We had an amusing series of back-and-forth voicemails and finally a phone conversation with Rocket the other day. The disagreement was about sports, which is bound to happen when you have known someone for 25 years. The particular subject was the post and video about the least dysfunctional team in Minnesota men's pro sports. He voted Wild (forcefully). We voted Wolves (forcefully).


Our argument was that it couldn't be the Wild when it always feels like they are one poor stretch of play away from a major coaching/front office shakeup. His argument was that the Wolves haven't made the playoffs in a decade and Flip Saunders' first draft was questionable.

Good talk.

In any event, it does nothing to dissuade us from our annual Timberwolves optimism. This time, alarmingly, we are backed by a decent number of others who feel the same way -- including the SCHOENE projection system from ESPN.com (Insider), which has the Wolves at 52 victories and a 96 percent chance of making the playoffs this season.

You can accuse us of rampant optimism, but as far as we know computers are cold entities that have no emotion and probably don't even know how adorable Ricky Rubio is.

The metric involves all sorts of player projections, team projections and simulations, and blah blah blah 52 FREAKING WINS?!

Well, health is obviously critical. So, too, is establishing a winning culture. All we know is Vegas has the Wolves at 41 wins over-under right now. That's low. Check your smoke detector batteries, grab a big glass of SCHOENE and enjoy the season opener tomorrow night.

H/T: Phil Mackey for the heads up.