The Kings come to town tonight riding a three game winning streak and holding a 10-15 record. Rajon Rondo will return from a one game suspension he was given after directing homophobic comments at referee BIll Kennedy last week. The Wolves won the only meeting of the teams so far, the night after Thanksgiving in Sacramento. The Kings, however, were without DeMarcus Cousins that night (while the Wolves were missing Ricky Rubio), and things seemed to have turned around for the Kings recently.
Cousins will be a huge challenge for Karl-Anthony Towns. He's one of the top centers in the league, scores from all over the floor, is bigger and stronger at this point in their careers, and is a very effective passer out of double teams. The Kings also have the 5th best 3P% in the league, though they don't shoot a ton, and that's without Marco Belinelli getting hot yet, which given how things go will probably happen tonight. (I suppose that's a Marco Belinelli MPE call).
Meanwhile, our friends at Sactown Royalty seem unanimous in not wanting Kevin Martin back in response to rumors the Kings are interested. You really can't blame them; he makes very little sense for them. They remain a developing team that is already deep in perimeter guys who can theoretically shoot and score. While I trust Doogie's information came from somewhere, it's hard to see the Kings as any kind of fit.
In fact, it's somewhat hard to find any fit for Kevin Martin. I'm sure he's moveable, but my guess is there won't be much of any return--it will be more of a subtraction move than anything. Perhaps into some team's TPE in return for a 2nd round pick or something. Which I have mixed feelings about. It's hard to argue he helps you a ton at this point with his -2.66 RPM, most of which is centered on his terrible defense, but on the other hand, he's one of the few guys on the team that can make threes. If it makes things easier to shift Zach LaVine to the off-guard, I suppose it has that value.
Glen Taylor moves closer to a sale of a minority stake in the Timberwolves--reportedly with the agreement that it can become a majority stake in the future--with a group headed by Steve Kaplan, and apparently including Jason Levien and a couple of Indonesian investors, Handy Soetedjo and Erick Thohir, who have previously been involved with Kaplan in sports investments. I wrote about this back in November, and we'll have more if and when the deal is completed.
Finally, I believe someone pointed this out in comments, but I can't believe we missed mentioning that Iman Shumpert actually helped deliver his baby girl in a bathroom when the labor came fast and early and his fiance didn't realize it was happening soon enough to get to the hospital. I don't want to go overboard here--the mom as always deserves the real kudos for this, but still. I always wonder how I would react in this sort of situation. Standing around breathing while actual medical professionals are on hand is a lot easier than what Shump did.
Today in History
218 BC: Hannibal defeats Romans in Battle of Trebia in the 2nd Punic War
1271: Kublai Khan renames empire Yuan, marking start of Chinese Yuan Dynasty
1719: "Mother Goose's Melodies for Children" is published
1787: New Jersey becomes third state to ratify Constitution
1892: Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" premieres
1917: 18th Amendment (prohibition) is passed by Congress and sent to states for ratification
1957: World's first nuclear power plant (in Pennsylvania) begins generating electricity
1966: First airing of animated version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Today's musical birthday is Earl Simmons, aka DMX, born in 1970
Sorry this is late. I forgot we have to cover Fridays now without Lindsey. Sad face.