by Craig Kwasniewski
According to Sam Smith's article in the Chicago Tribune today, Minnesota is tanking their games to keep their first round pick.
The NBA should take a look at this one in the interest of the game's integrity and paying customers. Minnesota needs to have one of the top 10 poorest records to keep its draft pick. Otherwise, it goes to the Clippers from the Sam Cassell-Marko Jaric deal.
In a 103-95 loss to the Jazz at home on Friday, Garnett sat out the fourth quarter after making all of his third-quarter shots. Garnett had 13 rebounds through three quarters, and Minnesota was outrebounded 18-6 in the fourth.
Look, Minnesota sucks as it is, but I took a look at the last four games to see if there's anything unusual about the 1-3 stretch:
Charlotte 97, Minnesota 92: Garnett gets probably the last 20-20 game of the season. He drops 24 points and 22 rebounds in 39 minutes in a loss to Charlotte. Typical T-Wolves loss; good Garnett numbers yet nothing else from the rest.
Atlanta 101, Minnesota 99: The first sign of the tank job. Garnett plays only 31 minutes in a 2 point loss to ATL. He still finds the time to have 27 points and 15 rebounds, but you're telling me that a few more minutes from KG wouldn't help the Wolves win? The Hawks won off a full court play at the buzzer, but still what are the Wolves resting KG for?
Utah 103, Minnesota 95: Smith best describes what happened here. Garnett's numbers were 14 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes. They must be resting KG for the big ATL game... right?
Minnesota 84, Atlanta 83: Garnett pulls a "DNP - Right Knee Tendonitis" in this one. As I've learned in the Devean George era here in LA (all seven seasons!!!), tendonitis is code for "sit this one out." Before this season, the 14-16th best players on each team were kept on injured reserve due to such fabricated injuries as tendonitis.
I know I'm stating the obvious; "Minnesota sucks!" However, it seems that Minnesota is doing everything shy of playing 4 guys in trying to secure a first round pick. Just maybe some of you can make some cash out of it.