Jonah: Welp, tough to come up with positives in any loss but against one of the NBA’s premiere defenses, the Wolves only managed to turn the ball over 11 times tonight. For averaging over 16 a game, 11 isn’t a bad number. Otherwise, that’s really all I got.
Derek: I’m not sure, but this may have been the best Malcolm Lee game we’ve seen yet. He had nine points in twelve minutes on 4-6 shooting, and sprinkled a pair of assists in his limited time. At the rate the Timberwolves are burning through guards, a Malcolm Lee breakout would be welcomed.
Jonah: The shooting percentages are just dismal. The Wolves have managed to put up the points to win four games thus far but not enough to consistently win through the season. Let me rattle off for a second: Derrick Williams, 0-10. Luke Ridnour, 4-12. Alexey Shved, 3-11. I understand the Bulls defense can be suffocating at times — especially in the fourth quarter — but the shots just aren’t falling often enough to pull out games against formidable foes like the Bulls.
Derek: A down night for Derrick Williams. I would have loved to have seen hims string together three good games, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be tonight. It wasn’t all bad as he went 0-10, but only took one three, and brought in six rebounds. With player development, you have to take the good with the bad and hope you see fewer and fewer bad nights. I’m still optimistic since he did manage to piece together a couple of good games last week.
Jonah: Rather than just a single occurrence, this seems to be an ongoing issue: Defenses cannot stop Nate Robinson. Only Nate Robinson can stop Nate Robinson. Regardless his stature, he’s going to get his shots on any given night. His success will always be dictated by his hot hand, though. Last night, he had the hot hand going and gave the Bulls a much needed scoring punch off the bench. Without that spark, the Wolves actually did a very good job of keeping the Bulls’ shooters in line. Robinson was pretty much the difference maker when it came to generating offense to pull out the win.
Derek: Andrei Kirilenko is definitely the MVP of this team so far. You could make cases maybe Chase Budinger or Dante Cunningham, but Kirilenko has been the guy, to me. Tonight, he posted 11-12-7 and still made a couple of plays on defense. The guy is everywhere, and has been worth every penny of his contract so far.
Notes: Chase Budinger left the game in the second quarter after twisting his knee awkwardly going after a lose rebound. The injury looked nasty as Budinger planted his foot and his knee gave out a way it never really should. X-Rays turned out to be negative but Budinger will undergo an MRI in Dallas. He was on crutches in the locker room for Adelman’s speech. “I don’t understand it,” Adelman said. “I just don’t know. I thought maybe it was just Minnesota. But it’s on the road, too. It doesn’t matter where we play. Now the other guys have to step up.”
Next up: The now shorthanded Wolves head to Dallas to take on a fearless O.J. Mayo and the Mavericks on Monday night.