Friday, November 2, 2007

And so it begins...

I am excited....

More excited than I have been in years. And why is that?

Because the Timberwolves start their NBA season today.

Now many of you, I am assuming, are skeptical of how this team will finish this year. Just about everyone and their mom has them finishing 15th in the West (which is actually 6th in the Eastern Conference). Not to mention not even giving this young group of guys a chance in the NBA. My question is, how many times do you see a trade that includes 5 players from the same team going to a team together? It's tough enough to bring a new player into a team that he's never played with before but these guys all played together last year. That's a step up from a lot of other trades in NBA history.

If you'll remember my KG tribute article, you'll know that I am the first person that wishes we still had KG. But if you really want the Timberwolves to have a successful future, KG HAD to go. Taking up so much payroll really hurt their chances of signing a lot of players. Not to mention, he wasn't going to win a title in the West when everyone else was improving so much. So shipping him off to the Deveopmental league of the NBA was the best choice for all parties involved.

Today is not the start of the "Post-KG era"...STOP CALLING IT THAT! There is a guy that is emerging as possibly one of the best old-school post players in the NBA. Today is the start of the "Al Jefferson Era". When did you ever hear KG say, "I really didn't think that I'm worth the max yet". KG let his agents rule what he thought he was worth. Jefferson had a better first two seasons than KG did all around and yet KG was making $121 million just a few years after he had been in the NBA. This kid is the truth. Hard worker and not full of himself? That's like finding a successful WNBA franchise. I'm excited to see him go up against Duncan and see what he can do.

This team has a lot of question marks surrounding it. I am excited to see a bunch of guys, my age mostly, grow into a solid NBA team. It may not happen right away this year, but trust me...It will happen. Don't fall off the Wolves bandwagon just yet. I've fallen into that trap as a Minnesota fan, as the teams suck the ticket prices seem to go up (except for the Twins, thank you) and we decide to stop watching until they are good again. But stick with these guys, for once in my life, I feel like McHale and Taylor did something right. Now, they have the chance to screw it up but they signed their best player to an extension before it became an issue during the season and even traded away the Stacey Patton of the NBA (aka Ricky Davis).

My prediction for the Wolves is that they will surprise people this year. A bunch of young guys with good work ethic and chemistry? That is dangerous in today "me first" NBA society. By saying that, I predict that the Wolves will win between 25-30 games this year. I don't see lottery but if we get there, understand that this team will get much better. Look at the teams who have evolved in the last couple years. The Nuggetts, Bulls, Blazers, Warriors...all teams with young cores who worked their way to respectability.

So watch the Wolves tonight, tomorrow and the rest of the season. Get on that bandwagon tonight so that in a couple years you don't look like a fool when you're standing at the stop while we're speeding off towards the NBA Finals.

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