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Wolvescast Digest: Make It or Break it

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Don’t waste time on what might have been.

Welcome to Wolvescast Digest, a weekly roundup of NBA odds and ends related to your favorite hometown team. With so much fun NBA content on the web, it can be easy to miss things. We’re here to draw attention to the things that may have sifted through the cracks in your overtaxed attention spans. Feel free to leave a comment with anything that you feel deserves inclusion.

Welcome to the 420th Stage of Grief: A roundup of post-Jimmy life.

A Blitzkrieg of Quality Foes

For the three years that Neil and I have been recording Wolvescast, we have always loudly and repeatedly proclaimed that Britt Robson is our hands-down best, most perceptive Wolves writer. It’s not fair that a man can combine such a high level of insight with writing this poetically fun:

Viable scenarios for how all this plays out span the spectrum for emotional drama. What has been a painstaking season of incremental, breakthrough successes could suddenly be razed by the upcoming blitzkrieg of quality foes, turning the Butler-less Wolves into a shambles, sowing the cynicism inlaid into the psychological fabric of anyone remotely conversant with recent Wolves lore, and inducing the team’s star-cum-savior to make the spectacular misjudgment of returning to action prematurely.

Or the Wolves could discover fresh reservoirs of competence, confidence, and maturity. Talents and tender sensibilities necessarily besmirched by the slash-and-brash components of Butler’s stylistic and temperamental primacy may suddenly prosper in the more hospitable environs of a pruned roster.

Unrepentant Three-Point Gunner Zach Harper Breaks Down the Four Keys to the Wolves Surviving Father Butler’s Absence:

In this stretch in which they don’t have a ton of room to fall, the Wolves play in Portland and Utah (back-to-back), home to Boston and Golden State, in Washington and San Antonio, and then home to Houston and the Clippers. If they win three of those games after Sacramento, it would go a long way in securing a playoff spot for them.

After that, the schedule softens up quite a bit. The Wolves go to New York and Philadelphia for a back-to-back. Minnesota should at least find a split there with the loss likely coming against the Sixers. Then the Wolves are home for the tanking Grizzlies and Hawks. Then they have a one-game trip to Dallas, which is admittedly tanking at the high price of $600,000. The Wolves follow that up with a home game against Utah before heading to Denver and Los Angeles to face the Lakers. Their final two games of the season are at home against Memphis and Denver.

If they can win three of that tough stretch between the Portland and Houston games, they can find 10 wins in their next 19 games.

If I Were Lou Williams, I’d Call Jimmy Tomorrow and Accept This Bet

“Let’s see how you play with one knee!” — Lou Williams, presumably

TIL the Plural of Meniscus is Menisci

The meniscus is a dense, cartilaginous structure in the knee that serves two purposes: to provide cushioning and to increase the contact area between the femur of the upper leg and tibia of the lower leg. The increase in contact area provides some stability an also helps provide a path for the femur and tibia to move to allow proper locking and unlocking of the knee.

Each knee contains two menisci. The lateral meniscus, which is shaped like an “O”, is the smaller and more mobile of the two menisci. The medial meniscus is shaped like a “C”, is more fixed, and has a direct attachment to the deep fibers of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). It isn’t clear which meniscus Butler injured.

Whenever a Wolf gets injured, Lucas Seehafer’s opinion is what I seek.

Better Know an Old-School Wolf, Print Edition

As the one-man fulfillment center for the Wolvescast Shop, I’d estimate 12-18% of orders have included a Timberwolves Luc Longley throw-in basketball card. The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis has an entertaining profile of the Australian center that includes this Wolves-related tidbit:

When the Timberwolves picked him no. 7 overall, he was genuinely stunned by the culture of the league. Stunned that Christian Laettner blew off practices and that Pooh Richardson told the head coach, Jimmy Rodgers, to fuck off.

Longley is too nice to bag on Minnesota now, saying wryly, “It was an unusual professional environment.” But in 1996, he published a memoir in Australia that’s really good — and, by the standards of the genre, really frank. That’s where you get Luc unplugged: In it, we learn that the T-Wolves practiced on a court inside a giant health club, so they were always being ogled by people riding exercise bikes; Longley calls his time there a “living hell.”

Reconnecting with Old Friends

Remember the deeply weird 2012-13 “knuckle push-ups” season? NINETEEN different players logged minutes with the Wolves that year, including Greg Stiemsma, Brandon Roy, Josh Howard, and Mickaël Gelabale. It was one of the two seasons Neil and I were season ticket members.

Alexey Shved played the 6th most minutes on the team that season, behind Derrick Williams, Nikola Pekovic, Dante Cunningham, Andrei Kirilenko, and Luke Ridnour.

I’m grateful we don’t have two Russians on our team during today’s geopolitical context. The memes would be too much.

Your Area 21 Clip of the Week

I’d pay $10 a month for a stream of KG playing games with friends.

Your Weekly Dose of Perspective

Jimmy’s hurt. The next two weeks will be stressful and difficult. Perhaps a dash of perspective would be appropriate? Real-life superhero Rebekkah Brunson, one of the authors of the greatest sports dynasty in Minnesota history, tells a jaw-dropping personal story.

If You’re Bidding for Wolves Detritus on eBay, You’re Probably Bidding Against Neil

Neil’s Timberwolves eBay addiction has been addressed several times on the podcast. Here is a small gallery of some peculiar listings recently posted.

Respond in the Comments: What Bobblehead Should the Wolves Make Next?