Well folks, it's finally here: The first Summer League game for Our Beloved Puppies. Tip-off is at 5 PM against the Houston squad that features Joey Dorsey, Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger. This will be a particularly interesting game for Wolves fans to watch because Taylor and Budinger represent something of a 2nd round value version of Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington. Does the Dork Elvis seal of approval outrank the first round selections of David Kahn? While one game obviously won't give us an answer, I wanted to point this out because of Taylor is a scoring guard who could have played along side of Rubio while Budinger is a wing who can shoot a'la Ellington. For a fan base who is all too aware of things like Roy/Foye and Love/Mayo, it's just something to keep an eye on during the season.
On the Wolves side of things, Minny will field a lineup that consists of two pairs of high school teammates: Niagara Falls' Flynn and Paul Harris and Episcopal Academy's (Philly) Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson. That's pretty cool.
The big local angle for the game will obviously be Albert Lea's own Ben Woodside but we would like our readers to pay attention to former Arkansas big man Steven Hill in addition to the four players listed above. Hill is coming off knee surgery with the Tulsa 66ers and he even had a cup of coffee with the Thunder last year in the NBA. He is a very athletic 7 footer who has the potential to be a 15 mpg type of defensive big man who hustles like hell and can rebound. In other words, he's the type of player that is a much better fit as a backup to Big Al and the Big Piranha than is Craig Smith. That being said, the Wolves are a tad overloaded with bigs and he may just be playing for a...well, I honestly don't know what his D-League contract status is.
For a rundown of the remainder of the Wolves' Summer League roster please head on over to Ridiculous Upside for their post on the subject.
Moving on, the Lynx lost to San Antonio on Friday night. It was a sloppy game with long stretches of bad defense. Instead of writing about the game in great detail I'd like to use it as an example of why we write about the Lynx on a site where most of our readers come here to read and talk about the Wolves. First, let me make a quick analogy. Women's ball is to pre-metal racket tennis as men's ball is to modern tennis; it is a game of grit and angles rather than power and speed. In a way, it is something of a different game but it is a game that many fans of the men's game claim they miss and/or want to see more of: fundamentals-oriented, solid jump shooting, good ball movement, etc. In other words, it's good ball and it is something that most fans should be able to relate to in terms of play on a far greater level than what is happening on an NBA court. Second, the Lynx are a team that currently relies on 2 second year players (Wiggins/Anosike) and a rookie point (Montgomery). They play an up-tempo style of ball with a new coach (Gillom) and their star player (Augustus) went down with a season ending knee injury. This is a team Wolves fans can relate to and it is a perfect gateway team for them to enjoy the WNBA. There are going to be up-and-down nights but ultimately, with a core of Augustus, Wiggins, Anosike and Montgomery, and with an extra 2010 1st round pick (from the Liberty), the Lynx are in a position to have one of the very best young teams in the league....just like the Wolves.
The Lynx's next game is tonight at 6 in San Antonio. Since this is a Wolves site we will always defer to that team in terms of head-to-head coverage but for those of you who would like to watch a real basketball game, and for those of you who don't want to shell out $14.99 for the privilege to watch a scrimmage on your computer (which is the going on-line rate for summer league action...with no guarantee that the Wolves games won't be blacked out), I think it would be a good thing to give the Lynx a shot. You can watch and listen to their games on wnba.com.
As a quick reminder, Wyn will be in Vegas later this week to catch the last 3 Wolves games. If there are any storylines you would like to have him cover, please put your ideas down in the comments section. We will also have a live-blog thread going during all Summer League games.
UPDATE: It turns out that Steven Hill has been replaced on the roster by Adam Parada. H/T to KGMN for the link.