It’s the fourth Thursday of November, which can only mean one thing....
On behalf of the crew here at Canis Hoopus, I just want to quickly give thanks to all the fantastic readers, contributors, and general basketball fans that have made this such a popular and enjoyable site for hoops fanatics across the globe to get together and discuss (and argue) about the sport they love.
With that said, if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably counting down the minutes until your Thanksgiving meal is placed on the table while actively avoiding eye contact with that one uncle who wants to share his opinion on the latest Donald Trump/LaVar Ball controversy.
Don’t worry, I’m here for you...
Thanksgiving is a fantastic holiday for many reasons, including that wonderful Thanksgiving Day feast. A successful menu today is typically loaded with main dishes and complimentary sides, much like a successful NBA roster.
With that said, let’s take a quick look at how the Wolves rotation stacks up against a standard Thanksgiving rotation:
Turkey: Karl-Anthony Towns
Usually the biggest item on the table, this is easily the star of the meal. You’re not showing up at your relatives to eat a meal centered around mashed potatoes, just like you’re not showing up at Target Center to watch Gorgui Dieng. The better the turkey, the better the Thanksgiving.
Stuffing: Jimmy Butler
A good stuffing can be made in a multitude of ways and usually brings all the other Thanksgiving Day items together. Jimmy Butler is the Wolves stuffing, with his ability to affect the game in a variety of ways that aren’t just scoring. Whether it be defense, playmaking, or just on-court leadership, the Wolves will only go as far as Jimmy Buckets takes them (let’s hope that destination is May basketball).
Mashed Potatoes: Andrew Wiggins
Not flashy, has its lumps, but can be eaten in super large quantities. Since entering the league in 2014, very few players have been dissected more than Andrew Wiggins, primarily because of his underwhelming presence thus far on the defensive end and his lack of consistency as a passer or rebounder.
But at 22-years old, very few players have shown the natural ability to score like Wiggins has, and maybe some more seasoning from Chef Thibs will turn these mashed potatoes into potatoes au gratin.
Gravy: Taj Gibson
Pour this stuff on everything. Your turkey a little dry? Pour some gravy on it. Your stuffing lacking substance? Pour some gravy on it. Need something to dip your bread into? Look no further than the gravy!
Taj Gibson is similar to me in this sense. He isn’t exciting and won’t blow you away with his box scores, but he’s the perfect complement to all the other main dishes the Wolves have, and seems like a natural fit both on and off the court.
Pumpkin Pie: Jeff Teague
Much like pumpkin pie, Jeff Teague isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer a sweeter pie like French Silk that compliments the flavors of the other Thanksgiving Day items on the table (i.e. Ricky Rubio). Regardless of your stance, there’s no denying that when you end your day with a delicious pumpkin pie, the overall meal was a success.
Jeff Teague is no different. Coming into this week, Teague was averaging 16 points per game on 46.0 FG% in the Wolves ten wins, and only 8.8 points per game on 32.7 FG% in six losses. If the Wolves want to build upon their early season success, they need their pumpkin pie.
Cranberry Sauce: Jamal Crawford
Ever had cranberry sauce from a can? Utterly disgusting. How about homemade? Absolutely delightful.
This is Jamal Crawford in a nutshell. When J Crossover’s jumper isn’t connecting, he’s about as impactful on the court as a can of cranberries. But when Jamal is feeling it and doing his thing? That’s when he’s as smooth and appetizing as homemade cranberry sauce.
Sweet Potato Pie: Nemanja Bjelica
This is my favorite item on the menu and I cannot get enough of it. Sweet potatoes baked with brown sugar and marshmallows? Sign me up for unlimited amounts.
You know what else I want unlimited amounts of? Minutes for the NBA’s leader in three-point accuracy (53.8%). Averaging only 15.8 minutes per game so far this season, Chef Thibs needs to listen to the advice of my good friend and Canis Hoopus OG John Meyer: “Get in, my Belly.”
Green Bean Casserole: Gorgui Dieng
Listen, I get it. Some people think green bean casserole is the perfect compliment to the turkey, and that’s fine. But for me, when this item’s on the table, I’m just not all that excited.
Same goes for my relationship with Gorgui. I think he’s a fine player (although overpaid), and a wonderful teammate. But everything he does is just a step slow and not all that smooth, and I personally look forward to a new, young, sexier side dish (Justin Patton) eventually replacing this item on the table.
Macaroni and Cheese: Tyus Jones
This is a newer addition to the Thanksgiving Day menu, but also maybe the most underrated. Mac and cheese is good every single time you eat it, and considering all the different items you can incorporate in it (hot sauce, bread crumbs, sausage, etc.), it’s ceiling is through the roof.
Every time I watch Tyus Jones play basketball, he does a bunch of smart stuff. He’s not the tallest or fastest player on the court, but his ability to be consistently good and set up his teammates on a steady basis is an extremely valuable skill from your backup PG. Let’s be honest...who the hell doesn’t love mac and cheese, and who the hell doesn’t love Tyus Jones?
Dinner Rolls: Shabazz Muhammad
Think quick...do you remember where the dinner rolls were on the table when you sat down for your Thanksgiving meal? No? That’s because they had little to no impact and could easily have been replaced with something better.
Unfortunately, that’s how I feel about Shabazz getting minutes right now. Listen, from everyone I talk to, Muhammad seems like a truly genuine young guy who is struggling to find his place in this league. But his approach to the game right now is like Jamal Crawford’s but executed as 1/10 the ability. If Shabazz could give the Wolves any other skill other than scoring, his energy alone would be a breath of fresh air in the second unit. But when he’s not actively filling it up, his role in the rotation is about as stale as old bread.
What do you think? Leave your response, criticisms, and ideas below, and more importantly have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!