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TFD: Save the Wolves, Gorgui Dieng. You're their only hope.

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wolves news Updated: December 17, 2013 - 6:19 PM

 

The fate of the Timberwolves this season hinges on the success of Kevin Love ... the progression of Ricky Rubio ... the shooting of Kevin Martin ... and so many more things.

 

But when it comes down to it, the year might come down to this: how fast Gorgui Dieng can be a meaningful contributor.

And yes, we're dead serious.

We say that because the Wolves are dead last in the NBA in blocked shots, and it's not even close. They are averaging 3 per game. Sacramento is next-worst at 3.7. The best teams are up over 6 per game.

Nobody in the Wolves' current primary rotation is a shot-blocker. None are rim protectors. The team leader in blocks is bench player Dante Cunningham, with 17.

No. 2? Well, sad as it sounds, it's Dieng with 12. He has blocked those 12 shots in just 89 minutes of playing time spanning 14 games.

Starting center Nikola Pekovic has 10 blocks in 830 minutes. It's just not Pek's game. It's not Love's game. They both do other things well, but the lack of a rim protector kills the Wolves against quick guards and in late game situations.

Enter Dieng. Rick Adelman has concerns about his offense. And Dieng is at this point very foul-prone.

So what. The Wolves need those six fouls every game. Even if he is raw offensively, they need someone for 15-20 minutes who can alter shots and end the parade of layups. He got meaningful minutes against Boston, and though he had no blocks in that game his presence was felt.

A healthy Ronny Turiaf would help, too, but Dieng is the real hope. If the Wolves can't protect the rim, they can't protect a lead.

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St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee 4 Bottom 4th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Atlanta 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Mets 1
NY Yankees 0 Top 4th Inning
Tampa Bay 4
Seattle 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Miami 1
Chicago WSox 0 Top 1st Inning
Texas 0
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
San Francisco - T. Hudson 7:40 PM
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Toronto 87
Golden State 109 FINAL
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Indiana 49
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Oklahoma City
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
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Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Colorado
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 1 FINAL
Chicago 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Colorado 0
Los Angeles 1 2nd Half
Vancouver FC 0
D.C. 0 1st Half 25:00
Columbus 0
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FC Dallas
Montreal 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
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Real Salt Lake
Seattle 9:30 PM
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