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Jonah: As fans, we can count positives on one hand most nights, especially amongst this last month. This game provided handfuls of positives instead of singular benefits. I’ll start with Dante Cunningham, who ended up going a perfect 9-9 from the field for 18 points. He even posted a plus-27 plus-minus. It was the efficient shooting game the Wolves needed to make a dent in the current losing streak. A win wasn’t going to come with a passive performance on either end, the type of wait-and-see game they’ve been used to. Rather the Wolves turned exceptional defense into opportune offense. Dante Cunningham was the epitome of that style.
Jonah: Two games in a row we see Nikola Pekovic post rather sub-par games. Either he’s still lingering with minor injuries or he’s just not feeling the flow of the game, his stats don’t relate to his normal efficient performances. Too many dropped balls in the paint and not enough aggression/finesse on his post moves. I’m not worrying but it’s certainly noteworthy given his stature as a low post scorer and a sure-handed center.
Jonah: Andrei Kirilenko’s legacy is as a stat-stuffing monster, a box score mogul. Against the Lakers, AK47 managed to score 12 points but failed to grab one rebound. Tonight he scored another 12 but managed to snatch down six boards. He’s at his best when moving without the ball and attacking the rim for lobs and rebounds.
Another quick observation, did anyone else feel like this win was identical to what the Gophers basketball did against Nebraska last Tuesday? A desperate team needing a moral victory gets to play an inferior team to beat up on a little bit. A win is a win no matter who it’s against, which is why this one still means a lot to the players in the locker room. It’s a moral booster.
Next up: The Trail Blazers comes to Minneapolis on Monday, 7 pm.