Goodbye, Rick Adelman

Yesterday; Rick Adelman announced he would not be returning as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. There’s been plenty of discussion on the show this season regarding Adelman’s future with the team, and whether or not he would return to complete the final year of his contract — but now — there’s no more uncertainty.

The presence of one of the NBA’s stoic coaches in the league’s history will not be forgotten, but his departure does leave some unsettling questions regarding the future of the Timberwolves; who will be their next head coach?

Billy Bohl and I both expressed sentiment in respect the Adelman’s resignation, each in our own words.

Officially Official: Rick Adelman Retires – Billy Bohl at A Wolf Among Wolves 

Monday morning, Rick Adelman took the stage outside the Wolves’ training facility and announced what many have long suspected: the 67-year-old is officially retiring from coaching in the NBA. He will remain with the organization as an advisor, but his days dealing with the worry of game-planning, roster construction, and the hassles of trekking across North America are over.

“It’s a real grind. You get some time off in the summer, but it’s pretty much on your mind all the time,” Adelman said. “There’s some sadness, but there’s also a relief. I’m ready and my wife’s ready to move on to another phase. We’re looking forward to that.”

Adelman played his first regular season NBA game on October 17th, 1968. Between then and yesterday, he was a professional basketball player for 7 years, a college head coach for 6, an NBA assistant for 6, and an NBA head coach for 23. He was uninvolved with basketball (in any official capacity, anyway) for just 4 stretches of time – after he retired as a player (1976-77), and after he was relieved of his coaching duties by Portland (1994-95), Golden State (1997-98) and Sacramento (2006-07). He was a true basketball lifer.

However, all that time spent in a high-stress profession eventually took its toll. “Whether you win or you lose, the pressure’s on you,” Adelman said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and been in the league a long time and that, probably, had more impact than anything else. I just felt for my wife and I, we wanted to enjoy other things. Wanted to have Christmas at home with my other kids, stuff like that. I’m looking forward to that. I’m certainly going to miss it. My wife would be the first to say it’s real consuming. You get caught up in it way too much.”

Read Officially Official: Rick Adelman Retires in it’s entirety by clicking this link.

Ambassador To The Great State of Basketball – Zachary Bennett at Hickory-High

Adelman is husband, father, and a 68 year old with more wisdom than I am able to try and fathom. It isn’t hard to find nice things that have been said about Adelman and what he brought to the game of basketball during his years on the sideline. He’s the mastermind of motion, off-ball screening and cutting, that created an offence so tangible that even Gregg Popovich admits he borrowed ideas from Adelman’s playbook, among many others.

 

After Adelman announced his retirement on Monday morning, a gloomy uncertainty surfaced as Flip Saunders sighted no timeline or the name of any candidates. Saunders did not, however, rule out the idea of returning to the sideline as the Wolves coach, although he mentioned that isn’t what team owner Glen Taylor would prefer to see. Now, without not only an unmistakable, prestigious, experienced coach; Minnesota stands amid an unsettling and uncertain period of reformation under the new, Saunders, regime.

 

Read Ambassador To The Great State of Basketball in it’s entirety by clicking this link.

Prepare for tonight’s episode of the Break the Huddle Show. The number to the studio is 612-235-6353.

To listen to us live via your mobile device, download the Sizzlin’ 99.9 Application for your iPhone or Android Device. Free, very user friendly, and the easiest way to tune-in to our live broadcasts. This is the link to Sizzlin’s LiveStream station, that’s where you may VIEW and LISTEN to our show as we discuss the Timberwolves and other NBA matters. Now, it may or may not work on your mobile device, I’ve received mixed feedback. If you’re on a desktop, laptop, or a compatible mobile device — this is a unique and interactive way to watch/listen to our show.

Download the show’s podcast using itunes. By clicking this link, you will be brought to the Sizzlin’ Podcast Page (where there is plenty of good content for listeners around the Twin Cities). Our show is, you guessed it, the BREAK THE HUDDLE show.

 

See you at 6:00PM CST! Or, whenever.

zb.

Advertisements

Episode 21: A Man at the Scene (BONUS PLUGS WITHIN)

(Photo Credit: David Sherman — www.davidshermanphoto.com)

Again, John Meyer and I found ourselves in the studio, without our fearless leader for another episode of the Break the Huddle show. Yet, fear not listeners — Billy Bohl was able to join us via cellular device by calling us from outside of the Target Center. So, without delay, let’s get to plugging our products, shall we?

GO AND DOWNLOAD THE NEWEST, Break the Huddle Show, PODCAST ON ITUNES. We don’t intend to be pushy, however, the podcast downloads are essential to, not only the show’s success, but also to that of the entire Sizzlin’ 99.9 network.

The live broadcast recorded from — live — inside the Sizzlin’ studio last night may be found at the bottom of this post. (But remember to download the podcast =]]])

We started things off with the formalities and got Billy on the horn right away to discuss last night’s matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks. Why? Because, why not? We had our own reporter on the scene to give us the most recent updates from the Wolves locker room. Why was he at the game? To RECAP it, of course.

If the lowly Bucks, owners of the worst record in basketball (now 13-51), didn’t have the Timberwolves’ full attention prior to tip-off, they certainly did when their 12th consecutive shot found the bottom of the net to start the game. By the midway point of the first quarter, each of Milwaukee’s five starters had recorded a field goal and the team held a nine-point advantage. Guards Nate Wolters and Brandon Knight led the charge – between the two of them, they were responsible for the Bucks’ first seven buckets. Center Zaza Pachulia had 4 1st quarter assists, en route to 10 for the night (a career high).

You can check out Billy’s recap of the victory over the Bucks by clicking this link.

We also talked a little about the disconnect between Ricky Rubio and Rick Adelman, a discussion that stemmed from a Punch-Drunk Wolves column mentioned in the most, “Around the Interwebs,” post. From there, John and I were on our own……again.

Early Tuesday morning, Flip Saunders appeared with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio and the two spoke briefly on a number of topics. With the news that former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers’, Phil Jackson, pairing up for a front-office position with the New York Knicks almost a certainty, Cowherd asked the Wolves President of Basketball Operations what life was like when making the transition from being a head coach into a position with more player/personnel responsibility.

I transcribed most of the interview between Saunders and Cowherd over at Howlin’ T-Wolf, another place I’ll be writing about the Timberwolves moving forward. Flip spoke about the future of Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and talked a little bit about educating people about the NBA, and how players are involved in their communities. This conversation sparking after Minnesota State Representative, Pat Garofalo, sent out a tweet that seemed to insinuate he has a misguided perception about the NBA, and it’s players.

You have to educate the people. When people are educated on what our players do, and how active they are in their community. (Even) Individually, on their own — I know a lot of players go out to hostels and get involved with St. Jude (A Childrens Hospital), that’s a big thing for us this month.

You just have to educate the people and understand that they have to realize that, many times, perception is not reality. We’ve got players that do a lot of positive things in the community. – Flip Saunders

Read some of the transcribed interview by clicking this link. Check out the FULL interview from the ESPN.com page by clicking THIS link.While we’re here, I’m just going to plug something else.

John mentioned it briefly on the show, yesterday, but I published an article over at Hickory-High last Friday titled “Lacking an Alpha.” Over at Hickory-High, by using some of the newfound, available statistical data (If you’re unfamiliar with SportVU there’s a two-part series that was plugged in the aforementioned, Around the Interwebs, column that can teach you much, much more. Here’s Part One, and Part Two) I tried to determine why the Wolves play so well during the first three quarters, yet somehow, in some fashion, deteriorate in late game situations.

When the fourth quarter arrives; the Wolves pace rating significantly decreases — and in clutch situations — there has been very production from Rubio, J.J. Barea, and Kevin Love; perhaps the team is missing a leader.

Those sovereign few who are able to rise above peers are held to higher expectations because of their elevated status within that particular faction, or social group. No crowd, swarm, or rabble of humans have ever assembled to orchestrate a successful rebellion or necessary course of action against an opposing force without some form of leadership. Leaders are hard to come by, whereas followers are omnipresent. Yet, because great power begets great responsibility, I find it fair to assume that there are those capable of being on the forefront of a revolution, or even simply spearheading a simple group-oriented task, who are fearful of a leadership role and the duties that go along with it.

Read “Lacking an Alpha” by clicking this link.

Remember to download the show’s podcast using itunes. By clicking this link, you will be brought to the Sizzlin’ Podcast Page (where there is plenty of good content for listeners around the Twin Cities). Our show is, you guessed it, the BREAK THE HUDDLE show.

Reminders

  • Sometimes, we open the phone lines — FEEL FREE TO CALL US. The number to reach the studio is 612-235-6353.
  • To listen to us live via your mobile device, download the Sizzlin’ 99.9 Application for your iPhone or Android Device. Free, very user friendly, and the easiest way to tune-in to our live broadcasts.
  • This is the link to Sizzlin’s LiveStream station, that’s where you may VIEW and LISTEN to our show as we discuss the Timberwolves and other NBA matters. Now, it may or may not work on your mobile device, I’ve received mixed feedback. If you’re on a desktop, laptop, or a compatible mobile device — this is a unique and interactive way to watch/listen to our show.
  • Also, remember to interact with the show by following the Break the Huddle Twitter (@BTH_Show) and – while you’re at it – ‘Like’ us on Facebook (Break the Huddle Show).

Can’t say enough, and I speak for everyone (John, Billy) when I say this, how much we appreciate the support. Thank you, Listeners — we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.

Watch live streaming video from thepublicstation at livestream.com

Some More Plugs, of the Shameless Sort

Here is some work from Billy Bohl and I published within the previous few days.

Earlier this season, at A Wolf Among Wolves, Bohl introduced us to – what may be – the most unique and creative way to chart the location of where assists were made. Collecting Dimes: Kevin Love’s Assists. There, Bohl told us “Love’s relishing the opportunity to play with the most talented roster he’s been a part of since he arrived in Minnesota.” Well, can’t say I disagree. Before reading the following plug, become familiar with where Love Collects his Dimes.

Below, Bohl shows us that Love is still collecting dimes.

Lately, Love’s been more adept at passing out of the low block, especially when he’s playing center, which makes sense. Without Pekovic on the floor to patrol the paint, Love becomes a post-up threat. Even though he’s a skilled scorer in this spot on the court, he still looks for his teammates, whether it’s veering around him on hand-offs, or kicking the ball out to shooters.

Read the updated, ‘Dime Chart,’ by clicking this link. It’s nice to see Bohl’s work on the original Break the Huddle page again, but don’t ask me why. I just plug stuff.

Here, I plug myself. Don’t worry, there’s going to be less talking and more plugging. As you may remember from a recently plugged recap (from Bohl), Shabazz Muhammad’s performance during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns was big in the Wolves’ most recent victory.

Over at Hickory-High, I wrote about the origins of the “Free Shabazz” movement.

Finally, on a warm February night in Phoenix, whilst still in the midst of a cold, Minnesota winter —  and albeit the Wolves future remains bleak — Shabazz Muhammad was finally let free.

Click here to read Finally Free. While we’re here, over at Saving the Skyhook (Part of the Fansided Network) I broke some NBA related news. 

 

What Do You Guys Do Exactly?

Yes, the show is only once a week — but that doesn’t mean our hosts don’t sit at home and do nothing in between episodes. Here’s some recent coverage of the Wolves, in addition to some dunk videos compiled together before All-Star weekend. As much as we’d like to sit at home and do nothing all day, that’s just now how life works — enjoy.

From last night, the Wolves defeated the Phoenix Suns in an exciting game on the road. Billy Bohl recapped this one over at A Wolf Among Wolves, “Shabazzamatazz.”

It’s important for a professional sports team to have an identity, right?

Maybe that’s a tired cliche, pushed by sports media types looking to fill columns, game recaps and hours of airtime. After all, it seems like a funny concept: a group of individuals, well-compensated and competitive, sublimating their egos to the collective group, only to have the group assume an identity of its own. What function would it serve, other than a convenient talking point, a narrative driven by those outside the locker room?

Catchup on the most recent Timberwolves victory, as summarized by Bohl, by clicking here.

Yesterday on Episode 19 we discussed some of the injuries and how they’re affecting Rick Adelman’s rotation. Put it this way, I don’t think Billy is able to title the aforementioned recap, “Shabazzamatazz,” without some – unfortunate –  things happening in Shabazz Muhammad’s favor. That, however, is merely my opinion. Also from yesterday, I put together an injury update over at the TimberpupsBlog. 

Tonight, the Timberwolves are in Phoenix to take on the Suns for the third game on this a six game road trip. Still no sign of Nikola Pekovic or Kevin Martin, and Ronny Turiaf remains out indefinitely with a bruised right knee.

Before departing on this venture, Kevin Love’s Instagram account informed us that the Wolves resident Bruise Brother, Pekovic, would be returning sometime during this — pivotal — stretch of the season. Martin also remains sidelined with a broken left thumb, but saw a specialist in Los Angeles yesterday. After having things looked at Monday, as well as last Friday, @TWolves_PR has informed us that Martin is progressing well.

Read the rest of, “Wolves Injury Update,” by clicking here.

This one was fun. “The Isolation Blues” breaks down how well J.J. Barea is producing in possessions at the end of quarters. Here’s a spoiler: not very well.

There are many reasons why the Minnesota Timberwolves have underachieved thus far, leaving them mired six games out of the West’s final playoff spot, sporting a 25-28 record that doesn’t jive with their solid point differential. Some of the problems were expected – the Wolves struggle to generate stops late in close games, but they weren’t built to be a defensive juggernaut in the first place. Health has been a problem for both Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic – but a perusal of their injury histories indicates such a thing was likely to happen at some point in the season.

Read the rest of Bohl’s column, “Isolation Blues,” by clicking here.

All Star Weekend. 

The NBA All-Star Weekend has long since past, but here’s some coverage.

In preparation for the Dunk Contests, I threw together some of the best in-game dunks from the contestants up to that point during the season. You can find the original post at Hickory-High. (LOTS OF VIDEOS WITHIN)

Tonight will be the first time the NBA Slam Dunk Competition uses it’s new format to determine who will be considered the league’s best. In the competition’s opening round, contestants will have 90 seconds to complete as many dunks as they wish. This is followed by a Battle Round which will feature a dunker from each conference, a winner is selected — the loser, eliminated — after head-to-head dunk-off. The first team to win three battle rounds will be become champions.

Read the rest of, “Tonight’s Contestants,” by clicking here.  

Other recent recaps.

Until next time,

zb.

Working on the Weekend, Monday too

So, it’s Monday. The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t scheduled to play tonight, but they are tomorrow — here’s some things you may have missed if you weren’t able to catch any Wolves basketball over the weekend.

On Friday Target Center played host to the Memphis Grizzlies, who are one of the NBA’s hottest teams in the league right now. The game started slow, for both clubs, but the Grizz were able to execute things on the offensive end went into halftime with a 13-point lead. That’s when Kevin Love’s third quarter made things interesting. Unfortunately, the Wolves were unable to overcome some clutch shooting from Zach Randolph and Tayshaun Prince down the stretch and fell to Memphis, at home — 90-94. Read my (Zachary Bennett) recap of Wolves-Grizzlies by clicking here.

Billy Bohl recapped Saturday’s matchup between the Wolves and Atlanta Hawks. If you missed our last episode, we were joined by Robby Kalland – a contributor to the Hawks official team website – to discover a little more about the team he knows best.

See just how creative Billy was in his recap of Wolves-Hawks by clicking here.

 

Also, the shows fearless leader wrote about the Wolves chances of qualifying for the postseason. If my memory serves me correctly Bohl stated that he had the Wolves as one of the competitors for the 8th spot in the Western Conference on episode number one. Click here to see what he thinks now that we’re just over the halfway point of the season.

Bad Timing, Big Pek

Naturally, less than 24 hours after drafting and redrafting a post praising the recent play – and overall – play of Timberwolves center, Nikola Pekovic, the 290+ pound Montenegrin left Monday’s game ailing to an injured achilles tendon. Pek will see a doctor today and you’ll probably find myself, John, or Billy talking about it later, either on the show tonight, or over the Twitter Waves.

 

Pekovic has started every game for the Wolves this season. This may change if the big fella isn’t to play in tomorrow’s matchup – at home – with the New Orleans Pelicans.

After some mild consideration to alter the piece entirely, “Nikola Pekovic: Large Man, Large Contract, Large Impact on Wolves Success,” posted as scheduled, and unchanged, at Hickory-High this morning.  You can read it by clicking here.

Not only was the timing bad for the aforementioned Shameless Plug.

The Wolves Public Relations Department, as well as the entire Digital Media Team, took on another challenge only shortly after igniting the push to appoint Kevin Love as the PF for the Western Conference in the upcoming All-Star Game. An album titled, “The Bruise Brothers’ “All-Star Edition” released on vinyl yesterday. It has Side 42 and Side 14, and the compilations were sent to NBA coaches last weekend in a shrink-wrapped record with limited-edition poster. It included a letter from Frip Saunders, the “Bruise Brothers All-Star Edition Executive Producer.” It included this quote.

Dear Coach,

With chart-topping hits such as “30/15 Vision”, “It Happened At Shootaround”, “Be My Screen”, “Endless Love”, and “Should I Three or Should I Post”, Wolves forward Kevin Love and center Nikola Pekovic are fast-becoming the best male chart-topping duo since the likes of England Dan and John Ford Coley, Seals and Crofts, and Hall and Oates.

Ok, so, all kidding aside, it is nearly difficult to ignore what kind of season each of these two big men are compiling here in Minnesota. The two have combined to have more 20/10 games, more double-doubles, and more second-chance points than any other duo in the NBA this season.

The fans of the NBA have already spoken and voted Kevin Love into the game as a starter. What is happening without much fanfare, though, is the emergence of Nikola Pekovic as one of the top centers in the NBA. Under the former all-star voting format, it would be hard to ignore Pekovic as one of the Western Conference reserves at center. He LEADS THE LEAGUE in second-chance scoring and points in the paint. Over his last 25 games, he is averaging 20.7 points per game, which ranks second among centers in the NBA.

If you truly want the best players in the Western Conference represented in New Orleans, I hope you’ll consider voting for Nikola Pekovic.

Bruise Brothers All-Star Edition Executive Producer,

Flip Saunders

Album-Front-225x300

Read more about the the Blue’s Brother record from Andy GrederJon Krawczynski and Sean Highkin.