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Timberwolves Eclipse Suns and End Win Streak

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Phoenix Suns in Minneapolis on Monday ending the NBA’s longest winning streak this season at 17.

The story posted by The Star Tribune, by Kent Youngblood, had a very interesting challenge to it. In a story of this type it may become difficult to gain insightful quotes from players and coaches of a .500 team after beating the best team in the NBA. Well, the apparent solution for Youngblood was to simply not quote anyone directly. This story was simply a narrative of the game and its ramifications. This fact was made all the more interesting in the fact that The Star Tribune wasn’t the only news media outlet to pick up the story by Youngblood. The San Jose Mercury News also posted the story by The Star Tribune writer, Youngblood. For a story with no attribution to anyone other than the author to be picked up by a newspaper half way across the country is extremely odd.

ESPN.com posted an article from the Associated Press to cover the event. The Dallas Morning News also picked up a very similar article from the Associated Press; however, there were no quotes or attributions in The Dallas Morning News article. It didn’t take long for the ESPN.com article to get to a quote with direct attribution.

"People who say he can't carry the load, take a look at this game film," new Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said.

The ESPN.com article made quotation a very high priority and made sure that attribution went after the quote whenever possible. However, in some cases of first reference the attribution was put in the middle of the quote.

"It's just about being a presence," Garnett said. "It's about making them have to deal with me. I will continue to take that approach."

It only took four paragraphs to get a quote out of the ESPN.com article where as the other two articles didn’t ever quote a source. Would it have been that much to ask for the writer to ask the coach or any of the players simply what they thought of the win or loss (depending on who you ask)?

It was simply unbelievable to think that two different versions of a story could go the entire length of the story without one quote or anything resembling a quote. On that basis I must say that the ESPN.com article was my preference by default. Quotes should be used to liven up a story and in this case the Youngblood story and The Dallas Morning News story were extremely lifeless. Quotes can also be used to elaborate on opinions or reactions and neither of these stories did that. Therefore, the ESPN.com article from the Associated Press was the most successful of all of the articles.