Except for the Minnesota Timber Wolves.
They flirted with immense popularity by nearly nabbing Spanish Wunderkid Ricky Rubio. That did not occur. They drafted Johnny Flynn, an excellent choice at the one or even two spot and along with Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, Ramon Sessions and former LA Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis - the team could make a little noise?
Well...it's been abit quiet.
Like 15 losses in a row quiet. Like only having a maximum 2 game win streak once thus far. Quiet like their muted 9 win / 33 loss record to date.
And here is the worst bit. The New Jersey Nets with their 3 win / 37 loss record are getting more publicity for being really, really bad - are getting more media / fan focus than a team like the Wolves who have six more wins to their name.
Although, there has been perhaps a or two blip on the radar, that gave me reason to think this team is underachieving. On November 4th 2009, the Wolves playing at home, just lost to the Boston Celtics in a great and well fought game. Coach Kurt Rambis said this about his teams valiant effort after that game;
"They battled once again," Rambis said. "I like the way our guys are fighting. I like the way they're competing. They just don't quit. They keep believing they can win. I admire that about them."
That's the thing. This is a team that has a heart. I don't believe coach Rambis is talking out of his ass when he says that. Further, but inconsistent proof, is Minnesota's home and away wins against Utah and beating a formidable Denver team in their house for the first time in 10 games (against Denver) on November 29th (106 - 100).
The thing that made me think about the Wolves, was their win today (110 - 108 vs Philadelphia). I watched the footage on ESPN taken from a grainy local network televising the games and it just hit me; Where have their highlights been? Where is the articles about a team trying to win? Where are they? At all?
From all the teams in the NBA it just feels to me that the Minnesota Timber Wolves are slipping away. I don't mean 'going into receivership' away. They are becoming a team we don't think of when choosing fantasy players or really consider as being exciting to watch on TV. There maybe fire in the hearts of the players in Minnesota, but who can see it when when the fans choose Cleveland vs Milwaukee to be the US nationally televised game?
The teams that make noise, that generate interest and have the highlights get the attention. The Wolves have some key components to make gunpowder and a decent bang. They have just got to find a way to set it off.