Jonah: Through this spiraling tailwind of misfortune of a season, Andrei Kirilenko has remained the most reliable, versatile and steady player on the team. AK led the way with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists in the matter of — get ready for this — 41 minutes. Yowza. A guy with a knack for missing games in the past has turned in the most consistent season and only missed four games at the end of November. Let’s just end with thank you for AK47.
Tom: Chris Johnson once again showed his worth, shooting 6-10 from the field, grabbing six rebounds and swatting away three shots. I don’t know what the D-League has been feeding him, but I hope Minnesota got the recipe, because he has looked like a completely different player in Minnesota than he did in any of his other NBA stints. Is his success due in part to the confidence of being serenaded with “M-V-P!” chants in his first Target Center appearance? Who knows? But it’s a lot of fun.
(AND YES I KNOW IT’S A SMALL SAMPLE SIZE AND THAT A REGRESSION TO THE MEAN IS ALMOST INEVITABLE, but dammit all, isn’t it nice to have SOMETHING good to overreact to?)
Derek: Speaking of hustle players, Jonah, how about Dante Cunningham tonight? 7-12 from the floor, 14 points and 3 rebounds off of the bench is always great to get, especially when short-handed.
Jonah: The Wolves’ tailspin can’t be pinned down on one specific reason. The injuries are brutal but they’ve proven before that they can at least stay competitive without Love, Budinger and Pekovic. So why the bipolar tendencies? The manic period began when Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale signed 10-day contracts and blew the minds of, well, everyone and left Rubio and Kirilenko singing praises, hoping luck has turned around. But then ever-so-quickly the depression sets in again and they lose two in a row and Rubio’s left to turn preacher yet again. The effort just isn’t there on either end of the court for 48 minutes a game. They show up in spurts but never sustain any ounce of energy or momentum. Perhaps it is the trials of wearing season with all the bad luck but it’s getting harder to watch game-by-game.
Tom: Hey wow, D. Williams had 18 points?! I didn’t even notice most of those. Six rebounds is pretty meh, but eight assists?! What’s this assist business? Was his court vision undervalued? Maybe he will work out as a small forward after- Oh. DERON Williams. My mistake. DERRICK finished with nine points on 11 shots and no assists. That sounds more like it. He definitely did have six rebounds though. So. Got that right.
Derek: JJ Barea: 11 points on 11 shots…I still like you, but stop making me reevaluate that disposition so often lately.
Jonah: It’s never right to point fingers but it’s becoming extremely difficult not to blame Terry Porter’s _____ (inexperience, incompetence, ineptitude. You pick which one you want). For example, Derrick Williams struggled to get anything going in the first half but came into the third with an aggressive vengeance. He was strong and scored nine points, looking like someone who could take the game over for the Wolves. You know what he’s welcomed with? Absolutely no burn in the fourth. Just about the same could be said about Rubio’s playing time tonight as well, who didn’t see any time in the fourth as well and only had 24 minutes total. Nothing has been predictable since Porter took over except for one thing: not understanding proper game adjustments/lineups.
Tom: ^ Preach.
Derek: Did they play a lot of Kanye West songs tonight at Target Center? I only ask because Kris Humphries went 1-5 from the floor tonight with his 8 rebounds.
Next up: The Wolves head to DC to play the Wizards Friday night, 6 pm.