All The Way Through 80

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix. Oi.

It's almost over. 2 more to go. I think this season will age like fine wine in terms of its awfulness. As has been mentioned many, many, many times before, this was supposed to be the beginning of the payoff. It's not. It's been a slog, and for a number of wide-ranging reasons.

Last night the lowly Phoenix Suns sauntered into town and gave an...effort against the fearless hometown five, coming up short, 93-105. Phoenix turned the ball over an astounding 27 times and was only able to stay in the game by posting a .568 TS%.

The Suns were beaten out on the offensive glass 11-5, they took fewer free throws than the Wolves made (14 to 17), and, as I have already mentioned, they turned the ball over 27 times. With the offensive rebounds and turnovers, that's 38 extra chances granted to the good guys by the dudes from way down (south) west.

The 27 forced turnovers also happen to be quite a rare event for the Wolves. They have only forced 25 or more turnovers 14 times in their long and distinguished history. 2 of those games have been this season, with the last coming in February against the Blazers. The Wolves are 7-7 in these games.

In the 2012/13 season, there have been 7 games with 25 or more opponent turnovers. The Wolves are the only team with 2 appearances on the list. (THEY'RE #1, THEY'RE #1, THEY'RE #1!!!). They are also the only team who lost a game to an opponent with 25 or more turnovers. (THEY'RE #1, THEY'RE #1, THEY'RE #1!!!) You know, at times I'm almost reluctant to look too deeply into the weirdness of the team I happen to be geographicallyemotionally chained to from my youth. For instance:

First 6 years (pre KG): 126-366 (.256).

Last 6 years (post KG): 133-336 (.283).

The Wolves are about to finish up their 9th straight season out of the playoffs (a playoffs where more than half of the teams in the league are able to find their way into). This is 2 years longer than the wait endured at the beginning of the franchise. It is also 1 year longer than the 8 year consecutive playoff streak led by KG.

In their 24 year history, only 7 seasons have had a positive SRS. They have had only 8 seasons with a positive net Otg/Drtg. The franchise's all-time best SRS is 5.68. Currently there are 4 teams in the league with a higher mark (OKC: 9.42, SAS: 7.26, Miami: 7.13, Clips: 6.44), with the Denver Nuggets barely falling behind at 5.34. The best 100pos o/d differential in franchise history is 6.2. Currently, the same 4 teams carry a larger differential.

Anywho...

Smiling Wes was back in the building last night. He scored some points and made some shots but he was still good ol' Wes: 0 trips to the line, 0 offensive rebounds, horrendous chicken-with-his-head-cut-off defense, 0 blocks, 0 steals, and 4 fouls. But hey, his shot still looks GREAT when watched 20 feet away from the TV screen.

On the good guy side of the ball, Ricky probably played his best game of the season: going 7-7 from the line, dishing 10 dimes, grabbing 5 boards, and nabbing 5 steals in nearly 36 minutes of action. I know it doesn't count for much on the boxscore, but strictly from a fan's perspective, it really has been great to watch Rubio play in these dog days games. I've watched a lot (A LOT) of bad April pro ball over the years and even near the end of his run KG got ground down by the suck vortex that is a Glen Taylor owned/Rob Moor run franchise. Perhaps the #1 reason I still watch this team like I do is to see just how far Ricky can make it beyond the Gate or Mordor before his unicorn soul is turned into greeting card pulp (Oh, you thought Glen made those things out of paper?!). That's not toooooo morbid, is it? Go Ricky!!!

OK, I have to go put on my snowshoes to take the dog on a mid-April walk.

Until later.

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