First off, only five players, (Marko Jaric, Mark Madsen, Randy Foye, Craig Smith and Rashad McCants), remain from last seasons' 32-50 squad. Furthermore, and as if losing KG was not doomsday all in its own, Minnesota also traded its second and third leading scorers, (Ricky Davis and Mark Blount), from last season to Miami on Oct. 24 in a deal that sent Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac and Wayne Simien to Minnesota. Good trade? I think not! Walker is not exactly John Basedow when it comes to conditioning, Doleac is not what I would call a real solid front court player, and Simien was released on Monday.
And things do not get much better for Minnesota when I analyze the injury report.
Randy Foye, an NBA all-rookie team selection last season, is expected to be out several weeks because of a lingering knee injury. Telfair, Jaric and Greg Buckner are expected to assume the ball handling while Foye, who averaged 10.1 points last season, is sidelined. That leaves the Wolves placing nearly all of their offensive weight on the shoulders of power forward Al Jefferson. And while Jefferson is a beast in the making, there is no way that he is going to be enough fire power for the Wolves to overcome the defense of Marcus Camby and the rest of the Denver frontcourt.
Plus, the Timberwolves will be starting Theo Ratliff tonight and for those of you who do not remember the damage ‘Melo did on him last year here is a little reminder for you, Theo, and the rest of the Nuggets Nation.