T-Wolves Knicks
0-1 0-1
Game Time: 5:00
Radio: BOB 106.1
TV: FSN

The Wolves lost their season opener, but throughout the game, played much more as a team than last season, and also outplayed the Nuggets much of the way before falling apart in the fourth quarter.

Tonight, the Wolves will look to rebounds against another 0-1 team, the New York Knicks. The game will mark the return to New York for Wolves point guard Sebastian Telfair, and he’ll also be playing against his cousin Stephon Marbury.

The main task for the Wolves tonight will be to limit the fouls, and limit long scoring droughts. Against Denver, some key players including McCants played just 29 minutes because of foul trouble. Plus, Denver capitalized at the line.

Watch For…

…Big Al. In his first game, he scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. That was against one of the best defenders in the league. How will he fare against Zach Randolph?

…Telfair vs. Marbury. Not only will Telfair be returning to New York, but he’ll also be playing against his cousin. Will he break out? Who will win the family battle?

…fouls. The reason for the loss to the Nuggets was fouls. The Nuggets reached the line twice and many times and the Wolves, and oddly enough, knocked down twice as many free throws (28). Can the Wolves stay out of foul trouble?

…Gerald Green. In the opener, Green did not play. Will he get his first shot as a Wolf?

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The Wolves started their 2007-2008 season with a loss to the Nuggets, but there were a bunch of positives to take away from the game. The Wolves took a first quarter lead after a nice opening run, and held onto that lead basically until the midway point in the fourth quarter.

In fact, the Wolves really played better than the Nuggets much of the way, and controlled the game as well. But, as they did multiple times in the preseason, the Wolves seemed to fall apart towards the end of the game, and scored just 14 in the fourth to give the Nuggets the lead and the game by a final score of 99-91.

The loss may be a little upsetting, because the Wolves did play very well. But nonetheless, there were a number of positives going forward.

Al Jefferson scored 16 points, and collected 13 rebounds all while being double teamed. Rashad McCants had the hot hand, and scored 23 points for the Wolves in just 29 minutes of play. The other keys for the Wolves were Theo Ratliff, who scored 14 points, and Greg Buckner, who scored 10 points.

The main problem for the Wolves were the fouls. The Nuggets shot two times the number of free throws that the Wolves did, and the officiating was terrible all night long. Had McCants not gotten into foul trouble, he may have scored a lot more than 23 points.

With Randy Foye out for a while, Telfair stepped up. He scored 9 points and collected 5 assists on the game. He did make a few mistakes, but his speed should be a big help to the Wolves this season.

The Wolves will get back on the court on Sunday, when they look to get their first win of the season against the Knicks. There will be more key points on the game tomorrow.


Nuggets T-Wolves
1-0 0-0
Game Time: 7:00
Radio: BOB 106.1
TV: KSTC-45

A new era in Timberwolves basketball begins tonight as the Wolves take the court at home against the 1-0 Denver Nuggets. With Garnett long gone, Jefferson locked up for the future, and the rest of the team ready to prove the world wrong, the Wolves will kick off the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets have already gotten underway, beating the Seattle Sonics 120-103 on Wednesday. The Nuggets look to be one of the playoff teams in the West this season, but don’t expect the Wolves to lay down.

This will be the first time for all of the new players (which is a lot) to show the fans what they have to offer. Expect the Wolves to come out strong, and play hard until the end.

Watch For…

…the starting point guard. With Randy Foye out at least three weeks, the Wolves will look to someone else to run the team. Will Wittman go with Telfair or Jaric on opening day?

…Al Jefferson. With the contract extension behind him, will Jefferson take his nice preseason and continue the trend?

…McCants. With the Ricky Davis trade, and a very nice preseason, Rashad McCants earned the starting SG role. Will the lights out shooting continue for the now healthy McCants?

…the rotation. The Wolves still have not established a very steady rotation off the bench. Look for Smith to be one of the first people into the game, but after that it’s all up in the air.

You Decide…

…what the final score will be.

…the key stats.

Place to Talk…

MNSportsFans.com

TWolvesBlog.com

HERE!!


When Al Jefferson signed his 5-year, 65 million dollar contract extension earlier this week, he did so against the advise of his agent. His agent had advised him to wait until the season was over, so that he could sign for max money. But, Jefferson never had that intention, and didn’t want to be selfish or cost his team in the long run.

“I didn’t even think I was worth max this year anyway. I would’ve been a fool to go up there and ask for max, having not really proved myself for that. So the number I got was the number that was my goal from Day 1. And I think it was a win, win situation.”

According to reports, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, Jefferson’s agent told him that the talks were dead, and that a deal would not get done. But Jefferson let him know that he wasn’t interested in max money, and urged him to get the extension signed before the 11 p.m. deadline later that night.

Now that the Wolves have Jefferson locked up, they can move on and look towards other moves that will be key to a bright future. With Jefferson’s unselfishness, the Wolves will have a lot more money to pursue other big name free agents in the future, something they didn’t have much of a chance to do with Garnett’s costly contract.

When Jefferson came over, we basically knew what to expect from him on the court, and he has since proven to be even better than advertised. We also heard all of these things about the type of guy he was off the court, and he has absolutely blown us away with his actions thus far.

The time of the trade came at a difficult time for Minnesota as the state went through the bridge tragedy. The incident actually happened the same night that Jefferson arrived in Minneapolis. But Jefferson showed us right away what he was all about. Along with Wolves coach Randy Wittman, Jefferson hosted lunch for the 58 children that were on the bus when the bridge collapsed.

Jefferson has said all of the right things since his arrival, and both on and off the court has been first class. He may not feel like he is worth max money with his play, but with his leadership and unselfishness he is definitely worth all the money he will be receiving, and he is definitely the player that I want to build the franchise around.


The Timberwolves signed cornerstone Al Jefferson to a 5-year, 65 million dollar contract late last night to end what has been an awesome off-season for the franchise. With the deadline near an end, and a deal looking unlikely, the Wolves surprisingly announced the move.

Since Jefferson arrived in the Garnett trade at the beginning of the summer, a contract extension has been one of the major questions. For a while, it looked like the Wolves had decided to simply wait until the end of the season to see what to offer, and go from there.

With the 11 p.m. deadline looming last night, and basically no rumors the previous few days, it looked like the decision was final. But then, the great news was posted on the official site:

Wolves and Jefferson Agree to Extension

So, the Wolves capped off the off-season by locking up their key to the future, and sending another great message to fans everywhere.

The Wolves are indeed committed to the future, and no matter how hard you look, surprisingly the team didn’t make any bad moves in this most critical off-season. The Wolves will now head into the regular season with a huge burden off both their own back and that of Al Jefferson.

Thoughts in Detail:
– This deal is great news to all fans, and was the right move for both sides. First of all, the Wolves seem like they have signed him at a pretty low cost for the type of player he is. If they didn’t sign him, they could have been forced to give him a max deal after the season. On the other side, Jefferson will get paid and won’t have to worry about how he plays this season.

– The move signifies more than just the team’s commitment. Jefferson seems committed to winning as well, and the fact that he didn’t hold out for a max deal shows that commitment. He is a great player on the court, and from what I’ve seen from him off the court so far, he looks just as good.

– Although the deal is worth $65 million total, it has been reported that it could reach $70 million with incentives.

– Oh, did I mention that the Wolves also picked up the options on guards Randy Foye and Rashad McCants?


Al Jefferson agreed to a 5-year, $65 million deal late last night. I don’t have time to talk about it right now, but look back this afternoon.

This is so exciting!


Great…

30Oct07

Randy Foye struggled with a knee injury all preseason, but played in the team’s final preseason game, and everything looked like it’d be okay.

However, Foye reportedly aggravated the injury, and missed the team’s practice on Monday. The fact that the injury was so bad, was so shocking to the team that they had Foye undergo tests, and the results came back today.

The news is not good for the Wolves or Foye, because he has a stress reactions, and is out indefinitely. One report has him out at least two weeks, and possibly even longer.

For a team that is looking for a leader, this will hurt. Expect Telfair to start for Foye this Friday, but after Telfair, the Wolves must go with either Jaric or Buckner (Yuk!).

UPDATE: The Star Tribune reports that Foye will be retested in three weeks.