The Wolves host the Sixers tonight in one of the most anticipated match ups in NBA regular season history. I mean, how could it be possibly be bigger than this? The whole country will be riveted, with eyes focused on such stars as Henry Sims and Anthony Bennett. Mo Williams and Brandon Davies. The list, unfortunately, goes on and on.
Here's a question: How close is this to the worst match up, in terms of both teams being truly awful, in league history? The Sixers will, presumably, be trying to avoid the longest losing streak to start the season in NBA history--17 straight losses and counting, with 18 being the current mark.
The Wolves, while not quite that bad, have been astoundingly awful since the injury to Ricky Rubio, compounded by the injuries to Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. It's the worst in East vs. the worst in the West. As if you needed more incentive, it's also a match up of the stoppable force (the Sixers 30th ranked offense) vs. the eminently movable object (the Wolves 29th ranked defense--a ranking that undersells how bad they are).
You can't miss this one.
Speaking of defense, and it's probably better if we don't, apparently the strategy, at least against the Clippers, was to give them the three pointer. They certainly did so, as there were wide open threes everywhere for the Clips. To the extent that a) the Clips are much better, and b) the Wolves can't really stop anything, never mind multiple things, I suppose you could argue this makes sense. Give up the thing that has the highest variance; maybe you'll get lucky. Still, as a consistent philosophy, it's terrible, as we saw through the Rambis era.
It doesn't help that giving up threes doesn't really seem to stop teams from getting anything else either; amazingly, the Wolves are giving up both the highest percentage of FGAs within 3 feet to opponents, and the highest FG% on those close shots. In other words, it's a layup line. I'm not sure where to place most of the blame; there is nothing good about the way they are playing defense. Their perimeter guys can't stop anyone, the help is non-existent, the post guys can't guard, and the defensive rebounding has fallen off a cliff. Other than that, the play was great, thanks.
That's enough of my mini morning rant. It's become increasingly hard to watch this team, and increasingly difficult to maintain any sort of hope, but I will watch with fascination this evening. The way you are compelled to watch the most embarrassing movies.
Today's musical birthday is Ozzy Osbourne, born in 1948.