Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Posts about Wolves draft news

On KG, AP

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 20, 2015 - 1:32 PM

Good get by ESPN's Ben Goessling, landing the Adrian Peterson interview.

Peterson told Goessling that he's not thrilled with the way the Vikings handled his suspension, and uneasy about the idea of wearing purple again.

That's a problem, in two ways.

First, it means that the Vikings may not be able to keep a very valuable player. I have a hard time believing Peterson will refuse to play next season in Minnesota, but his attitude could complicate the situation, or at least the relationship between team and player.

Second, it means that Peterson suffers from a syndrome a Twins employee long ago referred to as the ``Princess and the Pea'' problem. Peterson has been praised so often in his life, has been such a success, that the idea of someone questioning his character is not only repugnant to him, it's foreign to him. Instead of recognizing that the Vikings have to answer to sponsors, fans and the NFL at large, he wants to hold Vikings bosses responsible for not supporting him more fully. That is a special kind of entitlement, a special kind of crazy.

At this point, given all of the possible permutations, I've come around to believing that what's best for the Vikings is simply to pay Peterson's full salary next season, and try to win while he's still in his prime. My original position was that Peterson should be punished severely...and he was. Losing 15 games, virtually a full season, of his prime is a stern punishment for a despicable act.

All Peterson has to do now is appreciate that key Vikings figures want him back, understand the predicament he put them in, and go back to being a great player who will have to face a protest or two. It's that simple.

If Peterson can't see that, he needs to improve the quality of his entourage, and of his thinking.

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Got a little blowback for praising the Wolves' acquisition of Kevin Garnett.

I would not be defending the trade of Thad Young for KG in basketball terms. Young is a useful player in his prime. Garnett is a formerly great player nearing the end.

I'm praising it because basketball doesn't really matter right now in the Timberwolves' world. The games are meaningless. All that matters right now is developing Andrew Wiggins, and encouraging him to believe that, if and when he becomes a superstar, he has reason to considering staying in Minnesota and trying to win championships here.

Garnett isn't the only person who can make that argument to Wiggins. But he may be the only person Wiggins would have reason to listen to on that topic.

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Tonight, the SouhanUnfiltered.com podcast is live at O'Gara's Bar and Grill off Snelling, at 4:30 with guest Bob Sansevere. (I'm also doing daily radio hits with Bob on 105.1 The Ticket at 3:30 each afternoon.)

My band, The Bar Chords, will play at O'Gara's Shanty at 7:30 or so, and live karaoke starts at 9 with Le Bang. Stop by and say hello.

You can listen to this and all podcasts live or later at SouhanUnfiltered.com, or at IHeartradio via Souhan-Unfiltered. (note the hyphen)

KG deal good for future, but means Thad deal was bad

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: February 19, 2015 - 5:05 PM

Wrote about why I love the Wolves' trade for Kevin Garnett for the Friday paper.

Here's another way to look at the deal:
It means Flip Saunders blew it when he spent a first-round pick on Thad Young.

I didn't like that deal at the time. I came around to thinking it was sensible, until I watched Young try (or not try) to play defense. Then I hated it all over again.

Young was who we thought he was: Kevin Love Lite. He produced decent numbers but wasn't a winning player.

So I'm glad the Wolves dealt him for a player who could be the perfect mentor for Andrew Wiggins. But Saunders overestimated Young, and this team's ability to win.

========

Last podcast at SouhanUnfiltered.com was with Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve at Kieran's Irish Pub. Reeve talked about how she got her start in coaching, and how she constantly sees flaws in MVP Maya Moore's game. Next podcast: Friday, 4:30 p.m. at O'Gara's Bar & Grill with old friend Bob Sansevere. My band, The Bar Chords, will play at 7;30ish at O'Gara's, leading into live karaoke.

Saturday, Strib hockey writer Michael Russo and I will do our latest podcast from the Alive&Social Network studios in Minneapolis.

Then I head to spring training.

Thanks for reading and listening.

@Souhanstrib

On deflated footballs, Rubio, missed shots

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 21, 2015 - 9:57 AM

Keep getting asked why it's such a big deal that the Patriots deflated footballs.

The questions I'm hearing:

-Why does it matter?

-Is it really an advantage?

-Isn't it just because the Patriots win, and nobody likes Belichick?

These questions are irrelevant.

If you cork your bat and strike out, you still corked your bat. If you take steroids and fail to perform, you still took steroids.

And there is a benefit to deflating footballs. It makes them easier to throw and catch. And if the Patriots knew they were going to play with deflated footballs, I'm sure they practiced with them all week.

The Patriots would have beaten the Colts with any form of ball in play. That doesn't mean they didn't cheat, or shouldn't be punished for cheating.

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Ricky Rubio is belatedly becoming in danger of being not only a draft bust, but a contract mistake.

He's been out for months with a sprained ankle. He does not appear close to returning. It's time for the young man to act like he cares about playing basketball.

The best thing that could happen to the Wolves at this point would be further tests on his ankle that reveal something more serious is wrong. Otherwise, this is the worst sprained ankle in sports history - or Rubio isn't particularly interested in playing basketball and fulfilling his contract.

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After their comebacks fell short against Ohio State and Iowa, Gophers players were crushed. They had played brilliantly late in the game to force dramatic endings.

Today, if they're still talking about being one shot away from a victory, they should be ignored.

They were within a shot of Nebraska last night because Nebraska played horribly all night. The Gophers lost because they played even worse. That wasn't a dramatic loss - it was a horrific loss. Neither team deserved to win.

That might have been the most important game of the season. Had the Gophers won, they would havre moved to 2-5. They would have had a two-game winning streak, with an easy upcoming schedule. They could have made a strong move toward .500.

Now they're just a lousy team in a mediocre league.

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Tonight at 5 p.m. at Kieran's Irish Pub, great local rocker G.B. Leighton will be my guest for my podcast at SouhanUnfiltered.com.

Thursday at 3 p.m., Strib hockey writer Michael Russo will be my guest. Friday at 5 p.m. at O'Gara's, USA Today football writer Tom Pelissero will be my guest. Monday at 5 p.m. at The Local, Twins president Dave St. Peter will be my guest.

Thanks in advance to all of these people who have been so generous with their time. You can listen to the podcasts live, or anytime later, at the website.

And thanks for listening.

@Souhanstrib

Looking for something encouraging?

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 14, 2015 - 8:55 AM

On Tuesday night, the Gophers fell behind by 17 points before rallying...and losing.

The Wild continued to embarrass itself and its entire effort-based sport with another pathetic performance.

Our bright spot came from the NBA. Actually, from two unanticipated sources in the NBA.

Mo Williams.

And Kevin Love.

Mo, as you know, scored 52 points to break the Wolves' losing streak. Just as impressive, he scored 52 points without frequenting the paint. He scored 52 points with a 7-3 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was both prolific and efficient, and it's nice to see a Wolves point guard invested in avoiding losing. (You can come back any month now, Ricky.)

While Mo was doing strange things, Kevin Love kept proving he is who we thought he was. In a loss at Phoenix, Cavs coach David Blatt benched Love for the fourth quarter, saying he liked the way his on-court lineup matchup up with Phoenix defensively.

In other words, Love remains a terrible defensive player.

Love finished with nine points and nine rebounds. He was 3-for-11 from the field. He was a team-worst minus-20.

Blatt made headlines the other day by saying Love isn't a maximum-contract player. He tried to spin that after guaging the public reaction, but I believe he was offering an honest assessment of a limited player.

Love is great at putting up big numbers. He's not so great at playing winning basketball.

I'll admit I've been conflicted on Love (great band name) for years. I've praised his productivity. I thought Wolves fans blamed him too much for the struggles of what has been a terrible basketball organization. But I also questioned his effort, defense and attitude at times.

Now he's playing with the best player in the world, on a team that should be near the top of the East, and the Cavs are 19-20, and Love is partly to blame.

I'll give Flip Saunders credit for getting Andrew Wiggins for Love, and I'll also credit the Golden State Warriors for being smart enough to keep Klay Thompson. It's not surprising that the team that decided against trading for Love is playing so well.

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Tonight's podcast: 5 p.m. at The Local (the great Irish bar on Nicollet), former Viking and current North High AD Leo Lewis will be my guest. Friday at 5 p.m. at O'Gara's, my guest will be Strib hockey writer Michael Russo. You can listen live or later at SouhanUnfiltered.com. Thanks.

@Souhanstrib

Teams that didn't trade for Love favored to win it all

Posted by: Jim Souhan Updated: January 6, 2015 - 11:46 AM

According to Bovada of Las Vegas, the two teams favored to win the NBA championship are the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors. Both are listed at 5-to-1 odds.

What do they have in common?

Both considered trading for Kevin Love, and decided against it.

The Bulls are 25-10, even with Derrick Rose struggling to overcome injuries.

The Warriors are an NBA-best 27-5, and are the most entertaining team in the league as well as the best.

The Cavaliers, who added LeBron James and Love, are 19-16 and currently in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

If there are lessons to be learned here, I think they are these:

1. Love is proving again that he is capable of accumulating numbers without dramatically affecting the outcome of games. He went for 30 points and 18 rebounds last night...and the Cavs lost again.

2. Those who argued against the Wolves trading Love for Klay Thompson said that Thompson was a one-dimensional player, a pure shooter and little else. They ignored the fact that he's a driven young player who was bound to improve, and has.

3. The Wolves probably made the right decision, trading Love for Andrew Wiggins. Despite a remarkably optimistic view from inside the Wolves' organization before this season started - there were key decision-makers who thought this team could make the playoffs - this roster is nowhere ready to win. So Thompson would have been frustrated, even if he had helped the Wolves win a ffew more games.

If you're going to lose big, you might as well do it with young players.

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