7:00 PM CST. FSN
After two difficult losses, the Timberwolves are hungry for redemption against the Dallas Mavericks. Redemption and delicious, delicious barbecue. "Obviously it's not the same as going to a Dallas [barbecue joint], but J.J. knows some people, and they're bringing some [barbecue] up" said head coach Rick Adelman on Friday morning. "We also need to work harder on defense" the veteran coach said after a long pause.
The Wolves offense has been ineffective for much of the last two games, and the team has focused on getting into their sets more consistently and trying various coleslaw recipes to pair with the meat. "I had no idea how many varieties of coleslaw existed!" exclaimed Indiana native Robbie Hummel, who then mumbled something about needing to immediately shoot threes instead of pumpfaking and taking 21 footers off the dribble.
The Wolves will need to do a better job of defending the three point line against the Mavericks, who have deadly shooters in Nowitzki and Calderon, and a city that specializes in slow cooked beef brisket. "We have to stay in front of shooters and trust the weakside help" said star Kevin Love. "We also have to make sure that the brisket has been cooked at a low temperature for 18-24 hours. Some places only cook their brisket for 6 hours! That tells me [they are] not even trying."
Not everyone was as enthusiastic about the influx of Texas style beef brisket. "Honestly, I prefer pulled pork" volunteered guard Kevin Martin, who attended Western Carolina University. Martin hastily added that he "didn't want to give the Mavericks bulletin board material" and "respected their barbecuing traditions."
The team was divided on sauces. A few self proclaimed purists, like the aforementioned Love and injured center Ronny Turiaf, decried the use of sauce at all. "With the proper rub to bring out the flavor...you don't even need sauces" said Love, who added that it "only masked the aroma of the meat." Even among the rest of the team, however, there was no unanimity on the superiority of sweet or savory sauces.
Though many of the players preferred some sort of sauce, the whole team seemed to have some opinion on the art of rubs. The proper ratios of salt, pepper, sugar, and cumin prompted heated debate. It seemed like the issue would create some serious friction before the team was able to rally, as one, around the importance of cheap white bread to mop up any excess juices and the need to deny the Mavericks quality shots.
The Wolves will need to slow down Monta Ellis, who is averaging 24 points a game on .519 shooting. That number is likely to regress to the mean sooner or later, and Minnesota hopes it happens sooner, or the team will have problems containing Dallas' attack. On the other side of the ball, the Wolves are relying on Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio to get back on track after a couple of rough outings.
When asked for his favorite type of barbecue, center Nikola Pekovic simply responded, "meat."
G: Ricky Rubio
G: Kevin Martin
F: Corey Brewer
F: Kevin Love
C: Nikola Pekovic
G: Jose Calderon
G: Monta Ellis
F: Shawn Marion
F: Dirk Nowitzki
C: Samuel Dalembert
(None of the above quotes are genuine. All similarities to persons living or dead are entirely coincidental.)