Game 12 Recap: Rockets 97, Wolves 84

ESPN Boxscore

Four Factors courtesy of Statsheet.com

Quote of the Night: “This team has to learn how to play before that’s going to come out.” -Kurt Rambis, talking about waiting to use his big motivational speech to inspire his team. Translation: They are playing so bad it’s not worth it to try and motivate them.

WELCOME BACK BIG AL!

It was another tough loss with the Wolves getting frustrated and wilting down the stretch but how good did it feel to see Al Jefferson back to being his own self? Really he was the only bright spot in the game for the starters and hit his first 8 shots of the game on his way to a 20 and 10 night.

It was though a pretty bad loss. Houston is certainly an underrated team this season with both McGrady and Yao out, but they were on the second night of a back-to-back and the Wolves had been off since Saturday. On top of that the Wolves were out-rebounded by 10 (again) even though Houston’s frontline was giving up about 5 feet collectively. Our starters looked dreadful other than Jefferson’s line, and was highlighted by Corey Brewer who finished 3-7 from the field, 0-2 from the free throw line, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals and the kicker: 5 turnovers. I’ll say it again, Corey Brewer is not the answer for the Wolves on the wing. He could be a nice player on a team with solid starters around him, but that is something the Wolves won’t be for a long time. Every time he gets the ball on offense I wince. That’s never a good sign when you expect something bad to happen.

On the flip side of the stinker the starters put up the bench played very well and finished with a collective +2 +/- rating. Led by Damien Wilkins energy and rebounding (9 rebs. and 5 offensive) as well asĀ  the 2nd unit was able to get out and run a little bit which led to Ramon Sessions finishing with a nice line of 16 pts and 5 assists, 3 steals in just 24 minutes. If the bench can continue to bring this kind of energy the Wolves can win a game when the starters decide to show up.

Now for all of you questioning whether or not Rambis should put Flynn on the bench and have Sessions be the team’s point guard keep in mind that their performances were mostly due to their supporting casts. Flynn had Jefferson going to work solo on the block in mostly a half-court game while Sessions had the 2nd unit guys bringing energy and using it to rebound and push the ball. Now I’m not saying Flynn didn’t have a bad game, but lets not overreact to Sessions having a better one. It’s clear that Flynn is mostly handcuffed to either pass the ball off to the wing or let it fly from 3. The more I see him look uncomfortable the more I wonder when Rambis is going to let him run the pick and roll where he is most lethal.

Coming up next: Blazers in Portland on Saturday night.


About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time. I cheer for Minnesota sports but live in Florida.

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Don't be too gentle on Flynn, again he had more turnovers than assists, again he looked for his own shot too much and again he dribbled more than one would like. I like Flynn, but he is frustrating at the moment and I wonder if sitting him on the pine for a few games might just send home the message. I also think the whole team should be fined some exorbitant amount of money for not getting the ball to Big Al while he was on such a tear, the guy was stuck on 8/8 shooting for way to long, get the guy the ball! Brewer was terrible. I'm not so worried about the 3/7 but the 5 turnovers, that hurts a team. I also gave him a wrap the other week about being a solid defender but he has to get his head on straight, sometimes you've just got to keep a guy in front and forget about gambling for a steal (or hoping for help). I actually like Brewer for the Wolves. He does a lot of little things that can help a team be better and can guard different types of players (unless they weigh more than 10 pounds). I suppose the court time now, when we aren't going to win anyway, will probably help in the future when we can bring him off the bench (after Gay or Wall etc)to energize our second unit. But seriously, PLEASE PLEASE someone tell him to take a deep breath and just slow down, I think that guy probably sprints to the team bus. I'd also love it if he could put on 20 pounds (even 10 would be nice). Ellington, who is shooting at a worse click than Brewer, also probably needs more game time to try and find a rhythm in the league and I would actually like to see him start a few games at SG, it would be nice to know if he is going to be able to help us at some stage. I wouldn't mind seeing Sessions or Flynn with /Ellington/Brewer/Gomes/Jefferson at some stage until Love gets back, or Chuck Gomes on the Bench and put Pecherov on the floor (I don't like his game but at least he stretches the floor for Al)and have Gomes be the scorer for the second unit. Sorry about the rant but had to procrastinate to avoid getting any real work done