First of all, as a League Pass Broadband connoisseur, let me begin by saying that the Clippers may be at the bottom of the league, but they do have one of the very best broadcast teams in the NBA. Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith are two of the very best and I cannot tell you how nice it is to listen to a game where the opposing announcers actually seem to have watched, absorbed, and learned from previous Wolves tilts. Tonight's game was filled with level-headed analysis, fair praise, and an accurate representation of what Our Beloved Puppies bring to the table. J-Pete and Hanny are definitely in the upper echelon of NBA announcers, but Lawler and Smith are near the very top. (BTW: Speaking of J-Pete, he really has hit a stride since becoming a Lynx coach. He's definitely found his voice and I think he could be one of the very best in the league in the next 2-3 years.)
Before we move on, let's just mention a few stories that deserve some recognition. First, the NBA has some thin skin. Second, Greg Oden had more surgery. Third, PacMan LSD has been released and it is virtual crack.
As for the Wolves, there's really only one story here: Since Michael Beasley first came to this squad, we have long referred to his upside as "Melo-Lite". In the past few tilts the "lite" side of this equation has been completely removed. Folks, Mike Beasley is playing at the Full Melo. The entire package is there: height, athleticism, long range one-step jumpers, left and right hand, etc. He's still a little too left dominated, but Mike Beasley's offensive game is on a level Wolves fans simply haven't seen in the history of the franchise. During the game I Tweeted that Beasley is playing like D-Rose was the wrong pick and I stand by that. He's simply playing on a level we haven't seen in Minny since...well, on the offensive side of the ball, forever.
Joining together our two topics of Clips announcers and Mike Beasley, sometime during the 2nd quarter, the Clips guys started to play a game where they joked about how many 2nd round picks they would be willing to give up for the services of B-Easy. I think they ended on 5 or 6. They also mentioned that they think the acquisition of Beasley was the best Wolves front office move since KG. Now, we're all about large sample sizes here at Hoopus and we have made no bones about our belief that David Kahn doesn't exactly know what he is doing, but it is becoming quite clear that Kahn made a very good move with Beasley and that he is quickly becoming one of the best values in the league. Seriously, and with no caveat. Congratulations to David Kahn and we hope Beasley's game continues to develop....as well as him maintaining the absurd percentage from 16-23 feet.
- This was Darko's best game of the year. He played lock-down defense on Griffin during a long stretch of the 2nd half and he actually dunked the basketball. His dunk was so unexpected that it caused the entire audience and Wolves bench to stop and take notice.
- Blake Griffin is a horrifyingly good player. I have family in Edmond, OK and I have followed him for a while, but it is still amazing to see him at the highest level looking like a guy who is more athletic than anyone else.
- Speaking of being physically superior, the Lynx's first round pick of the future (Maya Moore) squared off against Britney Griner's Baylor squad last night. If you want to like women's basketball, yesterday's game was your entry drug. If you want to know what a women's Wilt Chamberlain looks like , pay attention to Ms. Griner.
- Bassy. Bassy, Bassy, and Bassy.
- Michael Beasley's game clinching shot came against Ryan Gomes. The Webster/Gomes trade will deserve some additional analysis as the year plays on, but I was expecting some more burn from Gomes tonight.
- Blake Griffin is like the best parts of Love plus a 36 inch vertical and a mean streak.
- Craig Smith tried a 3 pointer. Yes please.
- I know the Clips are trying to put together the 2008 Wolves, but a Collins brother is a tad too much. Kind of creepy.
- Wes Johnson disappeared for the night.
- Did I mention that Darko played some silly defense?