We are down to the final two games of the season; the Wolves host the Toronto Raptors tonight and travel to Denver for the finale tomorrow. And then, mercifully, another disappointing season will be over.
The Raptors have absolutely nothing to play for tonight, having locked in to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets game might matter depending on what happens tonight and whether the Nuggets actually care if they finish second or third in the West.
Once these games are behind us, we can start focusing on the playoffs, about which I’m excited. It might wind up with the Warriors rolling to yet another title, but there should be some good basketball along the way. The Eastern Conference in particular seems more interesting this year than in past seasons when LeBron James dominated. I’ll be interested to see if the Bucks can translate their regular season success, and if the Raptors, without James to torment them and with Kahwi Leonard, can get over the hump.
But more on the playoffs in the coming days.
Of Wolves interest this week will be whether there are any staffing announcements once the season ends. There seems to be a consensus that Ryan Saunders will get the head coaching job, which seems like terrible non-process to me, but good luck to him. What happens with the front office is cloudier. Other teams appear to be doing aggressive league-wide searches, while the Wolves appear...not to be doing that.
We’ll see whether there is a plan in place, either to retain Scott Layden (yikes) or bring in someone else, with rumors suggesting it will be someone with ties to the organization because of course.
Meanwhile, the WNBA draft is tomorrow night, and I’ll have more on that tomorrow, but the Lynx hold four of the top 20 picks and desperately need an influx of talent. What they do with these picks is vital to the next iteration of the franchise; after massive success with their core group, it’s time for inevitable change, and while we will not see another four-titles-in-seven-years stretch, this draft is key if the Lynx wish to remain a force in the league.
Elsewhere, the Champions League resumes today with the first legs of two quarterfinals. My Spurs host Manchester City (a very tough draw) at their new digs. #COYS. Liverpool hosts Porto today as well.
One more thing: Mike Gravel is running for president! Those of us of a certain age will remember Gravel as a Senator from Alaska during the 70s. Those of you a little older than me will remember he became famous by reading the Pentagon Papers into the record. Gravel actually ran in 2008 as well, but this time the story is pretty good: A couple of high school students drafted him to run and are running his campaign in an attempt to get him into the democratic primary debates.
Gravel is staunchly anti-imperialist and mostly agreed to do this so he could hector the mainstream candidates about foreign policy, defense spending, the military-industrial complex, and the prison industry, among other things.
Kudos to these kids for conceiving of this plan and executing it. @MikeGravel is worth a follow.