Not trying to sound joyous, but the T-Wolves activated Michael Olowokandi, dubbed and labeled the underachiever by coaches and teammates alike, from the IR today. In even more irellevant news, Darrick Martin was sent to play in his sandbox where he belongs. If you're a Wolf fan this is the time where you've gotta scream and laugh with joy and cry with laughter and giggle with pride and say that our team is finally gonna get out of the first round playoffs this year. Sczerzbiak has recently been activated yesterday and he festered up some points off the bench...wait till he gets back his pure stroke and then the Big 5, or Big 4 because you know which one is the underachiever, would officially be with the T-Wolves. In fact, these T-Wolves are my picks to succeed the Lakers's championship hopes just in case we don't win it all this year, but we probably will because I generally take the role of being an all-crazy Laker fan.
C'mon, you've got that great five combo laid out for you:
Sam Cassell: Trash talker. Energizes the team. Breakout season. His mental focus is to help the team win games and play as a team. 21 points and 8 assists averaging...All-star newbie. Knows how to get it going. That mid-range shot is money off double teams from Garnett. With Sczerzbiak hes got more of a drive and dish game to pass to the open guy who can shoot. Floor general and keeps it lively and keeps the T-Wolves interested in crappy games (hmmm...do you think we need him because of that?)
Latrell Sprewell: Also trash talks more now probably with the influence of Cassell. After amazing dunks you can see the camera focused on him and his screaming and his slapping high-fives to teammates and such. You can see Mark Madsen cheering alongside him waving his all-renowned towel. Knows how to get to the basket, and can score easily and smoothly.At times looks like hes been plugged into a electric outlet and thats why he seems so electric. Playing with better compassion in Minnesota. A great scoring option along with Cassell and Garnett.
Wally Sczerzbiak: Has been in the IR for most of the year but now that hes back we can relive his sweet stroke again...he has that range from almost everywhere; his 50% FGs and 40% 3FGs from past seasons has been sustained until his injuries...he will fare well as the fourth (can you believe it?) FOURTH--offensive option for the already talented offensive-optioned T-Wolves...hmmm...this is starting to sound like our Lakers all of a sudden...anyhow backtracking to this subject this guy can shoot and now that the Wolves have a shooter rather than an offensive liability in Trenton Hassell, you can just see this team getting more ups and less downs.
Kevin Garnett: The MVP of the Wolves, and not of the league, hopefully. This guy, when hes riled and hot and got going, he can stroke it anywhere--anywhere meaning literally. He's now got a good group and a good core and hopefully he'll use that to his advantage--not saying they'll win the championship, but...anyway, he plays under control and never with fear...his passion and love for the game dominates all, and now that he has all these different faces coming about he can focus more on his game and gel/ blossom with them. They've got a good record and Flip Saunders is sort of underrated as a coach, as much as you'd probably all hate to admit. Garnett's post up is good and he is a differencemaker on defense with rangy long arms. He brings a game every night and does everything well--rebound, score, defend--you're surrounding a star with stars and other excellent role players with these T-Wolves.
Michael Olowokandi: This may be his season to prove whether he is not really a bust. He has been a bust with the Clippers, but of course that was the Clippers some might say and he might need a winning environment to change his awful attitude...something like Ron Artest. Olowokandi has got 'tude but we haven't seen much of him this season...he was spending too much time on the bench because he was afraid of showing insiders that he was a bust. Just kidding! He just got injured and wanted to see what the Wolves could do w/out him...with Olowokandi the Wolves didn't exactly have that good record they have now...there was even some trade specs about him at that time. But now that the Wolves have him back can he fit the bill with this super-studded lineup? The guy only averages 6 and 3 this season and thats awfully pathetic, even worse than Kwame Brown...but a great defensive stalwort and foul prone, lets see if Cassell could change his attitude...otherwise he'd be a loser at heart, and forever.
And you've got Flip Saunders, an excellent and underrated coach (up-and-coming too) and we Laker fans even got to see his mastermind plans in the All-star game--he set up some plays to perfection. He has gelled and manned and kept Cassell from being ejected with his trash talk, and set up nice plays with his core players. Admit it, the guy is underrated--he is not only gifted with good players this season but hes proving to those naysayers that he can coach, and make the Wolves get going.
Troy Hudson was also injured sometime this season and he hasn't seen much daylight hiding behind Cassell--and considering Cassell is way older than him, Hudson doesn't deserve this--he had this breakout season last year and was up and coming, and now averaging only 10-15 minutes a game? That's not what he deserves, but when you're injured, life becomes 10 times tougher on the basketball court, scrub or no scrub. Guess we won't be seeing him much of the playoffs, but again--this shows that the Wolves have insurance at his position--this guy can still shoot and score.
Trenton Hassell is what I would call the x-factor of their team. This guy's defense is excellent every game, both team and individual, I just had to list that, but he can defend almost everyone...he limited Peja to a 5-15 shooting night once...wow. And he's only 6'5", thats why the Bulls cut him in the first place because of his height, and now hes stepping up to the challenge in a contending team as a starter, and even though he can't score much, hes a silent defensive killer--a young Bruce Bowen, you must say--and you never know when those types of guys might come in handy.
Mark Madsen AKA the towel waver, former Laker, cheerleader, girl, etc. etc. is just another insurance for the lack of good centers on this Wolves team...lets see, Olowokandi was a bad signing in the 1st place, hes thus a loser, and Olly Miller may be too old to do much, and you've got Ervin Johnson a good defender but a guy who doesn't get involved on offense, and then--Madsen. He'll probably be best known for his energy, hustle, and grit both on and off the court. That's what Wolves fans and Lakers fans remember him by and so do his teammates. He is actually a great locker room presence and interviewee and hes helping the Wolves gain success and ground, even though you may not believe it--but I do.
Fred Hoiberg--Shooter who plays with calm and poise--his numbers are alright and decent and "The Mayor" has been hitting those shots and threes in the early run. Now hes just a bench player but he was the x-factor that got the Wolves to be what they are now in the 1st place--deserves some credit.
All the other guys are just role players and probably just not worth mentioning.
So you can see that the Wolves have now got their core back--lets see what they can do with this core for the remaining 30 or so games of the season! Thoughts?