* If Kevin McHale keeps it up, he’s gonna get my vote for coach of the year. And if the season had started Jan. 1, there’s a good chance the Timberwolves would make the playoffs, as they’ve gone 11-4 since the start of the year.
* The latest surprise was a 116-111 win over the Indiana Pacers — in Indianapolis, no less. Wonder if McHale is ribbing former Celtics teammate and Pacers president Larry Bird? Either way, the win was impressive because SEVEN T-Wolves scored in double figures, led by Randy Foye’s 19 points. This young bunch has really come together nicely under McHale, and now would be a great time for owner Glen Taylor to come out and publicly offer support to his “interim” coach.
We arrived with our pal Diddy around 7 and got to our seats right before the start of the National Anthem. Shortly before tip-off, there came an announcement: Kevin McHale was being honored for winning the NBA’s Coach of the Month award for January. McHale was shown up on the big screen, and he was treated to a rousing ovation.
Minnesota: Suppose the Wolves had landed Bynum, Odom and the 19th pick in the 2007 draft (Javaris Crittenton). Odom likely would be gone by now. As an eight-year veteran, he wouldn’t have fit into either Minnesota’s rebuilding plan or its pay scale. Odom would have been the best player on the floor for this team in 2007-08, which isn’t a good thing. Most coaches want him a little further down in their pecking order. Crittenton or whomever McHale drafted with that pick would have been inconsequential — McHale’s draft history argues that point rather persuasively.
As for Bynum, he probably wouldn’t have developed as quickly with the Wolves, who wouldn’t fund Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a tutor or others in L.A.’s vast support staff. And if he had suffered these knee injuries in consecutive seasons on their watch, he would be viewed as a Sam Bowie in the making for a mostly hapless, snakebit, flyover franchise.
The Timberwolves’ Al Jefferson is clearly the most dangerous player on the block and, in the post, the entire league.
His omission from the All-Star team clearly reflects the general thinking of the league right now. It is a clear statement: post play is not as important as overall athleticism and running the court.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Rashad McCants isn’t likely to return and is available. The team denies that Mike Miller can be had. Considering how well they’ve played since the New Year, the Wolves may keep the roster together and wait until 2010 (when they’ll have plenty of cap space).
Don’t expect Khloe Kardashian to get back with ex-boyfriend Minnesota Timberwolves player Rashad McCants, 24, any time soon.
“He’s a loser,” she told OK! at the Direct TV Celebrity Beach Bowl. “I just told him it’s done.”