noun, plural gal·li·mau·fries. Chiefly Literary .
1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.
2. a ragout or hash.
Below the jump are points of interest to me. Therefore, I feel the need to force them upon you.
- The Wolves, according to Hollinger, have a 63.5% chance of picking in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. I laid out early in the season the general likelihood that Utah would make the playoffs this year, and the conclusion was that something weird would have to happen for anyone to sneak in ahead of SA, OKC, LAL, LAC, Den, Mem, Por, and Dallas. Well, what happened was that Portland absolutely imploded. The problem, though, was that Houston and even the Wolves looked to be better than Utah, with Phoenix and GS having an outside chance. Now Utah is in a three-way race with Phoenix and Houston with Phoenix holding the tiebreaker between the two, and Houston not really having much of a chance (Houston would have to win out, have Utah and Phoenix, who play each other, both lose two of their final three games). The Jazz have all home games left against Orlando (no DH), Phoenix, and Portland (trying to lose). Phoenix is currently tied (with tiebreaker) but could potentially lose all three games vs Denver, at Utah, and vs SA. What is clear is that unless Phoenix loses against both Denver and SA, Utah will have to win out. Luckily, that's perfectly reasonable with the schedule.
- So Utah likely makes the playoffs, and in doing so, they likely have 36 wins. Where does that put the draft choice (West version)? First, the West: Denver, while not assured of the playoffs, is in the enviable position of losing a tiebreaker to Utah (why? read on). Currently the Nuggets have 34 wins with four games left: @Phoenix, Orlando, @OKC, @Min. They're guaranteed the tiebreaker to Phoenix, so 35 wins is only bad if Phoenix sweeps and Utah also has 35 wins. Unlikely, but possible. That's why Denver will go all out to beat Phoenix on Saturday. But if they lose, they can probably still pick up two wins. The key for Denver will be to beat Phoenix, thereby clinching, and then making sure they win or lose whatever it takes to be paired against the Spurs and not the Thunder. Given Denver's final game is against Minnesota and it loses a tiebreaker vs Utah, Denver can manage its win total properly. I'd say the chance of Utah finishing 7th or 8th if they make it at all is about 50/50 or slightly favoring the 7th seed.
- So Utah likely makes the playoffs, and in doing so, they likely have 36 wins. Where does that put the draft choice (East version)? The Knicks at 33 wins can possibly win 37 games, but their win/lose strategy is complicated. They would love to finish 6th and avoid Chi or Miami in the first round, but it would require gaining three games on Orlando, with whom they have the tiebreaker. If they don't think they can catch Orlando, they might think it best to let Philly catch them, so as to play Chicago rather than Miami. I predict with the schedule they end up with 36 wins, while Orlando gets one (vs Charlotte) to finish with 37, and Philadelphia finishes lower than Utah. Putting all the scenarios together, it looks like the Wolves will get the 17th or 18th pick, but if New York finishes with 36, they could get the 16th. I guess we knew that.
- Whom do the Wolves take with this pick? This will be fun to speculate on starting in one week, but my impression from watching Terrence Ross is that he's the man. He can shoot lights out, and he appears to not disappear, if you get my drift. His handle is better than any Wolves wing. I think of the JLamb/Ross/Rivers trio, Ross might be the best. They may be left instead with Austin Rivers, and I'm not sure they can do anything but draft him if Ross is gone. Rivers, from what little I've seen, has a handle and is aggressive. I'm not well-versed in his shortcomings. The best of the lot may Tony Wroten, but I'm afraid he needs the ball and won't play well with Rubio. Another possibility is Royce White, but can he be a three? Dion Waiters (Syracuse, ugh) and Jeff Taylor (yet another Wes comp) are others. My choices right now are Ross/JLamb/Wroten/Rivers/Waiters/Taylor in that order.
- I'll say it...we overrated Adelman as a coach. Don't get me wrong, he's much better than the prior one, but a really good coach would have his guys playing decent defense and doing the fundamentals like blocking out and such...not just when Rubio is on the team. I don't think I've ever screamed so much at my TV as I've found myself doing at some point in the 3rd quarters when no Wolf is getting a rebound unless it comes right to him, and that's only after an opponent or two still almost got it. The Wolves most guilty of this, besides post-playoff-chance Love (see next bullet), are the guys who should all be gone this summer. Adelman didn't handle Love's intensity change well, either.
- Love also basically gave up. He still scored and grabbed rebounds, but he gave up numerous rebounds that were his, and his scoring no longer was helpful scoring. He became the reincarnation of Michael Beasley 2011, stopping the offense and generally playing like it wasn't a team game. Since this all started after the Wolves lost to Boston and were no longer in the race, I don't see it as a big deal for next year. But still, his attitude with this and his reactions to calls not going his way is really getting on my nerves. I was one of those in favor of not giving Love five years because I wanted to offer Rubio the kitchen sink when the time came. I feel now for sure I was right in assuming that Rubio is the heart and soul of this team. Personally, I feel if the Wolves could get fair value for Love, I wouldn't mind trading him. Note that fair value is a ton.
- The biggest no-brainer ever for the Wolves is that they need to get rid of Beasley, Webster, Darko, and Wes Johnson. This is easy: no qualifying offer, no option pick-up, amnesty, and trade for a bag of beans, if necessary. Wes actually may have some value, though I honestly think that besides another GM's error, the only real value Wes has is as an expiring contract, meaning the Wolves would have to take on more years to get rid of him. Otherwise, hope for the other GM's error (2nd rd pick or something). No more.
- Slightly tougher decisions. AR should be gone like Beasley, but it's possible he'd be cheap and somewhat useful deep on the bench. Generally, though, in this type of situation it's probably best to cut bait. Tolliver, on the other hand, is extremely useful as a deep bench guy. I just don't know if he's affordable. Assuming the Wolves don't try to move Ellington, I'd love for Tolliver and Ellington to be the 11th and 12 guys. They try...every time they play.
- I'm excited to see Lee and Williams with a year and summer under their belts. I'm all for dealing Williams if it helps, but I don't want to give him up cheap. He'd still go really high in this year's draft. Wouldn't it be cool if Williams (plus?) could pull in trade a Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal or something? I know, the unknown is always better, but Williams will be a good player. As for Lee, it's very obvious why he got three years guaranteed. He's a helluva man-up defensive player. I've been so impressed, I again have been shouting at the TV... in a good way this time. He should have been in there at the end of the Pistons game...he would have stopped Will Bynum.
- The Wolves will be exciting next year, but it's playoffs or bust. They should have made it this year. Next year will be too disappointing if they don't. Many other reasons, too.
- When can the Wolves offer to extend Pek? I'm not sure exactly how this works with non-1st round guys in guaranteed contracts. I believe worst-case scenario is he becomes a RFA, which could prove too costly to keep him Summer 2013. An extension asap would be preferable.
- The Wolves only definite pick is 56-60. Could the Wolves ever take something like this seriously and possibly find someone as good as Isaiah Thomas. Or do they have to draft 30 yr old guys no one's heard of and you can't pronounce...or a Gopher (Sampson!)...seriously, take this seriously. It's the opportunity to draft the best player of a very small group that will end up NBA-worthy. Maybe you can actually identify that player. Maybe move up for Jae Crowder.
- Free agents and trades. Yes, there better be at least five new players acquired like this. Please, oh please, make sure before bringing them in that they know the fundamentals of defense and rebounding, that they have motors, and that they will always try as hard as they can. Oh, and that they don't fall asleep on the court, Martell.
- JJ Barea may be infuriating at times, but he's always going hard. Let's find some wings with that as a baseline.
- I have an over/under Wolves wins bet with a friend. I'm over 26.5, and it's been a whirlwind of offers to let one or another out of the bet after the Wolves started losing. Wednesday morning I was asked if I wanted to settle by paying 80%. I replied "I'm good." My biggest concern recently has been Love coming back and continuing his "it's only a pick-up game" attitude. Still is. It's almost impossible to lose to Golden State, but I'm still afraid.
- Twins suck.