This is how you win. Sure, this one came against a dismal franchise in the Charlotte Bobcats but the Wolves put together a complete game from shooting to rebounding to defense. And it really only took one half.
Disregard whatever that was that showed up and laid that egg in the first two quarters. The Wolves fought through the deficiencies in the first half and came with a vengeance in quarters three and four.
This was a must-have win for the Wolves. Too often do bad teams step into Target Center visualizing an upset and actually seem pull it off. The Wolves have played good teams tough this season but it’s the bad ones that seem to squeak out victories when the Wolves are at their lowest. A sliding four-game losing streak with a lack of offensive confidence had the Wolves in a bad place, right where the Bobcats, who have lost now 16 in a row, wanted them.
Adelman wasn’t going to let that happen. He stuck with what was working and that was Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Love hit two big threes in the third quarter that sparked that go-ahead run. Then once Love started to cool down a bit, it was Pek’s turn to rev things up inside; he straight mucked it up inside. A lot of it was due to JJ Barea’s vision off of the Pek ‘n’ Roll, who found Pek countless times rolling off of screens to the hoop. The Target Center saw a good 3-4 rim-rattling slams from Pek as a direct result to Barea’s aggressiveness and timing.
Adelman was so hung up on what was actually working for once, he actually left in the lineup that was clicking — Barea, Ridnour, Webster, Love and Pek — for a majority of the entire fourth — with a 16+ point lead — until about a minute hit the clock. It was a big win to get, why jack around and risk a mini-comeback? No, the Wolves needed to kick a bad team in the teeth tonight and they did just that.
And bullets to finish up:
- Hello, Wes. Johnson was able to see some shots go through the net tonight. He started off 3-4 from the field, and it had to feel good. I wrote about Wes needing to find his niche until his shot starts to fall just yesterday. He did some things right tonight, namely his defense, which seemed to help in get into the groove of the game. If he can continue to find his way in the flow of the game from the tip, he’ll be able to piece together good games like this tonight. I don’t care if he went 0-4 form the perimeter tonight, at least he tried and was able to sustain himself in the flow of the game for the most part tonight.
- The Boris Diaw tweets will never get old. “Boris Diaw is just one cup size away from DD.” You can’t help but crack a smile.
- Michael Beasley played nine minutes. Derrick Williams played nine minutes. Both guys only had four points each. Odds are it’s just a result of not being in the lineup that found a groove in the third. It’s still something I personally don’t like to see.
- After missing the last game due to personal reasons, — praying that all is well with Luke and his family — Ridnour was able to find his shooting stroke tonight. Adelman and the Wolves really need Ridnour to do one thing and that’s make shots. When he’s not doing that, he’s practically worthless, especially playing at the 2-guard. Good for Ridnour tonight.
- I never mentioned it above, so here: Love’s line: 30-18-3. Yowza.
- And, finally, that Kemba Walker dude, he’s gooood. I thought he was a spitting image of the man that could’ve been, Jonny Flynn. No, sir. Kemba is a strong option to lead this Bobcats team moving forward. Could/should morph into a highly competitive Brandon Jennings.
That’s all for tonight. Next up the Wolves take the road to Houston to play the Rockets yet again. They’ve been hot, including a win over OKC tonight. But these two have history and match up well up and down the roster, for the most part. Should turn out to be a great game Friday night.