Rand: Freeze fans, no sudden moves

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 7:14 AM
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When the Giants and Justin Tuck got a read on Washington’s Kirk Cousins, he became an ordinary backup QB.

Photo: Julio Cortez • Associated Press,

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Three thoughts from the weekend that DON’T relate to the Super Bowl:

• Washington QB Kirk Cousins is reportedly open to being traded, which is about as surprising as someone complaining about the weather this winter. Cousins was drafted in the fourth round the same year Robert Griffin III was chosen in the first round, and the new regime has made it clear RGIII is the future of the franchise (and rightfully so).

If you are the Vikings: Just say no. Repeat: Just say no. Do not make a play for Cousins. He had a couple of flashes of nice play as a rookie in 2012; in 2013, he started the final three games and looked decidedly mediocre. The longer teams had to prepare for him, the worse he played. That’s not a good sign. He’s going to be a career backup, not the answer. No shortcuts here, Minnesota. Just stay away.

• Sometimes in Minnesota we need a good reality check with our teams, and it arrived en masse for three prominent ones recently.

Perhaps we overvalued the Gophers men’s basketball team after a home victory over Wisconsin. After all, it was a team that had shown plenty of flaws previously — problems that resurfaced in losses to Nebraska and Northwestern after the Badgers beating.

Maybe we started to get too optimistic about the Timberwolves when they showed some defensive moxie and finally climbed over .500 last week. They followed that with a deflating home loss to Memphis — a good team, but that was a chance to build momentum — and then watched their defensive shortcomings return in a loss Saturday at Atlanta.

The long view of the Wild’s recent tough five-game stretch (Chicago at home, then a four-game road trip) is that Minnesota came through it in good shape with six points (two wins, two OT losses). The shorter view is they earned just one point in the final two games, giving up nine goals in the process. Their grip on a playoff spot remains tenuous.

• All that said, we have a terrible habit of getting excited about teams when they are just about to crumble and starting to give up on them right when they turn things around.

The Wild has two home games before an Olympic break that could help the squad refocus. The Wolves have five home games in their next seven, followed by a road game at woeful Utah. The Gophers are at Purdue, then home against Indiana in their next two — winnable games, with or without Andre Hollins, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain but will provide a boost when he returns.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 86 4th Qtr 1:45
Phoenix 95
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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