Welcome to the Friday edition of The Cooler, where sometimes it’s best not to overthink things. Let’s get to it:
*In the classic baseball movie “Bull Durham” — the best baseball movie, actually — Kevin Costner’s Crash Davis character tells Tim Robbins’ Nuke LaLoosh character that it’s never a good idea to mess with a winning streak.
That sentiment sometimes clashes with another notion in sports that says someone shouldn’t lose their job because they’re injured. Once they come back, they should be able to reclaim their old spot and old surroundings.
In the case of the Wild, though, I’m going to side with Crash — and it’s not even close. Mikko Koivu was injured last week but might be ready to come back soon. Since the injury, the Wild has busted out of its slump in a big way — with the makeshift line of Zach Parise, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Niederreiter in particular has four goals in his last three games after a very slow start.
The question for Wild coach Bruce Boudreau is whether to put Parise and Koivu back together on the same line once Koivu is healthy. The answer is pretty clear: no. Don’t mess with a winning streak, Bruce. If the Parise-Coyle-Nino line starts to cool off after a few games, there will be a time to make the switch. For now, you ride the hot hands.
*Zach Lowe at ESPN has some kind words for Karl-Anthony Towns and what he’s been able to accomplish since the Jimmy Butler trade — noting that the Wolves’ offense has been flourishing while playing through KAT while Towns has also improved on defense.
“This version of Towns can anchor a franchise, and develop into a top-five overall player,” Lowe concludes.
*The Wolves seem happy with the Jimmy Butler trade. The 76ers seem happy with the Jimmy Butler trade. The team that initially traded Butler to the Wolves, though? Yeah, the Bulls don’t seem too happy right now. They’re probably still fine with the haul they got for Butler, but everything else about the franchise is a mess.
Players, led by Zach LaVine, are mad at interim coach Jim Boylen. And now Jabari Parker has fallen out of the rotation despite being the team’s highest-paid player ($20 million). The only good news is that the misery is producing some comedy.
*How rare was the Chargers’ comeback from a 14-point deficit to beat the Chiefs on Thursday? This rare: