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Monday Musings: Signs of Optimism

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The Timberwolves have strung together two impressive wins over the Bulls and Clippers and will try to continue their streak tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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The Timberwolves have a chance tonight to match their longest winning streak of the season at 3 games, which previously took place from November 23-27 during the early 8-8 start. That feels like an entire lifetime ago at this point and if the Wolves were able to pull out a win tonight it would be a great start to potentially turning a corner for the rest of the season.

The game against the Pelicans is also the second to last game before the All-Star break for the Wolves, as they will match up against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The game against the Raptors will be much more difficult as they are playing at one of the highest levels in the league at the moment, so tonight's game is an important opportunity to finish strong before the young Wolves participate in some of the All-Star weekend festivities.

The Wolves have benefited in each of their victories from the other team missing a key player, with Blake Griffin and Jimmy Butler being out for their respective teams. Tonight will be no different as Tyreke Evans has been shut down until after the All-Star break. The Pelicans are also amidst a 4-game losing streak and have had a tough time righting the ship after the initial disastrous start to the season. Hopefully the Wolves will be able to improve upon their prior meeting with the Pelicans, which the Wolves lost 99-114 on January 19th. It will be another difficult match-up for Karl-Anthony Towns as he faces off against Anthony Davis, another top-tier young big man.

The trade deadline slowly inches towards us and there seems to be minimal movement on the Wolves front. This is extremely likely to continue other than some fringe moves regarding Kevin Martin and Adreian Payne. As has been discussed here quite often, due to the untimely passing of Flip Saunders there is some confusion about who has the ability to make organizational decisions and to what degree. This makes it almost certain the Wolves will not make any major moves until the summer, during which GM and coaching choice decisions will be made.

Notes Around the League

The playoff race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference is starting to look more difficult than originally anticipated for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What was once a one-horse race is now becoming much muddier due to the Toronto Raptors hot streak of late, which is now being matched by the Boston Celtics. Both the Celtics and Raptors are currently 9-1 in their last ten games and are starting to breath down the neck of the Cavaliers, as the Raptors are just two games behind the first seed.

Brad Stevens, the head coach of the Celtics, said that he had received an email from the league stating that if a player jumped on another's back after a free throw in an attempt to intentionally foul and force free throws, that this would now be a flagrant foul. Stevens has since elaborated that this was an idea being floated around by the league, but it's very possible this becomes an official rule in the near future as the NBA has been wavering on dealing with the Hack-a-player strategy through rule changes.

This Week in....Things that are Great!

BoJack Horseman debuted in 2014 on Netflix and was met with a bit of confusion. It's easy to understand why as its difficult to explain the show to someone who has not yet seen it, as it's a show featuring cartoon anthropomorphic animals and humans living together in an alternate Hollywood universe that features wacky animal puns and extreme bouts of existential dread. The show's creator, Raphael Bob-Waksburg, has little prior experience but has managed to get the likes of Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris, and Paul F. Thompkins to star as voice actors and also wrangle no-names such as J.K. Simmons, Stanley Tucci, Patton Oswalt, character actress Margo Martindale, Daniel Radcliffe, and even Paul McCartney to lend their voices to bit roles.

What the show is becoming known for is perhaps the most realistic portrayal of depression in entertainment. The titular star of the show, BoJack, is voiced by Will Arnett and the character was a formerly famous television star of the 90's who has found his last 20 years have somehow slipped by amidst a cloud of booze and failed relationships. It is definitely a difficult show to initially dive into, but if you can make it to the second season the show fully finds its footing and transitions into a compelling and emotionally heavyweight introspection into the human condition while also maintaining it's comedic underpinnings.

The first two seasons are on Netflix with the third coming out sometime this year.

Happy Monday