The steal had to have thrown off Martell Webster’s logic. All of the scenarios probably ran through his head and he strategically plotted what to do in any given situation before the ball was ever inbounded. Well, except for getting the steal himself.
But maybe Webster’s logic wasn’t wrong, rather just misinformed. Maybe Wesbter thought we had another timeout, where going for the quick dunk would make some sense, not a lot but at least some. In that situation, the quick two forces the Wolves to foul, hope for the missed free throw — which happened — and then they could utilize that final timeout to doodle up the game-winning attempt in the halfcourt.
That wasn’t the situation to Webster’s misfortune. The Wolves didn’t lose because of that miscue, though. If Nikola Pekovic wasn’t sidelined the rest of the contest with a sprained ankle, the Wolves come out on top. If the Wolves had gotten some foul calls once the tilt turned into a rumble in the Octagon as both sides became chippy and aggressive, they would’ve won. If Ridnour had gotten that layup to just slide through the net in overtime, the momentum could’ve drastically changed and the Wolves wouldn’t have had to extend the game with fouls. (Ridnour was right to use the right hand on the lefty layup, by the way; he used it to shield off the defender and prevent an easy block.)
This game was riddled with miscues and opportunities all game long. The Wolves went 6-27 from downtown. The Nuggets out rebounded the Wolves 57-50, including 17 solid offensive rebounds, five of which came by way of Kenneth Faried’s frantic ways. Ricky Rubio shot too much, again, instead of setting up teammates with assists.
There are so many reasons that the Wolves should be leaving the Pepsi Center with another win in their pocket that it’s not possibly fair enough to place the blame on one player’s shoulders. Not Webster’s, not Ridnour’s, not anyone, really.
You can still be optimistic after this one. The Wolves played one of the toughest games of the year coming off an emotional win at home on back-to-back nights. Denver is a division rival that plays as hard and scrappy as I’ve seen any team play in the NBA. The Wolves were able to match that intensity most of the way through. It simply came down to logistics and making the play when you needed it. The Wolves didn’t, the Nuggets hit their free throws; eliminate all of the drama that happened in between and there’s your result: a tough Wolves’ loss.
Not much left to say about that one without letting emotions getting too out of whack and having the piece go awry. Next up is Utah at the Target Center. Another division foe that will give the Wolves a run at their money.