Thunderized; Wolves lose 106-84

Thunder avoid another letdown, pound Wolves 106-84Three Positives:

Jonah: After starting the game 1-6 in the first half, Derrick Williams made a better effort in the second, going 6-9 from the field. Still no made three pointers but not a bad effort to get himself back into the game.

Tom: Nikola Pekovic played well once again, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. I don’t really have a whole lot more positive to say about that. There’s only so much a player like Pek can do against an explosive, fast-paced team like Oklahoma City. But Pek did his job for the evening.

Derek: (Let’s see…I can talk about…no, not Kirilenko. Oh, Shved shot alright, and had OMG SEVEN turnovers?! How about Dante Cunning– not tonight.) Did anybody get hurt tonight? No? Hell yeah!

Three Negatives:

Jonah: Did you know Kevin Love is going to be out 8-10 weeks now? Yeah, that’s a negative.

Tom: So much to choose from! I’ll go with the 19 turnovers. Frankly, if you turn the ball over 19 times against Oklahoma City, there is no chance in any hell that you are winning a game. The Thunder are too dangerous individually and too good in transition.

You also probably aren’t winning against OKC when your best player is out with a broken hand, but Jonah has that covered.

Derek: Hey, Tom! What’s a consequence of 19 turnovers? Yes, giving up fastbreak opportunities, which the Thunder took advantage of to the tune of 23 points to 8. Even with a relatively even rebounding battle the Timberwolves managed to get killed in the open court.

Three Observations:

Jonah: As hard as it is for many to admit, the Wolves desperately missed JJ Barea’s presence on the court tonight. With the news of Love, it’s going to be imperative that someone step up in the scoring department. Typically we turn to Barea to fill that void. Oh, jeez, I really just said that. Tonight was baaad.

Tom: I’ve come to grips with the fact that the Wolves are hands down the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. That doesn’t bother me anymore. 3-13 from 3-point range? Fine. At least they only took 13 3-point FGAs. What DOES bother me is the fact that Minnesota allowed OKC to score a higher percentage of 3-pointers than total field goals. The Thunder were 11-20 from 3-point range for 55%. Once again, OKC is too talented to miss many 3-pointers, but when the opponent is over 50% from behind the arc, it’s a good indicator that there is bad defense helping out the good offense.

If the Wolves are going to miss a metric truckload of 3-pointers, the least they could do is force their opponents to miss a few as well.

Derek: The Timberwolves, who have been notoriously bad from long this season took just 13 threes. They average 19 per game. I’m not sure if this was a combo of the Thunder’s scheme, dearth of guards, or both, but is interesting to note. There’s a chance that the Wolves’, um, shooters didn’t have much left in their legs after being so shorted handed, though.

Notes: It was the second consecutive game that head coach Rick Adelman has missed due to “personal reasons.” Also, JJ Barea sat this one out with an injured back.

(Derek’s note: The Wolves have now lost TWICE this season 106-84. The first time being to the Jazz.)

Next up: Wolves get a day’s rest then head to New Orleans for a game Friday night.