Wolves: Dunking is Smith's only weakness so far

  • Article by: STEVE AASCHBURNER
  • Updated: November 23, 2006 - 8:20 PM

Blowing one dunk was irritating. Missing another, also in the second quarter of the Timberwolves' 107-89 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, was frustrating. But with 6:17 left in the fourth quarter, Craig Smith threw one down. And it was good.

"You're going to miss dunks in this league," teammate Kevin Garnett said later. "Just like getting dunked on, dunking on people, air-balling and missing shots, it's just going to happen. It's part of the game. But did you see the one he made? Yeah! Rocked that rim."

Said Smith, a thick-bodied rookie forward and the team's biggest surprise of the early season: "Finally got one. Missed two earlier, bubbled out. But hey, things happen for a reason. Got another opportunity, made the best of it."

That has been the story of Smith's first NBA season. The second-round pick from Boston College ranks fifth on the Wolves in scoring (8.7) and third in rebounding (5.3), numbers that put him fourth and third respectively among the league's newcomers. One of Smith's distinguishing traits is how seldom he makes mistakes; he takes shots he can make and sticks to low-risk passes. He had three assists in the second quarter, finding Marko Jaric cutting for a layup and Garnett for a jumper and a slam.

"Mark Blount does an excellent job [as the starting center], but Craig comes in and changes the game," coach Dwane Casey said. "It's just his intensity, smarts. He's always where he's supposed to be."

Easy on the leftovers

Smith, a solid 272 pounds, admitted that he works at staying in shape, boosting his conditioning on a stationary bike. One reason: He needs his wind, averaging an unexpected 18 minutes a game.

"I've definitely got to watch it. I try to do extra things," Smith said of his workouts and menus. "It's not that bad. It's only if you put yourself in certain situations. If you take care of yourself the right way, you shouldn't have any problems."

View from down under

There's no denying reality in the coaches' office adjacent to the Wolves' locker room at Target Center. Two boards showing the Western Conference and Northwest Division standings dominate one wall. They're updated daily and, heading into today's games, show the Wolves (4-6) in last place in the division and next-to-last in the West.

"I hate looking at them," Casey said, "because I know we're better than where we are right now. You have quite a few teams whose records are not conducive to what they are. We want to hurry up and get those numbers up on that left side."

That would be under the W.

A babe in Manhattan

New York center Eddy Curry is showing a little more life these days, averaging 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 29.2 minutes, all slightly better than his career stats. He had a ferocious slam in the third quarter that jostled the entire basket support, but it was an exclamation point in search of a sentence; the Knicks trailed by 24 points at the time, their largest deficit. The big guy finished with 14 points and seven boards.

"He's still young, and people forget that he's only 23," Wolves guard Trenton Hassell told a New York reporter. "He's still growing and learning. By the time he's 25 or 26, he's going to be a monster."

Four on four

It made for nice symmetry, Hassell and New York's Quentin Richardson canceling out each other by going scoreless from the small forward position Wednesday. They played a combined 42 minutes, didn't guard each other and weren't ground down as defenders, since the eight other starters reached double figures.

Hassell, in the lineup for his defense, had one such goose egg last season, eight in 2004-05 and six after he became a starter early in 2003-04. He scored 13 points in the Wolves' opener but has averaged 5.0 points on 39.1 percent shooting since.

  • related content

  • Wolves gameday

    Thursday November 23, 2006

    New Orleans had averaged 100 points in the past three of a four-game winning streak, then went to Phoenix and...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 12:00 PM
New York
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 8:00 PM
Denver
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 3:00 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:00 PM
Columbus
Nashville 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 39 2nd Half 18:18
Cincinnati 21
Charlotte 31 2nd Half
Georgetown 38
SMU 30 2nd Half
Michigan 27
Louisville 29 2nd Half
Western Ky 24
Mount St Marys 12:00 PM
American Univ
Abilene Christian 12:00 PM
Boise State
UMass Lowell 12:00 PM
Duquesne
South Alabama 12:00 PM
IUPUI
Ohio State 0 1st Half 19:43
North Carolina 0
Massachusetts 12:00 PM
Providence
Syracuse 12:00 PM
Villanova
Citadel 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Belmont 12:30 PM
Fairfield
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Montreat 1:00 PM
Campbell
Delaware 1:00 PM
Fair-Dickinson
South Florida 1:00 PM
Florida State
Vanderbilt 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
SC State 1:00 PM
Houston
Missouri 1:00 PM
Illinois
Truett-McConnell 1:00 PM
Jacksonville
Toledo 1:00 PM
McNeese State
Elon 1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Drexel 1:00 PM
Penn State
St Francis-PA 1:00 PM
Rutgers
Albany 1:00 PM
Yale
PSU-Beaver 1:00 PM
Longwood
Eastern Ill 1:05 PM
Indiana State
Indiana 1:30 PM
Butler
Marshall 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
Lafayette 2:00 PM
Kansas
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
Memphis
Western Mich 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Delaware State 2:00 PM
Oregon
Fla Atlantic 2:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Arkansas Tech 2:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Howard Payne 2:00 PM
Texas-Arlington
UMBC 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
St Josephs (IN) 2:05 PM
Chicago State
Eastern Mich 2:05 PM
Missouri State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Kentucky
UC Davis 3:00 PM
Air Force
Houston Baptist 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
Davidson 3:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
USC Upstate 3:00 PM
Miss State
NC Central 3:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Illinois State 3:00 PM
Murray State
Louisiana 3:00 PM
Northwestern St
Oakland 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Detroit 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Presbyterian 3:00 PM
UT Martin
Monmouth 3:00 PM
Wagner
Southern U 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Iowa State 4:00 PM
Drake
Wake Forest 4:00 PM
Florida
High Point 4:00 PM
James Madison
Texas Southern 4:00 PM
Michigan State
New Hampshire 4:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Northeastern 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Huston-Tillotson 4:00 PM
Texas State
Purdue 4:15 PM
Notre Dame
Prairie View 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Xavier 5:00 PM
Auburn
Bluffton 6:00 PM
Akron
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Columbia
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Dayton
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Manhattan
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
Marist
East Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Richmond 6:00 PM
Pepperdine
La Salle 6:00 PM
Towson
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
UMKC
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
Texas
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
TCU
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Arkansas
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Washington
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Weber State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
NC State 8:30 PM
West Virginia
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Pacific
Montana State 9:00 PM
Portland
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 3rd Qtr 4:34
Louisiana 10
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Livingstone 38 2nd Half
UNC Greensboro 42
Loyola-Chicago 32 2nd Half
Dartmouth 27
Georgia Tech 27 2nd Half 20:00
St Francis-NY 25
Auburn 22 2nd Half 20:00
St Johns 32
East Tenn St 28 2nd Half 18:50
Jacksonville St 22
Western Mich 35 2nd Half
Detroit 26
Cal-Irvine 25 2nd Half
Wright State 41
Gardner-Webb 23 2nd Half 19:00
Kennesaw St 23
(7) Stanford 12:00 PM
(11) Tennessee
Central Michigan 12:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Nebraska Omaha 12:00 PM
Creighton
FIU 12:00 PM
Western Carolina
St Thomas Aquinas 12:00 PM
Army
St Bonaventure 12:00 PM
Niagara
Texas State 12:00 PM
Stetson
Alabama A&M 0 1st Half 20:00
Ole Miss 0
Houston 0 1st Half 20:00
Nicholls 0
George Mason 12:05 PM
ULM
Grambling 1:00 PM
Kansas State
Missouri 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Robert Morris 1:00 PM
Cornell
Air Force 1:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Hampton 1:00 PM
James Madison
American Univ 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Texas Southern 1:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Tenn Tech 1:00 PM
NC A&T
Presbyterian 1:00 PM
NC Central
Penn 1:00 PM
Drexel
Lipscomb 1:00 PM
Xavier
Vermont 1:00 PM
Green Bay
Charleston Southern 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Ohio Christian 1:00 PM
Akron
Jacksonville 1:00 PM
Murray State
(17) Rutgers 1:00 PM
Iona
Indiana 1:00 PM
Oakland
Indiana State 1:30 PM
SMU
Denver 1:30 PM
Purdue
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
UCF 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Campbell 2:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Florida A&M 2:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Jackson State
Lehigh 2:00 PM
Arizona State
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Toledo 2:00 PM
Southern Ill
Liberty 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Wofford 2:30 PM
North Florida
Montana State 3:00 PM
Washington St
Marshall 3:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Chattanooga
Northeastern 3:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 3:00 PM
(15) Georgia
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(9) Baylor
Ohio U 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Prairie View 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
High Point 3:00 PM
(12) Nebraska
Winthrop 3:05 PM
Wichita State
William Jewell 3:30 PM
UMKC
Louisiana Tech 4:00 PM
Utah
Southern Utah 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Hawaii 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Jose St 4:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Northridge 4:00 PM
San Diego State
Norfolk State 4:00 PM
East Carolina
Saint Peters 4:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Arizona 4:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Northwestern 4:30 PM
Eastern Illinois
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Wisconsin
Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM
New Mexico St
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
(16) Oregon State 5:30 PM
Nevada
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Villanova
Delaware 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Montana
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
Idaho
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close