Sound the alarm?; Wolves lose 96-85

Timberwolves Warriors Basketball

Just can’t quite figure it all out yet

Two Positives:

Jonah: Alexey Shved certainly displayed the inner Ricky Rubio in him on multiple plays tonight. One that particularily stood out to me was when Shved took a deep outlet pass on a fast break, realized he was way to far underneath the basket to make any sort of play let alone draw a foul, and then decided to pass it backwards to a cutting Derrick Williams for the wide open slam. It was those simpleton plays that have turned Shved’s game into a one-of-a-kind type of deal. It’s special to watch, and just like Rubio, if he can get his outside shots to fall more consistently, he’s a real threat on the offensive end.

Tom: Unlike last night, I really do believe that we can take a couple of positives away from tonight’s game. In the second quarter, the second unit showed us how effective they can be if they can click together for an extended period of time, running the lead out to 11 at one point. And on three or four plays throughout the game, Andrei Kirilenko looked comfortable working with Kevin Love on the court. Three or four plays may not sound like a lot, but it’s three or four more than we saw last night. So. Baby steps.

Two Negatives:

Jonah: We really can’t shy away from the second half blunders anymore. Once is a mistake, twice is a coincidence but now three times is an issue. Sound the alarm, right? The Wolves second halves have been dreadful — 11 points in the fourth quarter tonight… Just sayin’. Really don’t have much else to say about it other than that it’s completely unacceptable and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

Tom: Barea’s statline doesn’t NEARLY do justice to the damage he inflicted on this game. His worst mistake came late in the fourth with Minnesota desperately clinging to their last vestiges of hope. They were down five when JJ came to a jumpstop, spun around several times and may or may not have shuffled his pivot foot. Barea was called for the travel and he complained loudly enough to be called for a technical. In a game where points were nearly impossible to come by (that 3-point percentage….), giving up freebies to the Warriors was quite the dagger.

Two Observations:

Jonah: So last night Tom wrote a negative about how Kirilenko has all but disappeared since claiming MVP through just eight games of the season. After reading that and thinking and then watching tonight’s game, I can’t help but mention this painful lump in my tummy over the entire situation. The once reckless yet fluid AK47 that led the team to scrappy comebacks with his staunch defense, has been absent especially on the offensive end. He still makes plays when he needs to but he’s not in a position to create plays off the dribble or with the pass nearly as much. Instead, he’s opting for too many outside shots, which certainly aren’t his game.

Tom: I’m not sure why bad League Pass announcers bother me so much, but Golden State’s team of Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett were all kinds of awful. Listen, I’ll call Barea annoying until I blow a tonsil out of my throat, but on-air broadcasters should know better than to do so. They also probably shouldn’t openly question why David Lee got a technical after screaming an f-bomb at Marc Davis. And a better team of announcers probably wouldn’t have referenced Sisyphus and Demosthenes, then spent two entire possessions congratulating themselves on coming up with the references, especially given the utterly random nature of Demosthenes’ shout out. Not a good showing from the GSW broadcast team.

Notes: After recording two straight DNP-CD’s, Derrick Williams found himself in some spot minutes tonight, and actually made the best of it. Surprise! He was efficient in his small sample size but it just goes to prove that his benching was more so an adjustment to Love’s return more than anything else.

Next up: The Wolves continue their West coast tread, facing the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

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