What a great ride so far. We are riding a four game winning streak and are three games above .500 as we are about to face what some consider the worst team in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves. But, I hope the Knicks are not fooled because the TWolves have been playing the good teams very tightly despite their record. They are not as bad as their record. To provide us with the TWolves intel (via Q&A) we need to enjoy and appreciate this game, we caught up with our friend College Wolf, the co-founder of TWolves blog, the undisputed best blog ever of the worst team ever. You know we love CW, a frequent visitor at KFB, because he keeps it real and real fun. Make sure you visit his blog home, give him a friendly shout out and check out our answers to their Q&A about tonights game in Blogging With Your Frenemies.
Knicks Fanatics Blog: CW, over the past year or so, I think we've had a higher opinion of the TWolves than you have. Have you had any reasons to be more hopeful about the work product of Kurt Rambis and David Kahn?
CW: First off, yes, because we overreact a lot on TWB. Overall deep down somewhere in my NBA-loving-soul, I'm still positive and hopeful for the team. I mean, we truly are leagues better (and more athletic/exciting) than the past few seasons. We at TWB just tend to overreact initially at times, because we are all so sick and tired of having such a frustrating team to follow. So I don't always show it, but yes, I have hopes for this team and the future of our players. I just can't always bring myself to blog about "being hopeful", when so many things always seem to go wrong for the team. Add Rubio to run things as our floor general, and then we just really need an alpha type scorer... and this team will really be looking good going forward.
KFB: Who is this masked Darko? Why is it that all of a sudden he is no longer a bust but busting butt?
CW: Darko is a certified S-T-U-D.
Sorry he came from you guys, which probably makes you all hate what he's doing now... but someone just needed to give him a chance and treat him positively as a human being (unlike Larry Brown and D'Antoni failed to do.) I think he's always had the skills or abillity to do what he's doing now, and he's still only 25 years old. He's a legit seven footer (7'1") and like 275 pounds, yet he can move like a SF at times. Enter Kahn + Rambis + Opportunity. There you go. Comeback player of the year.
KFB: What can we expect from the Twolves Offensively?
CW: You can expect lots and lots of shots (and misses), as the Wolves have the top pace in the league. You can (unfortunately) expect lots of long jumpers that will probably miss, although that's where Love has been excelling cleaning up the glass. You can expect Darko and Love to play hard on the interior, and unless you guys make some changes it probably won't go well again. I'm definitely not predicting another 30-30 from Love, but I think it's fair to say the Knicks don't exactly have the best/strongest interior defense in the league. Amare needs to play hard, and not get silly fouls. If he doesn't give his all, or gets in foul trouble again, expect big days from Darko and Love again. Other than that, we don't have much offensively besides Beasley (who can be great trying to emulate the "Alpha" role), but sometimes also disappears and makes really stupid mistakes. Our PG's are pretty terrible, and our wings aren't much to write home about. Wes Johnson plays well at times, but he's still just a rookie.
KFB: What can we expect defensively from the Twolves?
CW: Expect to score a lot of points. Other than Darko (league leader in blocks biotches!), our defense is pitiful. Like, worst in the league pitiful.
KFB: What must the Knicks do to beat the TWolves and vice-a-versa?
CW: Just play your game. You guys have been really good lately. You had us down 20 last game at the Target Center, and inexplicably let us come back. With this game in New York, the Puppies won't have the benefit of the crowd on their side, and we are brutal on the road (one road win in the last 300 days or whatever.)
For the Wolves to win against any average team or better, we pretty much have to play perfectly on offense, and lock down our defense (as best we can.) No stupid turnovers or fouls, and help out (as a team) on defense while making sure our guys are not losing sight of the opponents or responsibilities as well. I may be making this sound bleak for us and an easy win for you guys... but 30 point victory against the Cavs aside, we just haven't been a very good team this year. Especially defensively and on the road.
It could end up being a good game, but I look for a high scoring win to the Knicks Monday night.