I'm stealing this line from Feral:
It took [Wizards fans] about a month of actual play to go through all the stages of Foye grief. Randy can be an effective point guard…. Randy is like Billups, who also took some time….. We can go with two "lead guard" hybrid types…. Randy is probably best as juice off the bench.
Unfortunately for Wiz fans, the Mike Miller grief cycle gets stuck up in the anger phase. I think it has something to do with a refusal to shoot the ball and a once-a-game attempt to look as though he is performing some sort of world-saving service by grimacing his way through the pain.
Getting back to Foye for a second, he could have been something of a sympathetic character in Wolves lore were it not for idiotic statements like this:
"The media made a bigger deal out of the Foye-Roy thing. I felt as though they could have pushed for me harder. I was fighting against fans that were reading that and I was fighting against the media.
"I understand he was Rookie of the Year. I understand I got hurt my second year. But you look at how I progressed and you look at the past rookies there -- besides Kevin Love -- and how I was making progress, I felt I was right there."
When it came to talking about the deal, Foye has long walked a fine line between bravado and downright stupidity. He's clearly walking on the wrong side of that line these days.
Anywho, the Wolves have now won two in a row for the first time since last April when they did in the Clips and the Warriors on back-to-back nights. This time around they were able to triumph over the awful Nets and the what-in-the-hell-is-going-on-with-them Wizards.
Thanks to the fact that this wonderful little tilt was the national broadcast on NBA TV, and thanks to our local cable package not carrying Channel 45, yours truly was only able to catch the first quarter and a half and the last quarter and a half of action. Many thanks to the pirated stream and my favorite local watering hole for getting me through the one game of the year where League Pass falls flat on its face.
Without any attempt to bring it all together, here are my notes from last night's game:
Don Zierden picked up a technical. He was probably swearing at being mad for not being able to coach the Lynx after they won the first pick in the draft, getting another top 5 selection with a trade from New York, grabbing the 2nd pick from Sacramento from the supplemental draft, and then getting stuck having to coach up someone like Gilbert Arenas. The rest of the game I was waiting for a Randy Wittman technical.
- Speaking of the Wizards' bench, someone needs to take the time to explain the concept of offensive rebounding to the Wiz. They rank 21st in the league in oReb% and there were many times during the evening where their forwards were doing absolutely nothing to get themselves in position to grab the rebound once the ball had hit the rim. This led to quite a few scrums under the basket that the Wolves often found themselves on the right side of.
- Despite ending up with a career-high in points with solid shooting and playing solid defense, Corey Brewer ended the night with no assists, 3 turnovers, and was the centerpiece of one of the ugliest possessions of the year. During the first quarter he attempted an ally-oop to Kevin Love which was batted away with the ball ending up in Brew's hands for a wide open three, which he clanged off the iron. The reason I mention this is because these sorts of possessions are getting to be rarer and rarer in the past 2 weeks and it is almost to the point where...well, I don't want to jinx anything. Corey is playing fantastic ball and that should stand by itself.
- Last night was the first time in quite a while where Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions essentially split the minutes at the point (24:40/23:20). It was also the first time in quite a while where Flynn opened up a big lead on Sessions in terms of +/- (+11/+1). While Flynn did not turn the ball over, he didn't exactly set the world on fire in terms of facilitation. For example, he can get to where he wants to go, but the problem is that where he wants to go is often not very helpful to the rest of the team. The most glaring example was in the first when he got in the middle of the lane for a dish to Damien Wilkins under the rim where he could do nothing with it. Flynn is fantastic in transition or when everyone is spread out and he can see clearly out to the wing. When things are clogged up in a 1/2 court man-to-man setting, not so much.
- Here's our nightly praise of Love: Early on he hit a three forcing his man to respect the distance on his shot. The next time he had a look from beyond the arc he made a pump fake, put the ball on the deck, and hit a wide open Al Jefferson for an open 18 footer while he drifted towards the rim for an offensive rebound attempt. During each and every single Wolves game there are at least 2-3 moments where I can watch a Kevin Love play and turn to my daughter and say "did you see how he did that?" How many other players on the Wolves can you do this with? It's not just fundamentals, it's smarts and hustle.
- Love kept his double/double streak alive with one of the weakest 10th rebounds you will ever see: he caught an airball.
Well, that about does it. My only other thoughts from the game were a never ending string of wonderment that Gilbert Arenas was able to garner himself a max deal. When a player of Arenas' quality can get that type of green, I think it says a lot about the financial state of the NBA.