Monday, January 08, 2007

**WARNING** Sports related content to follow

Since most of you get the whole of your sports "news" from me, I feel it is my obligation to update you on our favorite team.

I hesitate to write this, as I do not want to jinx them so close to a very hard stretch in the schedule, but here goes:

The Timberwolves are starting to play quality basketball.

There, don't you feel better after reading that. Our squad has won seven of the last nine games, including big wins over San Antonio, Houston, and Chicago. And EVERYONE is contributing.

Now, I went on record as saying the trade of Olowokandi for Blount was going to be a wash. "Sure," says I, "Blount can score more, but he rebounds like a girl, and doesn't defend." Well, the "girl" he rebounds like must be Candice Parker, because Mark Blount has been amazing. In his past four starts he is averaging 21.5 points and 7.8 boards, good for second on the team in both areas (behind KG, of course). He is also swatting 1.3 shots, and managing to turn the ball over only .8 times a game.

Randy Foye must be drinking the same stuff Blount is, because he is having a great post-AI-trade-rumors. Since the Allen Iverson trade, Foye is good for 11 points, four boards, and almost four assists, including the first assist-points double double of the year for the Wolves. All this in 27 minutes off the bench, even though he is outperforming starter Mike James.

And Kevin Garnett is, well, Kevin Garnett. In the four game win span, Garnett is going silly-wild with 27.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, looking like the KG of old. He also went ahead and put in a game winner against Philadelphia in OT, and has not snatched less than 13 boards.

And, I guess, I should mention Ricky "get buckets" Davis. Honestly, he is an upgrade from Wally "doesn't look up when he dribbles" Szczerbiak, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. He is less of a defensive liability, passes better, rebounds better, and has a better nickname (even if I DID give Wally his, just now). So what if he doesn;t shoot the three ball as well. Really, we need to be a running team anyway. And boy, can Ricky run. Did you see that dunk in the open court against Houston? I did. It was over Finger waggin Mutumbo, who just celebrated his 111th birthday (really, he is 40). But ricky is putting in more than 16 points, five boards and four and a half dimes a game. He is also getting a steal and a half for us, most of which result in a nice run out.

All this means the team is meshing a bit more. Really, the potential has been there, and I hope this is a sign that things are on the up swing.

My concerns, though, are that those guys are playing A TON of minutes, and will wear down. The last three games have been OT wins. And we STILL gave back a lead in the fourth, and needed the extra 5, to stop Houston.

Still, 7 of 9 and four in a row is nothing to laugh at. The team has been showing a lot more "team" and a lot less "I", and it is paying off.

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