Recap – Raptors 94, Timberwolves 89

raptor mascot

Strangely, this makes me laugh every time I look at it (Ron Turenne/Getty Images)

Two pretty average NBA teams came together at the Air Canada Centre Friday night for the first time this season, with the 18-20 Timberwolves taking on the 19-18 Toronto Raptors.  The Wolves play again on Saturday and that will be game number 41 on the season.  You know what that means?  We will be halfway through the NBA season and I’ll be putting together some thoughts on the team, its (blah) performance, and more in the coming days.  Expect a few write-ups to hit the site between now and Tuesday.

Despite the underwhelming performances in the past few weeks, no changes to the Wolves starting lineup: Rubio, Martin, Brewer, Love, and Pekovic.  (For the record, I don’t believe there should be any changes in the starting lineup.)  Speaking of underwhelming, the Raptors opened up with: Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, and Jonas Valaciunas. [Read more...]

Minnesota Timberwolves Draft: Top 5 Targets

The Minnesota Timberwolves got a bit of luck this season as Utah narrowly made it into the playoffs, sending Utah’s first round draft pick to the team as conditioned in the Al Jefferson trade. With the 18th overall selection in the deep 2012 NBA Draft, the Wolves will certainly have their options when they are on the clock. Due to their draft position, we will never know if a high profile prospect will fall to them until draft day, but in the meantime, here are five realistic options who may be available for the team at 18.

5. Terrence Jones
Position: SF/PF  |  School: Kentucky  |  Year: Sophomore  |  Age: 20

 

The Timberwolves saw virtually no offensive production out of starting SF Wesley Johnson this season and desperately need consistent scoring out of the 3 spot. While Derrick Williams is undergoing rigorous two a day, 5 day a week workouts with his goals being to lose 15 pounds and come back next year as the teams starting SF, the Pups need to have a vital plan B and prepare as if D-Will will be unable to make the transition. Enter Terrence Jones. Jones has ideal size (6-9, 252 lbs) , length (7-2 wingspan), athleticism (34.5 inch vertical leap), and an extremely unique skill set that is very similar to that of Josh Smith. A classic “tweener” forward, Jones was a main contributor to Kentucky’s national championship run and would bring a shot-blocking presence that the Pups certainly lack. He is very comfortable as a ball-handler and can knock down shots extending out to three-point range. Most importantly, Jones can get to the hoop and can be a rebounding force, which would add to Minnesota’s dominance in the paint when paired with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. The Wolves may decide that their need at the 2 guard position is much more dire, but if Jones happens to fall to 18, they may not have a choice. Jones projects to chosen anywhere from number 7 (Golden State) to number 19 (Orlando). [Read more...]

Spotlight on 2012 NBA Draft Prospects: Terrence Ross

Terrence Ross

School: Washington  |  Year: Sophomore  |  Age: 21  |  Born: February 5, 1991  |  Position: SG
Height: 6’7”  |  Weight: 197  |  From: Portland, OR  |  Best Case Scenario: Joe Johnson

OFFENSIVE STATS (PER GAME)
  YEAR GM FG FGA FG% 3PT 3PTA 3PT% FT FTA FT% PTS  
2011-12 35 6.1 13.4 45.7% 2.1 5.5 37.1% 2.1 2.7 76.6% 16.4
2010-11 34 3.0 6.8 44.3% 1.3 3.7 35.2% 0.7 1.0 75.8% 8.0

HUSTLE STATS (PER GAME)
  YEAR MIN/GM OREB DREB TREB AST STL BLK TO AST/TO  
2011-12 31.1 1.4 5.1 6.4 1.4 1.3 0.9 2.0 1:1.4
2010-11 17.4 0.9 2.0 2.8 1.0 0.6 0.4 0.7 1:0.7

 
Since declaring for the draft, Terrence Ross has experienced an explosion in his draft stock due to his impressive pre-draft measurements and solid college career. Playing two seasons at SG for the Washington Huskies, Ross was seldom put in the national spotlight due to his team’s insignificance and inability to make it to the NCAA Tournament. However, Ross left his mark during the NIT averaging 25.0 PPG while earning all-tournament team honors. The best SG prospect to come out of Washington since Brandon Roy, Ross possesses prototypical size, strength, and athleticism for his position. Standing at an outrageous 6-foot-7 and nearly 200 pounds, he possesses broad shoulders and a good frame that should allow him to add increased muscle mass upon. Most recently at the 2012 NBA Combine, he impressed scouts and NBA executives with a 37.5-inch max vertical leap. At only 21 years of age, Ross has everything a team could look for athletically while staying poised on and off the basketball court.
[Read more...]