Reoccurring Theme: Fatigue
It is more apparent now than ever before... the Timberwolves are tired. And rightly so. With most of their starters and veteran players sidelined with injuries, the squad just cannot get a chance to recover. In Wednesday's loss to the Raptors, head coach Flip Saunders was forced to dress fewer than 10 players for the 11th consecutive game.
Yesterday, Saunders gave his guys one instruction: rest.
"I don't like taking days off," said rookie Zach LaVine following the game. "I've been in the gym shooting every day, trying to just continue to get everything better. Basketball don't stop for me. That's something I do every day, so it's going to be a little difficult tomorrow. [Coach] already said, 'Don't come in.'"
The short-handed team has suffered five losses in a row and sits last in the Western Conference. Despite a strong effort by rookie Andrew Wiggins against his hometown team Wednesday, the Raptors easily came away with a win.Saunders said the following:
"Men against boys. We're just under-manned. I feel bad for our guys, because you can't give them reinforcements, more bodies to give them a little bit of rest. They're both physically and mentally exhausted."
Hopefully a day off will do them good, as they remain in Minnesota for Friday's matchup with Orlando before one last road trip next week.
Andrew Wiggins Unstoppable
The silver lining of this tremendously gray Timberwolves cloud is Wiggins. Despite all the losses, despite losing most of his starting lineup, and despite playing 40+ minutes per game, the guy keeps playing better and better. And keeps giving us highlights like these:
If Wiggins doesn't win Rookie of the Year, there's something seriously wrong. And while it's encouraging for fans to see so many good things from the No. 1 overall draft pick, one has to hope that he'll make it through the last two weeks of the season without burning out.
Other Basketball News
First NBA Player of Indian Descent. There's a new member of the Sacramento Kings, and he's 7'5". Meet Sim Bhullar, a center from the D-League's Reno Bighorns. On April 1, Bhullar signed a 10-day contract with the Kings and became the first Indian player in the NBA. The team's owner, Vivek Ranadive, is also of Indian descent. Ranadive said Bhullar will be one of many that will "emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention..."
Chris McCullough to enter NBA Draft. On Thursday, it was reported that Syracuse forward Chris McCullough will declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft. It seems rather early to make the leap from college ball, especially in McCullough's situation. The 20-year-old played only 16 games for the Orange before a torn ACL finished his freshman season. During that time, he averaged 9.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Lindsey's Friday Flick Recommendation
With a holiday weekend on the horizon, you might have a little down time to relax with your family and watch a good film. For this week's recommendation, I chose a flick I recently watched that has flown pretty well under the radar:
4 Minute Mile
Available on Netflix, 4-Minute Mile is an independent film that follows the story of an unlikely pair: a teen seeking refuge from a difficult home life through running, and a washed-up track coach who needs saving of his own. It's not a well-advertised movie, but it is well worth your time. Check out the trailer here: