Jonah: As painful as it is to watch, Ricky Rubio’s game is slowly but surely transforming before our eyes. He’s tallied 25 assists in the past two games, including 11 tonight, and is starting to grab a hold of this offense. Unfortunately, the personnel still leaves something to be desired but he’s making due to with as best he can. Now his shot selection is still putrid but at least he’s trying. I’d argue his shooting is a result of the lack of help offensively and the fact that no one outside of Dante Cunningham and occasionally Derrick Williams can knock down a catch-and-shoot jumper around the perimeter. Therefore he’s forced to make something out of nothing way too often, and we definitely saw that against the Spurs.
Jonah: You won’t win any game if the opposing backcourt puts up 59 points on 37 shots. Behind Tony Parker and Danny Green, the Spurs were able to abuse the Wolves with a balanced, inside-out attack. The Wolves’ weak-side defense was never quick enough to bail out Rubio on a slashing Parker and they always seemed to leave Green roving the perimeter wide-open. It was just an all-in-all ugly effort from the defense.
The Wolves really missed Andrei Kirilenko but Mickael Gelabale made a great bid to tip management’s hand in deciding his fate for the rest of the season. With his second 10-day contract coming to a close, the Wolves are still faced with a lack of bodies let alone abilities, and Gelabale is a stronger fit — and need — than, say, Lou Amundson at this point in the season. Here’s to hoping they find a way to keep him for the duration of the season.
On Twitter, Kent Youngblood noted the amount of shots Nikola Pekovic was missing at the rim. And then Derek went on to say that he’s shooting around 65% at the rim on the season. And then I resorting to responding, “It should be higher than that, given his stature and talent level.” Last night, Pek missed three of his seven attempts at the rim. There’s two different ways to take this: A layup in the NBA is never a gimme. It’s always contested with a hand or even a full-on body check. Or you can take the side that, sure, layups aren’t easy but you’re a pro. You became a pro because you’re especially good at making close shots like that, despite the contact underneath. Take either side you want but I still agree with Youngblood. Pek can’t miss that often from that close to the rim. Not if he wants $12 million or more a season.
Next up: The New York Knicks visit the Target Center Friday night, 7 pm.