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- Bennett leads Timberwolves past Pacers 107-89 October 22, 2014MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Anthony Bennett scored 17 points and Ricky Rubio had 16, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 107-89 preseason victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. Bennett was 7 for 9 from the field. The reserve scored Minnesota's first six points of the fourth quarter to help the Wolves maintain their comfortable lead over the injury-depleted Pacers. Donald Sloan scored 19 points for Indiana, which lost starting guard George Hill to a left-knee contusion in the third quarter. Chris Copeland had 17 points, and Roy Hibbert finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Hill was hurt during a scramble for the ball with less than five minutes to play in the third. He was fouled on the play, and managed to shoot two free throws - missing both - after staying on the floor for several minutes. The Pacers called timeout after the second missed free throw, and Hill eventually walked off the court to the trainer's room. He finished with 14 points in 21 minutes. The Pace...
- Wolves player profile: Kevin Martin October 21, 2014This is the 14th installment in a 16-part series running Tuesdays and Fridays profiling each Minnesota Timberwolves player leading up to the start of the NBA season. There was a time when Kevin Martin was more than happy to play second fiddle. In Sacramento, it was easy. He was a rookie, and one on a team full of playoff veterans. In Houston, he had the likes of Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola toward which to delegate. A year in Oklahoma City had him well behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the pecking order. Then last year, he worked comfortably along some guy named Kevin Love. But those other Kevins are no longer his teammates. Instead, a pass-first point guard and a rookie who has yet to play an NBA game will likely be his backcourt companions. So violin No. 2 is stashed away in its case and shoved in the back of the closet. 2013-14 stats: 19.1 PPG, 43 FG %, 38.7 3-point FG %, 3 RPG, 89.1 FT %, 1.8 APG, 1 SPG during 32 MPG in 68 games 2014-15 salary: $6,792,500 Last year: Ke...
- The Minnesota Timberwolves Have Picked Up The Third Year Of Gorgui Dieng’s Contract October 21, 2014Photo: @GorguiDieng On Monday afternoon the Minnesota Timberwolves announced that they’ve exercised the third year option on former Louisville center Gorgui Dieng’s contract. Dieng was selected 21st overall by Minnesota in the 2013 season and had a very solid rookie season. He played in 33 of the team’s final 35 games in this past season and appeared in a total of 60 games. Dieng averaged five points, five rebounds in 14 minutes per game over the course of the season. It was in the second half of the season where Dieng really came on. The former Cardinal was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month in March. Dieng started 15 of the final 18 games, averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds. He also had nine double-double’s in that span. Dieng will receive $1.4 million before the 2014-15 season. His salary jumps to $2.3 million in 2016. Dieng’s initial rookie deal includes a qualifying option for a fourth year at $3.3 million. Player ’14-’15 ’15-’16 ’16-’17 ’17-’18 Dieng $1,41
- Report: Minnesota Timberwolves Waive Kyrylo Fesenko October 21, 2014The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived center Kyrylo Fesenko. The Ukranian was last in the NBA in October 2012, playing four preseason minutes with the Chicago Bulls before being waived. According to NBCSports.com, Fesenko was hoping to secure a roster spot to bring his family over from Ukraine, who’s government has been fighting with Pro-Russian Separatists. The post Timberwolves waive Fesenko appeared first on Basketball Bicker.
- Timberwolves waive Kyrylo Fesenko October 20, 2014MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived Ukrainian center Kyrylo Fesenko. The Timberwolves announced the move on Monday. Fesenko played in one preseason game and only managed three minutes. He was hoping to earn a spot with the Wolves or another team so he could bring his family over to the United States from Ukraine, where the government has been clashing with pro-Russian separatists for months. The 7-foot-1 Fesenko averaged 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds with the Timberwolves in summer league play. But the Wolves already have Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng and Ronny Turiaf in the post, which left no room for Fesenko.
- Bennett leads Timberwolves past Pacers 107-89 (The Associated Press) October 22, 2014MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Anthony Bennett scored 17 points and Ricky Rubio had 16, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 107-89 preseason victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
- The 10-man rotation, starring the case *for* Kobe Bryant (or, at least, that it's not all his fault) (Ball Don't Lie) October 21, 2014A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Silver Screen and Roll . After reading Henry Abbott's ESPN the Magazine piece arguing that Kobe Bryant is the reason for the Los Angeles Lakers' downfall, Drew Garrison presents the counterargument, suggesting that the reasons for the franchise's precipitous recent decline are numerous, varied and not all contained within the Mamba's jaw-jut. A worthwhile hearing for the defense. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] PF : SLAM . Ryan Jones on why LeBron James is the NBA's best player, why ( ownership of the Podoloff aside) there's no real debate on the matter, and how the shifting of James' circumstances as he rejoins a significantly more loaded Cleveland Cavaliers could wind up changing that soon enough. SF : Sports on Earth . Howard Megdal on how — all the internecine drama , back-room dealings and franchise-jumping aside — we've still got quite a bit to learn about exactly what kind of NBA head coach Jason Kidd's going to be. SG : ChicagoNow . Yes, Derrick Rose looked great on Monday, but the Chicago Bulls' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers showed a few persistent and perhaps worrisome questions for Tom Thibodeau's club, according to Doug Thonus. PG : National Post . Eric Koreen floats an idea that Our Fearless Leader has championed in the past : shorten the preseason and make the regular season longer, not in games played, but in dates covered. 6th : A Wolf Among Wolves . William Bohl sees the Minnesota Timberwolves running more sets for midrange jumpers under once-and-future head coach Flip Saunders, and he wonders whether that approach will prove beneficial for a young Wolves roster without very many knockdown shooters. ( Kelly's not real bullish on it , for what it's worth.) 7th : Raptors Republic . Smart stuff from Blake Murphy on the interesting dilemma facing the Toronto Raptors and surprise 2014 first-round draft pick Bruno Caboclo — how does a team setting its sights on the conference finals find the floor time to develop an incredibly raw player when it doesn't have its own exclusive D-League affiliate? 8th : Detroit Bad Boys . Considering what a more efficient Josh Smith might look like, what Stan Van Gundy's done this preseason to try to conjure such a performance, and whether it's more likely that Smith turns in that brand of play for the Detroit Pistons or gets moved before the February trade deadline. 9th : Posting and Toasting . Derek Fisher says Amar'e Stoudemire — he of the wine baths of indeterminate medical benefit — isn't operating under any sort of minute or playing-time restrictions, and the former All-Star big man says he's feeling great. What does this mean for STAT's role on the New York Knicks this year? 10th : Los Angeles Times . Chris Douglas-Roberts is wearing short shorts — or, at least, the shortest shorts he was able to get from the Los Angeles Clippers — in hopes that they "will give him the freedom to be an elite perimeter defender." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Golden State Warriors (Ball Don't Lie) October 21, 2014The Golden State Warriors cannot be criticized for lacking ambition. Mark Jackson led the franchise to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons (out of his three total), a feat that made him their most successful head coach since the first Don Nelson era. His reward was a speedy dismissal. For whatever tensions existed between Jackson and his bosses — and there were many , to the point where a disaster may have loomed — it is fairly apparent that the people in charge of the Warriors expect to challenge for titles, not to lose out on homecourt advantage in the first round and take one playoff series every couple years. Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber want one of the league's preeminent franchises. The question isn't only if they have the roster to get them there, but whether they have hired the right man for the job. Former Phoenix Suns general manager, TNT commentator, and golfing buddy Steve Kerr has no coaching experience of any kind, just like Jackson when he was hired in 2011. Yet there's no guarantee that the Warriors will get lucky twice, even if Kerr has a sterling reputation and has said all the right things so far. The Warriors have taken a gamble, again, and Kerr may not connect with his players as well as Jackson did in his three seasons with the club. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] However, Kerr and his staff (which includes Alvin Gentry, his coach in Phoenix) can improve the team in other ways. It will take some work to match last season's third-ranked defense (by points allowed per possession), but there is a clear opportunity to best a No. 12 offense that belied Golden State's reputation as an especially potent group. While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson strengthened their status as the best outside-shooting duo in the NBA, the offense as a whole often became stagnant and went away from its strengths, especially when eschewing the pick-and-roll. With versatile players like Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Draymond Green, and Andrew Bogut in the lineup, there's no glaring reason why Golden State can't become a better offensive team. Failure to do so would be the clearest sign that Kerr did not have a particularly impressive first season in Oakland. Then again, it's not entirely clear how Kerr and the franchise will define success. Is it enough for him to set the team on a course toward achieving the results that Jackson didn't, or will he need to exceed them now? It's not necessarily prudent to set such rigid standards before the team even plays a regular-season game. Nevertheless, controversial coaching changes require fairly exacting analysis. The outcome of such gambles reflect upon the franchise well beyond win-loss record. 2013-14 season in 140 characters or less: A coach pit himself and his team against the world, winning a few battles and losing the war. Did the summer help at all? The answer to this question depends largely on your belief in Kerr and his abilities relative to those of Jackson. As previously noted, those opinions will vary and can't be discussed with any certainty for at least a few months. If we stick to the roster, then the Warriors should be a little better. For one thing, they lost only Jermaine O'Neal, a quality reserve big man who missed several months and may be of limited use at 36 years old. They added Shaun Livingston as a much-needed backup point guard who can defend bigger guards when teamed with Curry; Brandon Rush, who performed well with Golden State as a reserve wing in 2011-12; and Leandro Barbosa, unlikely to match his years in Phoenix but still a speedy guard with explosive tendencies. Plus, reserve center Festus Ezeli returns after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Go-to offseason acquisition: Livingston is still iffy for opening night , but when he's in the lineup he will give the Warriors options that they lacked last season. Though not the world's most adept floor leader, Livingston can contribute in many areas (8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in 26 minutes per game for the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14) while freeing up other members of the team to excel. The Warriors lacked playmakers other than Curry and Iguodala, and they figure to be heavily dependent on those two for the same qualities this year. But Livingston provides some cover for a team that can use the help.
- Shawn Marion talks up Kevin Love's Cleveland presence, while LeBron James talks up Chicago (Ball Don't Lie) October 20, 2014LeBron James’ trail of delicious bread crumbs has helped reshape the entire Cleveland Cavaliers roster. Kevin Love forced a trade to the Cavs following James contract agreement with Cleveland, asking to go to a team that had an even worse record than his mediocre Minnesota Timberwolves club last season. Shawn Marion and former James teammates Mike Miller and James Jones soon followed suit. Suddenly, the Cavs are a destination team, and that doesn’t figure to change as the franchise continues to add free agents to surround James with over the next few years. It’s not all about LeBron, though, apparently. Shawn Marion’s attempt secure another championship was pushed over the top by the acquisition of Love, who ironically plays the same position that Marion sees much of his time at. For once, LeBron James’ pied piping wasn’t tempting enough. From Jeff Zillgitt at USA Today : Marion blurted out that he would not have signed with Cleveland had James not come back, but he also said he wouldn't be with the Cavaliers had they not acquired Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. "LeBron coming here wasn't enough," the ever-honest veteran and NBA champion said. "It was more so finalizing the deal with Kevin Love. That sold it. That made it more realistic like we do have a shot to win the championship this year." Oh, they most certainly do. The Cavaliers head into 2014-15 as the stated Eastern and possible NBA favorite. With Chicago still rolling into shape, Oklahoma City worried about Kevin Durant, and San Antonio (here we go again) possibly falling victim to age, the Cavaliers would and should be the favorites. In the hours before a pairing with those Chicago Bulls in Columbus on Monday, though, James gave Chicago the nod. From Brian Windhorst at ESPN : "[The Bulls] are a team that's much better than us right now just off chemistry," James said. "They've been together for a while, we've got a long way to go." James’ former Miami Heat club infamously started 9-8 in his first season with the team, and even though they made it to the NBA Finals (past the Bulls along the way) that year, it was an uneasy run until the very end as the various parts figured their roles out. This Cavaliers group is just as familiar with each other, in spite of the presence of Miller and Jones, though not in as stark terms as a Heat team that was down to just one guaranteed roster contract in the summer that it chased down James, Chris Bosh, and a re-signed Dwyane Wade. These Chicago Bulls have done some damage, of late, even in Derrick Rose’s absence. Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah have led some pretty fearsome outfits, Rose has been with the team despite being injured, and the team’s rotation will feature some players that have worked in Chicago for years. This is still a new team, though. Pau Gasol effectively is replacing Noah at center on both ends, working out of the post offensively and acting as the last line of defense defensively so Joakim can work his high post passing and guard/forward chasing magic defensively. Rookies Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott will be leaned on heavily (or, at least, they should be), Aaron Brooks is Thibodeau’s newest tiny scorer, and Derrick Rose has played single-digit NBA games since April, 2012. To say that this is anywhere near the same team that James and the Heat stared down in 2011, or tried to stave off last season, would be off. Of course, LeBron knows this. The Cavs have a rookie coach and new roster, and they will have some growing pains. They will also be a fantastic basketball team this season, and if they don’t finish with the league’s best record than they will have screwed up. This is the championship favorite, James knows this, and he’s both putting pressure on the new’ish Bulls and his new Cavaliers to step it. This is what the best in the biz do. Even if their presence alone isn’t enough to lure Shawn Marion. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- Timberwolves waive Kyrylo Fesenko (The Associated Press) October 20, 2014MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived Ukrainian center Kyrylo Fesenko.
- State Fair’s Big Attraction: The Newest Timberwolves August 27, 2014Three days after Minnesota dealt Kevin Love to Cleveland, the team introduced the players acquired in the three-team trade at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Cavaliers Complete Deal to Acquire Kevin Love From Timberwolves August 24, 2014LeBron James got a superstar teammate, and Minnesota received Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
- Kevin Love to Be Traded to Cavaliers August 8, 2014Cleveland has agreed in principle to send a package that includes Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the N.B.A.’s past two No. 1 picks, to Minnesota for Love.
- Minnesota Owner Says Trade of Kevin Love Is Likely August 4, 2014The Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told The St. Paul Pioneer Press that the All-Star power forward Kevin Love would most likely be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers by Aug. 23 or Aug. 24.
- Minnesota Signs Williams July 29, 2014The Minnesota Timberwolves and the free-agent guard Mo Williams agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.75 million.