Posts Tagged ‘Zach LaVine’

The Minnesota Timberwolves came into Tuesday night game on a four game losing streak and when the Chicago Bulls went up 21 points in the 2nd quarter it looked as though a 5th loss in a row was going to happen. Instead the Timberwolves where able to come all the way back to snap their losing streak with a 99-94 win.

This is the first time former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was facing his former team. Thibodeau coached the Bulls from the 2010-11 season until the end of the 2014-15 season. Thibodeau had a record of 255-139 with the Bulls and never finished worse than 2nd place in the Central division. Thibodeau also won NBA Coach of the Year in 2011 with the Bulls.

The 1st quarter was all Bulls as they put up 38 points in the quarter compared to Minnesota’s 22 points. After a 10-0 run the Bulls had a 26-6 lead with 5:16 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves where able to chip away at the Bulls lead a little, but still ended the quarter down 16 points; 38 to 22.

The 2nd quarter looked like it was going to be much like the 1st quarter. After a Doug McDermott lay up with 6:37 left to play in the quarter the Bulls had their biggest lead of the night; 21 points at 51-30. The Timberwolves then went on a 22-5 run to end the quarter and going into halftime Minnesota found itself down just 4 points at 56-52.

Minnesota tied the game with 7:41 left in the 3rd quarter at 61 all. The Timberwolves then took there first lead of the game on a Zach LaVine jumper going ahead 64 to 63. The game was tied three more times in the quarter the last tie being at 70 apiece. Minnesota finished the quarter on an 8-5 run and took a 78-75 lead after three quarters.

Now it was the Bulls turn to play from behind. Chicago tied the game at 85 all and then scored the next basket to take the lead at 87-85. Minnesota was able to build the lead back to 4 points, but Chicago battled back and tied the game at 91 all with 1:37 left to play. The Timberwolves went on to score the next 8 points in the game and even with Jimmy Butler hitting a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left it was too late for the Bulls and Minnesota had a 99-94 victory.

Minnesota was led by Zach LaVine with 24 points. Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points while Gorgui Dieng had 16 points. Karl-Anthony Towns and Rickey Rubio each had double-doubles in the game. Towns had 16 points and a game high 12 rebounds while Rubio scored 11 points and handed out a game high 10 assists. All five Minnesota starters played 35 minutes or more and they all reach double figures in points.

Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 27 points for the Bulls. Butler also had a team high 9 rebounds. Robin Lopez had 14 points, Dwayne Wade scored 12 points and had a team high 8 assists while Taj Gibson was the other Bulls player to score in double figures with 10 points.

The win was just the Timberwolves 7th of the season against 18 losses. Minnesota gets a few days off as they don’t return to the court until Friday night when they host the 18-7 Houston Rockets. The Bulls are now 13-11 with the loss. Chicago returns to action tomorrow (Thursday) night as they’ll make the short road trip to Milwaukee to face the 11-12 Bucks.

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It’s NBA All-Star weekend or I guess I should say All-Star week. I find it a little odd that the NBA of all the major sports has the longest All-Star break. If you remember last season LeBron James cried quite a bit about how the All-Star break wasn’t long enough and he couldn’t spend time with his family. Of course this is the same guy that when he had time off ended up in Miami. If I remember right his family lives in Cleveland. I think he used the excuse that he was in Miami to see a certain doctor, but I don;t think anyone believed that. Now in no way am I saying that that basketball isn’t a physical sport. With all the running and the jumping has to be tough on the knees and ankles. I’m just not sold on it being tougher than playing in the NHL which got just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. I have to wonder if it’s even as tough as playing Major League baseball with the long season and the fact that you play in the heat of the summer. Baseball also gets just 3 or 4 days off for their All-Star break. The NBA season is long enough as it is; do they really need an extended All-Star break?

Like I said it is All-Star weekend for the NBA and it kicked off yesterday wit 2 games I could care little or nothing at all about. The first game is the celebrity game which has a few former players mixed in along with a couple of WNBA players as well. All this game really proves is that all the entertainers playing in it made the right career choice. I was actually a little interested to see the Rising Stars Challenge until I turned it on. I thought the format might be interesting with the best young American players against the best players from the rest of the world. Now the game is just for first or second year NBA players, but when I turned it on I quickly realized that even these players knew they where n an All-Star game. Just like the All-Star game that will be played on Sunday there was ZERO defense played in this game was the World team won 121-112. I thought maybe the young players would try and play an actual game of basketball and not just let guys dunk at will and throw up 45 foot 3-pointers; sadly I was very, very wrong. It took me about 2 minutes of actual game action to realize this game was a joke and went and found something else to watch. So Friday is a complete waste of time for the NBA All-Star weekend and everyone knows that the game on Sunday will be a joke; so the only hope is the Saturday night events will be worth watching.

All-Star Saturday night kicks off with the Shooting Stars event. I was unable to find out who’ll be competing in this event, but if I remember right it’s a former NBA player teamed up with a current NBA player and a current WNBA player and they have to make a series of shots from different areas of the court ending with a half court shot. The team that makes all their shots in the fastest time wins this event. Then they move on to the Skills Challenge which features the players skills in ball handling, passing and shooting. This is the first season that more than just guards will compete. Patrick Beverly (Rockets) is the defending champion, but he is injured and won;t be in this seasons competition. Here’s the list of the players competing. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Draymond Green (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jordan Clarkson (Lakers), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers), Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) and Emmanuel Mudlay (Nuggets). Dan the Man is picking Cousins to win this event. Next is the 3-point shootout with Stephen Curry (warriors) back to defend his title. Curry is up against Devin Booker (Suns), J.J. Reddick (Clippers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), James Harden (Rockets), Khris Middleton (Bucks), C.J. McCollum (Trailblazers) and Klay Thompson (Warriors). Dan likes Thompson to unseat his teammate Curry in this event. With what the NBA game has turned into I’m a little surprised that the Slam Dunk contest still wraps up All-Star Saturday night, but it does. Zach LaVine (Timberwolves) is back to defend Slam Dunk his title against Aaron Gordon (Magic), Andre Drummond (Pistons) and Will Barton (Nuggets). Dan likes the big man Drummond to win this event. Tune into Sports Time Radio 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. live at http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com and we’ll review how Dan the Man did with his picks. Do you agree with Dan’s picks? or do you have someone else winning these competitions.

Major League Baseball made history on Friday and not in a good way. Jenrry Mejia of the New York Mets became the first player to receive a lifetime ban for failing 3 drugs tests. Not only was this Mejia’s 3rd positive test, but his 3rd positive test in a year. It was reported that Mejia tested positive for Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing. He is just the 2nd player to ever test positive for Boldenone and he’s done it twice. Mejia is just 26 years old and may apply to commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement in one year. If reinstated, he would have to sit out a minimum of two years before being able to pitch again in the majors. If an application is made and denied, Mejia could ask baseball’s arbitrator to end the ban, claiming the penalty is without “just cause.” The arbitrator cannot reduce the ban to less than two years. MLB suspensions are honored by affiliated leagues in other countries, such as in Japan, South Korea and Mexico. However, suspended players are allowed to compete in winter leagues, such as in Mejia’s native Dominican Republic. Independent leagues are not compelled to honor MLB suspensions but may choose to do so.There are a few comparable cases, but nothing quite like Mejia’s. Josh Hamilton who was in the minor leagues at the time had some issues and was suspended several times for drug abuse from 2003-05, but was allowed to return each time. During a time when there was not a drug agreement, Steve Howe was suspended for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992 after the pitcher’s seventh drug- or alcohol-related incident. Arbitrator George Nicolau said doctors concluded Howe suffered from attention deficit hyperactive disorder and cut the suspension to time served, which was 119 days. I’m not sure what Mejia was thinking, but he has talent and I’m sure will get another chance if he’s reinstated. You just have to wonder how a player can be so, so stupid to fail 3 tests in a year.

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