Tim's Game Preview: Game 59, New Orleans Hornets


Sure, there were some bugs in the last version. You're going to love United We Run 2.0.

Minnesota Timberwolves (13-45) vs. New Orleans Hornets (34-25) at Target Center 

There is a lot of anger in Wolvesland right now. Why didn't we trade for this guy or that guy? Why are we giving Kurt Rambis and David Kahn another year? Why do we keep making poor selections in the draft and taking guys who never seem to get better?

Reasonable questions, yes, but they overlook some basic facts. One of the most basic of all facts is that you should never doubt those who are in charge of this team. They know what they're doing. If they want to play Kevin Love only 30 minutes, who are you to say anthing? If they want to trade Kevin Love for Jason Kapono's expiring contract, you can't really say much. I mean, did you ever write for the Los Angeles Times? Did you ever sit next to Phil Jackson? Did you ever get punched by Robert Parish? I don't think so.

So, today, instead of just breaking down tonight's matchup between the Hornets and the Wolves, I thought I'd answer these questions for some of the bellyachers out there.  


Why didn't we make a trade for O.J. Mayo, Gerald Wallace or another quality player at the deadline?

Because our roster is set. We needed more athleticism on our bench (and I mean literally on the bench) , thus the trade for Anthony Randolph. Also, Corey Brewer's goat kept eating the tin cans that Kahn uses to play telephone with other GMs. Something had to be done about that one. Outside of those two deals, why would the Wolves want to make any trades? They already have two All-Stars on this team and that doesn't even count the one that David Stern picked as Yao Ming's replacement.

It's like when I was 9 years old and I wanted a new bicycle. Only one gear worked and the bike had no reflectors. The tires were worn and the handlebars were a little bent. But my dad told me that as long as it still got me from Point A to Point B, there was no need spending all of that money on a new one.

If you think of Wesley Johnson as an old bicycle, I think you'll feel a lot better about the team's future.



Why are we giving David Kahn and Kurt Rambis another year?

I think its always true that the people who make mistakes are the best people to undo those mistakes. When the Titanic hit the iceberg, who better than the Captain of the Titanic to steer the ship away from those icebergs? After all, he obviously knows not to hit them again, right?

David Kahn signed Ryan Hollins and Ramon Sessions last year. After he signed Hollins, Kahn said he would fit in well on the frontcourt with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. After signing Sessions, Kahn said, "We believe, like our team, his best days are head of him."

So, he was wrong about that one. How can we expect any GM to plan an entire year into the future? That's not fair. I think we need to give Kahn the time he needs to clear up this past summer's mistakes, and next year, he can clear up this year's mistakes. Not only will Kahn learn as he goes along, but our team will eventually be great somewhere down the line.

As far as Kurt Rambis...again, I have to scoff at you for even asking the question. Kurt Rambis once played with Magic Johnson and James Worthy. Kurt Rambis has Pat Riley's phone number. Kurt Rambis still gets stopped on the street and asked to reprise his verse in Just Say No! 

Don't you think Rambis could have the Wolves winning 60 games this year if he wanted to? This year is about player development and teaching players how to play the game of basketball the right way.

Anyone can win. 



Why do we draft poorly and fail to develop the guys we do draft?

Okay, first of all, this question is biased and poorly worded. Start taking this more seriously.

Second, let's go through Kahn's 1st round picks, shall we?

Ricky Rubio...some people already think he's the best player we have - almost everyone thinks he's the best point guard we have - and Rubio hasn't played a minute for us yet. Just think of how excited people will be if when he actually steps into Target Center.

Jonny Flynn...sure, Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings were both on the board. And yeah, the only NCAA game Kahn watched from that season was the six-overtime game between Syracuse and Connecticut (Kahn had to be talked out of taking Eric Devendorf with the 18th pick). You ever try finding a good pair of men's shorts in Minnesota? Kahn didn't have any time to watch some college games that weren't even in the NCAA tournament.

Ty Lawson

Wayne Ellington...our last North Carolina shooting guard had worked out so well, Kahn wanted to continue the pattern.

Wesley Johnson...c'mon, you can't question this one, can you? He won Big East Player of the Year, for pete's sake. That's an elite class with names like Donyell Marshall, Pat Garrity and Troy Bell. You think DeMarcus Cousins ever won Big East Player of the Year? I wouldn't bet on it. Besides, with Wes being older than nearly everyone else in the draft class, he was ready to come in and play right away. We didn't want to have to wait half a season - like some team in Philadelphia who I won't mention has had to do - for our rookie to start performing.

I was tempted to give those draft picks an A or an A+. But then I remembered that there's an A++.

To answer the second part, why develop players who are already great?



Oh man, I hate when that happens. I guess its time to restart the Windows all over again...


Wolves vs. Hornets

Darko Milicic vs. Emeka Okafor

Darko has never met a Big East center he couldn't dominate at will.

Winner: Darko Milicic

Kevin Love vs. David West

Two of my friends who root for the Hornets were mad that David West didn't make the All-Star Game. Apparently, his flight was delayed so he spent all that money on a ticket for nothing.

Winner: Kevin Love


Michael Beasley vs. Trevor Ariza

If you were Trevor Ariza, could you stop Michael Beasley? I didn't think so.

Winner: Michael Beasley


Wesley Johnson vs. Willie Green

Man, its a good thing the Hornets didn't trade away another good guard or they might have to start Willie Green...oh, wait.

Winner: Wesley Johnson


Luke Ridnour vs. Chris Paul

Two of my sources told me that Chris Paul was getting traded here before yesterday's trade deadline. I guess I know that the guys behind the Mall of America's Cold Stone Creamery counter are not to be trusted. Spread the word.

Winner: Luke Ridnour



The crowd going crazy during halftime at Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tonight, the first 5,000 people get a free Crunch bobblehead.

My Prediction: Timberwolves 95 - New Orleans Hornets 89

Timberwolves' Record: 14-45

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