Blazers 107, Wolves 102:
Now, sadly I didn’t get to watch this game but there were a couple key points to highlight.
For one, LaMarcus Aldridge is not that good. But he is that good without Darko defending him. You can guarantee that Aldridge doesn’t go off on that kind of night with Darko in the lineup.
Second off, do you remember all of the problems and issues that the nuisance Rudy Fernandez was this summer? He failed to show up to training camp and demanded a trade or release from his contract to go back to Spain. He was a serious pain in the ass for the Blazers’ front office. But now they have him going off for 26 on the Wolves in place of injured Brandon Roy. I still personally love Rudy’s game and believe he could be the acquisition we need to convince Rubio that ‘Sota is the place to be.
And thirdly, it was really nice to see Webster have a great game the way he did. Whenever you’re facing your former team, there always seems to be some sort of animosity aimed towards them. A certain vengeance that just needs to be fulfilled. Webster got that done tonight. It would’ve been much sweeter had we pulled out the victory, but scoring 19 in one of your first games back from injury this season has to feel good.
That’s all for this one. I understand the Wolves played hard, and, ultimately, played a very good game, but when you’re missing a focal point of your team, especially when he’s the only guy who can defend in the paint, life becomes a lot more difficult.
Nuggets 115, Wolves 113:
As was the case with the Blazers’ game, the Wolves missed Darko tonight. I even mumbled to myself that we’re going to have trouble without him just before opening tip. It’s becoming ironic to say things like ‘We need Darko’ after literally hating his guts just a month ago. He seemed distraught and out of shape and never put any effort into his game whatsoever. A few changes to his mechanics, maybe a little boost of confidence, and he’s a full-fledged center on the NBA level who can legitimately play.
But honestly, with Darko in the lineup Carmelo would’ve had a much more difficult time getting into the paint and ultimately the line where he shot eight of 10. With Darko in the lineup Ty Lawson wouldn’t have been able to squeeze into the lane, rather be forced into undesirable jumpers from outside. With Darko in the lineup the offense would’ve ran much smoother through his post play because the floor would’ve been much more spread out, giving Love and our wings more open looks on the inside.
It’s crazy how much Darko really does for this team, and not having him the past two games, you can really feel his lost presence.
Despite yet another losing effort on the road, Kevin Love may have outdone his 31-31 game against the Knicks with an impressive bout tonight. Love put up ridiculous numbers tonight, thus solidifying his name as a must-be All-Star. Night in and night out Love continues to wow us with his strength on the block, range from outside and downright hard-nosed, blue-collared effort on the glass. He’s a rebounding machine that can’t be stopped — 17 tonight, for those counting at home. His 43-point effort was a career-high and the second time a Wolf has scored 40 in one game — Beasley put up 40+ on the Kings earlier this season. You just can’t say enough about Love’s play this year because it’s really hard to capture his numbers without comparing it to the likes of Moses Malone and others. And that’s where you can get yourself in trouble.
Other than Love’s career night, the Wolves didn’t do much of anything else worth noting. I will add that Jonny Flynn has looked increasingly better each game he plays and Luke Ridnour is continuing to bewilder us all with poor clock management and a questionable shot selection. Flynn just has this way about him that always keeps the offense moving, whereas Ridnour finds trouble when he sits idle dribbling at the top of the key. Flynn should be in the starting lineup very soon, folks.
That’s all for now. Tune in Monday for when the Wolves take on the Clippers in L.A. — Yes, the road trip is still not over. But based on how we’ve been playing the past two games, I wouldn’t be shocked if we come out with a decisive victory in that one.