Welcome to day two of the NBA playoffs, where despite reports of the ratings being down, the on-court product has never been better (at least in my opinion). In just the first 24 hours of the NBA’s latest bubble experiment, we saw Donovan Mitchell drop a 50-burger, future Wolves shooting guard Fred Van Vleet post an uber efficient 30 points and 11 assists, and Luka Doncic tally the most points in a playoff debut in NBA history (42). Ho-hum.
Turning to the local teams, things are starting to ramp up for the Minnesota Timberwolves as the NBA Lottery draws closer, while the Minnesota Lynx continue to do the damn thing down in Bradenton, Florida. Despite a recent calf injury to Sylvia Fowles which will sideline her indefinitely, the Lynx continue to roll opponents down south, led by second-year phenom Napheesa Collier, which gets me to my first item of news...
Napheesa Collier Named Western Conference Player of the Week
Don't stop Pheelievin' pic.twitter.com/G74sAkAzGc— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 17, 2020
This latest award for last year’s Rookie of the Year is obviously well-deserved, as Collier averaged 18.3 points on 46.2% shooting (including 42.9% from deep), 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.7 steals in 32.7 minutes per game last week. The former Connecticut Huskie currently ranks 13th in the WNBA in points per game (14.9), third in rebounds (9.0), sixth in steals (1.7) and sixth among all forwards in assists (3.3).
Collier capped her brilliant week with a game-high 26 points (one shy of her career record), 13 rebounds and a career-high five assists in a win over the New York Liberty on Saturday, becoming just the third player in Lynx history to collect 25+ points/10+ rebounds/5+ assists in a game (the other two were Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles).
The Lynx (7-3) will square off next against the Dallas Wings (4-7) on Wednesday at 8:00pm CST (the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North Plus). If you haven’t checked out a game yet, I’d highly suggest tuning in, as Coach Reeve has her 2020 squad humming on all cylinders, despite the latest injury to their MVP-candidate (Fowles).
Glen Taylor Sales Update (Kind Of?)
While the Wolves slowly ramp up their summer activity (even one mile per hour is faster than what we’ve seen all summer), there was a new report Tuesday about the potential sale of both the Timberwolves and Lynx:
David has the latest from Glen Taylor, which includes a scenario where he and Becky maintain ownership of the Lynx. #Timberwolves #LosLynx https://t.co/XZplJG5GpO— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) August 17, 2020
Full transparency here — I have zero idea who David Shama is. Doogie would go on to say (on Twitter) that David is fairly plugged in when it comes to all things Glen Taylor, but considering this is the first time I’ve ever heard of “Sports Headliners,” you may want to take this latest ownership update with a
grain of salt bucket of salt.
Nevertheless, if you read the report from Sports Headliners, it includes a few quotes from Glen that make an immediate sale of the franchise(s) seem less likely, but maybe that’s just Taylor-talk to keep speculation (and negotiations) under wraps.
I still think when this is all said and done that Glen will indeed unload both the Wolves and the Lynx, but maybe he’s just playing hardball and looking for the right
sucker ownership group to allow him to stay on and sort of “mentor” them in the short-term (which would increase the likelihood of the team(s) staying in Minnesota). Regardless of how this all plays out, it’ll be a fascinating transaction if/when it does happen, so stay tuned for more updates.
Playing the (NBA) Lottery
From my understanding (i.e. according to #sources), the Wolves should be announcing their team representative for the 2020 NBA Lottery any minute later today (when they finally do, I’ll update this post accordingly). With that said, it seems unlikely that this year’s selection will be Gersson Rosas (he represented the team last year), so I’d put my money on either Josh Okogie (fan favorite) or maybe Robby Sikka, who continues to do phenomenal work in the fight to slow down COVID-19.
Incredibly proud of this work. @YaleSPH you have given the world and our country a test that can help so many communities hit hardest by COVID. @NathanGrubaugh @awyllie13 @hmkyale honored to work with you on this. https://t.co/ehO41akM35— Robby Sikka (@robbysikka) August 15, 2020
Dr. Sikka is a very busy man as of late, but considering this year’s lottery will be held virtually, what’s another Zoom meeting added to Robby’s calendar?
Regardless of who the Wolves select as their rep, Thursday will be the next big “moment” for the franchise as they begin to navigate yet another important offseason, one that is already chaotic due to COVID-19, but might be made even more topsy-turvy depending on what happens (or doesn’t happen) with the sale of the team(s).
UPDATE: Zach Lowe has officially reported that D’Angelo Russell will represent his new team at the upcoming (virtual) NBA Lottery:
Teams are making final calls on who will represent them on the "virtual dais" for this Thursday's lottery. For Minnesota, sources tell ESPN: D'Angelo Russell. The Warriors have already revealed Stephen Curry will be their virtual rep.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) August 18, 2020
Considering D-Lo is known for having ice in his veins, I expect nothing less than the Wolves winning the Lottery and igniting one of the most exciting offseasons in franchise history.
(Fast forward to Minnesota falling to pick #7 and me drinking scotch for breakfast).