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Ensconsed at Bradley Center

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • March 18, 2010 - 10:47 AM

We're set up at Bradley Center, waiting for the Gophers' workout and press conferences. The Gophs are going first in what is a long day of basketball ``practices,'' although they're pretty informal workouts that are open to the public.

Quick hits, catching up on our local teams after returning home from Fort Myers:

TWINS

The Twins should have traded Glen Perkins before his bad body language could damage his trade value during spring training. Now they're going to have to ship him to Triple A and hope he can impress someone there.

The young pitchers have been the hit of spring training. Kevin Slowey and Sott Baker look sharp, Frankie Liriano is getting back his sharp-breaking slider and Nick Blackburn looked good before he started having knee problems.

My picks to have big years: Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young.

WILD

I admire the way Chuck Fletcher operates, but it's hard to watch the NHL after watching Olympic hockey. It feels like such a slog, and the fact that a team can sleep-walk through a game and still get a point ruins the drama of what should be a late-season race for the last playoff spots.

WOLVES

Wolves writer Jerry Zgoda has done a nice job pointing out that there are lots of ways to build a winning team - and the Timberwolves haven't employed any of them.

While David Kahn's legacy will be determined by how he handles this offseason - and what he does with Ricky Rubio - this has been a lost season largely because Kurt Rambis hasn't made much of an impact on his players.

Corey Brewer is the exception. Rambis talked about improving Brewer's balance, and how that would improve his shooting, and he was right. What other players have gotten better, though? Kevin Love looks like half the player he was a year ago. Al Jefferson is the same, if that, and Jonny Flynn still doesn't look like he knows how to play point guard.

If you're going to lose, lose with a purpose. The Wolves aren't doing that - they're just embarrassing themselves with a lack of effort and focus.

At this point, Rambis has as much to prove as his players.

VIKINGS

The loss of Chester Taylor, and the failed attempt to replace him, is a wildly-overblown story getting this much attention because the Vikings aren't making any other news.

Look around the league. Can you imagine downgrading what you think of any other franchise based on a loss of a backup running back?

Taylor was a fine player and a pro. He was also a backup running back. The Vikings will be fine without him. It's time for Adrian Peterson to play a bigger role - and stop fumbling - anyway.

GOPHER BASKETBALL

I haven't been impressed with this team all year, but a strong showing in Milwaukee will reestablish Tubby Smith's mojo. Gotta say, I'm glad his team made that run at the Big Ten tourney, because I love getting to cover these games in person. Just walked through the Bradley Center, and I can't wait for tomorrow.

GOPHER HOCKEY

Let me get this straight - a talented young hockey player underachieves, participates in a disappointing season, then leaves? Really?

Don Lucia has stayed too long.

UPCOMING...

-Friday I'll be on am-1500 at 7:45 a.m. and at 6:05 p.m. Sunday, we have the first Ron Gardenhire Show on am-1500 at 9:30 am, followed by Sunday Sports Talk, from 10-noon.

-You can follow me on Twitter at Souhanstrib.

 

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