If you see a Wolves fan walking around town today, and he/she is walking around with a bit of a limp, there is a reason for that.
It's because they all just got KICKED IN THE NUTS YESTERDAY!
K-Love breaks his freaking hand training (something a bit fishy about that off-site injury...but I digress) and the month of November has now turned into "Derrick Williams Redemption Tour" while Rubio and Love will both be out until at least December. I am pretty sure we know what the negatives are of Kevin Love now being out with Rubio for all of November and hopefully not much of December, but lets puts some ice on our freshly kicked nuts and see if we can't find some possible positives to come out of this.
Derrick Williams Redemption Tour -
The easy positive to see from K-Love's injury is that it will open a door to some more playing time early this year for the 2.0 version of Derrick Williams. Remember that guy? It seems after the breakout seasons of Rubio, Love and Pek the #2 pick of just one summer ago has become an afterthought. Even more so with the addition of Roy, Kirilenko, Shved and Budinger. I guess it is a good thing, and says a lot about the acquisitions and possible direction this team is headed in if the #2 overall pick isn't looked at as all that important to a 26-40 team last year going into the season had everyone been healthy. Here we are though, everyone isn't healthy, and a guy who was a bit forgotten, is now thrust into the spotlight.
Bright side, Adelman will either slide AK or D-Will to PF, the other goes to SF, so slimmed down D-Will now has an opportunity to have a breakout month and show the league that the Wolves have enough talent and depth that they can lose an MVP candidate and budding superstar point guard for a month or two and still compete. On the downside, we could realize that we drafted a bust and after a month of struggling we get K-Love and Rubio back with hopefully enough time to dig us out of the hole we've dug, then followed by Derrick Williams getting a comfy spot on the bench. We deserve the first option don't we? C'mon basketball gods you dirty son's of biatches, hook TWolves fans up for once!
Welcome back to the NBA Andrei Kirilenko! Here is the starting PF spot on a playoff contender for the month of November and some of December. Don't screw up.
AK has the skills, I am assuming he'll be the one slid from the SF spot to PF over D-Will as the starter come the start of the season, but I could be wrong. Adelman has already seemed to fall in love with Dante Cunningham, so anything could happen. AK can play four positions depending on match ups and power forward maybe his best. He is definitely a better defender than K-Love likely ever will be, so maybe in November the Wolves win with defense more than offense. Either way, AK will get his NBA legs back with plenty of available playing time there for him with Love out.
Who Needs Knee Cartilage? -
Hopefully for a month and a half, Brandon Roy doesn't! With an unproven Derrick Williams, an expected re-adjustment period for AK-47 and Pek not being the type to say "this is my team", Brandon Roy will be playing the role of the franchise for November and some of December. This doesn't mean he will lead us in scoring, I will not be surprised if Pek is actually that guy. The franchise designation though holds more than just being the scoring leader. Roy is going to be the guy that in a one possession game with the shot clock running down we give the ball to and say, "make it happen!" Heck, that may even be his job after Rubio and Love return if he starts looking like the Ol' Roy.
The bright side of this situation for Roy? Well we will know what his knees are capable of come December. We likely won't have a big surprise come April, if they are going to break down they likely will early. I am thinking Adelman may have to test them early now with the studs out.
Dante Who? And Speaking of "Who", Who is the Guy with the Ponytail? -
Two questions you would maybe hear for the first few months of this season from less knowledgeable TPups fans. Now, you will likely only hear that the first week. Dante Cunningham and Lou Amundson just saw their role in the first month and a half of this season increase at the same time as those metacarpals cracked in Love's hand. Don't know who Dante Cunningham and Lou Amundson are? You will soon enough.
No real benefit for Shved from Love's injury, more so from Rubio's, but I just wanted to mention him cause he is my new favorite TPup after seeing him in one preseason game. This will likely be a theme of my future Wolves posts (unless he ends up sucking), just going out of my way to mention Alexey Shved for no reason other than to say he is the best thing to come from Russia since vodka, and really, is vodka all that great?
Are these all great positives? They may not look like it right now, but if things fall right, they may all be very positive if this team starts rolling once the studs return to action. A team with players who can and all have contributed is a better team than one that has a bunch of guys who are unknown commodities. We aren't going to be better in November and early December without Rubio or Love, but we'll be better off from what we learn about this team due to their absence. If what we learn is bad, I suggest you grab some Founding Fathers Lagers and get ready for a long, cold winter.
Look for our giant NBA and Timberwolves preview in the next week or so right here on STOB. We've wrangled up the support of some of the best local Timberwolves bloggers and experts as well as a few old STOB friends to all contribute to what could be one of our most meaty posts ever.