Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Cheryl Reeve planned to feature star center Sylvia Fowles more this season, whether that be from "better play calling" or simply having more awareness of where and when Fowles was getting open. But, no, the Lynx coach didn't see this coming. Fowles was named the WNBA'S Western Conference Player of the Month for the third time in as many months Tuesday, Aug. 1. She's averaging 20.9 on a league-best 68.1 percent shooting, both career highs.
MINNEAPOLIS — Just before free agency, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press that young stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns were "kind of untouchable" in terms of trade negotiations. A lot changed in the month that followed, with Minnesota signing three veterans — Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford — and, just last week, a report saying Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland and Minnesota is one of his preferred destinations.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Lynx will be on the move this postseason. The WNBA team will host its home playoff games at Williams Arena, the team announced Thursday, July 27. The Lynx's regular season home this year is Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Target Center, the team's permanent home, is out of commission this summer as it undergoes renovations. The move from Xcel Energy Center to Williams Arena is meant "to accommodate the Minnesota Wild 2017-18 preseason schedule and other building events."
MINNEAPOLIS—Something about Gophers home basketball games last season stood out to Jarvis Thomas. When Michael Hurt, a freshman forward from Rochester, would check in at the scorer's table, Thomas recalled, "The crowd would just erupt." "It's ridiculous," Thomas said. "People, they love the in-state kids."
MINNEAPOLIS — Tom Thibodeau recounted his memories of Jamal Crawford in his office Wednesday morning, July 19, then again at Crawford's ensuing introductory news conference. None of them were good — not for Thibodeau, anyway. There was the time Crawford banked in a game-winning three to beat Houston when Thibodeau was a Rockets assistant coach ... and the time Thibodeau paid for his decision to not double-team Crawford in Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, which allowed Crawford to score 22 points in an Atlanta win over Thibodeau's Bulls.
MINNEAPOLIS — It won't take visiting fans long to notice Target Center's renovation. They'll walk right into it. Target Center's new main entrance, located on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street, features glass windows that extend up five floors from the lobby atrium that consumes the top three floors. Previously, that corner of the building was a maze of narrow corridors.
MINNEAPOLIS — Decade-plus playoff droughts are often the culmination of many consecutive disasters. The Timberwolves' nearly impressive run of futility is no exception. Bad decisions and bad breaks have stretched Minnesota's streak of futility to 13 years and counting. Every time it looked like the Timberwolves had something good cooking, David Kahn would pick up the phone, Kurt Rambis would draw up a triangle set or Kevin Love would attempt a "knuckle pushup." Back to Square 1.
MINNEAPOLIS — Tre Jones was just past halfcourt when he noticed a teammate streaking up the floor. He knew who the teammate was, what the teammate was thinking and what the teammate wanted him to do. So Jones threw up the lob, hitting his soaring teammate in the hands right near the rim. The teammate — his older brother and Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones — finished the feed with a slam.
MINNEAPOLIS — Shortly after the Timberwolves traded for all-NBA forward Jimmy Butler on draft night, Jeff Teague made a call to his agent, J.R. Hensley. "I said, 'I want to go to Minnesota,'" Teague said. That was really all there was to it. The Timberwolves had created a need for a starting point guard hours before free agency started when they traded Ricky Rubio to Utah. Teague had set up meetings with other teams but canceled them all. His three-year, $57 million deal with Minnesota was reported mere moments after the official start of free agency.
MINNEAPOLIS --Free-agent guard Jamal Crawford is joining the Timberwolves on a two-year deal, a source said Saturday, perhaps bringing something Minnesota desperately needed last season: an offensive spark off the bench. Crawford, 37, is a three-time winner of the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award, last earning the honor in 2016. He has averaged 15.3 points a game and shot 35 percent from three-point range in a 17-year NBA career. The "room exception" deal is worth approximately $4.35 million a year.