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A bad loss to the Suns, rebound against the Kings, panic against Detroit (Bowie reference ftw), Timberwolves playoff hopes, and more. As usual, Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland interviews Wolves analyst Beartrap McManus.
Thanks for your support!
You said last week that you figured the Wolves should bounce back against the Suns. They didn't, losing 107-99. What happened?
Honestly, I didn’t watch this one. I DVRed it with every intention of doing so but I saw the final score on twitter and didn’t feel masochistic enough to watch it hungover the next morning. Even Wolves fans have our limits.
Did the following 132-105 walloping of the Kings give you any hope?
For sure. The Kings were on the second night of a back-to-back and didn’t play their starters in the second half, but it was still good to see a dominant win back on their home court.
What the hell happened against the Pistons, where the Wolves allowed 40 points in the fourth quarter before losing in overtime 129-123?
Shitty defense was the main culprit. KAT and Wiggins both had lackluster games and Derrick Rose hero ball down the stretch wasn’t enough to keep up with Detroit. This was another winnable game and a blown opportunity that could really come back to haunt them if they’re still in the playoff race at the end of the season.
A positive takeaway, though, was the continued good play of Saric and Okogie. Okogie continues to impress with his ability to positively impact the game no matter how many minutes he’s given, and it was good to see him do so playing 31 on Wednesday. He’s becoming a monster in transition and it’s so much fun to watch.
Which do you think is more "the real Wolves," how they played against the Suns, Kings, or Pistons?
Having not watched the Suns game, I’d say it’s a combination of how we saw them play at home this week. They’re very capable of beating up on undermanned teams and competing with good ones, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more frustrating games like at home vs. Detroit as they still attempt to figure out their identity, particularly offensively at the end of close games.
Is there any reason to think that the Wolves will improve on the road, especially for their difficult upcoming road trip?
The good news is they can’t get much worse. I’m sure they’ll improve on the road but I’m not sure how much. They had decent showings in their losses against Golden State and Portland, but they’ll still need to play much better to win on the road, especially against a team like OKC next week.
What are some things about this Wolves team that gives you hope that they could make the playoffs?
They're capable of playing truly great defense for significant stretches, and that’s something that can win any team games.
Beartrap McManus is an NBA and Timberwolves expert. He has been a life coach for Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland since before time, a consultant for Rambling On since its founding, and Timberwolves analyst beginning in Series Five. He resides with his wife and twelve kids in Hurley, Wisconsin, where his wife owns a popular supper club.