The Minnesota Timberwolves want Nikola Pekovic in the All-Star Game (Video)

The Timberwolves Public Relations Department made a huge push trying to vote Kevin Love in as a starter in the upcoming NBA All-Star Game. Love earned 34,013 more All-Star Game votes than Dwight Howard between January 9th and 23rd. Howard led Love on the 9th by 26,085 votes, but finished 7,928 behind the Wolves power forward.

There’s a new goal in Minnesota: Get Nikola Pekovic into the All-Star Game.

A vinyl record titled, “The Bruise Brothers’ “All-Star Edition” released on the 28th. The album is double-sided, Side 42 (Love’s number) and Side 14 (Pekovic’s number), included multiple musical compilations and was sent to coaches around the league. It included a limited-edition poster.

bruise-bros-1

In the package was a letter from the, “Bruise Brothers All-Star Edition Executive Producer.”

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

During the Wolves meeting, yesterday, against the New Orleans Pelicans — this video was shown to the Target Center. It included an illustration from artist Maddison Bond.

Aside from Love, Pekovic (Big Pek) has been arguably the Wolves best player. He’s averaging over 21 points and shooting 54 percent over his last 20 games, however — Pek has been sidelined with an injured achilles. He left Monday night’s game after playing only seven-minutes of the first quarter and had been feeling pain in his achilles for the past week. Pek has played an averaged of 32-and-a-half minutes per game this season, a career high. If the move by the Wolves PR department is successful, it would make Pekovic an All-Star for the first time in his career.

Help send Pek to the All-Star Game by using the hashtag #PekGoesToo

 

If you’re interested in reading about how well Pekovic was playing with the Wolves, and what his importance to the team could mean long-term — read this post over at Hickory-High. (Shameless self-plug)

All 16 of Ricky Rubio’s Assists (Video)

Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers ventured to Minnesota in search of their first road win against a Timberwolves team they defeated, at home, just nine days prior to Wednesday. The Wolves point guard, Ricky Rubio, probably didn’t hear -or care- about the Cavs aspirations yesterday.

Kevin Martin was marked as inactive before the game due experiencing flu-like symptoms, and Minnesota needed to find a way replace his productivity if they were going to get revenge on the Cavs in front of the home crowd at the Target Center. Although Rubio, who’s only averaging 10 points per game, wasn’t going to score 30 to compensate for Martin’s missing 24 points per game — he personally made sure his teammates were in good position to pick up the slack.

By the end of the opening quarter the clinic was in full swing, Rubio already tallied eight assists and was ‘ooo’ing and ahhh’ing’ as only the 23 year old Spaniard can do. At the end of the half it was Rubio, and not “Mr. Double-Double” Kevin Love, who had double-digit figures in two of the qualifying categories; the Wolves flashy point guard had 12 points and 10 assists at the half.

It’s almost as if Minnesota’s head coach, Rick Adelman, rallied the team in the locker room before taking the floor in the third quarter and said,

“Let Ricky set the record, boys”

Only, that’s not at all what happened — Rubio came off the floor in the third quarter with 16 assists, one short of a Timberwolves franchise record.

Watch and enjoy.

On Paper Comparison: Kevin Love vs Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks venture to the North Star State to face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight, 7:00 CST.

Vince Carter has been suspended for the game but the Mavs’ main attraction, the one called Dirk, is ready to go — he’ll match-up against the Wolves double-double machine, Kevin Love, tonight. The two are both long and tall forwards that prefer to stretch the floor rather than bang-around down low. And although Dirk’s accolades leave Love’s existence virtually meaningless, the two have very similar playing styles and I thought it’d be fun to compare. Remember; Dirk is an NBA Champion, an 11-time all-star and playing his 16th season in the league.

 

Love is in his sixth season, a two-time all star and hopes to lead the Wolves to the team’s first postseason appearance in nearly a decade — it would be Love’s first.

Here’s there lifetime numbers.

Rk

Player

G

MP

FG%

3P%

2P%

FT%

ORB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

1

Kevin Love

292

31.9

.449

.349

.473

.813

3.9

2.0

0.6

0.5

1.9

2.3

17.5

2

Dirk Nowitzki

1113

36.1

.475

.382

.497

.878

1.2

2.6

0.9

0.9

1.9

2.5

22.6

 

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 11/8/2013.

 

You can see Dirk’s been a more prolific scorer, accurate shooter and willing passer through his career than Love but ‘K-Love’ has the edge in rebounding.

Let’s take a look back to when Dirk and Love were prior to entering their sixth seasons and compare the two again.

 

Rk

Player

From

To

MP

FG%

3P%

2P%

FT%

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

1

Kevin Love

2009

2014

31.9

.449

.349

.473

.813

12.2

2.0

0.6

0.5

1.9

2.3

17.5

2

Dirk Nowitzki

1999

2004

35.9

.464

.372

.498

.853

8.3

2.4

1.0

1.0

1.8

2.8

20.4

 

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 11/8/2013.

 

If you were asked to choose between a 25-year old Love and Dirk, whom do you pick?

From the table we can tell that Dirk is a pure shooter, he’s carried this reputation with him his entire career. Will Love be able to continue amassing the type of rebounding numbers? He is after-all, Mr. Double-Double.

The last time these two played head-to-head was February 10th of 2012. The Mavs defeated the Wolves 104-97, here’s what they did on the stat sheet.

 

 

Basic Box Score Stats

Starters

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

3P

3PA

3P%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

+/-

Dirk Nowitzki

35:04

11

19

.579

4

7

.571

7

10

.700

1

3

4

3

1

3

1

3

33

+22

Team Totals

240

39

90

.433

9

21

.429

17

23

.739

8

30

38

25

16

8

18

28

104

 

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 11/8/2013.

 

 

 

Basic Box Score Stats

Starters

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

3P

3PA

3P%

FT

FTA

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

+/-

Kevin Love

40:34

9

18

.500

0

3

.000

14

14

1.000

4

8

12

3

0

0

5

2

32

-14

Team Totals

240

32

79

.405

6

23

.261

27

31

.871

13

34

47

20

7

1

27

21

97

 

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table

Generated 11/8/2013.

 

Love was a monster getting to the line, where he was a perfect 14 of 14 while Dirk scored 12 points from his outside shooting and managed to hit 7 of 10 from the charity stripe.

Tonight, expect Love to match — or at least try to match, Dirk’s output from long-distance but continue his early campaign for MVP. Dirk – who’s averaging nearly 20 points per game this season on 52 percent three-point shooting – is seemingly making his ‘last stand’ with the Mavs, hoping for one final push at another title. To help with the last-stand, Monta “Have-it-all” Ellis was added during the off season — Ellis leads the team in scoring with 24 points per game, he’s not afraid to shoot the ball.

When their careers are over, IF (Huge if) the Wolves can put a roster of contending players around Love, and he remains healthy, it’s likely we could see an even more prolific Dirk that we’ve already witnessed since the German entered the league in 1998.

For now let’s sit back, relax and decide which commercial featuring the two forwards is funnier.

 

 

Los Angeles Clippers: On Notice Tonight

Blake Griffin stated prior to the season that the Los Angeles Clipper alias of Lob City doesn’t exist anymore, he was correct — it’s a Lobtropolis that surfaced from the San Andreas Fault line. Saving the Skyhook’s own, Jack Maloney, showed us how Griffin squashed his own attempt to change the team’s identity. If you missed it, or are not the type to click links, here’s your shortcut.

Griffin is going to be worth the price of admission to anyone catching the Los Angeles Clippers, live, this season.

 

Today is a new day and the Sacramento Kings would be happy to humble “Lobtropolis”, their chance is tonight at 10:00PM (EST). It’s the third and second game of the season for the Kings and ‘Clips, respectively — crazier things have, and will, continue happening throughout the season.

The Clippers opened the season with a ‘road game’ against the Kobe-less Lakers, who stunned everyone including the home crowd by defeating the favorite to win the Western Conference 116-103. The team proceeded up the coast and took Oracle Arena by storm behind a 42 point performance by Chris Paul, which was remarkably dwarfed by Griffin’s, somewhat, usual highlight reel. They head to Sactown to finish the in-state road trip on a back-to-back, their first of the season.

Staples Center played host to the final preseason game for both clubs. Led by Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento scored 37 in the second quarter and withstood a late rally from the Clippers bench — defeating identity-less Los Angeles, 110-100.

David Stern was in attendance for the Kings’ home opener, and victory, against the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets’ Randy Foye missed a contested 22 foot jumper from the corner and the packed Sleep Train Arena roared — their team was back.

“I’m a third-generation Sacramentan, and you don’t like somebody taking something from you,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on the city retaining it’s NBA Franchise.

Inspired play from the bench compensated for the scoring offseason acquisition Greivis Vasquez wasn’t providing. However to his credit, the Venezuelan guard did have 12 assists. Thomas scored 27, including 8 of the teams final 15 points last friday, and despite being talented enough to start at point guard, Kings Head Coach Michael Malone started him on the bench. Malone is a defensive minded coach and starting the 5-foot 9-inch guard probably isn’t something he’s thrilled about, but Thomas said the right things to the media yesterday.

“We’re working for something different,” guard Isaiah Thomas said. “We’re trying to be a defensive team.”

Can the people in the old city of Sacramento bring enough energy to help prevent the spreading of Lobtropolis? Consider the Clippers a team on notice, for tonight anyway.