Game 21 Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets

The Reunion Tour continues! First it was Jared Jeffries, now it's Rick Adelman.

I didn't do the previous T-Wolves preview (tip of the hat again to Chuck), so I didn't get to talk about the man we affectionately called Coach Sleepy.

I made it no secret that I liked Adelman. I wasn't happy when we let Jeff Van Gundy walk, but when Adelman was hired I was ecstatic. I understood the cyclical nature of coaching changes, and going from the micromanaging JVG to the freeballing RA made sense. But my love of Adelman started long before then.

Growing up, he was the Blazers coach, and I really didn't care about him at all. Then came two forgettable years with e Warriors. Then he went to Sacramento and he turned the Kings into one of the most entertaining teams ever. For a solid two-year period, Mike Bibby was my favorite NBA player, and the Kings were my second favorite team. Bibby, Doug Christie, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Webber, and Vlade Divac was one of the best starting lineups I'd ever watched. And Peja and Bobby Jackson came off the bench to be very effective as well.

But here's what impressed me even more as the years went by: outside of Turkoglu, none of those players who still had gas left in the tank ever duplicated the success they had on those Kings teams. In Houston we praised Adelman's ability to do more with less, but in Portland and Sacramento, Adelman did more with a lot. And it's a shame the NBA stole a title from the guy. Watching Adelman was like watching a vengeance story where the main character didn't know it was his story. In a perfect world, Phil Jackson would come out of retirement, coach the Knicks or some such team, and Adelman would somehow will his plucky T-Wolves to title over the Knicks in the Finals. Adelman would then metaphorically tea bag Jackson and David Stern afterwards by saying something during the awards ceremony like, "I'm glad I was able to be the one to bribe the refs this time around." The media would go into chaos, Stern's head would explode, and I would every piece of merchandise that had Adelman attached to it. Books, towels, Fatheads. Everything.

And just for Only_A_Lad, Adelman is Paul Atreides, and he's just been picked up by the Fremen. He just needs the Water of Life, and Maud'Dib can rule the galaxy. Nerdgasm over.

And here is my absolute favorite Adelman memory from his time in Houston. That one line during the huddle is exactly what I want my coach saying, and when I heard it I knew we would win. True story.

I'm having trouble with the editor here, so just go to the 8:41 mark to hear what I'm talking about.

Houston Rockets vs LA Lakers Playoffs 2009 Rockets Highlights 05.04.09 Round 2 Game 1 (via coffeetime)

K-Mart will play tonight, but I left C-Lee in the starting spot because I felt lazy.

Matchups after the jump.

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Ricky Rubio:

Ricky, I'm going to tell you what I told Kyle Lowry when he came over here: Learn how to shoot and the sky is the limit.

Now look at Kyle. He's got all the babes hanging all over him. It could all be yours...with a jump shot.

Advantage: Rockets

SG: Courtney Lee vs. Luke Ridnour:

I'm always surprised that Clutchfans hasn't jumped at the chance to get Ridnour. He fits the criteria they usually love.

White? Check

Combo guard? Check

Overrated coming out of college? Check

Teams get better when after they trade him? Check

What's the hold-up CF?

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Chandler Parsons vs. Wesley Johnson:

I'm not as high on Wes Johnson as some people here are. I think he's still young, and he could become a great player. And yes, he'd probably start for the Rockets. But...okay maybe I like him a little.

But not enough to trade K-Mart for him and a first. No way.

Advantage: T-Wolves

PF: Luis Scola vs. Kevin Love:

Ah, Courtney Love's little-known younger brother. Bet he sucks at basketball.

Apparently he's this guy:

Kevin Love's Game Winning Three! (via NBA)

What's the best reaction from that video? Here's your choices:

A. Love turning around and going, "Are you not entertained!"

B. Ridnour just running to the bench as if he hit the shot.

C. Wayne Ellington looking like a kid on Christmas morning.

D. All of the above.

I'm saying D, because that video right there is the bee's knees.

Advantage: T-Wolves

C: Samuel Dalembert vs. Nikola Pekovic:

I think I'm going to call Dalembert Big D just to piss off Mavs fans.

Advantage: Rockets

---

Bench/Role Players:

T-Wolves: Michael Beasley, Wayne Ellington, Derrick Williams, Martell Webster, Brad Miller, Anthony Randolph

Rockets: Goran Dragic, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill

Advantage: Rockets? I can't read this Rockets bench right now.

Injuries/Inactives:

T-Wolves: J.J. Barea, Darko Milicic maybe

Rockets: None

Prediction: Rockets 99-94

Make sure you get in on TCWHRO (we have to figure out another way to say that)'s fantasy basketball game. Details here. Just make your predictions in the comments, and maybe explain how you came to that conclusion so we have something to talk about.

Timberwolves vs Rockets coverage

Canis Hoopus

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