January 19, 2006

More Wolves Stuff

This is either a remarkable coincidence or proof that Kevin Garnett reads this blog, because in the very first Wolves game since I wrote about Garnett needing to take more shots he hoisted up a season-high 26 attempts against the Celtics last night. Seriously, what are the odds of that happening? His previous season-high was 22 shots and he went over 20 just three times in the first 35 games.

Sadly, my little theory about Garnett's shooting more leading to more Wolves wins took yet another hit, as they blew a second-half lead and lost 103-96 in Boston. The Wolves are now 1-3 when Garnett takes 20 or more shots, although I don't think that stat says a whole lot about the value of him being more aggressive.

As for the much-anticipated clash of the titans between Michael Olowokandi and Mark Blount ...

               MIN     FGM-A     FTM-A     PTS     REB
Olowokandi 24 2-5 1-2 5 9
Blount 6 1-3 0-1 2 1

You know a guy really stinks when he isn't even showcased in a game against a team that is rumored to be interested in dealing for him. Considering how well Boston's twin 21-year-olds, Al Jefferson (18 points, eight rebounds) and Kendrick Perkins (17 points, six rebounds), played last night, Celtics fans should be praying that they can rid themselves of an overpaid stiff like Blount for an expiring contract like Olowokandi's.

While Olowokandi-for-Blount isn't exactly the sort of trade that makes headlines, here's a much more interesting rumor that Charley Walters floated in his St. Paul Pioneer Press column the other day:

Trade rumor: Timberwolves Trenton Hassell and Michael Olowokandi to the Denver Nuggets for Kenyon Martin. The Wolves have been trying earnestly for two months to trade Olowokandi.

I'll give my usual disclaimer in regard to Walters, which is that him writing about a rumor makes it no more likely to come true than buying a lottery ticket using the numbers found inside a fortune cookie makes you more likely to win the lottery. Still, that's at least a rumor that Wolves fans can get somewhat enthused about.

A starting lineup of Marko Jaric, Wally Szczerbiak, Martin, Garnett, and Eddie Griffin would be extraordinarily long and pose all sorts of matchup problems. Of course, it would also be vulnerable defensively against teams with a guard who can get to the basket, and Trenton Hassell has stepped up his game quite a bit lately. Still, I'd make that swap without thinking twice, and interestingly RealGM.com's "Trade Checker" says the salaries match up just fine.

Today at The Hardball Times:
- Pitcher Tables (by Dave Studeman)
- To Go or Not to Go? (by Dan Fox)

Pick of the Day (166-152, +$1,065):
- Sacramento +3.5 (-110) over Los Angeles

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