Thursday, December 18, 2008

Distractions: Timberwolves Triage

The post-KG days of the Timberwolves will be remembered as dark days in the franchise's history. The T-wolves may have been struggling before they lost KG, but now they seem completely turned on their backs. With every change made to the roster and the staff, I have attempted to see the positive, and some sign of hope. But even the most resilient fan, including myself, has a dark cloud hanging over their head. Hope for the team, especially this season, seems simply impossible.

With almost an entirely set of players, the Wolves faced similar problems last season, but ended with a glimmer of hope. They were able to face down almost any team for a full 48 minutes, having a relatively successful second half of the season. Logically, this hope carried over to this season. The idea with a young new team is to get better with each season, right? The Timberwolves retained keystone players, and made trades that seemed to be in our favor. I'm not sure about ditching O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love, but I though acquiring Mike Miller (and kicking Marco Jaric's butt out the door) more than made up the balance. Winning the season opener was something to revel in, but since then has been nothing but a downward spiral. My boy Corey Brewer is out for the season, and here we are, almost two months into the season, with only 4 wins.

I never liked Randy Wittman, but when he started blaming the players publicly, that was when Wittman had gone too far. Thankfully, Glen Taylor thought so too. Maybe it was less his pathetic soundbites and more a lack of leadership, but either way Wittman was shown to the door. Then in a bizarre turn of events, Taylor put GM Kevin McHale in the hot seat. "Relieved of his front office duties," McHale stepped down to be head coach. Not interim head coach, but head coach. McHale immediately started complaining about the hectic travel schedule.

I wonder if Glen Taylor has actually though about finding a coach who wanted to coach? I see his logic in "This is the team you built - you coach it," but he might want to find something that is a little better for the moral of the players. Clearly things are not going so well. Tune into the second half of any game and you will see a team that is beaten way before the buzzer. I stop short of having much pity for the players - most of them make more money in one year than I am likely to see in my lifetime.

I like basketball, and I particularly like NBA basketball. If I had cable and if I could afford the NBA pass, I would find another team to follow. But instead I am stuck here in Minnesota with temperatures of 15 below zero and the Timberwolves. Nonetheless, this is my state and the Wolves are my team. The last game I went to was Kevin McHale's first coaching gig against the Jazz. The Wolves had some good fight in them, but lost the game in the last 3 minutes. The most disparaging thing about the game was not the teams performance or even the lose, it was the empty Target Center.

Is there any hope for the season? I have no idea, but something or someone has to provide a spark for these guys and it's not going to be Kevin McHale. Like every season, there is always next season.


joetron2030 said...

My brother took me to the game this past Friday (San Antonio was in town). They were tied at the midpoint. The 2nd half, though... Ugh! Ugly!

I haven't been following the Wolves that closely. I haven't in a few years. I got fed up with McHale's seeming ineptitude as a GM. But, I'm also think it's the team he built, let's see if he can do any better...

I'll probably follow the Gopher men's team more than the Wolves.

But, really, I'm just counting the days until baseball starts!

Kathie Smith said...

It's hard to watch the second half of a Wolves game. I wish I lived in Toronto or New Orleans or Portland - I would much rather be watching thos teams.

I'm with you on the Gophers - I'll get my basketball fix at the men's and women's games for the next couple months.

Daniel Getahun said...

This is ridiculous. I haven't been to a game in a year or two (actually I think the last one I saw was one of KG's last games), but it's really hard to stay with it at this time, especially when the Gophers bandwagon is boarding at the station. Good for you for hanging in with the wolves.