April 3, 2016

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Dallas Mavericks


Minnesota Timberwolves vs Dallas Mavericks
Todd Swank's Diary Update for April 3, 2016


This year, we bought 5 Timberwolves games from a friend of mine who purchased season tickets.  With back to back number 1 draft picks I was hoping this would be the year the Wolves would finally be competitive again and make a run for the playoffs.  We didn't quite get there, but this team is definitely on the rise with a tremendous amount of young talent.  Today, we went to the last of the games we bought and were excited to see the 25 - 51 Minnesota team take on the 38 - 38 Dallas Mavericks.


The boys told us they were sick of going to the games so we left them at home and brought some people who were excited to come with us, Karl and Tina Zitzewitz.  At least I think they were excited to be with us, it's always a little difficult to tell without making them take a blood test.


Our young core is all in place to help grow this team into a future dynasty anchored by certain to be rookie of the year, Karl Anthony Towns.  We also have the high flying back to back dunk champion Zach Levine as well as the magical ball moving point guard, Ricky Rubio.  This team has a very bright future indeed.


We also have last year's Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, who is real fun to watch as he slashes his way to the basket and scores lots of points.  Considering we should also have a pretty good draft pick this year since they have the 5th worst record in the league.  Hopefully that will give them the piece to the puzzle they need to start having a winning record.


 Although his talent level isn't probably as high as his teammates above, local star Tyus Jones is still fun to watch as the team's backup point guard.  I remember only a few years back when the Apple Valley high school team played at Prior Lake High School and being impressed with the crowds that came to watch this kid.  It was only his rookie year this year and I really hope to see him continue to grow and thrive with this team in the future.


Right now, they just seem tired.  This season was a long one especially since they tragically lost their head coach, Flip Saunders, to cancer right before the season began.  That was an emotional drain from the beginning that they just never quite seemed to recover from. 


Some people are blaming the replacement coach, Sam Mitchell, for not molding this team into a winner more quickly.  I think the jury's still out on that considering the top 3 players on the team are only 20 years old.  That's a lot of inexperience to manage.  Plus, losing Flip was probably pretty hard on Sam also since those two had worked together for many years.  I'm not sure which way the team will go on that decision, but my gut says they'll move on to another coach and start over.


One thing that Sam has going for him to keep coaching the team is an endorsement from future hall of famer, Kevin Garnett.  Garnett started the year with the team, but has sat out the last several weeks probably since they realized there was no way this team was going to make the playoffs.  KG is still seen regularly pumping up and instructing the players around him so I hope he'll continue to stay with the team in some capacity going forward.


Crunch seems to be excited about the Timberwolves future.  But again, it's really tough to be sure without that blood test.


We bumped into Sid Hartman near the team locker room.  The 96 year old sports columnist for the Star Tribune seemed to be a little lost.  We were tempted to go check to see if he had a Medical ID bracelet with instructions on what we should do with him, but he suddenly became interested in something and scurried away.  Hopefully he made it home OK.

   
After the game, we went to the dog park based on the suggestion of Karl.  It was an invigorating experience.


The dogs seemed to be excited to be there.  But again, it's really tough to know that for sure without that blood test.