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Tim's Game Preview: Game 72, Dallas Mavericks

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A lot of teams have won 58+ games in a season. It's much harder to win only 58 games over three seasons.

Minnesota Timberwolves (17-54) vs. Dallas Mavericks (49-21) at American Airlines Center

There has been a lot of reminiscing on Canis Hoopus over the last week or so. For example, Mplax posted an entertaining video of a Wolves victory over Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. Given the less-than-desirable result in the game against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, Kevin Love's injury and the prospects for the rest of the season, looking back on history has been more enticing for some than looking forward.

The Wolves have eleven games remaining this season.

Tonight, they play in Dallas. Over the next three weeks, the Wolves also face Oklahoma City, Memphis, New Jersey, Denver and Phoenix on the road, as well as Boston, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix and Houston at home.  Only New Jersey has a losing record, and as it currently stands, the Nets are also the only team that has no chance to make the playoffs.

If the Wolves win only one game, they'll have 18 wins on the season and 33 over the past two seasons, which gives them a .201 win percentage. For reference, after the Philadelphia 76ers won only 9 games in '72-'73, they won 25 the following year, giving them a .207 win percentage over that time.

Anyone can be mediocre. It's much tougher to be this historically bad. Let's break down tonight's matchups: 

 Screen-shot-2010-07-15-at-12

Little known fact: David Kahn once called a timeout he didn't have during a difficult D-League board meeting.

Darko Milicic vs. Tyson Chandler

Darko is nowhere close to historically bad. He's not the worst #2 overall pick of all-time (hello, Sam Bowie). He's not the worst Wolves center of all-time (hello, Calvin Booth). He's nowhere close to the worst Serbian of all time (hello, Slobodan Milosevic).

He has played Tyson Chandler pretty evenly over their career matchups (provided you ignore rebounding and FG% numbers). I expect a performance tonight that will be responsible for less than 10 negative comments in the Game Thread. Count it.

Winner: Darko Milicic

 

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Anthony Randolph is about to prove that anyone could've done what Kevin Love did this season.

Anthony Randolph vs. Dirk Nowitzki

72 games in and Anthony Randolph makes his first game preview as a starter. Of all of Mr. Randolph's career moments, this one has to rank right up there.

Tonight, Randolph will try to use his length and athleticism to bother Dirk Nowitzki. He's also going to have at least a 20/20 game. After all, let's face it, Kevin Love only grabbed so many rebounds because somebody had to. Kevin Love only has the scoring average he has because he's on a bad team. So, logic would suggest that Anthony Randolph should easily put up the same type of numbers. In fact, since Randolph is so much more athletic, Randolph should surpass Love's numbers.

I'm looking forward to the first article disproving that Anthony Randolph actually deserved his first 40/40 game.

Winner: Anthony Randolph

 

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After being traded to Minnesota, Michael Beasley wanted to buy new luggage with the Wolves' team colors. Unfortunately, Beasley was unsure of what colors the Wolves actually wear. He's still only about 75% sure.

Michael Beasley vs. DeShawn Stevenson

Michael Beasley started off the season playing very good basketball. He hurt his ankle and has been less effective since that time but has still had some shining moments. Next season, I want to try something new: player/coach for Michael Beasley.

Whenever he's not in the game, Beasley can help Kurt Rambis coach the team. How great would it be if Beasley were drawing up plays in the huddle? Shouting encouragement from the sidelines? Telling the refs that they made a bad call?

We could mic him up for every game and only allow people in the stadium to hear the feed. Tell me you wouldn't want to go to a game just to hear that. Someone needs to make this a reality.

Winner: Player/Coach Michael Beasley

 

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Wes just keeps Aaliyah's "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number" on repeat.

Wesley Johnson vs. Rodrigue Beaubois

I didn't want to say anything, but I feel that I need to before things get out of hand...

This board is ageist.

"Wesley Johnson is too old." "He's past his prime (already)." "He has no chance at being useful."

Some have even compared him to Benjamin Button. Why doesn't Canis Hoopus just take field trips down to local nursing homes where we can shout obscenities at old people all day long? Botox sales in the Twin Cities are up 300% this year and I blame the increase on some of you readers. You probably have aging people, some as old as 24 and 25, coming onto this board, seeing these ageist remarks, and logging off of their computers thinking that they've lived long enough. Let's try to be a little more sensitive, okay guys?

Winner: Wesley Johnson

 

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Whether high school, college or the pros, Luke Ridnour has winning in his genes. No, that's not a euphemism...I don't think.

Luke Ridnour vs. Jason Kidd

I wonder how it feels to be Luke Ridnour. You're the starting point guard for the best NBA team on the planet. Yet, you know that Ricky Rubio may be coming over soon, that Jonny Flynn will likely develop a little more and that the Wolves could draft either Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker in the '11 Draft. It's like he's married, he knows that his wife is going to leave him for a younger, "more athletic" guy, and there's nothing he can do about it.

Nothing except play the best 10 games of his life.

I'm talking triple doubles. I'm talking playmaking. I'm talking that he'll play so well that Tom Ziller will write another article where he argues that a point guard who isn't Derrick Rose should win the MVP (though that article won't be quite as silly as the Westbrook one).

Maybe he can keep the spot after all.

Winner: Luke Ridnour

 Gal_cheerleaders_minnesota-timberwolves-dance-team_medium

I'm not sure of the official name of this dance move, but I like to call it the "Why didn't you dunk that ball, Darko?!?" Dance.

My Prediction: Timberwolves (Some Number) - Dallas Mavericks (Some Different Number)

Timberwolves' Record: 18-54

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