November 15, 2006

Timberwolves Open '06-'07 Season With Win

The day after Halloween, the Timberwolves opened the 2006-2007 season with a 92-83 victory over the Sacramento Kings! It was a very good to see the T-Wolves back in action. Looking to rebond from last year's horendous 33 win season, the T-Wolves look ummm, better. I'm honestly going to need somemore closely observed games to get a good feel for this year's team, but I must say I was thoroughly impressed for it being their first game. Garnett is back and continue to be the veteran leader. He led the team with 24 points and 12 rebonds. Garnett is probably on track to lead the league in rebonds for the soemthing like third year in a row. As far as the game's prgression, it was a close game pretty much the entire way. The two teams battled back and forth taking and losing the lead the entire game. In the fourth quarter, the T-Wolves made a run that would keep them in the lead for the rest of the game. The Wolves lost way to many games by five points or less last year in close games. As fror this year, the Wolves are going to try to make sure that the opponent doesn't even come into that range of a couple of points. The Wolves are just going to win the games in a more comfortable fashion. Now to the players. Garnett, as noted earlier, look good but doesn't have the spark that he had in his prime just a couple of years ago. He is now taking smarter shots (7 for 7 in his first field goals) and is continueing to play great defense. Mike James, the new point guard from Toronto, look like he will be a good addition to the team. We will need a steady play from him down the stretch to make the plaoffs. As for Ricky Davis, well, he had a so-so night and seems to have improved his chemistry with the teamates in the offseason. Blount had a very strong 1st quarter but faltered as the game continued. Solid production from him may help take loads off the Ticket. Troy Hudson (who from now on will be reffered to as T-Hud) played very well tonight and may return to the playing form he was a couple of years ago. Trent Hassell, the defensive specialist, did a great job on Ron Artest and gave great contributions on the offersive end. Marko Jaric, the guy we should have gotten rid of instead of Banks, did play fairly well with two very nice steals. Eddie Griffin played well in the 2nd quarter and gave the Woves a great boost from off the bench. As for the rookies, C Smith and R. Foye, it was a shock that Smith got more playing time tonight. Foye played very well in the summer camp and looked like he could be rookie of the year (as speculated from some) since he was the highest scoring rookie. From Villanova, Foye is going to need a lot more than 6 minutes a game to win rookie of the year. It is a shame he is not getting more playing time. Hopefully, he can pick up all of Jaric's time and even some of T-Hud's time to get this rookie to show his brillance. Smith's valuable time on the court allowed Garnett to get some decent rest for a change. He has fairly good presence in the paint but he is going to have to start grabbing some more rebounds (Garnett and Griffin can't be the only ones grabbing boards). The Wolves now go on a road trip to the West Coast. It will be good to see how they play on the road. Last year the Wolves only won 9 games on the road! They are going to need to do better on the road to make the playoffs. Conclusion about tonight's game: Garnett is still the man, bench played well and will need to continue to produce (doesn't matter who it is), and the other starting four are going to need to score some more or continue their stingy defense that they played tonight. Nothing to worry about yet, the Wolves look a lot better and I think could surprise a lot of people by making the playoffs and maybe, just maybe going somewhere if the chemistry comes together. Remember when the Wolves made ti to the Western Conference finanls, that year the Wolves were expected to play mediocre. Similar situation here. I'm not saying the Wolves could win the NBA title although that would be sweet, but the Wolves franchise player Garnett is now past his prime. I hope we can win a Championship with him very soon! GO TIMBERWOLVES!