Hello, everyone. It's the first snowfall to hit the Twin Cities this winter. Remember: Tap, don't hold-down the breaks and be sure to start your vehicle 15-20 minutes before you need to use it. That's unless you keep said vehicle in a garage. Outside of those two things, I have no other advice. You're on your own.
Please, just don't crash into the side of any ditches. Anyway, onto sports - basketball, specifically.
Looks as if the Minnesota Timberwolves were in Miami, yesterday, although, they'll head to Mexico City soon. Assuming no weird issues with the stadium occur, they'll face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Social Media Stuff
Looks as though Zach LaVine, who, for now, is the Wolves starting point guard until noted otherwise, did a photoshoot with SLAM Magazine. Unsure when the issue of SLAM that features LaVine will be released, so we'll have to keep an eye out for it.
Ricky Rubio stays inspirational.
Sunday was World Adoption Day, and Mo Williams showed his support on Instagram.
Jeremias Engelmann, curator of ESPN's Real Plus Minus, sent out a tweet with his updated Power Rankings complete with expected win totals. The Wolves rank 18th on the list and are projected to win ~39 games. This should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I think 30-35 wins is still a feasible win total for this group, even considering Ricky Rubio is sidelined indefinitely with an injured ankle.
What's best for LaVine?
Look. I'm not going to beat this discussion into the ground, so, I'll try to make this quick.
A few weeks ago I explained the Wolves would be better served simplifying LaVine's role, as opposed to teaching him how to play two positions. Low and behold, because of the injury to Rubio, LaVine's role is now simplified - only now he's the starting point guard. No, LaVine probably isn't ready to start at point guard. He's probably not even ready to be the backup point guard.
But when push comes to shove during a rebuilding season, because of the circumstances, Flip Saunders has chosen to baptize LaVine by fire. This column published by Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune highlights the trust the Wolves have bestowed LaVine.
It includes this quote.
"He handled the pressure, he made some plays, he rebounded really well," Saunders said of LaVine's performance against the Miami Heat. "He definitely didn't shy away, that's a positive. ... As Zach gets more comfortable, he brings you great pace in the game. As he gets more comfortable giving you pace and becoming a decisionmaker, his minutes might get extended. I didn't want to give him too much, too quick and overload him too much."
Having LaVine play point guard among the starters is, in my opinion, better than having him lead the second unit off the bench. He's the 5th option after Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, Thad Young and Andrew Wiggins, and will simply be asked to manage the game.
LaVine may be defined as a shooting guard now, and before his career is over, but right now he's a raw talent who isn't accustomed to playing any position - he's started two games in his collegiate and NBA career. Consider the fact LaVine is 19 years old, asking him to become a game manager and just take care of the ball is a good place to start in terms of development. At least he knows his role.
When Rubio returns, LaVine will have obtained valuable playing experience and then we'll see if Saunders tinkers around with lineups. Maybe, just maybe, at that time we'll see LaVine take on an expanded role off the bench. But for now, it's just going to be about learning one thing at a time.
- The Los Angeles Lakers recorded their first victory of the season last night, defeating the Charlotte Hornets, 107-92.
- The Golden State Warriors suffered their first loss of the season. With Klay Thompson sidelined with an injured shooting hand, the Warriors, on the tail end of a back-to-back, couldn't keep up with the Phoenix Suns and were defeated, 95-107.
- The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Orlando Magic, 104-96.
- The Utah Jazz managed to overcome a double-digit deficit and defeat the Detroit Pistons on the road, 97-96.
- The Sacramento Kings, who have been playing well, found themselves outhustled by a wounded Oklahoma City Thunder when these two met in OKC on Sunday. The Thunder, without Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, defeated the Kings, 101-93.
- The Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 120-88.
Help an artist.
J.O. Applegate needs our help. He's doing an illustration project but is leaving it up to the internet to decide who he draws. I told Applegate I would help out by getting word to the Canis Hoopus community. And here we are. From this Google Form.
For 25 weeks this NBA season I will be doing one original ink on paper illustration per week of the top players in the league. I need your help in determining who those players are. Vote for 1 to 5 of the players you'd like to see drawn up. Each week I'll be releasing a new player in the order of total votes received- 25th most popular to most popular. The original art will be for sale at a nice price.
Click here to help Applegate. Maybe we can, together, help influence him to draw a bunch of Timberwolves players.
Ok, this is more of the 'Hardcore' genre. Whatever.
Note: This video would appear to be live. It isn't. The sound is from the studio, the video is just synced with the audio. So, no crappy live recordings. Enjoy.
Fitting. A song called "First Snow" to go with the first snow. Imagine that.
This is more of a down-tempo, chill and relaxing tune - for those not about the blast beats and guitar sweeps.