Tag: Minnesota Timberwolves


No rest for Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks’ rookie working to add weight, sharpen game


Kristaps Porzingis impressed at Summer League in Las Vegas — he looked like he belonged among the top bigs such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. Porzingis averaged just more than 10 touches a game at Summer League and was efficient, scoring 1.024 points per possession (better than Towns or Okafor). Porzingis showed a high basketball IQ, good passing skills, the ability to play inside, and his defense was better than advertised.

But he was also clearly a project — he’s very thin and very raw.

So he’s in New York now working on adding weight and sharpening his game. You still have to love his attitude in what he told Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“I’m in between happy and my normal calm,’’ Porzingis told The Post. “I’m not thinking: ‘I did good in summer league — now I’m going to do good in the NBA.’ Our training camp will start later and I have to prove myself once again, play as hard as I can and earn my minutes. That was just summer league — a few games to see how I compare to other rookies and get a taste of American basketball.’’


He took a little vacation back home to Latvia after Summer League but is now back working out at the Knicks facility.

“At home I was working out with my brother [Janis] a little bit, lifting weights, going to the gym, getting shots up, but I just wanted to relax a bit,’’ Porzingis said. “Once I’m here full time now, I can just concentrate on eating a lot, lifting a lot and getting stronger…

“I thought I would go home and rest, but it was all interviews, media stuff,’’ he said. “A lot of interest back home, too, kind of intense. Just the last few days I went to the beach.’’


Knicks fans shouldn’t expect too much out of Porzingis his rookie year — looking good at Summer League and looking good in an NBA game are two very different things. He’s got to add muscle, and that will take time. Plus just adjusting to the length and athleticism of NBA players, plus learning where he fits in the triangle, will be a process. 

But you can see the potential. Knicks coach Derek Fisher did.

“Just how it complements so many different players and situations,” Fisher said in Las Vegas. “I think defensively he complements guys because of his length and his rim protection. He’s pretty active and can guard multiple guys. I think offensively because of his ability to stretch the floor and do some things around the basket as well. I think he’s a player that fits with just about any lineup, no matter how you’re trying to play. So I think that versatility has been obvious during Summer League.”

Zach LaVine owns Seattle Pro-Am dunk contest, as he will all future ones (VIDEO)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers

It’s over. I’m ready to give the 2016 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest to the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine. He won the 2015 edition and said he didn’t even pull out his best ones.

Then he showed up in Seattle Sunday for the Pro-Am dunk contest there and did this.

And this, without even breaking a sweat.

Then, just for fun, this.

LaVine’s biggest challenge with future dunk contests may be living up to his own hype. He makes ridiculous dunks look effortless.

Hat tip Eye on Basketball.

Karl-Anthony Towns throws down between-the-legs reverse dunk (VIDEO)

Karl-Anthony Towns

No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns showed off his hops on Saturday morning at Panini America’s NBA rookie photo shoot in New York, throwing down a Vince Carter-esque between-the-legs reverse jam:

When you consider that Towns has this athleticism at 6-foot-11 and is a gifted passer, Timberwolves fans are in for a treat this season.

Ricky Rubio on Timberwolves: ‘I have to go pull this team in the playoffs’

Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors

Kevin Garnett is the Timberwolves’ most-accomplished player.

Andre Miller is their oldest player.

Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns are their most-important players.

But on any team, leadership naturally falls to the starting point guard and highest-paid player. Ricky Rubio, who fills both titles in Minnesota, is embracing that role.

Rubio, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

“We know we’re young and we’re building,” Rubio told SI.com in a phone interview. “At the same time, I think we’re ready to win games. Last season we only won 16 games but it didn’t feel like we were a losing team at all. We were just lacking some things. Me personally, I have to go pull this team in the playoffs. I know it’s a big challenge, but I think we have the right assets, the right weapons to get it. I know we’re in the West side, it’s really tough, but I think we can make it happen. I have big expectations for next season.”

I don’t think it’s completely outlandish to suggest the Timberwolves could make the playoffs. They’re loaded with talent at every position:

  • Point guard: Rubio, Miller, Tyus Jones
  • Shooting guard: Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine
  • Small forward: Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelica
  • Power forward: Kevin Garnett, Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne, Anthony Bennett
  • Center: Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Pekovic

That is one heck of the depth chart.

But there are three major reasons Minnesota won’t make the playoffs:

1. Youth. As talented as those players are, many of them are still very young. They’ll probably need more time to develop and learn how to do the little things necessary to win.

2. Fit. Too many Timberwolves prefer to operate in the same areas of the court. They just don’t have enough floor spacers.

3.  Western Conference. It’s darn good.

Rubio could help, though. He’s reaching the age where he should take the next step. And a nifty passer, he could mitigate Minnesota’s spacing issues. He’ll have no shortage of talented players to throw passes. He’s the crux.

The Timberwolves probably won’t reach the postseason, but if they do, it very well could be because Rubio pulled them there.

Kevin Garnett took Mason Plumlee’s crab cake, gave it to Reggie Evans because “veterans eat first”

Brooklyn Nets V Detroit Pistons

This is about the most Kevin Garnett story ever, as relayed by new Blazer and former Net Mason Plumlee on ESPN.

You heard that right. The Nets were on a team plane last year when Plumlee got to order food first because the youngsters boarded before the vets. KG was having none of that. He took Plumlee’s crab cake, gave it to Reggie Evans — because veterans eat first — and then made Plumlee play the role of flight attendant and serve all the vets.

And Plumlee laughs about it now.

Consider this a heads up, Karl-Anthony Towns. All the lessons are not on the court.