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Hope for Timberwolves? Maybe!

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A few days ago, the Timberwolves were floundering 8-40 with worst record in the association better known as the NBA. Patience is a virtue; it’s too early to plan a parade for the Timberwolves, but a three-game winning streak for this squad is a welcome sight.

Injuries are like free throws — you can’t use them as an excuse for losses piling up. Minnesota has had plenty of injuries. Veteran guard Ricky Rubio signed a $57 million extention and missed 42 games, virtually all of November, December and January.
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Center Nikola Pekovic, 6’-11”, missed 31 games, and shooting guard Kevin Martin missed 34 games. My oh my, that’s 107 games missed by three guys you were counting on.

Flip Saunders used to know how to coach. In fact, he was one of the NBA’s top coaches first time around with Minnesota and Detroit before floundering three years in Washington, D.C.
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Flip has guided his teams to 50 or more wins in a season seven times, including going 64-18 in 2005-06. Now he has returned to fix the Timberwolves. Remember he’s the franchises’ winningest coach in this, his 17th NBA season. He’s so confident that he can turn things around that he’s now part owner.
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Honestly, for me it’s been quite difficult to watch bad basketball, but the Wolves, with the players that I mentioned — Rubio, Pekovic and Martin — who were out injured for most of the first half now appear to be coming on. Andrew Wiggins has been great; he plays hard and plays every day. He’s been the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the month for November, December and January. Thaddeus Young has been a consistent hardworking contributor.

The recent success of the team has been a welcome sight. Flip has a lot a talent, and he needs it in the loaded Western Conference. Ten teams in the Western Conference have winning records, so it’s too late for a Wolves 2015 playoff run.

But as somebody said long ago, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. This team needs to stay healthy and continue to take steps forward, because before too long they have a real chance to be really good.
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Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

Brady & Belichick win Super Bowl XLIX!

GLENDALE, AZ — They did it! New England’s Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are champions again after winning a 28-24 gut-wrenching Super Bowl victory over defending champion Seattle.

B&B is one of my favorite refreshments on ice with lemon; Sunday, Belichick & Brady put the Seahawks on ice. Seattle actually led 24-14 going into the fourth quarter only to have Brady throw two fourth-quarter touchdowns in one of the closest Super Bowls ever.

The Patriots with the win join Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Dallas, Green Bay, and the New York Giants with at least four Super Bowl wins. “There are so many great players. You just have to enjoy the moment, said Tom Brady.

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“It’s just awesome; what an experience. We ultimately made just enough plays to win it. We were down 10, and we said, look, we gotta put one good drive together to put us back in the game.”

Not many fans were happy with the way the game ended, with the score 28-24 and the ball on the one-yard line after Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made a spectacular 33-yard catch on his back at the five-yard line. Seattle, with less than a minute left, gave the ball to Marshawn Lynch, who rambled down to the one-yard line.

With the clock running and Seattle on second down, quarterback Russell Wilson tried to hit receiver Ricardo Lockette at the goal line with the game-winning score. However, un-drafted Patriot corner back Malcolm Butler cut in front of Lockette and intercepted Wilson to seal the win.

It was his career first-ever interception. “Lockette was coming underneath and the guy [Butler] made a great play,” said Wilson. It was a shocking result in so many ways because so many just assumed the Seahawks would just give it to Lynch again at the one yard line. The turnover was the first mistake of the game by Seattle, and it came at the very end.

Brady was spectacular — 37 of 50 for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He was clearly the game’s MVP. It’s the third time he has captured MVP Super Bowl honors, joining Joe Montana. He also ties Terry Bradshaw and Montana as the only four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Belichick made history also, joining Pittsburgh’s Chuck Knoll as the only four-time Super Bowl-winning head coach. The 10-point fourth-quarter deficit was the largest ever overcome in a Super Bowl.

University of Phoenix Stadium is now the first venue site to host an indoor and outdoor Super Bowl — Sunday’s game before 70,288 fans was played with the roof open. Brady now has thrown 13 touchdown passes in the Super Bowl, the most all-time, and he has thrown 53 TD passes, most ever in the NFL playoffs.

The Patriots have now appeared in eight Super Bowls, joining Pittsburgh and Dallas. Now the Patriots, who were targeted by the NFL for the investigation of 11 deflated footballs, will wait to hear what the league’s fines might be on completion of the investigation.

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

ARIZONA CARDINALS WIDE RECEIVER LARRY FITZGERALD NAMED ART ROONEY AWARD WINNER

LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals is the winner of the inaugural ART ROONEY AWARD, it was announced today. The award recognizes the NFL player who demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.

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The award was founded this year in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of FamerART ROONEY, SR.

The announcement of the ART ROONEY AWARD PRESENTED BY BOSE was made during the “4th Annual NFL Honors”, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air nationally from 9:00-11:00 p.m. (ET) on NBC tonight.

Fitzgerald will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

To commemorate the honor, Fitzgerald was presented on-stage “The Art Rooney Trophy,” which represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for other players at all levels. The award design was inspired by the upward arc of a football in motion and contains a gold line embedded in glass that represents the path of sportsmanship throughout a career. Etched into the award are the words “integrity,” “honor,” “respect,” and “fairness,” the values that define excellent sportsmanship.

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Each NFL team nominated one player during the season. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC). The panel of Legends Coordinators was comprised of WARRICK DUNN, CURTIS MARTIN, KARL MECKLENBURG and LEONARD WHEELER.

The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, were linebacker THOMAS DAVIS (Carolina), wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD (Arizona), linebacker CHAD GREENWAY (Minnesota), wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON (Detroit), safety TROY POLAMALU (Pittsburgh), wide receiver-special teamer MATTHEW SLATER (New England), quarterback ALEX SMITH (Kansas City) and defensive end DE MARCUS WARE (Denver). Current players voted on the finalists on the 2015 Pro Bowl ballot.
Larry Fitzgerald wins Art Rooney Award at NFL Honors
Sportsmanship Award named in honor of Art Rooney Sr.
Larry Fitzgerald wins first Art Rooney Award for sportsmanship
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.