Through the first two games of Timberwolves summer league play here’s what you need to know:
- Jonny Flynn is a true point guard. Jonny Flynn plays for the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves haven’t had a point guard since Sam I am and the run in ’04. It is amazingly refreshing to know the Timberwolves will be led by someone at the point guard position this upcoming season Rubio or no Rubio. I just feel so much better about a backcourt that includes him than one with Randy Foye. Was it just me or we always trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with Foye?
- I love watching Jonny Flynn play. Sure he has 13 turnovers through two games but he also has 21 assists and he is really fun to watch. He can push the ball, keep the ball on a yo-yo while dribbling, drive to the hoop create contact and finish, is constantly telling guys where to go (when’s the last time we saw that at the Target Center?), drop dimes through traffic, pass extremely quickly and well off the dribble with either hand, and he is going to be absolutely dynamite in the pick and roll and pick an pop plays I expect Coach “Whoeveritsgonnabe” will have the Wolves running this year. He’s shown that he can be effective in the two man game with either a spread the floor big like Pecherov or Kruz and with a drop down/bang it inside big like Garrett Siler. He also does an excellent job of prodding the defense with the dribble to see how it reacts and although a few of the turnovers have come from either a few too many dribbles or a slightly forced pass to a big man, it’s also the reason Ellington had a number of good looks in game two that found the bottom of the cup. Closest player I can think of that Flynn’s game reminds me of: Steve Nash. If he can make his shot just as deadly as Nash’s he really could be the star David Kahn believes he will be in the league. On a side not Flynn shot really should not be getting knocked as much as it has he really is at least an average if not better shooter. Sure he is no Stephon Curry, right now, but there’s nothing I’ve seen so far that says he doesn’t have the potential to be that good of a shooter down the road. Dwyane Wade started in this league with a lot less of a shot than Flynn just as an example.
- Wayne Ellington after a rocky game 1 in which he went 2-12, came back in game 2 to find his shot and poured in 22 to lead the Wolves on 8-14 shooting including 4-7 from downtown. Not to mention him and Flynn looked good together and on the same page in game 2 as well. It will be interesting to see if the chemistry grows and Flynn is able to find him even more over the course of the week as we should be seeing a lot of drive and kicks by Flynn that end up as Ellington 3’s this year.
- Corey Brewer is rusty. Really rusty. He certainly looks like he still belongs and shows signs of being an NBA player but the verdict is still out. By the end of the week though I hope to see some improvement.
- While Brewer is finding himself I’ve been sold on Paul Harris getting the last spot on the Wolves roster next season. He does the things Corey should/will do, playing solid D, running the floor, and knocking down open jumpers. He looks like and NBA player out there and his chemistry with Flynn is second to none which always helps.
- If the Wolves had another open roster spot I’d be ready to give it to Garrett Siler. Siler is a big boy (300 lbs.) but he looks like he has a nice feel for the game and has looked good in the pick and roll with Flynn. He moves extremely well for a man his size and I feel like if he lost another 20 lbs. he could be a better than average backup center for the Wolves.
- Oleksiy Pecherov could be a decent player this season for the Wolves. He has legit 3 point range and could be an interesting space the floor big (he’s a legit 7-0) to play with Big Al. He reminds me of Zydrunus Illgauskas on offense but needs to improve the effort on D.
The Wolves are off for 3 days until Friday when they pick back up with a game against the Washington Wizards. Word is that they’ll be having JV vs. Varsity type practices during the 3-day break with Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, Craig Smith, and Sebastian Telfair all in town to practice with and against young guys on the summer league. I’m hoping some one in Vegas will get access to the practice(s) and have a breakdown for us otherwise I know we’ll be able to count on Kevin “The Big Twitter” Love for at least a short version recap on them.