As 2020 continues to plow on, I wanted to quickly congratulate each and every one of you for surviving thus far and officially making it to the start of the best season on Earth — FALL. Yes, September 22 is the fall equinox, meaning we are one step closer to my favorite holiday (Halloween), the election (#VOTE), and unhealthy amounts of spiked apple cider.
In a normal, non-pandemic year, the transition from summer to fall would coincide with the start of the WNBA playoffs and the beginning of training camp for the Minnesota Timberwolves. While 2020 has been anything but normal, the sports calendar for both the Wolves and Lynx has remained somewhat on schedule, with the Lynx *hopefully* starting their semifinal series against the Seattle Storm later tonight while the Wolves recently kicked off their “in-market bubble” training camp in downtown Minneapolis.
Let’s take a quick peak at what’s specifically going on with each of Minnesota’s professional basketball teams:
As I’m sure you know by now, Game 1 between the Lynx and Storm was postponed this past Sunday due to inconclusive COVID-19 test results from unnamed members of Seattle. Players with inconclusive test results were forced to undergo additional testing over the weekend and are currently in isolation. Out of an abundance of caution, the WNBA decided to postpone the game, with all indications that the first tip *should* be later tonight.
While it was disappointing to not have the Lynx on national TV last Sunday, the extended rest was probably a good thing for the team, especially Sylvia Fowles who is still working her way back from a pretty serious calf injury. According to Lynx PR, Fowles is still considered questionable for Game 1, but my gut says that we will see her out there if the game does indeed take place.
The following is a @minnesotalynx Injury Report in advance of Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Seattle Storm:— Lynx PR (@Lynx_PR) September 21, 2020
Lexie Brown (Concussion Protocol)- OUT
Sylvia Fowles (Calf)- QUESTIONABLE
We’ll continue to monitor this situation and update this story if for whatever reason the WNBA decides to postpone the series yet again. Until then, here’s a quick series preview from over the weekend, as well as a FANTASTIC season recap from our friend Eric in Madison.
The Wolves officially began their “in-market” training camp yesterday, with most of the current roster making their way to downtown Minneapolis for the multi-week “bubble.”
As the #Wolves begin their voluntary “in-market program” this week, here’s the official roster of participants: pic.twitter.com/l3JBjsjrMw— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) September 17, 2020
The only really striking absence on this list is Juancho Hernangomez, who is working on securing his first Oscar award before hopefully securing a long-term contract from Minnesota (or another franchise).
Gersson Rosas says Juancho will not be here for camp because he’s filming a movie (!). Made the commitment before he knew the bubble camp was going to be scheduled for this month— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 17, 2020
In addition to the regulars who have spent most (if not all) of their summer in Minnesota (Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver, Naz Reid), it’s exciting to see other guys committing to the voluntary workouts, most notably Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. While the start of the 2020-2021 season is still months away (the NBA has not yet officially announced the start date, but it’s looking more and more like it won’t happen until early 2021), getting as many of the players together under one roof is crucial if this team is going to have any chance of building chemistry with one another this fall/winter.
The only other real “notable” Wolves news over the last few days involved a minor Woj bomb that dropped in our laps on Sunday:
247 Sports analyst Josh Gershon is joining the Minnesota Timberwolves in a draft preparation and player personnel consultant role, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 20, 2020
I would 100% be lying to you if I knew who Josh Gershon is, but the addition to the front office is notable nonetheless. A quick glance of the 247 Sports websites shows that it is one of the top sites for college recruiting content, which obviously signals that Gersson Rosas made the hire to boost the Wolves front office (specifically their scouting department).
It’s important to mention that the infamous “double draft” is on the horizon (I believe not until 2022, but please correct me if I have this wrong), so adding employees who specialize in recruiting high school athletes is a fairly sizable coup for the franchise.
Interesting addition here by Rosas to an analytics staff that is going through some changes. https://t.co/nE0r6OOXDJ— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 20, 2020
As Jon mentioned above, the Wolves analytics department is currently going through some turnover (likely the result of employee contracts simply expiring this fall), so the addition of Gershon is likely just the first of many steps to not only replenish that department, but hopefully strengthen it as well.
Enjoy the first day of fall, everyone!