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3-pointer from Section 131 – Preseason Crystal Ball

Joann and I have tickets to 18 Wolves’ games this year. You might ask, “Why?” There is no answer to that. But we have them, and I’m going to post my impression of the team and each game right here on Bachblog. Lucky you.

Tuesday, October 19: Pacers 128, Wolves 124 (overtime)

Wolves v Pacers 2010/10/19Joann and I saw our first game of the season Tuesday at the Target Center. Wolves lost this (exhibition) game in overtime to the Indiana Pacers, 124-128. Martell Webster (back spasms) and Darko Milicic (shoulder stiffness) did not play. We love our seats. We sit right on the midcourt line about six or seven rows from the top of the lower bowl, and have tickets to eighteen games.

Last night, the Wolves closed out their preseason with a 119-118 overtime win in Milwaukee against the Bucks. Minnesota finished a hopeful preseason with a 6-2 record.

Looking into the crystal ball for some season predictions …

Basketball point oneCorey Brewer will be traded before the deadline (February 24, 2011). He’s got some value to a contending team as a limited-minutes “energy” guy. He creates chaos whenever he enters a game. On good nights, he creates chaos for the opposing team with his frenetic defense and long arms. On other nights (many nights), he creates chaos for his own team on the offensive end. There are just too many young, talented wings on the Wolves’ roster to justify giving Corey minutes. He’s an easy guy to root for—always gives 100%; a great attitude on and off the court—but he needs a different situation. Maybe to Memphis with Kosta Koufus for Hasheem Thabeet?

Basketball point twoWolves will win 31 games, one more than double last season’s total. It will get them out of last place in the Western Conference, and should be enough to convince Rubio that the Wolves are headed in the right direction. (I expect to see him in a Wolves uniform for the 2011/12 season, IF the labor situation is resolved early and there isn’t a lockout. That’s a big “IF”.)

Basketball point threeKevin Love will lead the team and the NBA with rebounds at about 13 per game. He could be selected to the All Star game (maybe as an injury replacement) if the Wolves show significant improvement. Michael Beasley will lead the team in scoring with 18+ points per game; Love will be a close second. (Nevertheless, questions will remain about whether Beasley and Love are a “fit” going forward. I’m not sure Beasley is quick enough to play SF fulltime, and SF will be Wesley Johnson’s best position. One of them could be traded before next season; probably Beasley, but not necessarily.) Johnson will finish in the top three in Rookie of the Year voting and will be a first team All-Rookie selection. Nikolai Pekovic will make the second-team if he can learn to stay out of foul trouble. Webster will get strong support for the Sixth Man award.

Let the games begin …

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