Okay, actually I'm not sure where I stand on the rumors that Allen Iverson could become a Timberwolf. On the one hand, it's Allen Iverson. Future Hall-of-Famer, brings it EVERY night, fun to watch, etc. And if I hadn't just watched the last 4 games, I'd say trade for him immediately. BUT...I think we're finally starting to come together as a team. Our Western Conference Finals year, we were 9-7, THEN we took off. We're 9-9 now.
James played poorly for the first dozen games or so, but he's starting to define his role on this team. His veteran presence is something this squad needs. Ricky has looked MUCH better this year in two areas: he doesn't jack up jumpers with 20 seconds left on the shot clock, and he pays attention to his man on defense. How many times last year would I watch the man Ricky's guarding just stand on the perimeter until Ricky wasn't looking, then dart backdoor for an easy dunk? Countless times, that's how many. It still happens, but not as often as last year. Ricky's also showing off his passing ability this year, which I like, especially since we've got some decent scorers on this team.
Of course, I'd be really bummed about losing Foye. He's been exciting to watch so far, but I can feel him hitting a wall soon once opponents learn he really only goes strong to his right side. I love watching Foye play and I think he's going to be electric soon. I also can't say enough good things about Craig Smith, who is looking like one of the best steals in the draft. He rebounds, he gets putback buckets, he's got a great touch around the hoop, and he's always got energy.
No matter what happens, I'm still optimistic about the Wolves' chances this season. I think we've got a squad that can go deep in the playoffs once we start playing more as a team, which is clearly happening quickly. We've also had a relatively tough schedule so far, and we've got some games against sub-.500 teams coming up, which we should be able to handle.
Oh, and as for McCain and his comments on the Iraq Study Group, I'm behind him. I think the ISG is important, but I think Bush is going to ignore most recommendations that don't fit in this administration's worldview. Here's the key remark from McCain's statement:
In addition, I agree with the report’s emphasis on an internal Iraqi political settlement that can bring the various sects and groups together. But security is the necessary precondition for a political settlement, and Iraq will continue to suffer pervasive insecurity so long as there is an insufficient number of security forces on the ground. Iraq requires not only politicians willing to make difficult choices, but also clear signals that the government is the sole source of authority in the country. Only by cracking down on independent militias, reducing criminal and terrorist activity, and protecting the population and key infrastructure – none of which can be accomplished without more troops – can a political settlement begin to take hold.Securing Iraq means just that: ensuring the day-to-day security of its people - we are NOT going to accomplish that by setting a timetable for withdrawal. Would negotiations with Iran and Syria help? Yes, if you think they are somehow contributing to the instability. A government has no authority if it cannot meet the most basic needs of its people.