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Mr. Verlander
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« Reply #225 on: November 23, 2014, 01:18:25 PM »

This season has been pretty shitty so far for Detroit. They haven't really been blown out that much, they just can't seem to make the baskets in crunch time. Drummond hasn't looked as good as I thought he would, either. I don't expect this team to improve until they can move Smith or Jennings. They aren't the type of players who are going to change in order to make the team better.

I'm tired of Cleveland already. Is Love going to leave? Why isn't LeBron taking games over? Is Waiters a 'team' guy? Is the coach allowed to be a coach, or is LeBron really the coach? Who gives a sh*t?
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the captain
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« Reply #226 on: November 23, 2014, 02:26:00 PM »

It's rough here, too. While the start was encouraging--even losses were well fought early--we're not anywhere near deep enough to survive being down four starters... At least Wiggins is being forcefed.
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« Reply #227 on: December 03, 2014, 10:53:23 AM »

Not much to say when your respective team blows. The Pistons are barely a step above Philly at this point. After last night's loss to the woeful Lakers, Van Gundy said that the team is 'messed up', and has 'dilemmas'. The team has no hustle. There's no type of offensive consistency, and they don't play defense. I'm pretty sure that Van Gundy is wondering why he took this mess at this point. The Lakers have the league's worst defense, and the Pistons shot 37 percent against it.  They're off to their worst start in franchise history. I think that Philly will get their first win against us. Just a terrible, and at this point, unfixable mess.
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the captain
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« Reply #228 on: December 03, 2014, 04:02:42 PM »

Tonight, just an hour or so from now, the colossal showdown the whole league has been waiting for goes down: Philly at Minnesota!

Making things worse than usual, I understand Philly is missing Tony Wroten, who had played well (or at least put up numbers) in MCW's absence. Minnesota remains without starters Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, and Ricky Rubio and has had several guys out or seriously limited with stomach flu, but hopefully the talent differential matters tonight. Because even with our starters out and as bad as we are, there is no denying the talent differential: Philly's roster is really, really bad. At least the Wolves can throw out there proven guys like Mo Williams, ex-76er Thad Young, and to a lesser extent Corey Brewer and Chase Budinger, plus up-and-coming sorts like Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Zach LaVine.

At least the Wolves and 76ers are still playing hard. I'll take that over what I've seen from Detroit!
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« Reply #229 on: December 03, 2014, 04:20:56 PM »

At this point, my only interest in the NBA is seeing how former MSU players do. Like Draymond Green, high energy guy for the Warriors. Came home last week and had a career game against Detroit. I like that. Draymond Green is one of the best players the program ever had, which is funny considering he never intended to go there in the first place. He comes back quite often too; I've seen him quite a few times at MSU football games.

As a matter of fact, probably 3 years ago (probably more!) I saw Zach Randolph. There's one side of the stadium that you can go to where all the old guys come back to watch games and take elevators up to the suites, and if you want to see somebody (Mateen Cleaves is one that you see quite often), you go over there. So I go up to him and shake his hand and tell him that I'd love to see him in a Piston uniform. A month later he resigned with Memphis.
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Mr. Verlander
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« Reply #230 on: December 03, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »

And to top things off, the best player in next year's draft is probably the Okafor kid from Duke. Detroit doesn't need anymore bigs! So if they get the number 1 pick, they can't even draft the best guy in the draft.
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« Reply #231 on: December 03, 2014, 04:55:50 PM »

And to top things off, the best player in next year's draft is probably the Okafor kid from Duke. Detroit doesn't need anymore bigs! So if they get the number 1 pick, they can't even draft the best guy in the draft.

After drafting Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in back to back years, the 76ers are in a similar situation. But Okafor is gonna be hard to pass up...Well, I gotta go. The Game Of The Week - Philadelphia at Minnesota is about to begin.  LOL
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the captain
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« Reply #232 on: December 03, 2014, 05:10:59 PM »

I think if they get #1--which remember, very often doesn't happen for the team with the worst record--they will take Okafor and figure out the rest later. Though Emmanuel Mudiay is pretty fantastic, and while MCW is good, he's not at that same elite level.

As for watching the hometown alums, we've had too few around here lately to matter much. The Tubby Smith era turned out to produce fewer NBA pros than the Dan Monson era, go figure! But I do keep an eye on Minnesotans (even who didn't go to the U...remember, we don't put out a ton of D1 guys, so it is easier to follow them than in Michigan). So we have Jon Leuer (Wisconsin) at Memphis, Kris Humphries (Minnesota) at Washington, Cole Aldrich (Kansas) at New York, Nate Wolters (SDSU) at Milwaukee...there are a couple others, but not many.
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« Reply #233 on: December 03, 2014, 05:31:34 PM »

Not liking this start! Philly taking it to MN on our court? Henry Sims looking like an all star...
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« Reply #234 on: December 03, 2014, 05:33:38 PM »

Wolves putting on a clinic in how not to run fast breaks! Bad passes, bad spacing...
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« Reply #235 on: December 03, 2014, 07:40:52 PM »

That honestly might have been the worst Wolves game I've ever seen. We were talking about effort a few posts back? Well the Wolves had little to none for most of the night. Terrible shooting. Terrible ball control. Terrible everything.
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« Reply #236 on: December 03, 2014, 08:17:02 PM »

That honestly might have been the worst Wolves game I've ever seen. We were talking about effort a few posts back? Well the Wolves had little to none for most of the night. Terrible shooting. Terrible ball control. Terrible everything.

Yeah, that was the only way the 76ers were gonna win; they needed a lot of help from the other team. I'm happy for the 76ers and particularly Brett Brown because they avoided the record book. They seem to be good guys who work hard. However, effort has been about the only bright spot for the team so far this season...
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the captain
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« Reply #237 on: December 04, 2014, 05:45:17 AM »

If agree with all of that.
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« Reply #238 on: December 07, 2014, 11:32:13 AM »

Guess who the 3 worst teams in the league are? Detroit, Philly, and Minnesota. It's like fate or something.
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the captain
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« Reply #239 on: December 07, 2014, 12:39:54 PM »

Guess who the 3 worst teams in the league are? Detroit, Philly, and Minnesota. It's like fate or something.

Painful. The Wolves had been ahead of Detroit and Philly as well as LAL, Utah, and New York, but unfortunately having been without their four best players, and still without their three best, it's just not going well. The past few games, we have literally had one point guard (a teenage rookie, Zach LaVine, who to make matters worse is really a combo at best) and one center (second-year Gorgui Dieng). Our other two PGs and other two Cs are both hurt.

Corey Brewer at point guard is not a recipe for success. It's terrifying.
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« Reply #240 on: December 07, 2014, 02:03:42 PM »

You look at the schedule and you think, 'There isn't anybody on here that I think we can beat'. Literally, I'd be happy with a 15 win season right now.
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the captain
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« Reply #241 on: December 07, 2014, 02:41:44 PM »

The only thing that's nice on the Wolves' side is that at least the youngsters are being thrown into the mix and we get to find out how they respond. In fact, here are my early-season youngster evaluations.

Zach LaVine: I like him more than I thought I would based on what I saw of him in college. I was angry on draft night, in fact. But his athleticism is really special, and he has a nice jumpshot. That said, he reminds me of a baby deer, so thin and frail-looking. (That said, he's our one guard who hasn't gotten hurt, so...) His decision-making on offense can be atrocious and his defense is pretty bad. He is not a real point guard, by any means. He says one of his role models is Jamal Crawford--they are both from the Seattle area--and frankly I can see him as having that kind of game eventually, but as a more athletic version. It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up more SG than PG though.

Andrew Wiggins: So much more polished than LaVine, he really is a smooth offensive player and a solid defender. He has the potential to be great. On offense, that means tightening up his handle and improving on that in-between game, as well as doing a better job finishing (which will come with strength). On defense, it means just learning. That will come.

Shabazz Muhammad: He's the local darling because he has been scoring points during this injury-riddled streak that has been keeping Martin, Williams, and Young out at various stretches. He's admittedly 100 mph and aggressive, particularly driving or crashing the offensive boards. But he is such a mediocre shooter, bad handler and passer, bad defender... And while he gets fouled a lot, he misses a lot of free throws, which is tough for someone whose game is built around aggressiveness. He has the look of an instant-offense kind of bench player to me. That said, he got something like 20 pts in 20 minutes last night.

Anthony Bennett: So much better than last year, it's not even funny. But while I love his midrange jumpshot, unfortunately so does he. He doesn't want to go down low, he doesn't really battle the way you'd want. Instead, he gets a lot of kick-outs or pops on pick situations, putting up 15-18 footers. That's fine, but you'd like your PF to be on the glass, too, which he can't do as the shooter from that distance. He also doesn't pass very well. He has had some better-than-expected defensive moments, surprising for a shorter PF.

Gorgui Dieng: He had such a strong end to last season and, statistically, is right up there again. Double doubles are no strangers to him. But sometimes he looks completely lost and makes absurd decisions. I don't know his pre-Louisville history but he's something like 24 or 25 already (in his second year out of college), so you'd want more know-how from someone that old. However, he is really athletic, is a good defender with serious shot-blocking potential...basically he is the opposite of Pekovic. Put them together and you have the best center ever!

The latter three of those five, I struggle to imagine them becoming stars--even like second-fiddle or third-fiddle type stars. Starters, maybe. But they all seem like they'll be good bench players or the kind of starter you're not afraid to replace with a draft pick or free agent.

Wiggins and LaVine, I can imagine more, especially Wiggins.

I didn't review Glenn Robinson III because he doesn't play much. Great athlete, though.
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« Reply #242 on: December 08, 2014, 05:35:46 PM »

Detroit had a chance to beat OKC last night; Josh Smith took a 3 for the win. What do you think happened? Riigghhtt...
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the captain
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« Reply #243 on: December 08, 2014, 07:42:51 PM »

Wolves hosted GS Warriors. Yeah...

Score doesn't show what a blowout it was. Warriors shot poorly. Wolves were abominable on both ends. But LaVine's and Wiggins' potential make it worth watching. I really can't wait for Rubio, Pek, and Martin to return.

Or at least Mo Williams and Ronny Turiaf... One more moment of Corey Brewer at PG is one too many.
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« Reply #244 on: December 12, 2014, 07:34:58 AM »

PHILADELPHIA WINS ... the award for first trade of the year among our three crappy home teams. They acquire (former Wolf) Andrei Kirilenko--whom I suspect will never report for duty--and some picks in exchange for Brandon Davies. Monumental! The whole landscape of the league is changed forever!

My guess is that the other two of our teams will be doing some moves before long as well. My money is on Corey Brewer going to Houston for a trade exception and a 2nd rounder. Other vets could easily also be moved, though I think Brewer's relatively small contract and high-energy style plus good attitude makes him the most likely. Over the course of the year? I wouldn't be shocked if the Wolves tried to move Brewer, Budinger, Turiaf, Pekovic, Young...everybody but Rubio, Wiggins, LaVine, Bennett, Dieng.

Detroit has it tougher: can't move Monroe because of his restricted-tender; can't move Smith (at least for much) because he's Josh Fucking Smith; don't want to move Drummond or KCP, probably; Jennings would be hard to get value for...
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« Reply #245 on: December 12, 2014, 11:33:36 AM »

Yep. This team is f**cked.

It's funny that the Nets traded Kirilenko. Last year there was the big uproar that him signing there was some sort of Russian conspiracy.
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« Reply #246 on: December 12, 2014, 11:46:09 AM »

It seems new coach Lionel Hollins isn't a big fan of AK-47 at this late stage of his career. Kirilenko had several DNP-CDs a while ago and right after both sides confirmed a one-on-one conversation, the trade rumors began and Kirilenko took a leave of absence to "tend to personal matters."

I was a HUGE Kirilenko fan and love him in Minnesota ... when healthy, which was almost never. The sad reality is that his back is just messed up, and that rarely if ever seems to heal up, especially on older and bigger guys. He's a 15-year-vet (or thereabouts) and is almost 6-10. He's not ever going to be valuable like he was before, especially since his game is based on insane athleticism and mobility, not (for example) spot-up shooting. If he were a stretch 4, he'd still be very valuable.

My guess is that Brooklyn hoped they were getting a healthier product than his time in Minnesota showed. Let's be honest, veterans on bad teams often sit out with injuries that magically disappear when they're in better situations. But in this case, it seems he really just is often injured.

Too bad. As I said, great player when healthy. The ideal--yep, I said it, ideal--complementary player. GREAT defender at virtually every position (when he was younger), good rebounder, very good passer, moves really well without the ball, blocks shots, wonderful chemistry guy. Not much of a shooter, that was his only shortcoming in healthier days.

I can honestly say I thought the Wolves would have been a legit playoff team had they been healthier when they were trotting out Rubio, Ridnour, Kirilenko, Love, Pekovic, plus Brandon Roy, Josh Howard, Dante Cunningham, JJ Barea, Chase Budinger, etc. But Roy played 5 games, Howard played 11, Love played 18, Budinger played 23, Rubio played 57, Pekovic 62, Kirilenko 64...you get it.
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« Reply #247 on: December 12, 2014, 03:45:50 PM »

PHILADELPHIA WINS ... the award for first trade of the year among our three crappy home teams. They acquire (former Wolf) Andrei Kirilenko--whom I suspect will never report for duty--and some picks in exchange for Brandon Davies. Monumental! The whole landscape of the league is changed forever!

What? Another win for the 76ers? That would be three in a little over a week. Grin

Yeah, I read that Kirilenko wants to stay home with his pregnant wife until February and that the 76ers will probably waive him. We'll see. But, the 76ers also received a No. 2 draft pick, and did you see what year it was for? 2020! I don't think I've ever seen a "transaction" that far in advance - 5 years from now!
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the captain
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« Reply #248 on: December 12, 2014, 04:55:03 PM »

And now, ladies and gents, the Wolves (still minus would-be starters Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic, as well as backup PG Mo Williams and backup C Ronny Turiaf) will host the newly healthy OKC Thunder. I anticipate ... miserable failure. The win the other night was great. I don't anticipate another one. But hey, you never know.
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« Reply #249 on: December 13, 2014, 07:22:17 AM »

Jodie Meeks made his debut last night, and Detroit won. He didn't do much according to the stats, but he did allow Van Gundy to use the rotation like he wanted for once, and Meeks' arrival did seem to improve ball movement. He's also very active off of the ball, kind of like Hamilton was during the Pistons run a few years back. Hopefully, things will improve somewhat. At least get a 2 or 3 game winning streak going to give them some confidence. And a willing trade partner to take Smith.
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