Tomorrow night's the big night, and after a few other people couldn't take my extra ticket I resolved to take my mother to the game against the Kings. It should be interesting, because she doesn't really follow basketball outside of the occasional Lynx championship run. She is, however, an absolute die-hard Twins fan. Her love for the Twins is quite comparable to my love for the Wolves, in fact. With that in mind, I knew just how to prepare her for the season opener. I sent this as an email to her, and I'm pretty proud of how it turned out so I'm sharing it with my fellow CH-ers. Enjoy:
Here's everything you need to know about the Wolves this year. The players are as follows:
The Stars (you know these):
Ricky Rubio (#9): Awesome but also injured and won't play tomorrow. Most comparable Twin: Denard Span.
Kevin Love (#42): See Ricky Rubio. Most comparable Twin: Joe Mauer.
The (Probable) Starters:
Luke Ridnour (#13): Decent point guard and pretty good shooter. Not really good enough to be a starter in the NBA but really not too bad either. Most comparable Twin: Scott Baker.
Brandon Roy (#3): Around this time last year, this guy retired because his knees couldn't hold up. We signed him to a two year deal! He insists he is back in his old form (which was VERY good - he's been an all star multiple times), so we'll see. He will hit any shot if he's left open, and even if that's all he can do that's not bad. Really hopeful his career gets a jump start here. Most comparable Twin: Carl Pavano.
Andrei Kirilenko (#47): All-around great player from Russia with the brilliantly perfect nickname 'AK-47'. Didn't play in the NBA last year because of the lockout and is getting old. He won't score a lot of points but plays excellent defense and is just kind of always there making plays. He's better than his numbers will suggest. Most comparable Twin: Jamey Carroll.
Derrick Williams (#7). Should not be starting but probably will. He was our draft pick last year - the #2 and the highest the Wolves have ever had. So far, has been a pretty big disappointment. Immensely talented but just doesn't seem to be able to put it together. Does a lot of very stupid things. Most comparable Twin: Alexi Casilla.
Nikola Pekovic (#14): Massive and terrifying. Will wear down anyone he's matched up with. Gets a lot of rebounds. Has a tattoo covering his entire upper arm of a knight standing on a pile of skulls. Have I mentioned he is terrifying? Most comparable Twin: T.C.
The Bench Players (in general order of important-ness):
Chase Budinger (#10): Shoots 3-pointers and makes them. That's really about it. Out of a large group of new players, he could be the X-factor this year and should probably be starting over Derrick Williams. Most comparable Twin: Josh Willingham (at least...I hope so).
J.J. Barea (#11): A very fast and small point guard. He's "officially" 6 feet tall, but that's a lie. Can shoot and pass pretty well, but a lot of times he won't do either of those things and drive to the basket for a layup. Sometimes this works REALLY well and is a great catalyst and other times he'll get destroyed by people twice his size. It's...frustrating. Most comparable Twin: Ben Revere.
Alexey Shved (#1): Another kid from Russia. Technically a rookie, but like Rubio last year has really been a pro for a long time. Having Kirilenko around will help him a ton. Kind of like Rubio, but a better shooter and not as great at the things Rubio is amazing at like passing and defense. He's gonna be fun to watch. Most comparable Twin: Denard Span's weird Russian cousin
Greg Stiemsma (#34): Big guy from Wisconsin. Decent across the board but nothing spectacular. He will take up space and play when Pekovic needs a rest from being terrifying. Most comparable Twin: Drew Butera
Dante Cunningham (#33): We traded for this guy in the offseason to serve as a replacement for another player who left in free agency. They're very similar, but I think Cunningham is better. I love his energy off the bench. Most comparable Twin: Randy Bush.
Lou Amundson (#17): Another big guy that's there in case Pekovic AND Stiemsma need simultaneous breaks. Not very good but you wouldn't know it from his energy. Most comparable Twin: Matt Capps (by the way, did you see we released Matt Capps? Awesome)
The Guys Who Probably Won't Play (and if they do, something has gone horribly wrong)
Malcolm Lee (#3): Was a rookie last year. Apparently plays good defense, although that's not how I remember it. Not terrible, but doesn't need to be on an NBA roster. Most comparable Twin: Pedro Florimon (unless he was good, then Nishioka or something)
Will Conroy (#I don't know): This guy made the team this year. That is literally all I know about him. Most comparable Twin: Remember that guy we had that one year? Him.