Ah, how the mighty have fallen.
Tonight the Wolves will have the pleasure of facing a team that is, believe it or not, worse off than they are from top to bottom. The disarray of the Lakers’ roster and cap situation leaves the fact that they play in Los Angeles and have Laker lore on their side as the only true bright spots for the organization moving forward.
The delusional nature of their spoiled fan base wouldn’t tell you that, of course. Not with Kevin Love surely coming to L.A. in the summer of 2015. Not with Kobe Bryant obviously returning to his early-2000s form after coming off of multiple surgeries and what essentially amounts to 1 1/2 years away from professional basketball.
Never mind that the Lakers play in the exceedingly challenging Western Conference. San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston, the Clippers…those teams aren’t going anywhere. Memphis will be there as long as Gasol and Conley are healthy. Golden State is young but a wild card. By all accounts, Portland and Phoenix are just getting started and will at the very least challenge for a playoff spot for the foreseeable future.
Throw in Anthony Davis and his Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban, and your Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Lakers have many mountains to climb to get back to true, contender-level relevance.
But never mind all that. They’re the Lakers. And the Wolves need to kick them while they’re down. Minnesota is coming off a dominant home win over Atlanta on Wednesday, and Los Angeles lost last night in Milwaukee, to the 58-loss Bucks no less.
The Wolves need to keep the good vibes going, and there really isn’t any reason why they shouldn’t. A rag-tag bunch of Jordan Hill, Wes Johnson, Nick Young, and Co. is all that stand in their way. There is no answer for Love in the paint (or on the perimeter, really). You may recall coach Mike D’Antoni trying to guard Love with Johnson earlier in the season. Quite simply, that will not get it done for the Lake Show.
Ricky Rubio should have little to no difficulty with Kendall Marshall, and the Lakers are the rare team that the Wolves’ bench should blow out of the water. Here’s hoping for another big win and some momentum and renewed confidence rolling into a tough game on Sunday evening in Brooklyn against the resurgent Nets.
Tip-off tonight is at 7:00 CT. We’ll see you all back here post-game.