Back to old ways; Wolves lose 105-88

Grizzlies had the Wolves’ number in this one

Two Positives:

Jonah: For the fourth straight contest Luke Ridnour posted a shooting percentage better than 50%. Last night, Ridnour shot 7-13 from the field going for 17 points, making his two-game total a combined 37 points. Ridnour’s been hot on the rumor mill and it’s certainly a shame but I guess there’s no better time for him to start warming up and allow the other end sweeten the deal in order to obtain the veteran point guard.

Tom: Aside from Luke Ridnour, I have very little positive to say. Mickael Gelabale played well. Chris Johnson deserves more minutes. You guys know the drill.

Two Negatives:

Jonah: Timberwolves shot 15 free throws in the first quarter and only managed to finish the game with 25 total attempts (Not to mention they only converted on 16 of them). The first quarter was closely competitive with the Wolves only behind one but similar trends and feelings set in as the Wolves lost grasp of any chance at coming back. Failing to stay aggressive and force their way back to the free throw line was a large part of that.

Tom: Every time the Wolves take a step forward, they seem to take a much larger step backward. For example: A moral(ish) victory against New York on Friday vs. a total and utter loss against Memphis. We can talk about losing the turnover battle (19-13), the rebound battle (36-33), the assists (30-24) and the 3-pointers (just like every other night). But individually, none of these things are the issue. The problem is that when a team loses every single one of those categories, even if it’s by a little bit, all of them add up. And when all of them add up, you get a final score like 105-88.

Two Observations:

Jonah: Mickael Gelabale in Andrei Kirilenko’s presence, although not quite the stat-stuffing, court surfing monster that AK is, has had a solid 10 game stretch, especially in terms of shooting. He’s now shooting 54% from the field in the last 10 contests, chipping in 14 points on 7-10 shooting in this one. The story goes on and on for the Wolves in terms of injuries and lost opportunities but at least able-bodied role players such as Gelabale are doing their part to keep things interesting and, perhaps most importantly, fight for the right to stay in the NBA.

Tom: Nikola Pekovic played 30 minutes and took just five field goal attempts. Only one of those field goal attempts happened in the second half. Worse: He accounted for just one of the P&R Roll Man opportunities for Minnesota. If you aren’t using Pek’s massive pick-setting body and solid footwork on offense, there’s really no reason to have him out there. He’s a very good offensive player, but if the team doesn’t utilize him correctly, he’s not going to do much.

Next up: Wolves stay on the road to take on Cleveland tonight at 6 pm.