When great expectations are met with poor performances, fans and athletes can find themselves at the ledge. That place where the temperature is always rising and the sky is always falling. The good news is things aren’t often as bad as they might seem to be. Here’s a look at who’s on the ledge this week.
The Carolina Tarheels
The Tarheels have been an oddity all season, clearly as talented as any team in the country, but prone also to a frightening level of indifference and lack of basketball IQ far too often. Carolina has the look of a team that spent the off-season soaking up the headlines, accolades and expectations that everyone seemed to be casting in their direction, They also look like a team that believes far too often that they can simply roll out the balls and win with their talent, and on most nights they can. Lately though, the Heels looked to be dialing up for a stretch run and scaring the field at large in the process. The absence of Jon Henson over the weekend though has given the Tarheels and their fans new reasons to be concerned. After losing Henson in a walk over Maryland on Friday, the Heels struggled with NC State and then fell to Florida State in the ACC Final. This time last week it looked like no one could beat the Tarheels without substantial help from the Heels themselves, now it appears they’ve come back to the pack, and maybe too late to develop a real heart as a team. Things are touch and go for Carolina right now as they hope to get Henson and their swagger back soon.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
Long the laughing stock of the league, the T’Wolves looked to be on the rise this season. Despite what many consider organizational ineptitude throughout the Minnesota franchise there are few credible arguments against Kevin Love being anything but the league’s best power forward, and the emergence of Ricky Rubio after arriving at last had Minnesota thinking of playoffs and turning the proverbial page. Now that Rubio is lost for the season and possibly longer with an apparently torn ACL, it seems the season for Minnesota is lost as well, along with their chances at dumping some guard talent at the deadline to reinforce their roster. Perhaps one more lottery bound season will add just the right piece to complete the puzzle in Minnesota but until then the apparent derailing of an unusually promising season in Minnesota has to be tough to take.