Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|FRIDAY, MAY 17 (subject to change)|
OPEN: P.A. AND CHARCH 'FEASTING
9:33: MIKE FLORIO profootballtalk.com
|9:55: VIKES C JOHN SULLIVAN IN STUDIO|
|10:20: sully stays|
|10:33: sully stays|
|10:53: KG FSN IN STUDIO/hockey and horsies|
|11:20: kg stays|
Click here to view the WCHT photo gallery.
We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
follow jonny via twitter
LATE APRIL B&B ...
Minnesota vs. Chicago – NHL Playoffs!
Wolves-Grizz this evening and I am actually am excited to have the tilt share time with TEAM TUBBY'S contest with Illinois, a team we beat on the road earlier this year and is off an emotional home win against number-one Indiana.
THE SPANISH KID is back, and I mean almost all the way back from the ACL last year. Granted, he's shooting 9-for-27 his last two games, but at this stage of his career he's not going to be a 15-point-a-game guy. Hopefully one day he's more of an outside threat because defenders now back off and beg him to shoot. That's what my sixth-grade team does when we play zone defense because we know the opposition is not good enough to hit at a high enough percentage to beat us. NBA coaches treat Ricky the same way.
The thing with Ricky given his munites have increased to an average of 38 MPG the last two is (a) his passing is as good as it ever has been and (b) he is playing with some swagger and attacking things and forcing issues. Defending quick PGs off the dribble and getting through picks is still a bit of an issue.
With LOVE, KIRILENKO, BUDINGER et al hobbled and out it's not like we have the greatest group of talent when it comes to shaking free off picks and getting open. Ricky, though, is back to throwing people open and making them anticipate his elite-passing mind. He's fun to watch again. He was a treat to watch against Portland and the Knicks, and started to hit some shots versus CARMELO'S squad.
Ricky Rubio is so important on so many levels to the Timberwolves because he creates an aura only ADRIAN PETERSON and maybe JOE MAUER command. ZACH PARISE is a bonafide NHL stud, but given he's in and out so frequently it's tough to garner a standing O during the course of games because hockey players don't take over like pointguards or running backs. If Parise dumps a puck into the neutral zone, goes to sprinting and beats a guy to the puck it's a wonderful play but doesn't get them out of their seats like Adrian shaking loose or Ricky closing on a no-look pass for a dunk.
We all saw it last year with Ricky Rubio. Shoot, part of an entire behind-the-basket section bought season tickets to watch him, sing songs and celebrate Ricky Rubio. People will pay a lot of money to watch him play if he's physically doing what he is capable of doing.
The last two Ricky is back on the team as a floor leader and the dynamic playmaker we have come to love. He'll get them the ball, and what happens from there is on the rest of the team top close what he opens. When Ricky Rubio dazzles he becomes a 9-to-Noon talker and makes MR. TAYLOR money. I love watching him play and expect a big effort tonite.
Making the playoffs is a longshot for our Wolves, but winning tonite is not as much a longshot, despite being nine-point 'dogs. Granted, we rarely beat Memphis, but these Grizz are playing like a team pouting because RUDY GAY was traded. Like The OKC with JAMES HARDEN Memphis had to cast its gaze to the future and realized Rudy was too expensive. So, he had to be dealt.
Maybe we can steal one tonite? Memphis has one win this month and had lost all of its February games before beating a Golden State team that all of a sudden is struggling mightily. It would be cool to see a win but our biggest problem winning tightly contested games is we have no closers. That's where we miss Kevin Love a ton. RIDNOUR is not capable of becoming the late identity of a close game, and JJ BAREA can score but is too wild.