Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Adjusting My Wolves Fan Mentality


I looked like Ridnour a few too many times last night.

As many of you already know, I am a Duke basketball fan.  I love them to death and have watched 95% of their games since I had control of a TV and since ESPN fell in love with the Devils and UNC and decided to show every one of their games on their bevy of networks.  When watching the Dukies, I am on eggshells usually and really analyzing every single play by every single player.  I am looking for the right decision to be made at all times.  Open shots to be drained, stupid plays to be at a minimum, and of course winning to be the end result 9 times out of 10.  That is all well and good, because outside of Miles Plumlee making me pull more of what little hair I have left out of my head every time he does something stupid, the Dukies come through and live up to that expectation. 

I am also a fan of the Minnesota Timberwolves...I learned last night I need to watch them with different expectations.

This realization doesn't seem like it should have just happened, many of you are probably thinking I am an idiot for even having to state that fact.  Yet last night, watching the Wolves bumble and stumble their way to almost beating a below average Milwaukee team, I found myself getting real annoyed with the Wolves not matching the expectations I laid out above. 

Every shitty pass by Darko Milicic or lack of any common sense play by Michael Beasley made me angry because I was expecting more.  Every missed open shot by the assumed quality shooter Wes Johnson was getting my blood boiling.  Every travel and predictable drive leading to a charge by Derrick Williams had me exasperated.  Ricky Rubio never makes me angry, we are in the honeymoon stage still so everything he does is still coming up roses to me...pass up to many more open shots and easy lay ups leading to turnovers though and that honeymoon will be turning into a nightmare and it'll be over faster than - yeah I am going there - a Kim Kardashian wedding (I know I disgust myself too).

So after two games in which I had high hopes for the Wolves it is already time for me to severely adjust my style of watching the game.  With the upcoming schedule for the Wolves, if I don't adjust I may get on an episode of First 48 and not in the form of the blurred faced dead guy.  I am now going to watch the game and just try to pick out he positives of the game and not focus on the idiot players who will more than likely not still be with the Wolves when/if they ever do turn into a playoff bound contender and if they are with the team they will not be large contributors. 

Players who fit that mold:

Luke Ridnour
Darko Milicic
Anthony Randolph
Michael Beasley
Martell Webster
Wayne Ellington
Brad Miller (yeah he is on the team)

May fit the mold:

Wes Johnson
Malcolm Lee
Nikola Pekovic
Anthony Tolliver

Guys to pay attention to as they will be here for the long haul (fingers crossed on Love):

Kevin Love
Ricky Rubio
JJ Barea
Derrick Williams

With that model I am really scrutinizing only 4 active players on the 15 man roster and keeping an eye on 4 others, while knowing that the other 7 are going to be probably shipped off at some point or let go unless they really change their game up.  Beasley is the main guy that could do that in that list, but I really don't see it.  The guy is mentally not all there and I think is destined to be the next Ricky Davis - a guy that can get you 30 any night of the week but isn't ever making your team better within that 30 points.

Along with that adapted way of looking at the individual players, I will be modifying the way I look at wins and losses.  To me the OKC game was a win for this team.  They stayed close and in the end had a chance to win against a true NBA contender.  Last night was a loss, you have to start beating teams slightly more experienced and arguably equally as talented as you more often.  Also it was a loss because they had so many lost opportunities (25 turnovers that felt like 40).  I don't expect the Wolves to get their first win until their match up with Cleveland on January 6th (with Miami, Dallas, San Antonio and Memphis to play first). 

So I'll be OK with a 1-6 start for the Wolves...I'd say my expectations have been sufficiently downsized.

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