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Dr. Robson conducts a forensic examination of Rubio and Barea

I've been reading Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboum mysteries. The books take place in the mid- to latter 1970s. Dr. Siri is a retired Major General in the Pathet Lao (think M*A*S*H-style meatball surgery in a cave) who, upon retirement, is drafted to become Laos' national coroner. The books are wonderful. Laugh out loud funny but grounded in the culture of Laos, communism and Buddhism. How good? This is from the page I'm on right now:

The alcohol was rough but effective and the women grew prettier with every cup. Siri assumed he too was getting younger and more handsome as the evening wore on.

— From "Curse of the Pogo Stick"

OK, maybe not the world's most original joke, but there's one on every page and always well delivered. I'm on my fourth Dr. Siri book now, but so far he has yet to do an autopsy on a living person. For that, you should read Britt Robson's latest analysis of the Wolves, Ricky and JJ specifically.

And the pockmarked beauty of it is, the spark Barea has provided more often than not has been good for Minnesota. At least three or four of their 17 wins are almost directly attributable to his crunchtime heroics.

As the season descends into smaller pleasures then, let’s have the purists among us learn to appreciate the creativity of a miniature pit bull in the china shop. Yes, that no-look Rubio feed between his opponent’s legs is a joy to behold. But so is that little hesitation Barea pulls when he is hell-bent for the basket, a split-second lag that causes the behemoth behind him to likewise pause, for fear that he’ll run up Barea’s back and commit the foul. Barea times that moment of stasis perfectly, putting on the final thrust of his drive so as to create that sliver of space where he can bank the ball off the glass.

Someday the J.J. Barea Show will be less vital to the Wolves chances of victory. But right now, be glad that he’s there whether you need him or not.

The read leading up to that conclusion is worth a click, even if the Wolves right now are not. As for me, I've got some more Dr. Siri books to read and then I'll move on to Cotterill's books about a Thai doctor-detective and after that I may start watching old Quincy reruns. Right now corpses are more interesting than the Wolves and, on occasion, more lively too.

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