Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
7:30 p.m. PST
March 9, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
1. Is Andrew Wiggins already a star player?
William Bohl, A Wolf Among Wolves, (@BreakTheHuddle): On defense, he’s often matched up with opponents’ best wing scorers, and sometimes even point guards (he was checking Chris Paul at the end of their game last week). Wiggins holds his own in those situations, impressive for a 19 year old, but isn’t a bona fide stopper quite yet. Offensively, he’s averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 38 minutes per game since Christmas, with both his post moves and ball handling improving over that time. He still needs to work on outside shooting and decision making. Long story short: he’s not quite a star already, but he’s darn close.
J.D. Evans: Well, it depends what you mean by star. He’s clearly the most important player for the Wolves, and he’s well worth watching. And hopefully KG will rub off on him just enough that he gets a bit mean (and doesn’t rub off on him so much that he starts biting people). But from the perspective of non mid-westerners who watch basketball highlight occasionally, no, he’s not a star.
Roscoe Whalan (@RoscoeWhalan7): Already a star in the sense of name recognition but still a burgeoning star on the court. His improvement since Opening Night ’til now has been out of sight and the trajectory of his career seems exponential at this point. Kid’s 19. He’s not quite a star on the court yet but it’s just a matter of time.
2. True or False: The Timberwolves will be the ultimate spoiler team for the rest of the regular season.
Bohl: The Timberwolves will play teams much closer than most 14-47 teams would at this time of year, but they won’t be the ultimate spoiler team because I’m not sure they’ll be able to finish teams off. Minnesota has gone 6-7 in their past 13 games and played Memphis, Chicago and the Clippers tough in losses over that span. Rejuvenated since Brian Shaw’s firing, possessing a natural home floor advantage – my money’s on Denver as the ultimate spoiler the rest of the way.
Evans: False. In the East, maybe, but in the West it has to be Utah, who can even beat good teams when they’re trying. Minnesota can beat good teams who overlook them entirely, but the ultimate spoiler team should be a bit better than that.
Whalan: The Timberwolves, although holding the unfortunate honor of being the first team eliminated from playoff contention, don’t play like it. The return of Rubio has really helped and they play good teams close (and sometimes beat them too, e.g. Portland a few days ago). However, if I’m picking a spoiler it’s Utah: they play some of the stingiest defense in the league and aren’t in any sort of race for draft picks.
3. How much will adding Nate Robinson help the Clippers?
Bohl: It’s possible Robinson will help the Clippers during Jamal Crawford’s absence, however long that is, but I’m not sure he’ll see the floor beyond that. His shooting numbers in Denver were ghastly (35% from the floor, 26% from three). Considering the timing of the Crawford injury and the limited options available, this was probably the best L.A. could do.
Evans: In the short term, quite a bit. The injuries have shrunk the rotation, which has made the bench even weaker– and, Crawford aside, the bench was never much good at scoring anyway. So this will be a great signing if Nate can pull out a half dozen old-school Nate games until Crawford gets back. After Crawford gets back, though, it’s hard to see what Robinson will be doing other than letting Rivers, fils know that the team has other options if he struggles too badly.