Jonah: Ever since Terry Porter has taken over for Rick Adelman in his absence, we’ve seen some puzzling rotations, in particular his approach to Nikola Pekovic’s minutes. Before tonight, he hasn’t played more than 30 minutes, and tonight he barely cracked that limit with just 32 minutes. In that time, he amounted for 20 points on the most efficient shooting percentage on the team. Throw in the 12 rebounds and he proved himself to be tonight’s most valuable player. It’s just a shame he’s not on the floor more often, instead conceding minutes to Greg Stiemsma, who can’t even set a pick without warranting a whistle. In other words, play Pek more, please.
Tom: Rubio did look a little more comfortable on the floor. He still doesn’t look incredibly comfortable or confident reversing direction or moving in ways that were clearly affected by his injury, but at least the two shots he hit looked confident, including a 2-pointer that was originally a three. And after a couple of games with minimal amounts of assists, it was good to see him dish out six in 26 minutes. Three of them were pretty flashy. One was a lob to Dante Cunningham that utilized every bit of bounce in Cunningham’s bouncy legs. Another was a gorgeous pass along the baseline to Pekovic that brought Dallas’ lead down to 10.
Welcome back Ricky. Hopefully.
Jonah: Alexey, oh Alexey, why must you shoot? Why not just pass and defend well to boot?
A poem by: Jonah Steinmeyer
Tom: It’s still early…but it’s a lot less early now. The Wolves are 3 games behind the Blazers for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. That’s far from insurmountable, but they will have to leapfrog the Jazz as well to do so. The Jazz, for what it’s worth, beat Miami last night. Between Portland, Houston, Minnesota, Utah and (if you want to count them at this point) the Lakers, only two teams will go to the playoffs. Those are four and a half dangerous teams (couldn’t resist a Lakers dig), and you really don’t want to spot any of them a big lead in the standings.
The Wolves are far from finished. But they are teetering on a dangerous edge right now, and it doesn’t get any easier as the Clippers visit the Target Center on Thursday and the Rockets visit Saturday. Things might get worse before they get any better.
Sorry. That was a pretty negative negative.
Jonah: Nikola Pekovic is actually a very good free throw shooter for a center. For all the heat that Dwight Howard gets for missing free throws, Pek doesn’t get enough credit for his effectiveness at the line. But tonight was completely opposite as Pek went just 4-10 from the line.
Tom: The loss against Dallas marked the second consecutive decent game by JJ Barea. I don’t trust this trend one bit, but it’s good to see Barea having some real impact.
Next up: Welp, the murderous road trip concludes and the Wolves get to come home to meet the Clippers Thursday night.