Welp, that was ugly.
I’m reminding myself not to complain. After all, the Wolves have been playing very well lately. They had won three games in a row for the second time this season before Wednesday night. They had moved to just over .500 for the first time since what feels like the Eisenhower Administration.
And honestly, one really can’t fault Minnesota’s effort. Sure, there were lapses, but as a whole, the Wolves played with what little energy they had left. Clearly, the team was exhausted, which is why Adelman went with a slightly unorthodox lineup at the end.
But since I don’t really have anything to complain about (most of Minnesota’s miscues were due to exhaustion rather than a lack of effort) and I don’t really have anything nice to say (there were still a TON of miscues), I think I’ll stick to mostly bullet points for this recap.
- Don’t be fooled by the final score, the Wolves lost this game by 10-15 points. Some inspired play in the final quarter by JJ Barea made the game closer, but without the Kevin Love and on the second night of a back to back, Memphis simply out-manned and out-ran Minnesota.
- Rudy Gay was a highlight reel all night. Got dayum, Rudy.
- You too, Jeremy Pargo.
- Ask any Celtics fan who has been following Rajon Rondo for the past few years, and they will tell you: Rubio is going to have games like this. There are going to be games in which the opposing team resolutely gives him whatever jumpshot he wants and focuses on stopping passing lanes. That’s what happened last night, and sure enough, Rubio struggled. Also, Mike Conley completely has his number. Not sure what that’s about.
- Here’s something weird: Wes Johnson has been missing all of his jumpers, and getting all of his points from aggressively driving to the basket. Not something you would have expected to hear a few weeks ago.
- You know your team is having an off night when Quincy Pondexter is one of the players responsible for beating you.
- Another solid box score for Pekovic with 10 points and 9 rebounds, but he really struggled against Gasol’s length when Gasol was in. On a night when other players are performing better, that kind of a mismatch won’t kill the Timberwolves. On a night when the rest of the starting lineup shoots 11-32 from the field, it’s just another nail in the proverbial coffin.
- Barea really was encouraging tonight. He probed the lane looking for easy baskets, but his range was really on display, as he shot 50% from behind the arc. Having Barea and Beasley back to create shots on their own should really help Minnesota’s offense going forward.
Ordinarily, I’d keep going, but last night was just such an uninspiring game. Minnesota will have a chance to get back over the .500 mark on Friday against a team they are surprisingly 2-0 against so far this season, the Dallas Mavericks. More important: Kevin Love will be back (thank you, sweet lord).
For today? GET SOME REST, GUYS. You need it.