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Can the Timberwolves hold on until Jimmy Butler returns?

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Phil Naessens returns to Sonics Rising... and he is excited to talk NBA Basketball with you again!

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Sonics Rising!!

It’s your old friend Phil. You remember, the guy who talked Fantasy Basketball with you for a couple of seasons. I’m really excited to be back at Sonics Rising and even more excited that the great people of the City of Seattle will finally get their/your beloved Supersonics back!!

The thing is we don’t know how or when this is going to happen; all we know for SURE is something positive is going to happen and sooner than we think……so we need to be ready for their return.

I’ve spoken to plenty of Supersonics fans since 2008 and I know how tough it was for you to lose the Sonics…..for some it was akin to losing a family member.

Some of you probably stopped following the NBA entirely, others maybe watch the playoffs and probably more than a few brave souls wanted to cheer for those folks in the Southeast but got tired of interacting with their fanbase.

Sonics Rising is back in business talking hoops much more often than we’ve been doing and thanks to Kevin, Chris, Paul, Taylor and others Sonics Rising is a safe, healthy spot to talk hoops……and I am here to help them.

It’s good to be back!!!

Best Games to Watch in Week 19

I write a weekly Fantasy Basketball related posting and this is an excerpt that I will post every week during the regular season.

Monday February 26: Houston Rockets at the Utah Jazz. If the Jazz want to make the playoffs they are going to need to win big games and none would be larger than beating the number one seed Rockets on Monday night.

Tuesday February 27: Washington Wizards at the Milwaukee Bucks. This is a possible first round playoff matchup and a nice way to spend a Tuesday night.

Wednesday February 28: Milwaukee Bucks at the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are fighting for a playoff spot and have a nice opportunity against a Bucks team on the second game of a back to back and third game in four days.

Thursday March 1: Minnesota Timberwolves at the Portland Trail Blazers. This one is another possible first round playoff matchups and a great way to end a Thursday night.

Friday March 2: Charlotte Hornets at the Philadelphia 76ers. If the Hornets have any hope of making the playoffs a win in Philly on Friday wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Saturday March 3: Boston Celtics at the Houstons Rockets. The number one seed in the West Rockets take on the number two seed in the East Celtics in what should be a great way to spend a Saturday night.

Sunday March 4: Atlanta Hawks at the Phoenix Suns. After all these great games with possible playoff implications we end the week between two teams with fighting for dead last in the NBA.

What will the Minnesota Timberwolves do without Jimmy Butler?

The Timberwolves haven’t been to the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons; this offseason they went out and signed Free Agent Jeff Teague, traded for Jimmy Butler, shot up to the three seed in the West and the entire basketball world started to pay attention to the Timberwolves.

Jimmy Butler hurt his knee on Friday night and from what has been reported Butler might return in time for the playoffs.

Butler has been the man in Minnesota ever since vowing to take on the T-Wolves scoring burden. Since that vow the Timberwolves are 29-21 with Butler leading the team in points (22.2), minutes (37.1) and steals (1.9). That is a tremendous amount of production lost when Butler landed awkwardly in Houston Friday night.

The question on the minds of many is can the Timberwolves hang on without him?

The T-Wolves knocked off the Bulls in their first game without Butler and with nine games remaining against teams with sub .500 records (15-10 this season) this Timverwolves team should be able to hang on to the top spot in the Northwest Division. If they can manage to win say five of the nine remaining games against the teams with above .500 records (22-16 against above .500 teams) the T-Wolves could realistically hang onto the third seed.

The schedule is certainly in their favor, they still have players like Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony Towns, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague so they should be okay…….what do you guys think?

Poll

Can the Timberwolves Hang on to the Third Seed in the West?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Yes
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    No
    (3 votes)
  • 57%
    No they can’t but they will still reach the playoffs
    (36 votes)
  • 1%
    No they won’t and will fall to the ninth seed
    (1 vote)
63 votes total Vote Now

NCAA Scoring Champions Becoming NBA Stars

There has been plenty of hype surrounding University of Oklahoma point guard Trae Young and plenty of comparisons to Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. Currently Young is leading the nation in scoring and assists and depending on just who you ask is a top five pick yn the NBA Draft.

The talk is because Young is having a better Freshman season than Curry did he is a shoe in top five pick. That is certainly a compelling argument but whether it’s true or not remains to be seen.

The numbers Young has put up, especially early in the season, are astonishing. So is his 38 percent Usage Rate. It makes sense that a player jacking up 22 shots a night would average nearly 30 points per game.

Curry didn’t put up the impressive numbers during his freshman season as Young has however Curry was no slouch either; he averaged 21 points on 15 shots per game on about eight percent less Usage plus his defense was roughly 16 points lower than Young.

If he is frustrated by college kids and college coaching schemes and can’t seem to “dictate” the way his team wins (and they don’t usually win) what’s going to happen when he goes up against professional scouting staffs whose sole job is to devise a scheme to stop him? What happens when he faces longer more athletic and definitely more experienced players?

The last person to lead the nation in scoring and continuing on to play a significant role in the NBA was Curry in 2008-2009.

In fact since 2008-2009 the only player to lead the nation in scoring and even on an NBA roster is Doug McDermott who is now playing for the Dallas Mavericks with prior stops in Chicago and Oklahoma City.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Young but something he said recently has caused me to question how much competitive fire he really has. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this;

So why even discuss a player like Young on a Seattle Supersonics website? One site I looked at last week had Young going to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are one of the teams rumored to be leaving Memphis when their lease runs out……and next week we will be talking all about the Memphis Grizzlies.

If there is something you would like to see in this space or a question you would like answered or you just want to talk about your Fantasy Hoops team send me a message on Twitter @flashtennis31