Thursday Howls- 11.12.15

by Schweebs

The latest on Wiggins and Rubio is not reassuring (via the Star-Tribune):

“The Minnesota Timberwolves could have Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio back for Thursday night's game against the Golden State Warriors. Wiggins said at the morning shootaround at Target Center that he expects to play after missing Tuesday's 104-95 loss to the Charlotte Hornets with a sore right knee.

‘I think I probably hyper-extended it, maybe on the way down (against Atlanta),’ he said. ‘I'm hoping to play.’ Rubio said he's still sore and will be a game-time decision with a mild left hamstring strain. He also missed Tuesday's game with knee soreness.”

David Naylor gives a blueprint for victory tonight:

“This will be a true test of one of the early season small sample size stats for the Wolves: their opponents are only shooting 30.6% from 3, good for third best in the league (number one? Golden State). Keeping the Warriors from easy, open looks at three is one of the only ways to keep the game close against them. If the Wolves can stay within ten points of the Warriors, anything is possible at the end of the game.

Second, the Wolves will have to have a balanced attack on offense. Using that January 2014 victory as a template, the Wolves had three players with over 20 points: Kevin Martin, Kevin Love, and Nikola Pekovic. In the present, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Martin, Rubio, and even Zach LaVine off the bench will need to be effective offensively and score at least in double figures.

If the above things happen and the Wolves are within reach at the end of the game, their other calling card will be put to the test: their suffocating defense at the end of games. In clutch situations (as defined by NBA.com/stats), the Wolves are holding opponents to a completely ridiculous 19.7 eFG%, almost a full ten percent better than any other team in the league. The 9-0 overtime against Chicago and 11-0 run to finish the Atlanta game will need to be replicated to finish off a win to shock the entire NBA world.”

From the AP:

“Following an NBA-worst 16-66 finish last season, Minnesota has won at Denver, Chicago and Atlanta as part of a 4-0 road start that's the franchise's best since the 2001-02 season. However, things haven't gone as well at home. The Timberwolves (4-3) have dropped their first three contests there for the first time since an 0-10 start in 1994-95. ‘I'm pleased with all our young guys because this is a hard business to be in when you're so young,’ coach Sam Mitchell said. ‘But to their credit, they're growing up fast.’”

Todaysfastbreak.com on Towns (aka Duncan with a handle and a 3-point shot):

“Can he handle the ball with his left hand? Does he have some kind of change-of-direction move? Can he spend enough time in the weight room to add strength to his core and lower body? Can he develop into being more than a floating, shooting, dive-cutting, sky-jumping, shot-blocking powerless forward?

As the season progresses, his decision-making in help situations will greatly improve—as will his endurance if he doesn’t hit the rookie wall too forcefully.

Given his incredible athleticism, his sweet shot, his work ethic, his quickness (laterally, off the floorboards, and running the court)—there’s no reason Karl-Anthony Towns shouldn’t be a legitimate All-Star in the 2017-18 season.”

Great Write-up on Andrew Wiggins (aka the Future of the NBA) over at ESPN.com:

“For Wiggins to succeed… the Timberwolves must be careful how they deploy him. Last season, with Minnesota racked by injuries, Wiggins played all 82 games and finished second in the league in total minutes. By the end of the year, he was gassed. After shooting 37 percent from deep over the first three months of the season, Wiggins hit just 17 percent over the season's final three months.”

“Whether the team falls out of the playoff race or not, the good news is this: the Timberwolves, who haven't made the postseason since 2004, the longest playoff drought in the league, have one of the NBA's best collections of young talent. In addition to Wiggins, the Wolves' core includes 2015 top pick Karl-Anthony Towns, guards Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine, as well as third-year players Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. Finally, there is reason again to be excited about basketball in Minnesota.” (emphasis added)

The FearTheSwordSBN podcast discusses Wiggins, his career, his ceiling and more. Terrible title though (“Is Andrew Wiggins any good?”):

 

DO NOT watch this tribute to Flip unless you’re prepared to ball:

 

Howls need some work? Practice right here:


I’m gonna spare us the omnipresent Warriors knob-slobbery going around the basketball media world. We get it… they’re good. Let’s win this one for Flip, guys. AHHHWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!