Minnesota Timberwolves

I’m Free!

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I’m a free agent now. I can make my own decision where I want to play. Let’s see who’s offering me a contract!

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The Ultimate Showdown

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The Timberwolves welcomed us to their building, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for Daniel vs. Boone, Round Four.

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M-V-P!

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Minnesota is in town tonight, and I’m torn. For one, Owen Boone is out so this should be a snap, but on the other, Boone being out makes this kind of anticlimactic. We’ll see how it goes.

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The Final Four

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It’s time for the final four games of the year. I decided I owed I to the city of Denver to get to the playoffs. My ankle is still screwed up, so this is going to be tough. Up first is Oklahoma City.

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Bitten by Boone

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Down we go again. I did everything I could, but also may have tried a little too hard. However, the real reason we lost wears #24 for the T-Wolves.

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Wounded and Woken

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Let’s open with this picture. Yes, I got hurt. It put me out for a few games, but we’re not at that point yet. Patience.

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The Big Four?

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Our next game was at home with a hungry young T-Wolves team. This would be my most important game so far. I finally learned where I stand as far as carrying a team. Is it good or bad? Read on.

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A New High

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Two more games down! I scored two points and had three assists in a comeback win over the Nets in New Jersey. I was on the bench for most of the comeback, but still, we won.
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I got out for two layups against the Timberwolves, leading to me setting a new career high in points for a single game – 6. I know, I know… you want my autograph now. Just wait until I score 10! I played my most minutes so far, 11, but we lost. Those two facts couldn’t be related, could they?

A reporter after the game asked me if I would be ok moving up or down in the lineup, presumably to shooting guard or… I dunno, floor mopper, I guess. Sorry, that’s all I can think of. Point guard is the lowest slot in the lineup, right? How would I move down? If she meant on the team, I’m the last guy on the end of the bench. I can’t move down from there, either. In any case I answered professionally, mostly because ‘WTF’ wasn’t an option. My teammates and our fans liked that, but the national audience was a little less impressed.

Can’t make ‘em all happy, I guess.

- Rick Daniel

Hounding the Wolves

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We finally won, beating Minnesota 112-103. Our win was helped greatly by solid defense, and that was easy to come by since the T-Wolves seemed to have exactly one offense play: Johnny Flynn tosses it to rookie shooting guard Wayne Bush on the left post and he throws up a turn around jumper no matter what. It became so predictable that I started tipping almost every pass. I also blocked one of Bush’s jumpers, and influenced a handful of others. I had a solid game with 15 points, 1 rebound, 9 assists, a steal and a block, and also no turnovers. I shot 53% for the game, hitting my only three. My most commended asset in the post-game breakdown was my defense, but when your opponent runs one play, that’s not hard. I did come to one conclusion this game, though.

This team will only go as far as I can carry it.

Why is that? Because when I play well, like this game and last, we have a chance to win. When I don’t, we lose. Badly. I’ve long stated that my goal is not to win games for my teams, but rather not to lose them. Now, I need to step up and try to be the catalyst each and every game. The big problem is that I think I prefer being a shooting guard. Let Jameer handle the point, and I’ll roam, setting picks and finding open shots like I did in the second half of this game. I ‘ve gotten stronger now, so I can set picks,  fight through picks, and post up smaller guards. Speaking of guards…

Stan Van Gundy is an idiot. He’s been sticking 5’10” Brevin Knight in at small forward all season (apparently taking the ‘small’ part far too seriously), but this game he really stressed me out. Our on-court five in the third quarter looked like this: Jameer Nelson, me, Brevin Knight, Earl Watson and Marcin Gortat. Yes, that’s four point guards and a power forward. What were we supposed to do, out-run them? We were crushing them in the half court and locking down the paint on D, and that doesn’t happen with four midgets and one big man!!! *sigh*

I hope that that’s the last we see of that particular experiment.

- Rick Daniel

Magic Lose Again

RDaniel_QuickjLittle update here from my game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. I beat Johnny Flynn off the dribble time and again, plus my mid-range jump shot was on, so I racked up a career-high 21 points on this night. I only had 11 assists, though, but that was largely due to my massive amounts of bench time.

I now dread going to the pine. When I was benched , halfway through the 2nd quarter, we were up by one. When I was brought back in after the half, we were down by 13. Huh?? What did they do while I was taking a breather? Worse yet, when I was benched for the first half of  the fourth quarter, their lead was blown up to 21. I never want to take a break again. We lost by 27, by the way.

RDaniel_WolfDrive After the game, I cultivated some new ball-handling moves. I’m now an All-Star ball handler. Yes! In other news, I’m now third in the league in assists with 10.8 apg (behind Rajon Rondo with 15 and Jason Kidd with 11). I’m also second in the league in steals with three per contest (behind only Gerald Wallace, who averages 4.3 spg). Later.

- Rick Daniel

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