2005-06 Mad Dog Diary Week 15

Today we are in Phoenix getting ready for what should be a very big game against the Pacific Division leading Suns this evening. They have an outstanding team this year, despite losing Amare Stoudemire to an injury early in the preseason. That just goes to show you what a great player Steve Nash has become while making his case for back-to-back MVP awards.

As you know, lately we have been struggling a little bit and really need to win this one tonight to snap a three-game losing streak and get the ship righted. If we get a win in the desert, we will have some momentum going back to Minnesota for a five-game home stand prior to the All-Star break. I can’t put a finger on it exactly, but I think we are struggling some because we just don’t know each other as players yet. We’ve added four new dynamic players to the team during the middle of the season, and I believe we’re still trying to get integrated with each other. I really think that as we get more games and practices under our belts, that eventually you are going to see a well-oiled machine emerge.

Our loss at Golden State was pretty tough on everyone, but the positive thing is what happened the next day. Everyone came to practice in Phoenix and went so hard, that it felt like a playoff game. I would be worried about us if everyone came to practice depressed and sad but it was just the opposite. Guys came in ready to play as hard as they possibly could.

On a personal note, it was interesting to be back in my homeland of the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend. I grew up going to Golden State Warriors games and lived about 30 minutes from the Oakland Coliseum. Then I was at Stanford for four years, which is about 45 minutes from Oakland. After the game Saturday, one of the guys who did construction on my parents’ house growing up came out of the stands to say hello. His name is Rod, and it was just really great to see him. I left some tickets for a few of my college teammates who are still in the area. It was fun to hear about what they are each doing professionally. One of them is the head coach at a local private high school and another one started up his own brokerage business for Internet domain names, which is a booming industry. A third teammate started a clothing line. It was a blast to see old friends and to hear about the great things that they are doing.

Right now I’m about ready to order room service and then take my pregame nap. Did you all enjoy watching the Super Bowl? I thought the game was pretty entertaining, and turned on a few big Pittsburgh plays. I would assume that I’m like a lot of people who watch the game partly because the commercials will be entertaining, even if the game isn’t. I would say my favorite ad was the FedEx commercial with the cavemen trying to deliver the package with the pterodactyl and then getting stomped by a dinosaur outside the cave. Write me and let me know what your favorite ads were.

I am always open to suggestions as to what Timberwolves fans want me to write about. If you have a topic suggestion or a question you want me to answer, please feel free to drop me a note atmark@markmadsen.com. Have a great week.