The season is approaching (but not quickly enough), so that means it’s NBA preview time. Starting with the league’s worst team and working our way to the top, we’ll preview one team per day.
Last year’s record: 15-67
Head Coach: Kurt Rambis
Projected Starters: Jonny Flynn, Martell Webster, Corey Brewer, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love
Quite simply, not good. When the league’s second-worst team unloads its best player for a couple draft picks and a sack of potatoes (aka Kosta Koufos); re-signs the decade’s biggest bust for $20 million; holds its future in the hands of a pothead and a 19-year old Spaniard who may or may not play in the United States anytime soon; then takes out a full-page ad in a local newspaper to apologize; well, that team has been Kahn’d. And, for the foreseeable future at least, it has little hope.
Michael Beasley. You know how he underacheived in Miami. He went to drug rehab, never found his niche, didn’t adjust well to the NBA game, couldn’t defend a soul — the list of Beasley’s shortcomings the past couple years is longer than Shawn Bradley’s arms. But underneath all the billows of marijuana smoke, there’s potential. We saw it at Kansas St., and we saw glimpses of it in Miami. If Beasley can get his life and game together, he could be a 25 and 10 type; he’s THAT talented. If not? He’ll be the second-biggest draft bust on the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Biggest Question Mark:
Will Ricky Rubio ever play a game in a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey? I know that question doesn’t have anything to do with next year’s team. Then again, it’s tough to find a question about next year’s Timberwolves team worth answering. They’re going to be bad, and probably 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets bad. Rubio is a rare Spaniard of hope for a franchise in dire straits.
Most important newcomer:
Beasley, simply because he has — by far — the highest upside. But don’t sleep on Wesley Johnson. The Wolves could regret choosing Johnson ahead of DeMarcus Cousins, but the 6’7″ jumping jack might make an immediate impact on both ends of the court. Emphasis on might.
Al Jefferson. What? Did you think I was going to say Nathan Jawai?
Most compelling storyline:
Can it be anything but David Kahn? Kahn spent the summer doing his best Isiah Thomas impersonation, then called Darko Milicic a “manna from heaven.” It’s just a shame manna’s suck at basketball. Anyway, Kahn’s ineptitude is the only reason anyone’s discussed the Timberwolves this summer. Not only is he the most compelling storyline, but he’s pretty damn close to being the only storyline.
Player to watch:
Kevin Love. Mostly by default, but also because Love’s damn good. His averages last season? 14 points and 11 rebounds, in only 28.6 minutes. Can somebody please let Kurt Rambis in on a secret the rest of the NBA world seems to know? Love deserves more playing time.
Descriptive movie quote:
“Look – you’re my best friend, so don’t take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you’re still livin’ here, comin’ over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin’ construction, I’ll fuckin’ kill you. That’s not a threat; now, that’s a fact. I’ll fuckin’ kill you.” – Good Will Hunting
To Love, the only Timberwolf worth writing about. In twenty years, if Love’s still playing in Minnesota, wasting his unique talents on shitty teams surrounded by shitty players, I’ll fucking kill him. That’s not a threat; now, that’s a fact. I’ll fucking kill him. You know what the best part of my day is? It’s for about ten seconds from when I put on the TV to when I switch the channel to the Timberwolves game. Because I think maybe I’ll flip the station and Love won’t be there. No goodbye, no see you later, no nothin’. Just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.
Projected Record: 17-65. Mediocrity would be a drastic improvement for the Wolves. But mediocrity ain’t happening any time soon.