We seem to be in need of some optimism, so I thought I'd throw together the most perfect form of positivity the internet has ever seen outside of double rainbow guy.
The Minnesota Timberwolves enter tonight's game against the Miami Heat having mostly given up their hopes of a Championship this year due to injury. Nonetheless, the Wolves have been on a mighty 4-21 streak in which they strategically dropped games to thwart the blatant tanking of teams like Washington and Charlotte. We are such stalwarts of hard work and fair play we would prefer to lose a game than let teams tank. It is just how we roll. On the flip side the upstart Miami Heat, who just 5 years ago won a pathetic 15 games (and just 46 last year, despite being a supposedly 'great' team) are on a somewhat miraculous 14 game win streak. Nobody can believe their luck over the last month. I mean, seriously people, double OT to defeat Sacramento!?!? Title pretenders I say.
Despite a near certainty of Wolf victory, I though I'd do a quick preview of the matchups:
PG Ricky Rubio:
The kid is a genius. He is the light on the porch welcoming you home after a long drive on a rainy night. He is positive at all times without being goofy, fake, or forced. He can spread the love at the end of a painful loss to a distraught Russian rookie while simultaneously playing like a man possessed in an effort to get us back into a hopeless game. We call him a unicorn, but he has surpassed the myth.
Mario is one of the many Timberwolf draft picks that we made simply to trade away to another team to scuttle that team's draft. We are so good at this that teams don't even bother trying to acquire draft picks from us if we've already selected the player. Seriously, we traded Mario for 2 second round picks. We thought so little of him that we used one of those picks to select Ricky's friend from his Barcelona team, just to make the kid feel good. We used the other to select a kid to give to Dallas so David Kahn could get on Shark Tank to pitch a ruler than not only measures length, but smiles. There isn’t much to say about Norris Cole. He had a cool fade haircut so we traded a promising Euro (Mirotic) to get Cole and Malcolm Lee (our real target). We then scuttled the Heat by giving them Cole, cash, and a 2nd rounder for Henk Norel's friend, Bojan Bogdanovic.
Admittedly the Wolves have had some injury problems here. Nonetheless we have such enormous depth on our roster we don't even need Brandon Roy, Malcom Lee, or Josh Howard. With the rest of our team being so strong we typically trot out our 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th string SGs. Seems to be working.
Dwyane 'Sade' Wade/Ray Allen:
Wade is pretty good. Allen is pretty good. They are also old. Their combined age is a couple years older than Rick Adelman - and he was born in the mid-40's. Further, Ray Allen is on his 5th NBA team - starting out as another TWolf draftee discarded on draft night for a more interesting player. Both players have been declining for the last 4 years. Ray Allen is supposed to be a great shooter, but he's barely cracking 45%! What is this baseball where failing 55% of the time is somehow 'good'? Wade is supposed to be a scorer, but has shot 27% from 3PT over this season and last - this is significantly worse than our own Ricky Rubio who is disparaged as a poor shooter. Ricky is shooting 29% on threes over a similar number of attempts than Wade. Why the bias, lamestream media? Ricky is also an 80% FT shooter, much better than Wade's 77%. So, somebody explain to me these unfair reputations.
Edge: Miami, but only because we split our playing time among 4 players.
At SF the Wolves have again been crushed by injury. As always, we have struck back hard with one of Kahn's virtually uncountable fantastic roster moves in Dante Cunningham. Dante is unique among NBA players in that he hits literally every single he shot he takes - so long as he is exactly 19' 7" from the rim. From that distance he is Dantematic. Dante also hustles on every play for every nanosecond. He hustles to the bench, he hustles to his car after another Wolf win, he hustles to collect dew drops from ladybug wings so Ricky has something to drink. AK47 is not human. He is a dragon with a life-sized human tattoo on his chest. He is a vampire squid - you don't see him, you don't notice him, then he swoops in from nowhere to swallow your shot whole and is gone for a dunk just as quick.
Shane Battier is such a poor shooter that his shooting percentage actually improves if he is more than 21 feet from the rim. Seriously, what kind of broke ass shot do you have to have to make that even possible? He's also taken 223 shots from far away and just 30 from less than 20 feet. As Timberwolf fans, we learned from our historic coach, Kurt Rambis, that taking shots from far away in the NBA is not only ok for your opponent but preferred since there is literally no incentive to do so. And long shots are hard. Shane just doesn't get it, and probably never will. Mike Miller holds a special place in the hearts of all Wolf fans. Not only did Mike show us what it means to be a perfect teammate by passing up almost every open shot he ever saw just so Rashad McCants and Rodney Carney could shoot their way into stardom, but Mike also solved for us the eternal mystery of who invented basketball. Thanks Mike.
Yes, again, our depth is crucial as our superstar was injured making a sandwich. But, fortunately we have true genius in the front office. Kahn had the foresight to see that our team was so strong he could use the highest pick in franchise history to draft a player just in case Love got hurt. Well done, David, well done. The fruits of your vision ripen before us. Derrick Williams has, admittedly, struggled a little bit. But, since Rick Adelman has come out to the press and said that he trusts Derrick Williams to play "because he has to, we have literally no other options and Stern says we have to have five players on the floor", Derrick has used that confidence boost to consistently put up 20 point and 10+ rebound games. This has translated into many victories and assures us that if Kevin Love ever gets hurt again we can win 3 or 4 games a month, every month.
First, we need to discuss Udonis Haslem. On the day Udonis Haslem was born Richard Pryor lit himself on fire smoking crack and drinking Bacardi 151 on a movie set. Udonis plays a little like Richard Pryor on fire. As Mr. Pryor succinctly informed us, "When you are running down the street on fire....people get the fuck out your way." That is all that needs to be said, really.
LeBron James is pretty good at basketball. Sadly, for true basketball fans like us, it is hard to see him as anything other than a disappointment. Sure, he has MVPs, he even let Wade drag him to a title. But, LeBron has the ability of Michael Jordan in Space Jam and the body of Karl Malone, yet he just keeps losing to teams with zero aliens. It cannot be explained.
Edge: Miami by a hair.
Nikola Pekovic is a man among boys. He was the life-sized motion capture actor for the giants in Jack the Giant Slayer, but was fired because he refused to lose any of the battles or wear a jump suit with ping pong balls stuck to it. He may not play tonight, but even if he is on the bench Chris Bosh will whimper and grab LeBron's coattails (at which he is an expert). Again, injuries have forced the Wolves to reveal their unparalleled depth. Adelman prefers to play Steamer, just to keep it fair. Unfortunately, our secret weapon for the playoffs, Chris Johnson, is forced to play. Christ is so good he hits over 65% of his shots. Christ is so good we released a player that was immediately scooped up by an elite Eastern Conference team just so we could have him sit on the bench and look peaceful.
Chris Bosh/Joel Anthony: Chris Bosh has played in 8 All Star games. I can't believe it either. The guy was drafted after Darko Milicic. He barely averages 7 rebounds a game in 34 minutes on a team where his entire job is to stay out of the way and get rebounds so the good players can get the ball. Joel Anthony is even worse. Joel's per36 totals are 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 points. This should be impossible for a guy who plays less than half that number of minutes per game and is ignored on both ends of the floor by the opposition.
Edge: Minnesota, with or without Pek.
Rick Adelman is one of the greatest coaches is NBA history.
Erik Spoelstra got his start rewinding VHS game tapes for the Heat because his daddy called the Heat Director of Player Personnel to get his deadbeat son a job.
Chance of victory for the Wolves, 100%. We are going 82-0, after all.
Didn't have time for pics and captions. The standard TA set is soooo high.