Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Posts about Vikings

Wolves postgame

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: February 11, 2010 - 12:10 AM

This from tireless Vikings beat guy Chip Scoggins, who covered the game tonight:

The Wolves blew a chance to enter the all-star break on a positive note because they played poor early and then made a costly mistake late in a 93-92 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats at Target Center.

Despite trailing by 21 points in the first half, the Wolves came back and had a three-point lead with less than a minute remaining. But a botched save attempt cost them a chance to enter the break with their fifth victory in six games.
 
 “Yeah it [hurts],” forward Al Jefferson said. “It would have helped if we hadn’t got down 20 points. But that’s just how it goes. It showed that we were determined to make a comeback and had a chance to win. But we lost by one rebound.”
 
That missed rebound was an obvious source of frustration afterward. With the Wolves leading 92-91, Charlotte’s Boris Diaw missed a 21-footer with nine seconds left. Both Jefferson and Corey Brewer chased after the ball along the baseline. Brewer flipped the ball right to Bobcats center Nazr Mohammed under the basket for an easy dunk with 5.3 seconds left.
 
“I’m pretty sure if we could do anything [different] we would have done it,” Jefferson said. “The ball was going out of bounds and he just threw it back and it went to the wrong player.”
 
Said Wolves guard Wayne Ellington: “I think it was definitely bad luck. They both went for the ball to save it. The only thing you can say is you never really want to save the ball under your own basket. He probably should have thrown it a little farther out. Other than that, they were just playing as hard as possible to win the game.”
 
Wolves coach Kurt Rambis didn’t criticize either Brewer or Jefferson for that play and said it was a collective breakdown by all five players on that play.
 
“It would be easy to say what should have happened,” Rambis said. “Obviously that’s not what you would want to happen. I think Corey knew Al was behind him and he was trying to get it to Al. But Al thinks he has to go get the ball too. You don’t want to normally throw the ball back underneath your opponents’ basket, but we also had three other Timberwolves players standing around 20 feet from the basket and not one of them made a move to the basket when that shot went up. They should have all been converging at that time. At that timeout I mentioned that to them. They were one rebound away from a win and they couldn’t come up with it.”
 

MLK Day Matinee: 76ers at Target Center

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: January 18, 2010 - 12:04 PM

My apologies that I haven't posted since halftime of Friday's loss at Memphis.

You didn't much after that, not after that dreadful third quarter when the Wolves got outscored 40-22.

I had Internet problems that prevented me from posting after Friday's game, then traveled Saturday and have been immersed in a long narrative story I wrote for the paper on Monday's 50th anniversary of the Minneapolis Lakers' chartered plane going down in an Iowa cornfield: read it here

As for the Wolves...

Ryan Hollins practiced Saturday and Sunday after missing six games with what the team is now calling strep throat.

But Rambis commented Saturday on how tired and worn Hollins looked, so I'll bet he doesn't play Monday afternoon (2:30) in the Martin Luther King matinee against Philadelphia.

Rambis' postgame media address lasted just eight seconds and 21 words after Friday's horrible second half. He called practice for both Saturday (a brisk 70-minute workout) and Sunday (an unusual morning practice so players could watch or attend the Vikings-Cowboys) game.

They reached the midway mark of their season -- 41 down, 41 to go -- Friday in Memphis.

After watching that game, I couldn't help but think this:

The best bet with all that money they've socked away for next summer might be spent on throwing money at restricted free agent Rudy Gay ($12 million a year?) and hope it's too rich for the financially strapped Grizzlies. I believe he's already turned down. He sought a five-year, $50 million deal from the Grizz last fall and didn't get it.

They're not going to get Joe Johnson, let alone Bosh, LeBron and D-Wade of course.

After that, there are going to be teams with money but few players worth splurging on.

Who else is worth spending that money on, unless you decide to use it on multiple players?

Gay would give you an athletic small forward, a perimeter player who can shoot and can score, which is exactly where this team needs to seriously upgrade (remember he was taken right after Randy Foye in the 2006 draft).

And if David Kahn and Rambis really want to run, the dude can run.

Yes, you worry he's an underachiever and yes, he needs (or wants) the ball, but he's only 23 and he has played in Memphis all his career.

Add him, draft Evan Turner or Xavier Henry for your 2 guard, use one of those other first round picks to draft a long, athletic shot-blocker type or sign Pekovic or trade his rights and -- with Ricky Rubio still to be added or dealt (or Jonny Flynn) -- you're on your way somewhere.

You can decide on what to do with the Jefferson/Love dilemma later. No need to force that decision now, not with this team still two or three years away at best from being seriously competitive.

All of a sudden, Corey Brewer and/or Ryan Gomes are  your seventh, eighth or ninth guys.

That's better, isn't it?

 

 

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