Tim's Game Preview: Game 82, Houston Rockets


Did you hear what Kahn said? We're ahead of schedule. Now how about signing that extension, Kevin?

Minnesota Timberwolves (17-64) vs. Houston Rockets (42-39) at Target Center

Tonight is Fan Appreciation Night at the Target Center for the final home game of the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2010-2011 season. David Kahn decided to kick off the festivities with a rousing press conference this morning where he continued to expand on his theme of "all roads lead to me".

Although, I will say, Kahn was being a tad disingenuous. It's easy to take the blame for everything when things are going so well. After all, in his own words, ""We're ahead of where we thought we'd be with the roster."

Anyhow, Kahn gave the fans a lot more to appreciate at tonight's game and we should all be thankful for it. Glen Taylor was so thankful that he's given Kahn the gift of job security. If we're ahead of schedule now, just think of where we'll be in a couple of seasons. We might even have 35 or 40 wins at this point in 2013. Amazing, right?

Oh yeah, in addition to all of the fun, the Wolves have a game to play tonight against the Houston Rockets. Let's break down the matchups:


Sadly, like a Yeti, no one has been able to capture a Darko jog through a Serbian forest on film.

Darko Milicic vs. Chuck Hayes

We're ahead of schedule with Darko Milicic. I wonder who was supposed to be starting at center this season according to the schedule. Someone should've followed up with that question in the press conference.

That being said, there are things that Darko can improve for next season. His conditioning. Although, when you've carried about all those expectations for 8 years, the last thing you really want to do is lift weights again. His offensive game in the post. Although, to be fair, he got the "offensive" part right. His mental toughness. You try dealing with hundreds of angry Wolves' fans each night. You wouldn't be mentally tough either after going through that gauntlet.

Maybe he wasn't an All-Star this year, but hey, Darko had potential at one point. He has to capitalize on it eventually. Right?  

Winner: Darko Milicic



Ahh, the good ol' days. Back when 24 wins didn't seem like a lot.

Kevin Lovevs.  Patrick Patterson

I don't know if Kevin Love is going to play tonight. In fact, I'd probably wager that he won't play. Yet, you have to wonder what is going through his mind on a day like today. Has his confidence been restored by David Kahn? Does he feel more confident about the future? Does he like the talent that David Kahn has surrounded him with?

The obvious answer to all of them is 'yes'. If I were Kevin Love, I would be asking my agent how soon we can sign an extension. It's not often that anyone gets to hear their boss say such flattering things about the team in public. "We had one of our lowest sales' months in history, but we're actually ahead of schedule!" Would they ever say that at Target or Best Buy? I doubt it. And that's why Kevin Love doesn't work at Target or Best Buy.

It's called loyalty. Can you dig it?

Winner: Kevin Love


Look how happy Michael Beasley was this summer. I imagine he's extra happy right now.

Michael Beasley vs. Chase Budinger

David Kahn said that a friend of Michael Beasley's told him that Beasley is looking forward to this summer more than any other since he's started playing in the NBA. And no, smart alecs, its not because this summer he won't have to play with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It's because he'll get a chance to work on his game. Improve his shooting ability. Work on his free throws. Improve his defense. I'm confident that next season, you're going to see a completely different player on the court (and no, not because Kahn traded him away for cap space).

Winner: Michael Beasley



Remember, he was kind of an All-Star this year. Ladies and gents, David Kahn's best draft pick ever, Wesley Johnson.  

Wesley Johnson vs. Kevin Martin

Wesley Johnson should be voted in as this season's Rookie of the Year. Blake Griffin? Not really a rookie. John Wall? Not really a wall. DeMarcus Cousins? Ask Donte Greene if he would vote for him.

But Wesley Johnson...that guy has earned it. He's scored in double figures a whopping 32 times this season. He's made 146 assists on the year. If he takes 8 free throws this game, he'll have an even 100 for the season.

Vote for Wesley Johnson for Rookie of the Year.  If you were eligible for the award, he'd vote for you.

Winner: Wesley Johnson



I wonder how often Luke Ridnour e-mails his agent about whether the Lakers wanted him over Steve Blake.

Luke Ridnour vs. Goran Dragic

If I were Luke Ridnour, I'd be looking for a new agent right about now. How many contenders out there could have used a solid back-up point guard? About all of them? Luke could be playing with the Heat or the Spurs right now and worrying about who he is going to play in the first round. Instead, he's serving as a stand-in until Ricky Rubioand/or Kyrie Irving gets here to play franchise savior.

I'd be upset. At least, Luke had close to 82 games and will have three more years worth of fun and excitement in Minnesota. It's hard to put a price tag on that. Well, you could say $4 million, I guess, but still, its almost priceless.

Winner: Luke Ridnour



If this really is Kurt's last game with the Wolves, we should honor him with a billboard on First Avenue.

Well, that's it, Wolves' fans. 82 games and 82 previews. Enough lame jokes to fill an entire Dane Cook show. On a serious note, I hope you have enjoyed reading the previews as much as I've enjoyed putting them together. Thanks for reading and for all of the awesome comments and feedback. I appreciate it.

Reminder: the CH get together is at Kieran's tonight at 6 PM. You're all more than welcome.

My Prediction: Timberwolves 108 - Houston Rockets 100

Timberwolves' Record: 82-0

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