Saturday, April 23, 2005

It's That Time of the Year

It's late April, spring having well and truly set in, at least in most inhabited parts of North America. Atlanta is beautiful, the weather is nice as it is in much of the South. Minnesota is a habitable part of the world again (two cities I have lived in much of the last three years). But we don't wax lyrical about the beauty of spring and fall here on this blog. It's an important time of the year because it is play-off time in the NBA. For Minnesota, spring couldn't come too early given the way the Timberwolves stumbled this season. In the end, they didn't make it, even though the Grizzlies tried their best to hand them the last spot in the West! But as Scottie Pippen said in his blog on nba.com, making the play-offs could have masked problems that are now going to be addressed. I know season ticket holders won't quite see things in the same vein, but that's the truth. The team owner Glen Taylor has already expressed his disappointments and signalled his intent to ring in changes. The post season could see a flurry of changes. No doubt the Wolves should say good bye to Latrell Sprewell, who had a below par season, besides bitching about his contract situation. Michael Olowokandi should also be a transfer candidate, but then trading him may prove difficult - Minnesota may have to settle for considerably less than what they paid for him, cash or kind. Then there is Sam Cassell, who as a veteran of two rings with the Rockets was expected to lead the back-court and provide savvy and experience. But he was injured for a significant part of the season and when he did play, was not quite the player he was last year. He also has this tendency to pick up silly fouls at crucial junctures, which is not something you expect from a veteran. With Cassell starting in the point guard role, Troy Hudson was confused and unhappy about his situation. Hudson had a break out season in 2002-03 and was the Wolves' best player against the Lakers in the play-offs, but was dogged by injuries most part of last season. With Cassell coming in, he was always going to be a back up. Wally Szczerbiak was another player unhappy with his position on the roster, but to his credit, he performed commendably all season and was the second best player on the team. No prizes for guessing who the best player was for the T-Wolves. That was the only thing that went on expected lines. Don't even get me started on the Hawks. That is one team I genuinely dislike, even though that may seem irrational - this club seems to be getting worse every year. They however, will get the top draft pick, and should help their rebuilding process. And I do like Josh Smith - the kid's got wings. But the time now is look ahead, to about two months of the top teams, the Suns and the Spurs, the Heat and the Pistons and all the others challenging these teams, battle it out for the coveted championship. - NK

2 Comments:

Blogger dave said...

We are waxing here in central Florida not a lot to say about the lack of Magic in Orlando... BUT next year will be different!!!!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Gameboys said...

Dave, well, it was a real slide for the magic as the season went on. Quite astonishing really! I know how Magic fans must have felt, especially after Grant Hill came back from nowhere...Dwight Howard must offer some hope.

- NK

8:55 AM  

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