Wolves recap: November 15 vs. Blazers

17 Nov

Cross-posted on Randball, the second in my series of Timberwolves recaps from my shared season tickets.

The scene: Target Center visitors’ locker room, Saturday, 30 minutes before tipoff.

“OK, everyone gather ‘round. Gather ‘round I say!” exclaimed Trailblazers head coach Nate McMillan. “Now let’s go over the game plan here. As you all know, the Timberwolves have been voted Least Successful Pick & Roll Defenders in history, which is quite an accomplishment after just a handful of games. This one is ours for the taking, boys.”

The players cooed in anticipation of a blowout. Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez exchanged daps. Sergio Rodriguez slapped the floor with his palms and clapped his hands together in his familiar juvenile high-energy fashion.

“Hold on now. Hold on,” continued McMillan. “The game plan is this: no pick & rolls tonight. None.” The players immediately began whining about this idea. The excitement had been sapped out of the room. Rodriguez screamed “why not!” at the top of his lungs, causing teammates to lean over and whisper in his ear to ask if maybe he’d like to calm down just a little bit for once.

“Well, I want to try something here,” McMillan said. “Here’s the thing: these guys are bad. Really, really bad. I know you all know that, but I promise you: they’re worse than you think. So what I want to do is prove that we can win this game with no offensive game plan whatsoever. What we’re going to do here [McMillan pulls out clipboard] is, everyone just run up the floor and stand around. Pass the rock around at the top of the key until there are 10 seconds left on the shot clock, and whoever has the ball at that point, we’ll run an iso for him. Simple as that. The point is this: we are going to win this game by doing three things: (1) lots of walking up the court and standing around, (2) isolation-only offensive schemes, and (3) letting the Wolves blow the game on their own volition.”

“But coach,” said Oden, who had aged three years during the five-minute speech, “these Wolves can’t be that bad. They’ve got Jefferson, Miller, Foye, Gomes – they’ll figure out a way to score! I don’t know, I just think that maybe—“

“Let me cut you off right there, Grandpa,” said McMillan. “Here’s the thing: the Wolves will keep it close. They always do. They’ll show flashes of competence, even holding down a daunting 15-point first half lead. But, just you see: Wittman will continue to play Jefferson with an undersized 4, and we’ll murder them in the paint. He’ll play Shaddy McCants, who is being paid by the shot attempt, and give the majority of point guard minutes to an ineffective Randy Foye, who isn’t even a point guard! I tell you, Wittman is a fool.”

LaMarcus Aldridge stood up, unsure how long this strained literary device was going to continue, and mentioned, “I can just tell, coach, this no-game-plan scheme is going to result in this being a super close game. How do we know they won’t somehow pull it out?”

To this everyone on the coaching staff let out a huge laugh. “Don’t you worry, Marc,” said a guffawing McMillan while wiping a tear from his eye, “these are the Timberwolves. They’ll find a way to lose. Fans in the stands will gaze at the scoreboard during a tie game, with four minutes left, and remark to their guests there is no way the Wolves win. They know just as I know: these are the Wolves, and the Wolves are allergic to close victories. Now let’s get out there and play some crappy, boring basketball and leave with a victory!”

And so it was.

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One Response to “Wolves recap: November 15 vs. Blazers”

  1. RandBall's Stu November 17, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    Wow. That was…well-written.

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