Another offseason of trying to get Vikings over the hump for GM Spielman
Rick Spielman, Vikings general manager (⬇️ DOWN)
Yes, Minnesota made the playoffs in 2019 and advanced to the divisional round and have been in the postseason in three of the last five years (2015, 2017). But the Vikings just can’t seem to get over the hump. The offensive line has been rebuilt, but still a weakness. Three members of the secondary – cornerbacks Mackenzie Alexander and Trae Waynes and safety Anthony Harris — are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Quarterback Kirk Cousins will be entering the final year of his three-year contract. And the Vikings are currently last in the NFL in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com. What can Spielman do this offseason to not only help Minnesota get back to the playoffs (where it hasn’t been in an even year since 2012) but also potentially to the Super Bowl? It will be an interesting offseason.
Jarrett Culver, Wolves guard (⬆️ UP)
The kid is starting to find his way. He averaged 13.7 points (on 45.7% shooting) and 6.3 rebounds in three games this past week. Entering Wednesday’s game, Culver has strung together eight straight double-digit scoring performances. And in case you weren’t sure, he can throw it down with the best of them.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) January 14, 2020
Naz Reid, Wolves center (⬆️ UP)
The incredible story of the undrafted Reid continued this week. After scoring a season-high 14 points in 17 minutes at Houston, he topped that with 20 points in 18 minutes vs. Oklahoma City. Against the Thunder, Reid made 7 of 13 shots including 4 of 8 from 3-point land.
Andrew Wiggins, Wolves forward (⬇️ DOWN)
Wiggins started the week off right with a 23-point effort in a win over Portland but over the next two games, both losses, he made just 7 of 25 shots including only 1 of 10 on 3-point tries. Minnesota needs more from Wiggins than that, especially with Karl-Anthony Towns out.
Bruce Boudreau, Wild head coach (⬇️ DOWN)
Minnesota entered Tuesday’s game having lost five of its last six games. In Pittsburgh, a homecoming for new general manager Bill Guerin, who was in attendance, Boudreau turned in the wrong lineup and was stuck with five defensemen instead of six. The Wild then got blow out by the Penguins 7-3, a fourth straight defeat (including a shootout loss). Perhaps a seven-game homestand will help cure what ails the Wild, although the first two games are against Tampa Bay and Dallas, both of which are in second place in their respective divisions.
Marcus Carr, Gophers guard (⬆️ UP)
It’s been an up-and-down season for Carr but he had 21 points and 12 assists in Minnesota’s win over No. 19 Michigan on Sunday. It was the first game with 20+ points and 10+ assists for a Gophers player in two years, when Nate Mason did it (31 points, 11 assists).