Timberwolves: Mo Williams’ 52 And Why The Fans Deserve Better


Mo Williams scores 52 points, and why the Minnesota Timberwolves’ fans deserve a whole lot more than what the franchise is feeding them

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By hoisting up 33 shots on Tuesday night, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Mo Williams scored 52 points.

I suppose we should all stand and chant The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, or something?

Look, congratulations to Mo. He lit it up, and everybody from Yahoo Sports to Bleacher Report covered it. Thanks to his Kobe-esque performance, the Timberwolves beat the Indiana Pacers for their sixth win of the season, and seem even farther away from being an actual NBA team.

The truth is, I’ve desperately been looking for a reason to like the Minnesota Timberwolves because, well, I like rooting for underdogs. But these dogs are hard to love. Not just because their history of losing makes the Washington Generals look like ’79 Bullets, but also because they’ve had a rabble of a roster over the years.

Case in point: Mo Williams and his absolutely random 52 points. Seriously, who are the T-Wolves, anyway?

I mean you could ask anyone to define this Minnesota club and inevitably they’d point to Kevin Garnett. Garnett, the long limbed, loose lipped, impassioned to a fault, screaming mad man of a power forward, who amazingly carried this hapless mob to the Western Conference Finals once upon a time, is really the hallmark of a largely egregious sporting entity.

Although, I’m sure some NBA historians are busy scribbling Williams’ name somewhere into the ledger now too.

I’m not sure what all this means, Garnett’s legacy, nor Williams’ singular scoring effort, nor all those double-doubles Kevin Love produced either. These things don’t reveal all that much about the Timberwolves, now 26 years old, and a club that’s had multiple chances to transform itself into more than the Charlotte Hornets ever were.

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  • But guess what? Even the Hornets, who disappeared for more than a decade, are today somehow far more relevant than the T-Wolves.

    Now I don’t want to dismiss Garnett here. He certainly did everything he could on the court for Minnesota, and was in many ways more valuable to the Wolves than his single MVP award in 2004 attests to. And yet, his departure to the Celtics in 2007 sent the club into one of its seemingly scheduled tail spins from which they’ve never really recovered.

    Hey, when you win just 22 games the ensuing season, as Minnesota did in 2007-08, bounce backs don’t come easily. For this reason, it’s perhaps a challenge for any non-Wolves fan to speak as glowingly about Garnett as Minnesota diehards.

    We look at it with a much wider lens, afforded to us by the lack of emotional investment. And all that we see with this focus, is a petri dish of disappointment.

    From the fizzle of Felton Spencer to the startling Stephon Marbury, to the devastating departures of the club’s leading talents dating all the way back to Christian Laettner, through to Garnett and more recently Love, who it turns out was the prospective muse for The Clash’s 1982 single “Should I Stay, Or Should I Go.”

    Is it just too cold in Minnesota for basketball? Or are the modern day players just too demanding? I mean the Minneapolis Lakers were a freaking dynasty folks! Then again, the Lakers didn’t leave their drafting to a college intern. Have a look through the team’s draft history: It reads like a who’s-who of ‘WHO?!’

    There are more whiffs by the T-Wolves draft war room than commanders of the Confederacy. Even when they did end up with a potential star, the Timberwolves somehow found a way to ship him off to a competitor. It’s sheer lunacy. But on the upside, I think I’ve cracked the their strategy: Lose a lot, draft high, sell low, lose some more.

    That they secured Andrew Wiggins this last draft seems entirely plausible; if they keep him it’ll be a downright miracle.So here we are in 2015, with Crunch the T-Wolves mascot the most consistent name on the club’s talent books. It’s pretty up and down from there.While wonderfully true to form, there’s no rationale behind the current roster.

    They’re a mix of moving parts, most of which are turning and spinning in different directions. As rookie forward Andrew Wiggins springs upward, point guard Mo Williams slides downward. When Williams scores 52, Wiggins, the kid who should be drawing all the headlines, fades sadly into the background.

    It’s just difficult to see why the current group of players has been brought together, beyond management seeking another No.1 draft pick this year.

    On a side note, there are some positives. For example, I really like the dark wood that makes up the majority of the Wolves’ home court, and the Wolf logo at center court is pretty cool, too. I also like the prospect of a lengthy and lithe Wiggins running the floor with point guard maestro Ricky Rubio. This combo might yet, save the whole damn thing.

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    I also think there are some players on the roster that are playing hard, scrambling on defense and sprinting up court on attack, and their effort amid a dreadful season thus far is admirable. I’m talking mostly about Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng, and Chase Budinger. At least in the games I’ve seen, these guys are trying.

    I’m even prepared to forgive Williams’ misgivings as a point guard, because there are times when the veteran distributes the ball in a timely fashion. He links up especially well with Dieng, and despite his recent decision to play one-on-five, he also has eye for giving it up to the athletic Wiggins.

    But in a frigid town that really deserves to have its hoop hearts warmed, this is one hot mess in the Twin Cities. These fans need better than what Flip Saunders has been turning up. Yes, we thank Flip for local successes many moons ago, but the Timberwolves have barely howled in the last decade and it’s a questionable as to whether they will any time soon.

    No, this is a club that’s in desperate need of a rebuild, or perhaps should just unload one or two players to try and make the rest gel, you know, like the Pistons did by parting ways with Josh Smith. Either way, I see value in “resetting.” However, my optimism flattened a little when I read on Wikipedia that the Wolves have been rebuilding since 2005!

    If this is indeed true, it might be time to smash the emergency glass, and pull out the wolf whistle.

    Listen, forget rebuilding: How about just stop building! Simply tear it down, and keep doing so until the losses pile so high that they compress, turning impossibly over time, into wins.

    Next: Cavs: What Happens If It Doesn't Work This Season?