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Round Ball Rants Volume I, Issue III

Iron Dragon November 29, 2012 0

This post contributed by forum member Vinsane.
Here come the Timberwolves!

If you thought the Lakers or the Thunder could shake things up in the West?  How about those Minny Timberpups?

Don’t let the five game slump fool you.  There’s plenty of time for the Wolves to get back into contention.  And luckily for them the majority of the Northwest Division got off to a slow start except for Portland’s Damian Lillard.  Denver and Utah are just above .500 and everyone is chasing Oklahoma City.

Overall the Wolves are not in a bad spot.  Without Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio they managed to win five games.  And with news of Rubio’s return coming sooner than later? Minnesota has a real shot to get things in order before the Calender turns to 2013.

They’re not going to catch the Thunder but, if all the cogs can remain healthy.  They can make a serious push for a mid standing finish at the end of the season.  Which isn’t too bad considering they’ve been without what many consider “The Team” in Rubio and Love.  Rick Adelman even commented on the effort put forth by the Wolves reserves.

“These guys have been very good,” Adelman said. “You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to go through this. They’re busting their tails, they don’t put their heads down. They just try to do what’s right. It’s hard though, because you have a plan, and you’re just adjusting all the time and you can’t play the same way.”

Something that is a bit of a dark spot on the Wolves otherwise bright future is the announcement that Guard Brandon Roy underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee a week ago.  With no timetable set for his return one has to wonder if Roy really made the right decision in coming back?

I for one lobbied for the guard to remain retired.  Not wanting to watch another season of his talent go to waste.  Brandon however, felt that his knees were good enough to return after taking a year off.

Of course I wish him a speedy recovery and all the best health in the future.  I just hope while he’s sidelined he remembers just why he retired in the first place.

We knew Memphis was this good

Do you remember how Memphis’ season ended last year?  How about the year before that?  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  Google it if you have to.

We’ve known for years that the Memphis Grizzlies were good.  That upset of the San Antonio Spurs in six games was no fluke.  They then pushed an even younger Oklahoma City squad to seven games before ultimately bowing out in the Conference Semi-Finals.

Last season they push the Los Angeles Clippers seven games before ultimately bowing out.  What many forget is in that first game the Grizzlies blew a 27 point lead.  A 27 point lead! One of the league’s largest comebacks in playoff history.  It changed the whole face of that series as it unfolded.

After that the Grizzlies were left chasing the Clippers.  It was 3-1 before the Grizzlies turned it around and started to battle back.  Essentially in the final they would run out of gas and the Clipper’s bench would dominate winning the series for the other Los Angeles Team.

Now you fast forward to this team.  It’s grit and grind style is still present and they trail only the Oklahoma City Thunder in point differential in the entire NBA.  With two of the most capable scorers on the Thunder it’s an impressive stat.

Memphis is the real deal and I wonder if their market is the reason as to why they’re constantly overlooked in preseason predictions and power rankings?  Or is it that their playoff success can’t outweigh their playoff failures?  Whatever the reason I’m here to tell you that we need to stop over looking this team and embrace them as a power in the West.

In case you missed it?

Anderson Varejao is a man among boys.  No, really.  He is.

As the only Cleveland big on the floor at times, Anderson Varejao is leading the league in rebounds.  How you could miss that?  I don’t know.   What you may have missed is that despite his high dollar contract?  It has an expiration date that’s approaching soon.

Anderson is lobbying teams to gain interest in him before the trade deadline hits this season.  And Cleveland who is in the process of establishing a young and formidable tandem of guards has little assets on the roster left to woo teams towards their cause.

What Cleveland lacks are wings and other big men.  So why trade a big?  Well, that big is the elder statesman on the roster and as literally the only asset that Cleveland can afford to let go.  Anderson Varejao who has been criticized for his enormous contract is playing at such a high level some people might even say it’s deserved.

Whatever your opinion on Anderson’s dollars?  His talent can’t be ignored; 14.7 Rebounds Per Game.

Here is a guy who can add energy and spark to an otherwise lack luster bench.  He can also play long minutes if you’re in need of a scorer.  What Anderson could really use though is a return to the power forward position.  He’s always been best as a complimentary player.  Finding a fellow 7′ to stand him next to might just be the cog some playoff machines are missing.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cleveland plays this one out.  If the “Wild Thing” will be touching down in another city, maybe near you?

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