not good for our chances.  He went 6 of 14 from the field for only 14 points and 9 boards.  It was his first single-double of the season too.  I was sad because I was hoping he could notch a double-double in all 82 games this year.  Ahhhh, the disappointment of heightened expectations.

- Whoa.  Brian Cardinal sighting.  A Janitor sighting does not bode well for the chances of increasing the win column.

- Kevin Ollie and Rodney Carney also played.  If you will call it that I guess.  They both did have 7 points in very limited minutes, so I suppose I should be nice.  The joys of a coach that believes in 12 man rotations.
- I didn’t even notice that Corey Brewer was 0 of 5 from the field until just now.  Unfortunately he is one of our starters.  Ha.  No really though, I didn’t notice and that’s not such a bad thing.  I am could be crazy, but I thought he played well all things considered. I am must be delusional though thinking he played well, because I now see he also had only 1 rebound and 3 assists in 19 minutes.  Hmmm.  I thought he hustled, played good D, and had some nice passes.  Let’s just move on.
- When did Tech N9ne Salmons get so good at the game of basketball?  He killed us again and it didn’t really even seem like he had to try that hard.  9 of 15 from the field for 23 points and a smattering of other intangibles.  I wish I had him on my WCOAKFBT.
- Meeeeeeeki Moore had 12 points again.  I really can’t explain how he ever scores more than 4 in any given game.  He looks more frail than a terminally malnourished child.
- Kevin Love played good.  I know it’s funny, but he truly did.  He was probably our best overall player out there tonight.  I think it’s a bit early to proclaim him one of the best overall players on the team (don’t laugh, people are doing it!), but I can’t really rip him tonight.  If it wasn’t for his efforts, this would have been even more of a blowout.  It’s amazing how much better our offense runs when he’s on the court compared to when he’s not.  He dropped 20 and 8 on 6 of 7 shooting in 30 minutes.  He did have 3 turnovers and 5 fouls, but again, he’s only 20 years old.  If I was playing in the NBA at 20 years old, I would have probably had 33 turnovers, 6 fouls, 0 points, 0 assists, maybe 1 rebound, and 0 everything else. The most amazing thing is that we never have to run plays for him.  He just scores by being in the right place and getting timely rebounds.  Plus he can his a jumper for the most part.  Yeah, he’s stiff and runs slightly awkwardly, but there is hope for this kid.  His D is sometimes bad and sometimes surprisingly good.  He bit on a few pump fakes tonight which got him horribly out of position and usually resulted in a foul and and trip to the line for the enemies, but overall, he freakin played well.  I will now go eat crow.
- Brad Miller came back and dropped 11 and 10 for a double-double.  For as bad as we played tonight, they would have still beaten us soundly without him.  I like that Hawes kid, I’m not gonna lie.  Spencer (haha) had 13 and 8 on 5 of 9 shooting from the field in only 22 minutes.  Like I said in last week’s recap, I never would have imagined this guy to be a good NBA big man.  I never saw it coming.
- Blah blah blah, the rest of the Kings team is sucky and boring to talk about.  Jason Thompson is back to being somebody that 99% of casual NBA fans will not know (like before he ripped it up against the Wolves in the season opener.)  He had 2 points and 2 boards tonight in only 11 minutes.  He shouldn’t get a whole lot of burn with Miller, Hawes, and Meeeeeki playing the primary minutes at C/PF.
- As far as interesting statistics go, that’s about it.  For players of significance, Kevin Love and Big Al had plus/minus ratings of 0, which would actually be considered good from a game like tonight’s.  Craig Smith and the Rashad part of McFoye led the charge of futility with minus 16, and minus 14, respectively.  Kevin Martin and Spencer led the Kings at +20 and +15… while poor Bobby Jackson missed out on all the fun by posting a -4.
- Feel free to check out (and hopefully participate in) further discussion in the Game Thread in our very own TWolvesBlog forums.

CW

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