Tuesday, June 10, 2008

12/11/07 Minnesota T'Wolves @ Chicago Bulls

Tonight, the up and coming Minnesota Timberwolves [8-4] look to defeat the heavily favored Chicago Bulls [9-6].
Here's your starting lineups for this anticipating match-up:

Chicago Bulls / Minnesota Timberwolves

PG Micheal Jordan / Jason Terry

SG Ben Gordon / Cedric Batista

SF Loul Deng / Tracy McGrady

PF Tyus Thomas / Al Jefferson

C Joakim Noah / Dario Delgado

Ace Hardware Key Match-up of the Night
Michael Jordan (15.3ppg)(3.3asstpg) vs. The Entire T'Wolves Roster

Honestly who can contain this man who has been tearing through defenders, showing them what the '96 Bulls were all about. There is not a defender that the Wolves have that will contain MJ tonight unless he lets them. Which of course, won't happen. MJ averages 15 points per game, and and along with Gordon producing 10 ppg, the Bulls are highly favored.

Things start off slow at the United Center, as Jordan dished it in to Joakim Noah in the post, who scored the opening basket over Dario Delgado. The T'Wolves, trying to dictate the game's tempo lob a risky pass upcourt, and out of sheer luck McGrady catches the pass, although he fails to capitalize in the two on one fast break.

From there things just got bad, as the Wolves forced turnover after turnover, ran the fastbreak, only to miss the layup. In the first quarter alone Cedric Batista, sophomore out of Memphis, missed 5 layups, one contested.

It seemed that the 1st quarter was the Wolves only chance at dominating the game's pace, as Jordan came out to open the second quarter slowly jogging up the court after an inbound pass. He quickly demonstrated he can do more than drive as he immediately threw up a long 3, walking back down the court before it even touched the rim (he made it). The score at 4:43: 18-6.

Looking to get the Wolves back in the game was T-Mac and Brewer, Brewer subbing in for Jefferson who, so far has produced nothing but 2 rebounds. The Bulls subbed in Larry "Sidekick Brick" Hughes for Ben Gordon who so far had 8 points and a amazing 8 assists.

At 3:59 things just got ridiculous as the Wolves still hadn't scored at 29-6. Jordan was just putting on a clinic along with Larry Hughes 3-4 from the field.

Many Wolves fans probably turned their TV/Radios off after the missed layup counter went from 3 to 8. Horrible shot selection continued as the first half ended, 31-6.

Wittman decides to start off the second with a different approach as he starts off with Rashad McCants running the point, Sebastian Telfair at the two, Corey Brewer and Jefferson as forwards and keeping Delgado in at center.

Of course he had nothing to lose, it was a huge gamble putting these guys in, but it certainly paid off. Though some say that timing paid a role in the T'Wolves run, as Jordan and Hughes, Chicago's big scorers for the night both rode the bench for most of the 3rd.

The Wolf Pack seemingly began the process of making a comeback, going on a 15-0 run before Chris Duhon reanimated the United Center with a engaging pump fake followed by a clean 3 pointer.

Next play, McCants gets flashy, crossing over a Joakim Noah (Oh wow, big accomplishment there buddy) on a uptempo play where Noah somehow got stuck defending the two guard. McCants easily capitalizes, with a smooth layup.

At 1:54 the score was 27-38, the Wolves within 11.

Jordan and Hughes check in, along with Andres Nocioni, a true sharpshooter. Feeling confident in his current roster on the court, Whittman makes no changes. Experimenting I guess you would call it, on who to put on Jordan who immediately drove to the basket with a devastating windmill finish during the Bulls next possession. Getting cocky, Jordan goes for a inbound swipe to add insult to injury, but turns up empty. Taking advantage, Telfair charges up the court throws a bullet lead pass to Brewer, who lets it go through his hands. Tough break, and heart breaking way to end the 3rd, where the score is 45-30. The Timberwolves just can't catch up.

Opening the 4th, all Timberwolves starters are out on the floor with a new attitude. Instead of a GS Warriors esque run and gun tempo, they go for a Pistons esque slow pace. By Pistons esque, I mean running the screen. Poor example, but for lack of better vocabulary, I'll stick with it. The T'Wolves set at least 8 screens within the first two minutes and it proved to be smart as they came within 7, the closest they would get all night before Jordan and Hughes demolished any hopes of a comeback.

Swatting Delgado's lay in, not fooled by the up and under was Joakim Noah, who registered 9 rebounds in the game. This defensive showcase gave the Bulls a great opportunity on the fastbreak as Jordan and Hughes exploited a two on one with McGrady who opted not to foul Jordan on an alley oop.

Jordan's second windmill for the night pretty much summed it up as the Bulls went on to record their 10th win in a walk away win, 61-49.


If you watched this game, you may have noticed that the Timberwolves weren't sure of what tempo they wanted to run the game at. With such a new and young roster on his hands, it'll be hard for Randy Whittman to craft an identity for his team. The Spurs have their Defense, Warriors are strictly run and gun, Boston is full of sharpshooters, but what about Minnesota?

We have a lot of talent this year, but it just isn't clicking. Rumor has it that if someone doesn't step up, someone will be taking a walk to the trading block.

Two weeks from now I'll be covering the entire span of what has been dubbed Rivalry week, as the T'Wolves take on the hot 76ers, Wizards, and the [current] best of the west, Lakers. Until then, be sure to check the Minnesota Sentinel online, where Doug Peters and I will give any important updates going on in the league. It's a long wait until you get more Wolves coverage, but it'll be worth it. That's the bottom line, and this is Paul Lester wishing you, and the Timberwolves a great week.

- Paul Lester

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Minnesota Sentinel Online Mid-Season Video Update: December 9th, 07 "M V P"

Short Video Concerning The MVP Race.
These Guys Are Running The League!

And This Is A Video That Has Just Surfaced From Last Summer. This Is A Dunk Contest Held In Detroit, MI For A Charity Event. This Occured Before All The Major Trades of This Season. Slight Editing Was Applied. Enjoy!

NBA Fan Created Video of the Week: [EXPLICIT LYRICS]

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Minnesota Sentinel Online Pre-Season Update

Minnesota Sentinel - Sports B4

August 2007

NBA Finals ‘08

Minnesota TimberWolves(2) vs. Chicago Bulls(1)

Los Angles Lakers(1) vs. Chicago Bulls(1)

San Antonio Spurs(3) vs. Chicago Bulls(1)

Is any of the above possible? This is the season that Michael Jordan is set to makes his 4th debut on the hardwood, but it seems that his NBA Championship may be out of reach now, as we have the best talent to ever grace the court in the Western Conference this year. The Eastern Conference, is subpar this year, with only the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers looking to be contenders this year. Of course one could argue that the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards looked good last year, however I heavily doubt that they could even win two games against a Western Conference Champion. Sure, I am biased, if I can make one prediction, the New York Knicks certainly aren’t going into the post season. Now, quickly back to topic-

The Minnesota T’Wolves certainly came up big over the summer, scoring #1 draft pick in the lottery, picking up Dario Delgado*, from Kansas. This young man, standing at 6′11, is KG all over again. Now we can talk about Delgado all day, how he is the possible R.O.Y. (Rookie of the Year) and how he could decimate 1/2 of the leagues best defenders in the post, but we won’t. Instead we’re going to talk about Eddie Chase, T’Wolves owner, entering the running for Associated Press’ Executive of the Year due to his recent trades pick-ups. Working with Head Coach Randy Whittman, here’s what Chase came up with this summer:

- Trading PG Randy Foye for Chicago’s Sophomore Sixth Man SG Cedric Batista

- Giving up their #1 Draft Pick and Ryan Gomes for Dallas PG Jason Terry

- Giving up their #2 Draft Pick along with Marco Jaric for Houston SF Tracy McGrady

I’m guessing that a majority of our readers who just read the above can’t believe what they just read. Possibly rereading the last sentence a minimum of 5 times. Yes, T-Mac. How is this even possible, when all the Rockets get is Jaric and a draft pick? The answer is fairly simple: locker room discontent.

Both Yao and Alston have voiced their discontent with McGrady, feeling that he doesn’t care about the team. Now Alston isn’t exactly the Rockets catalyst of offense, but he is important. Maybe a little more important than McGrady though, because in last years playoffs**, McGrady couldn’t get the Rockets past the 1st round against the Utah Jazz failing to even win a game until a injured Rafer Alston returned. Yao, who’s importance to the team doesn’t even have to be explained, recently voiced to head coach Rick Adelman that he felt McGrady didn’t show remorse after they were expelled from the playoffs 4-2. Reportedly, Yao saw McGrady laughing on the phone outside the locker room.

Regardless, T-Mac is a welcome addition to the T’Wolves. This is the Wolves’ starting lineup as of now:

PG Jason Terry

SG Cedric Batista

SF Tracy McGrady

PF Al Jefferson

C Dario Delgado

While the line-up for the San Antonio Spurs hasn’t changed, they are still a contender, along with the Los Angles Lakers who haven’t made any changes besides all-star center Pau Gasol. (see article #245 for more on the Gasol trade)

Nothing much to report in the Eastern Conference, besides the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics who are becoming powerhouses. Although it’s getting kind of dull to see the Pistons dominating up until the E.C. Finals where they’ve began a tradition of either shaving points or just not giving a []. Their domination is completely understandable looking at their starting 5, and their top notch bench. Rodney Stuckey is becoming quite the sixth man, along with Amir Johnson. These two are the future of the Pistons so be on the lookout.

Jordan’s Chicago Bulls aren’t going to have it easy this year. It’s going to be a real battle just getting into the post-season some say. However I believe that the Bulls will finish at a solid 4th seed. Unfortunately age isn’t the only factor working against Jordan, as the league is looking better than before. He’ll have to step it up, not just as a leader, but as a teacher as well. He’s even had a change of position as you’ll see below, moving from the two to the one.

Chicago’s lineup:

PG Michael Jordan

SG Larry Hughes [interesting choice to keep Ben Gordon on the bench ]

SF Loul Deng

PF Tyus Thomas or Drew Gooden (Undetermined)

C Joakim Noah

The Boston Celtics of course, coming off a series of big trades, Robert Epstein and David Epstein are giving Chase a run for his money concerning the Executive of the Year Award. The beautiful lineup for Boston:

PG Rajan Rondo

SG Ray Allen

SF Paul “The Truth” Pierce

PF Kevin Garnett

C Kendrick Perkins

(For more on the details (the who, what, and when) of the trades involved see previous article #242)

In a rather quickened conclusion due to deadline timing, This is the year where the NBA’s most successful slogan should really shine:

NBA: Where Amazing Happens

- Paul Lester

Journalist’s Note:

Sadly this will be my last article until December 11th, 2007 because of family affairs and ill placed vacation time. When we pick back up, we’ll be in the first quarter of the 07-08 season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be squaring off against the Chicago Bulls.


* Delgado and Batista are both NBA 2K8 created players, meaning he does not to the (author’s knowledge) exist.

** Last years playoffs is actually this years playoffs. It’s just a form of a time paradox I guess. Not sure if that’s the correct term or not though.


Contact Information


Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Michael Jordan Set To Return In 4 Years! - Minnesota Sentinel Archive July 2003

Important Things To Note:

+ This is all fake, and w/o any NBA knowledge, it will be hard to distinguish actual NBA happenings, so if any questions, contact the author @ peanut_bryant@yahoo.com

+ Although this post, and 1/2 of the next will concern the goings on of the NBA as a league, the purpose of The Association: Where Amazing Happens is to follow the trials and tribulations of the Minnesota Timberwolves told from Paul Lester’s, journalist, perspective.

+ All of these games, and goings on of the league will be occurring via my playing of NBA 2K8 on the Xbox 360 gaming system. Therefore, I’m open to suggestions concerning the direction of my team.

+ The main purpose of this project is to improve on my writing skills, and have a proactive summer concerning my career as a writer.

+ Please send any feedback to the email posted above, and below.

+ Half of the below M.J. story is true, go to wikipedia.com or another reliable source to get the full story. Please bear with me the ‘fairy tale-ness’ of the MJ storyline as well.

+ I’m from Detroit, so please email me with any TimberWolves chants or other useful information to add to the realism of it all.

+ Except for the NBA Conference Finals Closeout Games, [4,5,7] and the NBA Finals series, all games I play[on behalf of the Timberwolves]/simulate will be set at 5 minute quarters. The Conference and NBA Finals will be set to 12 minutes.

+ Keep in mind that it’s a game, and enjoy.

Minnesota Sentinel - Sports B4

Chicago Bulls Get "Just 1 More"

July 2003

Michael Jordan has recently declared his 3rd official comeback, and he’s apparently going to make another run for the championship with the Washington Wizards. However, due to league rules, Jordan will have to give up his team president position. But what really shocked the world, was Abe Pollin’s (Wizards majority owner) announcement that Jordan would not be returning as team president as he “had detrimental effects on the team, such as benching Larry Hughes for Tyronn Lue, making poor trades, and squandering the teams’ 2001 1st round draft pick on high schooler Kwame Brown who never panned out.”

At a recent press conference Jordan remarked that that he felt betrayed, and was/is shocked at Pollin’s announcement. However, His Airness didn’t seem to have cried over his betrayal for long though, because what came next at exactly 7:37pm, also shocked the world. Only saying 5 words, Jordan spoke into the mic, “But, I have bounced back.” Then, making history, John Paxon came from seemingly nowhere to present Jordan with an all to familiar Chicago Bulls jersey, sporting the most recognizable number of all time, 23. It has been announced that Jordan will return in five years time. Why five years? Because Jordan wants to get in the best shape of his life, and win one more. “Just one more,” we all remember Jordan saying as he left the press conference with his jersey in hand. In December, 2007, Mijo 23 returns.