Close your eyes and think NBA All-Stars; legends like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon come to mind. Modern-day stars do too, such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight 'Superman' Howard.
Could 2010 be the year the Timberwolves make a meaningful contribution to the list of All-Star players with someone not called Kevin Garnett.
The NBA’s All-Star weekend is one of the highlights of the NBA calendar. Some of the finest players in the game, men you wouldn’t usually see on the same team, are absolutely guaranteed to take the court together, and play a semi-serious game of basketball.
It’s riddled with ego, of course, but it’s fun basketball viewing.
This year, the Timberwolves have three players on the shortlist for the Western team, and will be aiming to have a player on the team for the first time since Kevin Garnett departed to the Celtics. The players in the running are:
While he probably won’t be a starter at small forward because of the presence of Kevin Durant, Beasley has an excellent chance of making the team, especially if he continues in the way he is playing in now.
Carmelo Anthony will also contest him for a spot on the bench. He could make it because of his ability to also play in the power forward position.
If he doesn’t make it this year, thanks in part to the confidence that playing for Minnesota as the go-to guy, it really is only a matter of time before he’s a regular. Beasley’s accuracy from deep must also make him potentially eligible to compete in the three-point shootout.
While Kevin Love is putting up some monster statistics, and rebounding better than almost anyone in the league, there are some seriously talented players also vying for his position. Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, David West... I could go on.
The one thing he does have on his side are his games that get him notice, like the 31-31 against New York. Whether or not that’s enough remains to be seen.
Like Beasley, I feel that if Love doesn’t get into the team, he absolutely will do so in the future.
Admittedly, I was a little surprised to see Brewer’s name in the list. But then I remembered the end of last season, when he decided to become the best performing player on the team and pushed late to be one of the most-improved players in the league. Since then, Brewer won’t be ecstatic with how his career has gone. The Timberwolves used their first pick to draft Wesley Johnson, who has taken his starting place, and in the pre-season that followed, he could barely make a dunk. Thankfully, he’s playing more like the old Brewer now, but considering the talent he’s competing with, it’s unlikely he’ll make it to All-Star weekend.
Of course, they’ll only get in if you vote, so make sure you do.
Finally, it’s been announced that Jonny Flynn, the Timberwolves sophomore point guard, is to spend some time in the D-League in order to hone his skills before he returns to the NBA.
Perhaps it’s just a bad habit, but there has been some internet chatter alluding to the sanity of the Timberwolves in sending their point-guard to play there.
But if you look at the Timberwolves’ next set of games, they play the Spurs, then the Warriors, the Mavericks and then the Spurs again. So, for Flynn that would mean competing, fresh from injury, against Tony Parker twice, Stephen Curry and Jason Kidd.
This would be a bad idea. Flynn has ability, but nobody who has been out of the game for so long would stand a chance against those guys.
Flynn should play some games in the D-League until he feels right again, and then come back ready to play hard for the Timberwolves.