Posts Tagged ‘Timberwolves’

Ricky Rubio Plays Connect Four The Way It Was Meant To Be Played, With Hoops

by Micah Hart

Is it just me, or does Ricky Rubio live the most fun-filled existence on the planet? I feel like every video or tweet I see about the guy seems like he’s doing something that sounds amazingly fun.

At first I was about to get all judge-y on what kind of TV show has a random puppet just chilling at the bottom of the screen, but then they broke out the Connect Four via basketball set up, and now I am frantically searching eBay to figure out how to gets mine. This would also make a way more enjoyable Price is Right game than the one where the dude yodels up the mountain.

H/T BDL

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Top 10 Most Amusing Moments From The 2012 Playoffs

by Micah Hart

What a shortened, yet still very long, strange trip it’s been. In a season that felt like we inhaled on Christmas Day, only to exhale roughly two hours ago, I’m already counting down the days until we start this whole thing over again in November.

But before we start dreaming of a fresh start, let’s pause for a few moments to remember some of the fun and funny we had over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, which started somewhat slowly but picked up speed to the thrilling conclusion that was the Finals series between the victorious Heat and vanquished Thunder.

Here’s a look back at the 10 most amusing moments from the last seven weeks:

10. Amar’e channels Andy Bernard

The Knicks had a lot of hype at one point in the NBA season, but it all began to fall apart starting with a rash of injuries to the likes of Jeremy Lin and Iman Shumpert. At least their injuries occurred on the court though. Amar’e Stoudemire made headlines when he punched a fire-extinguisher case after Game 2 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Heat, causing a huge laceration and forcing the Knicks’ big man to miss the next game of an eventual 4-1 series defeat.

No one saw it happen, but I have to imagine it went something like this.

9. Spurs fan gets Matt Bonner haircut, gets suspended

In case you forgot, a Spurs fan got this shaved into the back of his head:

For doing so, he got suspended from school, which seems bad, until the Internet found out about it and the Spurs ended up invited him to a playoff game. Miss school AND see playoff basketball? BEST WEEK EVA! By the way, a month later, the kid did it again.

8. Metta World Peace being Metta World Peace

His playoff run may not have lasted long (one game against Denver and five against OKC), but that doesn’t mean Metta World Peace didn’t have time to make lasting contributions, including doing the local weather in Vancouver, being in Vancouver in the first place because he’s filming a movie there based on a novel by Nancy Freaking Grace, and unveiling his new superhero alter ego Metta Man:

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Ricky Rubio Will Do Whatever It Takes To Watch The NBA Playoffs

by Micah Hart

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So, if you are Ricky Rubio and you have to fetch your brother from the airport while the Western Conference Finals are going on, what do you do?

WHATEVER IT TAKES, that’s what.

Via @rickyrubio9

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A Look Back: Best Horry Scale Moments From 2011-12

by Micah Hart

This was pretty fun — joined the GameTime pregame show before Wednesday night’s games to break down the season’s best Horry Scale moments, with the scale’s patron saint himself there to critique my grades:



The prevailing thought amongst Robert Horry, Kevin Martin, and Dennis Scott was that I judged too harshly this season, which is amusing because most emails I received from the fans seemed to suggest I was too lenient. Guess you can’t please everyone!

Here is my final ranking of this year’s six Horry Scale recipients – how would you rank them?

6. Derrick Rose beats Milwaukee – This low because I hate seeing a PG of his caliber settle for a long jumper.
5. Luke Ridnour beats Utah – Difficult floater, but no resistance from the Jazz defense.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge beats Dallas – Aldridge sure does make this look easy.
3. Luol Deng beats Toronto – Only tip-in of the season, Bulls trailed by 1.
2. Kevin Love beats L.A. Clippers – Perhaps in hindsight should have graded higher, especially coming in in the city where he played his college ball.
1. Kevin Durant beats Dallas – Set the bar high the first week of the season and was never topped. The ball barely touches the net from almost 30 feet!

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: A reminder folks, the shot has to beat the buzzer to be considered. As great as Jeremy Lin’s shot to beat the Raptors was, there were still tenths of a second left on the clock. Doesn’t qualify. A man’s gotta have a code…

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It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye, Says Brad Miller

by Micah Hart

With the conclusion of the NBA’s regular season, it means the end of the road for many basketball players. Some will lose their spots to rookies, some will take deals in Europe that might provide more money or stability, and for a few lucky ones, they will go out on their own terms after long and productive careers. Brad Miller is one of those players. Miller has said he will retire after the season, which meant when he checked out of the Timberwolves game against the Nuggets tonight with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter, he was checking out for good. At least he got one last three-pointer to drop before the final curtain:



I can only imagine the emotion of a moment like that, when you are forced to give up the one thing that has been a constant in your life since you were a small child. It’s no wonder we see so many athletes get choked up in these environs.

Congrats on a wonderful career Brad, and congrats as well to other NBA veterans who have likely played their last games, including Ben Wallace, who has said he will call it quits, and perhaps others like Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, or Kurt Thomas, who might choose the same when all is said and done. I’d include Juwan Howard as well, but he appears to be shooting for Jamie Moyer territory at this point.

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NBA Players Are Just As Sad About Ricky Rubio’s Injury As We Are

by Micah Hart



A sad day in the NBA, as Ricky Rubio‘s sensational rookie season comes to an end thanks to a freak knee injury suffered at the tail end of Friday night’s loss to the Lakers. Rubio has been even better than advertised in his rookie season, and his dazzling passing and infectious enthusiasm will be sorely missed.

This has been a tough season for all the players due to the compressed schedule, and we’ve seen many good players go down with injuries as a result. And as sad as I was when Hawks’ C Al Horford went down, for example, I don’t think any player’s misfortune has been as widely met with dismay as Rubio’s has. Just take a look at the outpouring of support on Twitter from some of the NBA’s zeitgeist when the news broke today:

LeBron James (@KingJames) — S/O to Ricky Rubio! Have a speedy and successful recovery
Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) — Praying the Ricky Rubio has a speedy recovery!
Dwyane Wade(@DwyaneWade) — Ricky Rubio’s injury isn’t 1 that any basketball fan wanted 2 C. He’s had an amazing rookie season & has brought life back 2 a franchise.
Chris Paul (@CP3) — Prayers out to @RickyRubio9 and hoping for a speedy recovery!
Kevin Love (@kevinlove)
— Love my teammate and friend @rickyrubio9. Here’s to a quick recovery. We will miss you.

The recovery time for Rubio’s injury usually takes 6-9 months, which means he will likely miss this summer’s Olympics as well — a big blow to the Spanish national team’s chances. His Spanish mates chimed in as well:

Pau Gasol (@paugasol) –  All my support to my friend and mate @rickyrubio9 after knowing the hard news about the results on his knee injury.
Rudy Fernandez (@rudy5fernandez) — All my support to my friend and mate @rickyrubio9
Jose Calderon (@josemcalderon8) — All my support to my big friend and teammate @rickyrubio9. Hard news about his knee. He’ll be back stronger

Several other NBA players offered their prayers and condolences:

Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) — Prayers to Ricky Rubio. Keep your head up and hoping for a speedy recovery. #Classof09
DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan
) –  A speedy recovery to Rubio!
Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) — prayers goin out to @RickyRubio9. No NBA player wants to go thru that. keep ya head up and get that knee stronger
Baron Davis — (@Baron_Davis) Rubio smh. Damn ! Praying for you! Wishing you a speedy recovery. You will be stronger than ever!!!!
DeAndre Jordan (@deandrejordan) — praying that @rickyrubio9 has a speedy and complete recovery…
Greivis Vasquez (@greivisvasquez) – Que triste la lesion de Ricky Rubio, le deseo una pronta recuperacion.
Anthony Tolliver (@ATolliver44) — Praying for @rickyrubio9 ! Extraordinary healing is coming your way! Keep your head up

There aren’t many players in the league with the kind of court vision and offensive creativity that Rubio possesses. Here’s to a complete and total recovery, and hopefully a full season in 2012-13.

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Derrick Williams and Malcolm Lee Learn To Enjoy Minnesota By Going Ice Fishing

by Micah Hart

Used to be whenever I thought of ice fishing, I thought of the movie Grumpy Old Men. Not anymore:



When in Rome, right guys?

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Three For All: Minnesota Timberwolves II

by Micah Hart



As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who played three straight from Feb. 28 – Mar. 1.

The Timberwolves take their second crack at the three-fer, having posted a mere 2 points their first go-round Jan 8-10. Could they improve on it this time, with all three games coming on the road?

Game 1: Timberwolves 109, Clippers 97 – I get the feeling that if Derrick Williams goes on to have an All-Star caliber career, many will look back at this game as the first time he really flashed that kind of potential. Coming off a disappointing performance in the Dunk Contest, Williams dropped 27 on the Lakers off the bench, scoring inside and out as Minnesota started the second half right with a huge road win over the Clippers. 3 points (1 for win, 1 for road, 1 for +10)

Game 2: Lakers 104, Timberwolves 85 - Williams’ hot shooting at Staples unfortunately didn’t carry over the next night, as the Masked Mamba dropped 31 on Minnesota, which was playing without Kevin Love (illness). The T’wolves clearly missed their All-Star, as no player scored more than 14 points and the team shot just 5-19 from downtown without the league’s 3-point champion. -1 point

Game 3: Suns 104, Timberwolves 95 - Another game typical of what we might expect from a team finishing three games in three nights. The Timberwolves were in it early, leading by five at the half, before running out of steam in the second half and losing by nine. 0 points

2 points for the Timberwolves, just like the last time, but they did face a somewhat unique challenge in this one. Not only were all three of their games on the road (which we’ve seen only a handful of times this season), but each game was their opponent’s first game after the All-Star break. Maybe not such a big deal against the Clippers, but certainly a disadvantage against the Suns.

Up next: The defending champion Dallas Mavericks get their lone crack at the threeplay, with three straight contests Mar. 8-10.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
New Jersey Nets II (8 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)

Full Three for all standings

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Where In The World Is Nikola Pekovic’s Deadpan Delivery?

by Micah Hart

This is a week or so old, but it’s too funny to pass up. Here is Nikola Pekovic of the Timberwolves giving a line-reading that rivals anything Robert DeNiro or Daniel Day-Lewis ever did:

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Luke Ridnour, How Do You Rate On The Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

Only three game-winning buzzer beaters so far this season. A product of the condensed schedule? Complete coincidence? Whatever it is, here’s hoping the second half of the season brings a few more of them.

For those that are new around these parts, the Horry scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

The Timberwolves, like any young team with talent but lacking in crunch-time experience, seem to find themselves in a lot of games that come down to the wire. They are getting that experience quickly — the last Horry Scale entry also featured a Timberwolf. Tonight’s heroics were provided by Hang Time Blog favorite Luke Ridnour. Let’s see how he stacks up to his teammate:

Difficulty

This shot was pretty easy, thanks in large part by the Jazz deciding that defense wasn’t really necessary on their part. After making quick work of Gordon Hayward, Ridnour gets into the paint where Al Jefferson lurks. Jefferson stays at home though, and Luke gets a pretty uncontested look at a floater for the win. To be fair, that shot is pretty delicate regardless of whether it’s contested or not, but any point guard worth his salt should have that in their arsenal.

Game Situation

The Timberwolves trailed by 16 with 9:36 left to play, but went on a tear to take a two-point lead with 22.3 seconds left to play. Jefferson then tied the game against his former team on a jumper with 7.0 seconds left to play, and the Timberwolves called timeout and took the ball out at half court. A pretty decent set up for Minnesota, with plenty of time to get a shot off and no penalty for a miss.

Importance

Utah and Minnesota are both on the fringe of the playoff chase, and in the loaded West every win counts. This is particularly nice for the Timberwolves, especially given how they lost the other night.

Celebration

Ridnour gives the traditional two fingers pointed skyward, and the team rallies around to congratulate him by the bench. It’s always great when a shorter player does something — always more exciting when one of his teammates picks him up to celebrate.

Grade

2 Horrys. All in all a fairly pedestrian buzzer-beater, largely due to the Jazz’ defensive indifference, but I’ll give it an extra Horry due to both teams’ proximity to each other in the race for the 8 spot in the West, plus the terrific fourth-quarter comeback to get them in position to win in the first place.

What do you think?

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