Mannablauch

It's almost like yesterday:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chuck Knoblauch not only is hurting the New York Yankees with his wild throws, he's hurting their fans, too.

The scatter-armed second baseman made another wild throw Saturday, this one hitting a woman sitting behind the first-base dugout in a game against the Chicago White Sox.

The woman, who appeared to be hit in the body, was OK. She initially declined help, then walked with two Emergency Medical Service workers through the stands to the first-aid station.

I remember it just happening.  The All Star second baseman suddenly couldn't throw the ball to first.  I don't know enough about baseball to tell you if there was anything else to the story, but all I can remember (aside from batteries being thrown at Chuck by the Metrodome faithful) is that out of nowhere, the guy couldn't perform a simple task: throwing the ball to first base.  

And so goes Darko Milicic.  I have no idea what is going on with this guy.  He's 7 feet tall with legit athleticism, a decent stroke, and ok basketball smarts, and he suddenly can't hit the broadside of the barn.  Last night he went 2-7 from the floor, raising his field goal percentage to .147%. Recent reports have said that Darko needs some sort of confidence booth but it's not exactly like the Wolves can move him to the basketball equivalent of left field.  Where else are you going to put the guy? 

One of the best things about League Pass is that you get to listen to the opposing team's announcers, and over the past two contests (Orlando and Atlanta) there has been a constant theme with the out-of-towners: Darko is not and will never be a low post player.  He simply isn't comfortable in the low block.  Is this basic take the truth?  I'm sure we'll find out over the course of the season, but for now, it looks as if Darko is channeling another former Minny athlete and he has simply forgotten how to complete one of the most basic plays of his sport...in this case, a short 5 foot push shot.  

As for the rest of the game against Atlanta, I know the term "moral victory" is cliche and overused in sports, but the Wolves needed a competitive tilt tonight.  After suffering the worst loss in franchise history on the heels of two other consecutive blowouts, they needed to show the home crowd that their heads were still somewhat in the game.  Thanks to energetic performances by Corey Brewer, Anthony Tolliver, and Sebastian Telfair, the Wolves made something of a game out of their matchup against the Hawks.  Is a 10 point home loss a moral victory?  I don't think I want to go that far, but...well, here we are: being somewhat thankful for a double-digit loss at home.  Let's try to find some positives:

 

  • Wes Johnson had 18 points and a -2.  He didn't get blown out by Joe Johnson but he also didn't rebound the ball (1 rebound in 35 minutes).  
  • Corey Brewer exercised something close to representing intelligent shot selection.  On one play in the 2nd half, the ball rotated to him over on the left wing with an open 3.  Instead of jacking up a relatively low percentage shot, he put the ball on the floor and attacked the paint.  
  • Sebastian Telfair ended up with 27 minutes at the point.  He facilitated solid ball movement, quick (and good) shots while bringing a bit of attitude to the proceedings.  Normally, it would be something of an insane proposition to not play your starting point guard down the stretch, but Bassy was up to the task tonight and he kept the offense crisp and moving. 
Random thoughts:

  • The Wovles only attempted 12 FTAs.  That's simply not going to cut it. 
  • Who knew that Jamal Crawford has the most 4 point plays in league history (24)? 
  • The Wolves were absolutely obliterated in transition play.  At one point in the 2nd half, they had no transition points compared to the Hawks' 22.  
  • The Wolves lost the game with only 11 turnovers. This is a somewhat odd happening

 

Well folks, that about does it for tonight.  I don't really know what to say about this team right now.  On one hand, it's nice to see them come out and compete after 3 blowouts, but on the other hand, at no point during this game did I ever think that they really had a chance to win.  

Here's hoping that Flynn and Webster get back soon so we can get a better handle on this squad. . . 

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