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  1. #871

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    what a comeback! this team is fun to watch sans jimmy.


  2. #872
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go4 View Post
    what a comeback! this team is fun to watch sans jimmy.
    Big time.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  3. #873

    Default 3-pointers: Takeaways from Rockets' loss to Timberwolves - Houston Chronicle

    Here's the one that matters to Wolves fans:

    3. Butler is gone, and that's OK

    The Timberwolves were screaming at each other, Karl-Anthony Towns said. This was a good thing. This was very different from how things were weeks ago when Jimmy Butler did the shouting and others had reached the point they tuned them out.

    The Wolves' determination on Monday when down 19 might have shown how things have changed. The focus has gone to Butler and the 76ers. That was fair. He has made that team better, won games as a star closer. But the Timberwolves are better, too. Monday was a great example.

    They were fractured before the trade. They came together when challenged on Monday. They had traded a top defensive player, but they got a defensive star back. Robert Covington was sensational on Monday, particularly when he swarmed in to twice force jump balls he won as the Wolves took control in the fourth quarter. Dario Saric hit a pair of 3s when the Timberwolves went in front to stay and has greatly improved their depth.

    It was not a one-game fluke. In the 11 games since the trade, the Wolves have the third-best defense in the league, going 8-3 in that stretch. They traded a star, but got two guys that will knock down 3s and play hard, with Covington among the league's elite defenders and with a cheerful humility that fits the Wolves locker room far better than Butler's fire.

    With the win, the Wolves moved to .500 and past the 11-12 Rockets, demonstrating that they are clearly trending in the right direction. For the Rockets, that ought to bring a reminder of why they ought to play with ample urgency, if a 29-point second half did not make that clear already.

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/spo...o-13440966.php


  4. #874

    Default Timberwolves take over in fourth quarter to put away Charlotte - Strib

    Andrew Wiggins was driving to the hoop and in one memorable instance Wednesday, flying to the hoop. Karl-Anthony Towns, meanwhile, was draining 3-pointers, taking defenders off the dribble and blocking shots on the other end.

    The Timberwolves weren’t perfect in their 121-104 victory over the Hornets, but Towns and Wiggins made sure they had enough in the tank to close out this four-game homestand on a positive note.

    Towns made an impact at both ends of the floor, scoring 35 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking six shots while Wiggins brought the Wolves back from a 15-point first-half deficit with 26 points (16 in the first half), six rebounds and five assists. The Wolves came on strong when it mattered most in outscoring Charlotte 35-18 in the fourth quarter while keeping Charlotte’s top offensive threat Kemba Walker in check as Walker scored 15 points on just 6-for-16 shooting. Jeff Teague added a career high 18 assists...

    http://www.startribune.com/timberwol...tte/502034322/


  5. #875

    Default KAT does it all as Timberwolves go over .500 with win over Charlotte - Twincities.com

    Karl-Anthony Towns scoring more than 30 points is not particularly unusual. The all-star center has had plenty of scoring outbursts throughout his young career.

    But the way Towns put together the scoring, rebounding and defensive excellence Wednesday night, well, that was special.

    Towns had 35 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks to lead Minnesota past Charlotte on Wednesday night at Target Center. The blocks were nice, but Towns’ all-around defensive excellence couldn’t be overlooked.

    He was one of the main cogs in Minnesota’s second-half turnaround. The Wolves surrendered 64 points in the first half and just 40 in the second as they turned a 15-point first-half deficit into a blowout victory.

    https://www.twincities.com/2018/12/0...ver-charlotte/


  6. #876
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    Big win before a long road trip. Teague had two blocks last night...two. Towns had six...six. Defense is contagious.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  7. #877

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    Damnit, I'm actually thinking about signing back up for NBA League Pass with the way these guys are playing. I was kind of watching the 4th quarter scoring unfold last night on the internet on a ticker and couldn't believe as they just widened and widened and widened the gap.
    - Respect is the ultimate currency

  8. #878
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogee Oglethorpe View Post
    Damnit, I'm actually thinking about signing back up for NBA League Pass with the way these guys are playing. I was kind of watching the 4th quarter scoring unfold last night on the internet on a ticker and couldn't believe as they just widened and widened and widened the gap.
    The players have actually been smiling during games lately. That was not happening at all during the early part of the year and not much during last season. Thanks Jimmy.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  9. #879

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    Souhan: First Jimmy Butler trade burns Timberwolves, second lights a fire

    Something strange is happening at Target Center. For perhaps the first time in the star-crossed and star-starved history of your Minnesota Timberwolves, the team shot itself in the foot, and the bullet struck oil.

    The Wolves are known for bad decisions and bad luck, but with one shrewd and initially unexciting trade, Tom Thibodeau has corrected his biggest mistake, saved his job and belatedly demonstrated that he is the coach he was suspected to be when the Wolves hired him.

    With another entertaining comeback victory, this time Wednesday night at Target Center against Charlotte, the Timberwolves are 9-3 since trading Jimmy Butler for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. Butler’s ghost should be the Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year.

    Trading for Butler returned the Wolves to relevance. Trading Butler may turn the Wolves into a sustainable success, highlighting the importance of personality in a league filled with massive egos.

    Without Butler, who was their best defensive player, the Wolves have improved dramatically on defense. And without Butler, their most accomplished offensive player, they have improved dramatically on offense, at least in crunch time.

    Their most talented players touch the ball more in the fourth quarter and play with more freedom throughout the game. Karl-Anthony Towns is becoming the star he was always destined to be, and Andrew Wiggins, while still too inconsistent for a player of his athletic ability, is contributing as a winning player.

    These developments are gratifying for anyone who thought the Wolves made the right move when they hired Thibodeau, and anyone who hates NBA cliches.

    http://www.startribune.com/first-jim...ire/502129962/

    Howl Wolves!!

  10. #880

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    RandBall on the Wolves playoff chances:

    TIMBERWOLVES

    Current playoff probability: 55 percent (FiveThirtyEight); 28.4 percent (ESPN’s BPI); 36.3 percent (Basketball Reference).

    The good news: It would have been hard to imagine the Wolves even being in this discussion a few weeks ago when they were 4-9 and trying to remake themselves on the fly following the trade of Jimmy Butler to the 76ers. But they took advantage of a nice 12-game schedule stretch and developed some strong chemistry and defense behind newcomers Robert Covington and Dario Saric to stand at 13-12 and least play themselves back into this conversation.

    The bad news: The schedule gets considerably tougher (10 of the next 13 are on the road), and on some level the Wolves could be chasing that 4-9 start all season. The most daunting part, though, is the brutal Western Conference. Whereas the East could have multiple playoff teams who finish under .500, the West likely will have multiple teams over .500 who miss the postseason. Even if the Wolves rally to have a decent year, as they seem like they are poised to do, they could miss the playoffs.

    http://www.startribune.com/the-playo...son/502178781/

    Howl Wolves!!

  11. #881

    Default Joel Embiid Frustrated With New Role in Sixers Rotation Since Jimmy Butler Trade - SI

    Almost seems redundant doesn't it? Hope Rubio, Towns and Wiggins get a look at it.


    "Joel Embiid, who missed his first game of the season on Friday to rest, told reporters after the game that he is frustrated with how he has performed since transitioning to a stretch-five role when Philadelphia acquired All-Star wing Jimmy Butler.

    “I haven’t been myself lately,” Embiid said, per Philly.com. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five, which I’m only shooting [29] percent" from three-point range.

    “But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [Brown] always has me starting on the perimeter … and it just really frustrates me. My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”..

    Embiid told reporters that he wasn't tired, he was just frustrated with his poor performance. During Wednesday night's 113–102 loss to the Raptors, Embiid scored 10 points on 5-for-17 shooting.

    The seven-footer said he'd rather spend more time in the paint and attacking the rim instead of on the perimeter, but that positioning isn't happening as often with Butler in the lineup.

    “We sometimes have to space the floor,” Embiid said Friday. “A lot of time, actually, with the way our plays are set up, I tend to spend a lot of time on the perimeter. So it’s an adjustment.”..

    Embiid is also going to the free-throw line less as a result of spending less time in the paint and near the rim.

    Brown said that the Sixers do need to do a better job of spacing but does not see Embiid's struggles as a reflection of adding Butler to the mix.

    “I don’t want to connect those dots,” Brown said Friday night. “But I think in general we all have to do better at creating space for Joel.”

    https://www.si.com/nba/2018/12/08/76...ce=twitter.com

  12. #882

    Default Without Robert Covington, the Timberwolves lose to Blazers in Portland - Strib

    We watched the game til the end last night. The Wolves played without Covington last night. Towns only played 30 minutes because of foul trouble too. Still it was tied with a minute to go before Portland's Guard Tandem each hit a 3. The Blazers won 113 to 105.

    The Portland paper by the way didn't mention the lack of Covington or Towns time on the bench.

    A bit of an oversight huh?


    PORTLAND, Ore. – The Timberwolves were getting by without Robert Covington for most of Saturday night.

    The defensive stalwart was a late scratch because of right knee soreness, meaning the Wolves had to kick off their four-game road trip without one of the players who has rejuvenated their season.

    But despite a gutty effort, the Wolves defense lapsed late, allowing Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum overtake them in a 113-105 Trail Blazers victory at the Moda Center...

    Perhaps the Wolves could have used Covington in the final minute, because it sounded like the defense wasn’t what the Wolves wanted on those plays.

    “We didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

    Rose (18 points on an inefficient 9-for-25 shooting) was more specific.

    “Our big is supposed to be there. That’s how I feel,” Rose said of Lillard’s go-ahead shot. “It was supposed to be a trap and we just have to make sure we trap them.”

    On Lillard’s three, Towns was in the lane while his man, Jusuf Nurkic (22 points) set a screen on Jeff Teague. Lillard came around the screen and Teague couldn’t recover in time. Towns appeared to get tied up in the lane on the initial pin down screen from McCollum that set Nurkic free to begin the sequence.

    But the Wolves had their chances outside of the final minute. They even led 102-96 with 3:53 to play, but could only muster three points the rest of the night.

    An old problem from earlier in the season crept back on the Wolves — rebounding. The Blazers outrebounded them 53-40, with 14 coming on the offensive end for 20 second-chance points...

    http://www.startribune.com/without-r...and/502288201/

  13. #883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceland12 View Post
    We watched the game til the end last night. The Wolves played without Covington last night. Towns only played 30 minutes because of foul trouble too. Still it was tied with a minute to go before Portland's Guard Tandem each hit a 3. The Blazers won 113 to 105.

    The Portland paper by the way didn't mention the lack of Covington or Towns time on the bench.

    A bit of an oversight huh?


    PORTLAND, Ore. – The Timberwolves were getting by without Robert Covington for most of Saturday night.

    The defensive stalwart was a late scratch because of right knee soreness, meaning the Wolves had to kick off their four-game road trip without one of the players who has rejuvenated their season.

    But despite a gutty effort, the Wolves defense lapsed late, allowing Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum overtake them in a 113-105 Trail Blazers victory at the Moda Center...

    Perhaps the Wolves could have used Covington in the final minute, because it sounded like the defense wasn’t what the Wolves wanted on those plays.

    “We didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

    Rose (18 points on an inefficient 9-for-25 shooting) was more specific.

    “Our big is supposed to be there. That’s how I feel,” Rose said of Lillard’s go-ahead shot. “It was supposed to be a trap and we just have to make sure we trap them.”

    On Lillard’s three, Towns was in the lane while his man, Jusuf Nurkic (22 points) set a screen on Jeff Teague. Lillard came around the screen and Teague couldn’t recover in time. Towns appeared to get tied up in the lane on the initial pin down screen from McCollum that set Nurkic free to begin the sequence.

    But the Wolves had their chances outside of the final minute. They even led 102-96 with 3:53 to play, but could only muster three points the rest of the night.

    An old problem from earlier in the season crept back on the Wolves — rebounding. The Blazers outrebounded them 53-40, with 14 coming on the offensive end for 20 second-chance points...

    http://www.startribune.com/without-r...and/502288201/
    Rose in on defense instead of Okobe. Taj in on offense instead of Saric. Thibs doesn't actually coach at end of games. Just lets them play. That's why they lost. Taj took the big 3 at the end. Imagine if Saric was in.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

  14. #884

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    Quote Originally Posted by tikited View Post
    Rose in on defense instead of Okobe. Taj in on offense instead of Saric. Thibs doesn't actually coach at end of games. Just lets them play. That's why they lost. Taj took the big 3 at the end. Imagine if Saric was in.
    That was it huh? Covington missing the game and the cheap fouls against Towns had nothing to do with the loss.

    It was bad coaching that cost them the game...

  15. #885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceland12 View Post
    That was it huh? Covington missing the game and the cheap fouls against Towns had nothing to do with the loss.

    It was bad coaching that cost them the game...
    I understand that not having Cov and Towns hurt. I am talking about when the Wolves had the lead at the very end and Thibs just let them continue instead of coaching. A lot like two weeks ago when a reporter asked Thibs why he didn't make an adjustment in the 4th-Thibs replied with something about how you can't make changes with only 6 minutes left. Weird coaching philosophy.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

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