Shoes

Shoes are awesome. I always remember digging my shoes. Early on I had sweet Kangaroos that were Velcro. The next pair I really remember is a pair of Pony baseball cleats. The tongue is really what I remember about those shoes. That and the fact they were white with minimal black accents. I was hooked.

The first basketball shoes I remember were Reebok Pumps sized 8.5 in second grade. Basketball and sports were a gateway into shoes. I needed new shoes constantly. My feet grew at a silly rate till 9th grade. I’d get a new out of ball shoes in the fall and the second pair around Christmas. New baseball cleats every spring. New football shoes in the fall. New daily kicks for school. New waterproof shoes for golf/caddying. I probably bought 6-10 pairs a year.

I’ve always had a narrow heel so Nike’s have worked well for me. I’d get new Nikes for everything. Then they were running sweatshops so I had to switch to a new brand. I tried everything. Didn’t find a lot I liked and started buying fewer shoes cut back on the sports I played. At some point in time, I started getting boutiques shoes or basically anything that wasn’t Nike.

I cut down on my yearly purchases. Had two or three total pairs. Then I started getting into running. Now I’m back to full-blown shoe addict. To help myself go through my closet and assess the shoes I have and my actual needs I’m going to start reviewing all of my shoes. One a week till I get through them all. The whole way if I can’t see a purpose for the shoe in my collection it’ll be gone.

#Shoes

Floating

A week ago my wife went to the float spa. When she went she thought it was odd and a bit hokey. Then two days later her mind felt clearer and more fresh than it had in a long time. For two days she was telling me I needed to book an appointment. The first day she got back from the spa she was dogging it so hard I was skeptical.

I booked an appointment at the end of the day, the last one they had. I didn’t do any research into floating before going in for my session. The spa here in Fargo is new and clean. The women that met me at the front counter was stoked for me. She told me everything she could about floating and the spa before I got in.

the room is dimly lit. There are two rooms. The shower room and the float room. The shower room is minimal. The whole room is tiled Floor to ceiling. On one end there were two hooks for your cloths. There is a robe and slippers in case you need to run to the bathroom mid float. There was a wooden shelf for the rest of your things. It also had some towels, ear plugs and makeup removing towelettes. The shower is mounted on the ceiling. Being 6’4″ this was cool. The lighting was calming and gently. There was soft New Age music. In the tub there were two controls one for the lights and one for the music. There is shelf space in the float room for a phone or a small personal item like a phone. I wouldn’t suggest being in your phone. It’s so salty in there I can’t imagine that’d be good for your phone. The float room is basically the tub and a door. I should’ve taken pictures but I was more focused on experiencing the moment.

You take a quick shower before floating. Then you get in. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s warm, verging on hot in the float room. I carefully sit in the oversized tub that you float in. The lady who worked there had told me you’d float instantly. When I sat down I hit the bottom. Instantly I was like oh shit I’m not going to float. The whole time you are with yourself. I can’t explain enough how different it is to just be with yourself and your thoughts. As soon as I lay back I’m floating. That 5 seconds of will I actually float is over. Now I’m trying to understand the environment.

Where are the buttons she told me about that control the lights and the music. I kill the lights. Instead of a light blue faint light it’s completely dark. I love it. I listen to the music for a few minutes I’m trying to just find the most comfortable space for me. Maybe it’s this music maybe it’s not. I put my arms above my head, below my head. I’m thinking about the random stuff in life. Do I want to podcast? Do I want to keep blogging? How will the Wolves be this year? Do the Twins flip guys at the deadline? Do I like my arms by my side more than above my head? Wow my ankle is typically sore from a bad sprain years ago and it feels different. It doesn’t feel good but it’s like when people say they can tell it’s going to rain that feeling i your bones. Slowly I flex my ankle to feel everything in it. I’m trying to find the bounds of the tub. Can I float side to side and top to bottom? Where can or should I position my leg to maximize the feeling in my ankle? The Twins really should unload four or more guys. I mean they aren’t going to the playoffs so why not get something for the impending free agents? My right shoulder blade almost always has a knot in it. I’m thinking about that and the feeling in my ankle. I’m trying to focus on the not relaxing and as if on command it starts too. Then I’m wondering if it was just happening and I felt it then intuitively thought about it and created some sort of internal feedback loop. I can’t believe the Wolves hired Thibs and now I can’t believe we haven’t fired him. Thoughts slide out and I focus more on my body. I can feel that shoulder gently relaxing. My neck feels good. I am just enjoying the way the water makes your skin feel so smooth.

Instead of random thoughts about sports or politics I feel like I am choosing what’s next on tap. Floating side to side. Oh snap I sneeze. In the process I’m trying not to get any salt water in my mouth/nose. Success. I lay back in the tub. I like my damn lips. Horrible. I can’t explain how horrible it was to lick my lips. I’m back to floating and enjoying the weightlessness. Feeling my back, my neck, my legs, my arms and just every part of my body. My elbows seem to float hoveringly above the rest of my body. Like my elbows are hollow or styrofoam.

I start to feel warm and wonder if my time is up or nearing completion. Almost as soon as this thought creeps in the intercom cuts in and the women from the front desk tells me it’s time to shower. I get out shower and get dressed. The shower was amazing. Just more cleansing than most.

Overall I enjoyed it. I found it easier to focus. To be clear minded. Relaxed. It was good. I book another. More to come.

Instapaper V Pocket

Can’t remember when I ran these two head to head last.

Pocket won at that point in time because it was just easier cross-platform.  I just heard via Reddit that Instapaper opened up all of their premium features for free.  I’m going back in for a try.

Initially, I went to pocket because it stripped ads out.  Then it was a great way to save stuff on my older smartphone when I wasn’t on wifi to be able to read. The added features within browsers of just being able to easily right click and save is what had me hooked.

I remember trying Instapaper and being annoyed that I couldn’t use all of the features across multiple platforms without a subscription.

At the time of my first head-to-head, I had hundreds if not thousands of articles saved in pocket.  Thinking I’d read them or use them to spur creative thoughts.  It was to a point where I couldn’t even do anything I had so much content saved.  At the time I also remember the trial was related to a subscription to a paper, possibly the New York Times but I can’t remember which one.

The main new feature that I’m trying out is sending articles to my Kindle.  I know this should be an easy thing to do.  It has never worked for me before so I’m stoked to put some stuff on there easily.  The latest BP articles by Aaron Gleeman or just something on WaPo.  Just so its easy and I can read it in bed at night without using my phone because I’m trying to put that thing to bed when I go to the bedroom.

What I’ve done so far:

  • Export my current Pocket list to Instapaper
  • Send half a dozen articles from different sites to my kindle to see how it works/formats the different sites articles
    • ESPN
    • NYT
    • WaPo
    • 9to5Mac
    • The Ringer
    • The Cut
  • Reinstall the iOS app
  • Reinstall the Chrome/Firefox apps
  • Use the speed read feature
    • Not a fan so far but I get the idea it forces you to focus
  • I like the estimated read times

I’ll give it a week and see what I think and then post my updates.

Wolves 2019 Feels

I’m about as far from a journalist as possible.  I’m a Wolves fan.  Periodically, I enjoy writing about the Wolves.  I like to throw stats into my pieces and I like to drop links.  Its still just a glorified fan-post on my own site.  With that in mind here are my current thoughts on the coming season…

Things constantly change yet so much still feels the same is just an annoying thing to hear or say.  What’s different with the Wolves materially going into 2019-20?  A few tweaks on the roster to a playoff team.  The core is intact.  What’s the outlook?  More Timberwolves than ever before.

 

 

The roster changes are minor.  Cole is out, Bjelly is out, J-Cross is out, MGH (is probably gone but I’ve seen this reported two ways), Brown, Brooks, and Shabazz (already gone last year).  The ins are Keita Bates-Diop, Josh Okogie, Anthony Tolliver, and Jared Terrell (on a two-way).

I am honestly excited about Keita.  I don’t think he’s a star but I think he’s a legit NBA player and getting him in the second round is great.  Okogie needs to hit as well otherwise there is legit no wing depth.

The basketball stuff aside this roster is tenuous at best right now.  You have one guy in Wiggins locked up on a max deal and the way FA has played out this year and last he wasn’t getting that sort of offer on the open market.  Wiggins play hasn’t been max-contract level.  Wiggins is still on a max deal so there is that for the Wolves.  Then the Wolves moved Zach Lavine for Jimmy.  At the time in a vacuum it seemed like a solid play.  Jimmy loves Thibs, Thibs coaches the Wolves, Jimmy is an upgrade to Zach, the Wolves should be better.  The Wolves made the playoffs so that was better.  Making the playoffs is one thing, winning a championship is another.  The NBA is in this odd world of super-teams right now.  Payrolls are large enough that three max or near max guys can land on the same team.  The Wolves are an example of a team with three max or near max guys in Wiggins, Jimmy and Karl.  If we are able to retain all three we’ll have three max guys.  The remaining roster will be rookie deals, anyone left before the max deals were gifted and minor signings.  That core of max guys maxes out in the second round at best unless Karl and Wiggins show major growth.  At the root the Wolves “super” team has a shelf-life and a ceiling short of a championship.  Karl needs to be resigned this summer or he’s a RFA next summer (which is fine) and Jimmy needs to be resigned (won’t happen) or he’s a FA next summer.  This coming year is the last year of this run.  Unless there are a lot of injuries in Golden State and Houston the Wolves aren’t anywhere near the top team in the west or the NBA in the coming year.  There is still time for Karl and Wiggins to grow but that is in 2-4 years.  Wiggins seems to have a ceiling of microwave scorer that has to be a 3rd options at best on a winning team and honestly his player type doesn’t tend to end up on title teams.  I’m open to suggestions or comparisons but I’m not seeing it right now.  Karl might evolve into a true unicorn and push the Wolves single-handedly into greatness.  Right now the vibe seems to be that he isn’t putting in the work to get that done.

All of that is too basketball for how I feel right now.  The NBA is in a cycle.  The Golden State Warriors (GSW) are good, fair or not they are good.  They are going to be good for at least one more year and essentially as long as they can keep this core together.  The bargain basement deals they got their stars on has been covered extensively.  The bottom line is GSW is so far and ahead better than most teams that you need to set your horizon-line relative to theirs’.  Trading Zach for Jimmy might not have been a win-now move.  It might have been a culture-defining move to get some guys in the locker-room that could motivate the younger dudes to perform.  Jimmy was on a two-year contract and was a wasting asset.  The Wolves acquired him with 2-years left on his deal and at the time of the trade they should have known they would be able to offer him an extension that would be below the market-value the following summer.  Jimmy could sign for $110 million or wait till next summer and sign for something reportedly closer to $190 million.  Jimmy has already signed one deal for $90 million, meaning he is generationally wealthy.  That’s money most of us will never understand.  While walking from $110 million feels insane on the surface what’s the worst case scenario for him?  He gets injured again and is only able to sign for $20 million next summer?  I mean he’s already made a boat-load of cash.  The Wolves either feel real good about him resigning with them as a FA or they need to move him for whatever they can get.  That is crazy to say.  They aren’t winning this next year unless GSW falls apart at the seams.  That’s possible, but then we still aren’t better than Houston, Boston and probably four or five other teams.  The Wolves don’t shoot threes.  Wiggins and Butler aren’t outside shooters, that’s just not part of their profile.  Thibs isn’t a coach that creates outside shots via his offense either.  If Wiggins and Jimmy had clean looks maybe.  The way that 3-pointers are currently valued in the NBA the Wolves system starts behind the eight-ball.

Now, we have four things going against us this coming year.

  1. Wiggins deal isn’t great
  2. GSW are better than us
  3. Jimmy is in a walk-year
  4. We don’t play the modern game

Let’s add these three points as well.

  1. Can Thibs still coach
  2. Thibs appears to not be able to handle POBO and coach roles
  3. We don’t have a modern 4

Where does that put a Wolves fan?  This roster should be pushing for one of the bottom 4 playoff spots.  If we are healthy all year maybe even higher.  Regular season basketball is a different beast than the playoffs and we can scrap past a lot of teams in the regular season trading 2-pointers for missed 3-pointers or so it seemed last year.  We aren’t currently set-up to contend in the playoffs without major improvements from KAT/Wiggins.  Butler is in a walk-year.  Taj isn’t a legit modern 4.  Towns needs to sign his max extension.  Wiggins needs to improve a lot to be worth his max deal.  Thibs might not be able to transition the team into the modern game.  The roster isn’t flexible once Kat signs because we’ll have Wiggins and Dieng on big deals paired with Teague and Butler having player options.  There just isn’t a lot the Wolves can plan to do next summer with the current roster.  This hasn’t even broached the current roster construction as not really meshing well.

What do we do?  Blow it up doesn’t seem to be a legit option.  You’d take 30-cents on the dollar for Wiggins.  You probably won’t get even value for Butler.  Teague and Dieng might not actually be tradeable.  Taj doesn’t bring anything back worth having till closer to the deadline.

Right now I think you package Butler for an outside shooter you aren’t going to get Gordon Hayward but that should be the type of player you shoot to get. Think about it Hayward just by being on the roster stretches the floor for the Wolves even if Thibs doesn’t want too.  It creates space for Wiggins and KAT.  Hayward is in year 2 of a 4 year deal.   Hayward for Butler doesn’t work straight up.  You’d have to pay someone like Sacramento to take Dieng.  (SEE TRADE HERE)  There is no real good reason I can come up with that Sacramento would do this unless someone is giving them picks.  It’d probably have to be the Wolves but maybe it makes sense for Boston.  I mean this would give Boston a team that would easily be the best in the East but they are probably already the best in the East and they wouldn’t have to worry about resigning Kyrie and Butler.  Like I said this is the type of deal the Wolves should look at, moving Butler for an outside shooter.

Then we have to hope that Thibs magically becomes the right coach.  Then we have to draft a 4 next year unless they trade Jimmy for a 4 but who?  K-Love is name that’ll get hyped but he’s in a walk-year too.  K-Love doesn’t work with Wiggins and KAT one or the other.

Going into this season I think the Wolves max output is 3-seed and bounced in the conference finals.  The realistic output is fighting for the final playoff spot.  The season is still a few weeks out.  I think the drafted pieces get actually more interesting if we flip Jimmy for a new asset or set of assets.

New Year New Wolves

Lots has happened since John and I did a pod.  Lots has stayed the same too.  Thibs is still playing too few guys in the regular rotation.  We aren’t sure who our best point guard is presently and we aren’t sure what the ceiling for this team is as currently constructed.

The Wolves are 29-17 coming off a bad loss to Orlando.  Before that, they ripped off five in a row at home.  The Wolves still have picked up some losses they shouldn’t have and last night at Orlando is why they won’t get to by 59 number from before the season started and also why low 50s might be tough.

Quick thoughts on the Orlando game:

  • Wolves only lost the 4th quarter
  • Teague and Wiggins were the only starters with a negative net-rating.  Wiggs looked flat all game.  Teague just doesn’t make sense to me.  I haven’t watched him in previous season outside of games against the Wolves.  Man, he’s not consistent.  The bench had awful net ratings too, with the exception of Bjelica.  Bjelly got ejected for a 2nd technical after he almost got his head taken off by Arron Afflalo.  Afflalo is going to get multiple games off this one.  I imagine Bjelly doesn’t miss any more time.
  • Orlando has some weak net ratings on the starting five outside of Biyombo and Fournier.  Biyombo had 5 blocks.  He got a few homer calls from the refs and Sota did a bad job of stretching him.  He had a good game.  Fournier torched us.  A career high is always a tough one to handle.  32 points on 12 of 22 from the field (6 of 12 from 3-point).
  • After the game Buckets said it was a good loss because it’ll wake the team up.  Come on man do we need to get woke?  Let’s play hard everytime the ball gets rolled out.

 

The trade deadline is looming but All-Star announcements happen first.  Everyone is dropping who they think should be on the team.  The Wolves should have two All-Stars in Butler and KAT.  KAT might be on the bubble because he had a weak start to the season.  Butler didn’t take over the team till 15 games ago so he might not be a starter but he’s a lock to be in the game.

More to come soon but we had to just start the juices flowing!

ReBoop Episode #3 but I labeled the file #4 so…

In this episode, we get into a lot of stuff.  Its been a while since we’ve recorded.  I (Jeff) have been fighting off a sinus infection and a cough that would’ve made me even more unlistenable.  John’s just been a busy man cause he has a social life.  The main points are below.

  • Roster Issues
    • Injuries
    • Lack of wing depth
  • Frustrations with Thibs
  • Trades
  • Lindsay Whalen
  • Awards (All of the awards go John’s pick then Jeff’s pick)
    • ROTY
      • Simmons
      • Donovan Mitchell
    • MVP
      • LBJ
      • Harden
    • DPOY
      • Draymond Green
      • PG13
    • MIP
      • Embiid
      • Tobias Harris
    • 6th Man
      • Iggy
      • Eric Gordon
  • Record Projections 

Wednesday Yucks

Crazy day in the news here in the old US of A.  We don’t write about anything but sports typically here.  That’s still what I prefer to do.  While trying to work and keep up on the non-stop pounding of the news I got an email from a dear friend asking me what happened with Garrison Keillor.  Below is my response and my reason for not writing about the Wolves most recent homestand yet.  The Wolves issues with rotations, roster constructions, and game-play come in a far distant third to work or the news today.
The article in the Strib (here) he says he touched a women’s bare back while trying to comfort her.  Like he tried to pat her on the back but for some reason, her shirt wasn’t there and he touched her back?  I don’t really fucking get that part of the story.  The details and facts of clothing just don’t make sense to me.
Then he goes on to say its an honor to get fired when in show-business and he’s saddened that it took him 50 years to do so.  Just a really odd thing to write to a newspaper.
All of this a day after he wrote an op-ed in the WaPo (here) saying Franken shouldn’t have to step-down.  There is no way Garrison didn’t know he was in trouble when he wrote that piece.
All of this can only be back-dropped by 45dropping insane anti-Islam tweets this AM (here) and then Sanders saying it was okay for him to do so.  I mean the news right now today is too much.
The tax bill is trash (here) and Matt Lauer (here) got fired too?
That doesn’t change the fact that the Wolves got roasted last night in the waning seconds by the Wizards.
Other than that “how was the play Ms. Lincoln?” feels like all I’ve got today.

Towns V Spurs V 59 Wins were do we stand?

I really love basketball but if we are being straight my first love was baseball.  It always will be too.  I never got past 6’4″ and slow so beyond rec-ball I had no bball future.  I was looking for some Wolves pix over on Getty.  I always see these sweet Getty Image shots on people’s sites and I’m like okay fam how are you covering the cost of those photos?  Like for real.  Last night Karl-Anthony Towns had a monster of a game.  It’s going to be out-shinned nationally by Embiid and possibly even Porzingis.  I didn’t watch Embiid until the 3rd quarter and he owned the Lakers.  The Lakers can’t match-up against Embiid, KAT or the Zinger.  Maybe we need to look at these three guys performance against like opponents to really see how they shake out.  Even then the team aspect changes things so I’m not sure.  KAT balled last night and he won’t get much of any love. In honor of him deserving love and me finding out about Getting Images embed policy here’s KAT throwing out the first pitch at a Twins game.

Embed from Getty Images

The picture is from September 20, 2015 so its dated but whatevs.  Look how KAT keeps the ball hidden.  Now think about a 7’+ dude with a wing-span far greater than that keeping that fastball or slider grip hidden from you this well.  By the time he releases that it’s on you.  Dudes got long enough limbs that we probably need to figure out if the ball reaches its peak velo or if it’s still accelerating.

Think about that framed by Sota spotting the Spurs 6 in the first.  Only to hide that release to the last possible moment and bang bring the pain in the 2nd to the tune of 20 points.  It took about four minutes into the second and the Wolves never looked back.

Game Box Score

Wolves versus the Spurs box score via Basketball-reference

The box score is a nice representation of the game.  Wolves were finding themselves in the first.  Coming out hot.  This is the second time the Wolves have faced the Spurs, having lost the season opener in San Antonio.  Still, I found myself saying who the hell are these guys on the Spurs bench.  I had to look up Bryn Forbes.  Dude didn’t do much of anything but so far this year I think I’d like to see him as our wing depth over Bazz.  I just like how Pop finds dudes that he nurtures along on his bench for a season or two that then end up being contributors.  Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson are the current guys I’m thinking of in this vein but just look through Spurs rosters for the past 15 years.  Every year you’ll find a guy that you just shake your head at saying “huh only the spurs man.”  (When I mumble to myself about other sports teams its always in the disrespectful lower-case sense.  I never capitalize that shit when I’m hate mumbling.)  The Spurs go to that bench and pull ahead on the Wolves.  No real surprise cause they are the Spurs and the Wolves have lost 18 straight to them going into last night.  The Spurs push it out to eight points early in the 2nd.  As you can see on the ESPN game summary below the Spurs fall off a cliff shortly thereafter.

Wolves V Spurs ESPN Game Summary

That game flow there is okay but it’s not large enough for my liking.  It also doesn’t appear to show the game correctly.  Below is the win probability for the game and it shows the general vibe from the game a little better in my opinion.

ESPN Win Probability

The ESPN tool has nice hover over effects.  I’ve linked to the site so go check it out.  The ESPN game summary is a lot better than it used to be.  Its still ESPN and its not really the best mobile experience.  I guess I don’t really know I just use BR or Score on my phone.  They both have some BS ads but nowhere nearly as frustrating as ESPN.  BR Mag is solid so I like that app for that alone.  As it shows the Wolves got the lead and never really were in real trouble of losing the game.    

As soon as the Wolves jump on the Spurs in the second its over.  Part of this second quarter butt-whipping goes to the four straight pick and roll possessions with KAT and Tyus Jones.  Jace  Fredrick broke that shit down completely below.


Finally cause I can’t help but put graphics in this one let’s get to the old fav PopCornMachine’s game flow.  For me, this is still the way to go.

PopCornMachine Game Flow

The flow of what players are on the court is just beauty in motion.  Hockey subs are fine at half-time.  Pop is a genius, having forgotten or mentally overwritten more about basketball than I’ve absorbed.  (Lame trope used) I’ve got to question going +7 (Pau was held over briefly and that unit was +2 with Pau so really +9) in the 3rd then Pop yanks that unit and the fresh five give up an 8-0 run.  That’s the sort of things you can easily with the PopCornMachine flows.

Don’t kid yourself Kwahi wasn’t in the game.  When he’s back and in the game-flow, this is a different team.  The guys on the end of the bench I mentioned before, well they are shooters.  When you’ve got LMA and Kwahi you don’t have to try to figure out some smoke and mirrors bs with Pau and LMA.  Let’s hope Kwahi heals up fast and is back to 100%.

The Wolves won this one to end the streak.  KAT played really well.  Posting an offensive rating of 125 and a defensive rating of 94 for the baller +31 net rating.  Wiggins was sort of so-so for me and the ratings coming in at -8.  (Offensive 101 and defensive 109)  Buckets brought the d for the most part but forgot his offense in Chicago.  Buckets had a respectable defensive rating of 93 but that offensive rating was a hugely questionable 68.  Without Buckets the other four starters averaged an offensive rating of 115.5.  When you bring Buckets into the conversation they fall down to 106.  That’s what 2 for 13 will do for you.  The counting numbers weren’t great 6pt, 5rb, 5 ast, 3stl, 1blk and 1 tov with a +/- of +6.  That’s role-player level.  All of the starters played 30+ minutes (hey man Taj play 30:05 soi ts accurate) and this wasn’t helped by Gorgui missing his 3rd straight with a sprained finger.  Soaking up the extra minutes Bjelly nabbed 11 pts on 5 for 9 shooting.  On top of that, he had a plus 34 net rating which is baller!  Bazz hooped tonight.  Just nine points but the offensive rating comes in at 176 backed by a 90% true shooting percentage.  The defensive rating at 108 feels like so-so but that still nets out to a 68.  Yeah, I did the math right yo net rating of 68.

Wrapping the gamer part of this one up the Wolves ended the 18-game losing streak.  They had a great all-around defensive game.   The bench showed up for the Wolves even though they were thin.  Tyus and KAT had it going on the pick-and-roll.  Bazz was a monster.  Buckets get a mulligan.

Before my thoughts on my 59 game projection here is a quick picture of Embiid followed by one of the Zinger.  Since those dudes had good nights too.

Embiid!

Embed from Getty Images

Zinger!

Embed from Getty Images

The Wolves are 9-5.  At this point in my 59 win prediction, I had us at 10-4.  Right now I had us on quite the win-streak.  Counting the Spurs win I had us on a 9 game win-streak, so that means we need to win the next eight games.  Who’s on the docket?  Dallas, Detriot, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami, Phoenix, Washington, and New Orleans.  Looking at those we need to exact revenge on Detroit and Phoenix.  We have at Charlotte and at New Orleans so those might be dicey too.  The realistic take on these next 8 we should go 6-2.  For me to hang my hat on this crazy big number we need to go 8-0.  #AllEyesNorth Baby!

Dental Hygiene

I had a dentist appointment.  Everyone knows what to do when it comes to brushing your teeth.  You brush in the morning and at night.  You should probably also brushing after lunch.  That doesn’t account for flossing, dental visits, fluoride, your tongue or your gums either.  On the surface its easy.  Just brush in the morning and night.  Keep it simple and you can be pretty solid but then you start working in all of this other stuff.  Damn it can get complicated quickly and all of a sudden you aren’t getting that AM/PM brushing in regularly.

KAT’s rookie year his defense appeared to be solid.  He was buoyed by KG and running a pretty straight-forward Sam Mitchell system.  In year two for KAT (year one with Thibs) it was thought KAT would take a huge step forward defensively.  Rubio played great individual defense.  Wiggins and Lavine were hot-garbage.  KG wasn’t there.  Thibs has a very complicated system.  KAT stepped backward last year.  The stats for defense that are publically available don’t speak to the eye-test.  KAT’s advanced stats are below.  You can see year two had a slight decrease in defensive stats.  Year three things have really fallen off.

NBA.COM’s Advanced Stats for Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT is the cornerstone of choice for long-term success per the NBA GM Survey for the past two years.  What do we need to see for him to be this team’s actual cornerstone?  Defense-baby-defense is what the Wolves need.  Right now KAT comes in tied at 74th for defensive rating per 100 possessions via BR.  Let’s watch this over the course of the year but I think KAT has the ability to get there.

I think a lot of what KAT’s issues can be traced down too are team play.  KAT tries to over-compensate.  If the wing-defense breaks-down KAT tries to just up an make a play to wipe out the mistake.  Then KAT hangs any defensive failings on himself.  KAT doesn’t let himself just follow the simple plans for AM/PM tooth brushing to try to add more wrinkles to his hygiene game that he hasn’t yet mastered.  Butler and Taj are getting the overall team defense into a better spot.  I think its just a matter of time that the overall defense gets better.  Right now the team stats are blown out of proportions by the Indy/Detroit/GSW games.  Those three losses were by a total 68 points or roughly 23 points per game.  That can’t help a team/players defensive ratings.  The small sample-size situation isn’t helping us right now but on a by-weekly basis I’ll pull these stats up to see what’s happing.  Right now we are sitting at 13.4% of the season so those three blow-out losses are throwing things off.

Wolves V Warriors Part 1

The Wolves matched up with the Warriors on Wednesday night.  Its been a few days.  What are the thoughts now?

  • Wolves match-up poorly 1-6 with the Warriors
    • Teague v Steph I mean come on
    • Klay v Wiggs that’s a little more difficult.  Wiggs can get a good looking 2 on Klay more than likely and he’s shown an ability to make tough 2’s too.  Klay is going to eat him on the offensive side of the ball unless Wiggs brings his pale to work.  Wiggs just isn’t shooting well enough outside to really gain a clear advantage here.  So that’s at worst a push and at best a slight edge Wolves.
    • Butler v KD I mean I’m a Wolves fan but I can’t give this one to Butler.  Maybe I can talk myself into a similar situation to the Klay v Wiggs competition going to KD here.
    • Green V Taj I mean come on man.  Taj is playing really well to start the season but Green’s got him here.
    • KAT v Zaza this one is the worst on the board.  I mean come on man.  KAT kills Zaza so bad that it bleeds over to one of the other match-ups to equal out the starting 5 a little more
    • Iggy v Jamal dude in their primes it’d have been a competition but now nah.  Iggy still can run circles around Jamal on both sides of the court.
  • Going into this game we had one clear match-up advantage at KAT.  Cool.  The Warriors knew this so they funneled the defense to compensate.  The Wolves didn’t appear to have a plan to attack this.  KAT didn’t hurt us.  The defense was collapsing on him.  We didn’t really play the perimeter game enough.  It just didn’t seem we had a new or different wrinkle even though GSW did.
  • 3’s weren’t falling for Sota all night.  5 for 24 on the night.  Works from the perspective of that’s how many 3’s we should be taking as a baseline but come on man only 5 makes. Look at that we took one corner 3.

    Shot Chart

    Wolves v Golden State shot chart from ESPN

  •  The Wolves just need to look at the long-term chess match.  We lost this first match-up.  At some point in time, we have to look at ourselves as competition for GS in a 7-game series.  What do we have to do to steal one on the road?  What do we have to lock-down home games? 
  • I think on the road we have to bring the defensive intensity that was there in the first two-quarters of this game.  GS took our punch.  Then they came out in the 3rd with two adjustments.  Changing the initial option to force the Wolves to guard the ball-handler with Teague/Wiggs.  This allowed for bad switches or for the over-corrections that saw Butler switch ahead.  It just wasn’t a great look and then boom Klay is open or faced up on Teague and the 3’s reigned.
  •  Losing the 3rd that poorly made the 4th essentially garbage time.
  • We lost the first go.  Now we need to look this game over and game-plan for future match-ups.