Good morning all. What’s up?
The Wolves begin a back-to-back heading into the All-Star break tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Target Center tonight. You might recall that the Wolves got blown out in Cleveland at the beginning of February. What sticks out to me from that game is Tristan Thompson bludgeoning them in the paint. Kevin Love didn’t play that night, and won’t again tonight this time due to a knee injury the team is still trying to figure out. They will travel to Denver to play the Nuggets tomorrow then won’t play again until Friday, February 24th.
The Nuggets meanwhile just blew out the Warriors last night in impressive fashion. They tied an NBA record with 24 made threes, and Nikola Jokic posted a 17-21-12 triple double. The Nugs are holding onto the 8th seed in the Western Conference despite featuring the league’s worst defensive rating. They can score, and they have impressive depth. They won last night despite being without a bunch of key players including Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Kenneth Faried.
They also just completed a trade that I don’t much like from their perspective. They sent Jusuf Nurkic along with the Grizzlies’ 2017 first rounder (likely in the low-20s) to Portland for Mason Plumlee and a second round pick.
Nurkic apparently has been a problem since he lost his spot in the rotation and the Nuggets were getting desperate, but still. While Plumlee was having the better year, Nurkic is four years younger, has one more season before he becomes an RFA (Plumlee is an RFA this summer) and has shown NBA capabilities in the past. I can see preferring Plumlee right now, but adding in the pick seems like a high price to pay.
Elsewhere, Adam Silver met with James Dolan and Charles Oakley in an attempt to sort that mess out yesterday, issuing a statement calling the situation “beyond disheartening.”
Dolan is the absolute worst, culminating in Sunday’s ridiculous and transparent PR fiasco when he paraded old Knicks through the Garden, including Latrell Sprewell. What should have been a great day for an embattled Carmelo Anthony and the team as whole—beating the Spurs with gritty defense and big plays down the stretch—was instead overshadowed by Dolan’s ham-handed stylings.
Expect the trade rumors to heat up this week as we get closer to the deadline and the league gathers in New Orleans for the All-Star game. Things seem to be very quiet on the Wolves front, and I’m not expecting anything to happen, but you never know.
This is an open thread. Chat about what you will.