Thursday, October 11, 2012

Timberwolves invade Fargo!!

I was so excited to learn the Wolves would open preseason up in my neck of the woods. As soon as the day came for tickets to go on sale I had to see what the cost was for the best seats available. Well I splurged and got the court-side seats and man was it worth it!!  Everything was so amazing up close, from talking to the players during warmups, to joking with AK47 over a bad call, it is something I will never forget!!

Dad and I courtside!

KLove warming up.
Wolves Team Defense
The game was great although the Pacers sat 3 of their starters, but I didn't care the Wolves were back and I was there!!  The Wolves were in control throughout and should have beat them by a larger margin but missing free-throws and open 3's  kept their point total down. A few thoughts on the guys and what I saw:

JJ Barea - same as last year, although a bit more under control, picked his spots to take it to the hoop. Didn't over dribble and force his shot.

Brandon Roy - Looked good, really got cooking in the 3rd quarter, but when he checked out I think he went back to the locker room. I didn't see anything stating he needed treatment, but maybe it had to do with banging knees with somebody or just routine end of game icing. I did not see any kind of limp or anything to make me worry other than he returned to the bench in the 4th quarter with Greg Farnham,

AK47 - Looks to be the jack of all trades that this team needs.  AK didn't shoot much and looked hesitant to take a shot from the outside.  He did however play good help defense and passed the ball very well.  One pass was to a cutting KLove for the layup and another almost pass where he tipped it backwards over his head to an open Pek. Unfortunately Pek was not ready for the pass, I don't think anybody was actually, ha!

KLove and Big Pek - KLove looked fine to me, did his normal thing and so did Pek.  I didn't get the sense Love was out of shape, just not as intense since it was only the first preseason game.  Pek was, well Pek.  He was doing everything we saw from him last season, but yes he does look more buff! I noted to my dad how big Hibbert was, but Hibbert's arms were way smaller than Big Pek. Pek will do some damage again this year!

DWill - Looked very aggressive in the first half and even knocked down a three. I guess Coach was not too thrilled about it, but to me it seemed they came within the flow of the game, not just floating outside by the 3 point line. His dunk on the alley oop from Shved was nuts, it is even more impressive to see it again on the replays.

Chase Budingggggger - Dude looked like the type of player we needed last year, under control, athletic and can actually knock down an open 3!! Chase didn't get any opportunities to throw one down, but I think he will be great in this offense, especially playing with Ricky.

Shved - Crossover Panda didn't hit any of his shot attempts, but he looked very smooth and was just a bit off last night. He showed his passing and court vision last night and I think will come along slowly at first then fit right into the NBA game.  Overall I was impressed by him tonight. I will admit he is very thin,  I think his arm sleeve was baggy on him, ha!

Greg Steimsma -  my new personal favorite, he had a nice block in the first half and was out there playing tough D and rebounding.  Best part about Steimer was that he was nice enough to respond to me a couple times during pre-game warmups and halftime warmups.  Steimer prefers Sioux Falls over Fargo in case anybody was wondering! Funniest was when 3 boys at halftime were trying to get autographs and they kept yelling for Kevin.  Steimer was the only player to really respond to them, to which the boys would say, can you get Kevin to come over here? So after the game I told Steimer he is still my favorite, but can you get Kevin to come over here? Ha!

The rest - Saw Will Conroy handle the backup PG duties well, would have liked to have seem him be a bit more aggressive taking it to the hoop, but oh well.  Louis Amundson and Dante Cunningham played limited minutes in the 4th quarter, two hustle guys that help provide additional depth for the long season.  Mike Harris got a cameo and couldn't make much out of his 3-4 minutes.

Overall I thought the Wolves looked good for the first game of the year, and when the remaining players come back healthy I do think they will be in the playoffs and could make some noise. However, the NBA season is a long one and injuries can derail a season, just look back to last season. It was a great night, a great game, and of course a great man I got to share it with, thanks Dad!!!

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