Opinion Corner: Strong start for hobbled WolvesGranted I’ll be the first person to admit that the NBA season is only in its infancy. It’s too early to judge what’s going to happen, or what to be excited about.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Granted I’ll be the first person to admit that the NBA season is only in its infancy. It’s too early to judge what’s going to happen, or what to be excited about.
We’re about a half-dozen games into the campaign, which is a tiny sample of what’s to come. But how about those Timberwolves?
As a knowledgeable NBA mind, it’s hard for me not to see bright things on the horizon for one of last year’s laughing stocks.
By the time this hits the press the T-Wolves will have likely downed the Warriors at home. That’s no easy task kemo sabe, considering Golden State is a revamped team and Steph Curry is a lights-out shooter.
Skipper Rick Adelman has taken a broken down squad of international players and turned it into the team’s best start in 11 seasons.
The Wolves are also playing extremely short-handed. Most NBA fans know that all-star Kevin Love and Ricky “Magic Hands” Rubio have not played a minute yet and will be shelved a while longer.
But Minnesota has been without Brandon Roy for the past three games (right knee soreness), the Puerto Rican Sensation J.J. Barea for the past four (sprained left foot), not to mention swingman Chase Budinger who will miss three to four months after a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee.
Nikola Pekovic also sat on Friday with a sprained left ankle.
So how is Adelman winning games with his melting pot of injured players? Defense, defense and some more defense.
Holding Dallas to 82 with Mark Cuban shouting in your ear is no easy task — Nowizki or not. And Charlotte sneaked past by a buzzer beating basket.
The Wolves are currently holding opposing teams to 12 points per game fewer than last season.
The Wolves are allowing barely 90 points per game through their first nine contests, trailing only the Knicks in defensive efficiency.
Adelman makes coaching defense look easy — contest shots off the bat, force tough looks, clean the glass, and then repeat.
If he can keep winning games with Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic (when he returns) leading the charge, good things are bound to happen with the return of Love and Rubio.
This offseason the Wolves were a head-scratcher. Roy? Budinger? AK47? I’ve said it before, but who else could they have signed? They made a major play for Portland standout Nicolas Batum, but the Trail Blazers smartly matched the Wolves’ offer.
Now the team is winning with a roster of journeyman players and is playing defense like it belongs in the Big 10.
As stated before it’s still way too early to get excited. But for the first time in a long time there is legitimate hope at Target Center.
Right now the Wolves are playing like a playoff contender. … Get excited already because there’s no way it will last.
Ben Rodgers is a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner