Jonah: It would be an utter insult if Andrei Kirilenko doesn’t make it to this year’s All-Star Game. Judging by the current voting trends, he won’t but if anyone were to see tonight’s game, they’d quickly make it a point to cast a vote his way. AK47 was everywhere on the court tonight, and it was his scoring punch that made the difference — and filled the void of Kevin Love’s absence. He runs like a gazelle — I mentioned tonight that he may be the quickest man in the NBA over 6-foot-7. He wreaks havoc on defense, forces some type of turnover or bad shot and then sprints up the court in transition quicker than anybody else. His overall effort has resulted in a couple wins this year, including this game.
Derek: The Wolves had 70 points in the paint, tonight. Wait– 70?! Talk about being able to get high percentage shots, and having Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic give strong performances helps a lot, too. Snagging 14 offensive rebounds doesn’t hurt either. Well done, big fellas.
Jonah: Derrick Williams — I like to pick on him still — worked just eight minutes tonight and managed miss one three and commit two turnovers, the two flaws of his game he needs to piece together. So that’s that.
Derek: Remember in the preview when I said that Austin Rivers I would get to marvel at how bad Austin Rivers was? Well, he wasn’t very bad tonight. Rivers finished 9-14 from the field, 5-6 from three; 27 points; 2 assists. This coming from the player who was shooting 32% and had a PER of five-something. The Duke fan in me likes it, but the Timberwolves fan in me absolutely hates it.
Jonah: Nikola Pekovic has managed a mini-resurrection in the past two games. Between tonight and last night’s contest, he’s averaged 26.5 ppg on 21 of 28 shooting (75-percent). In the three games before that, he was lingering at eight ppg on nine of 23 shooting. He was needed tonight and he answered in a massive way.
Derek: .534/.412/.706…Hey, look, the Timberwolves could shoot tonight!
Notes: Josh Howard returned to action after an illness that forced him to miss Wednesday night’s game. He had just three points on one of two shooting.
(Derek’s Note: Josh Howard only took two shots? He really must’ve been ill.)
Next up: Are you ready?! Looks like tomorrow night may just be Ricky Rubio’s comeback to the court. The Wolves take on the Mavs at home. Also, Kevin Love had x-rays on his thumb, but they came back negative.