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Game 17 Preview & Thread: Nuggets vs. T'Wolves (6pm MDT)

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70667_nuggets_timberwolves_basketball_medium_mediumThe Timberwolves are lucky that the Nets have lost their first 16 games and are hogging all the "are they one of the worst teams ever?" attention. At 1-15, the Wolves are no better.

Embarrassingly, the Wolves lone victory came at the expense of the Nets. On a buzzer beater no less. Among those 15 losses was a 13-point home loss to our Nuggets just four days ago. But the game was never even that close (the Wolves outscore the Nuggets 32-22 in the meaningless fourth quarter).

While I feel bad for Wolves fans, the Wolves franchise deserves the predicament that they're in. Owner Glen Taylor foolishly stood by former G.M. Kevin McHale way too long as McHale made an assortment of, shall we say, "curious" decisions (you know, like skirting the free agency rules altogether) during the prime of Kevin Garnett's career. Looking back the KG days, it just shows how good KG was that this team was a playoff participant virtually every season during Garnett's tenure in Minneapolis.

Then, after KG was traded from Minnesota, Taylor threw him under the bus by questioning his effort in those last two painful seasons, ousted McHale (finally) and brought in the NBA's latest joke-of-a-G.M. in David Kahn. Kahn is giving the Grizzlies' Chris Wallace some serious competition for Worst G.M. in the NBA right now. What makes Kahn a great punching bag is the arrogance with which he brought to the job, questioning all who have questioned his questionable moves thus far (is that enough use of the word "question" in one sentence for you?) and having the audacity to pretend the Wolves are building for a championship.

At the end of the day, the Wolves only have to look at a series of bad drafts if they're wondering how they ended up 1-15 to start this season. Going back to 2003 when they still had Garnett in his prime, the Wolves drafted Nbudi Ebi (who?!) just ahead of Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard in the back of the first round. Ouch. In 2005 they took Rashad McCants while passing on Danny Granger. In 2006 they astutely drafted Brandon Roy, only to stupidly trade him for Randy Foye. In 2007 the Wolves double downed on stupid by taking the too-skinny, undersized Corey Brewer over his Florida teammate Joakim Noah. And in this past draft, armed with back-to-back early lottery picks, Kahn drafted Ricky Rubio without working out beforehand that Rubio would actually show up and Jonny Flynn, who just might pan out but is undersized and is no Brandon Jennings.

But hey, who am I to complain about the Wolves woes? I love having four guaranteed Nuggets victory each season. And tonight should be no different as long as the Nuggets don't play like the Knicks again.

Timberwolves Stiffs

-Corey Brewer: The aforementioned Brewer can't shoot straight. Now in his third NBA season, he's shooting a career low 37% from the field and 18.8% from behind the arc (and still has the audacity to take two three's per game...he must have hung out with Antoine Walker during Walker's brief stay in Minnesota).

-Brian Cardinal: Fat, bald, white, armed with a $6.8 million contract and averaging 1.6 ppg. This guy is the true definition of a Stiff!

-Sasha Pavlovic: After stupidly holding out for a contract in Cleveland, Sasha has been banished to Minnesota where he's shooting a career low 35.6% from the field.

Timberwolves Non-Stiffs

-Al Jefferson: Seems to have recovered from last season's devastating ACL injury by putting up a double-double in five of his last six games.

-Kevin Love: Hasn't played yet in 2009-10 due to a hand injury, but showed a lot of promise during his rookie season.

-Jonny Flynn: It's never a good thing when your point guard averages more turnovers than assists, but Flynn is a rookie with a ton of pressure on him so we'll give him some slack. Flynn has even shown enough flashes of the talent he's found a spot on my fantasy team.

Opposing View: Canis Hoopus

Photo courtesy of AP: Jim Mone