Matinee heartbreak; Wolves lose 100-99


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Warriors Timberwolves Basketball
Fourth quarter turned into a Rubio vs. Jack battle

Two Positives:

Jonah: Great players command great attention and also deliver when it means the most. Ricky Rubio did just that by utilizing his leadership to take this game over and create those magical runs that kept the Wolves in this one. The fourth quarter was essentially Rubio vs Jarret Jack, and Ricky certainly held his own. He doesn’t do it by outscoring you, rather out-hustling and forcing your hand on defense. There were moments he screwed up — he missed his only free throw in a close game late in the fourth and gambled by going for a steal instead of fighting through a screen to cover an open Stephen Curry, who hits a long two that took the lead. But there’s no denying his heart and passion to help this team win a game.

Derek: Who else would I talk about here but Derrick “The Mailman 2.0″ Williams? Ok, I think I may be jumping the biggest of sharks, but it was great to see him rebound from the OKC game with a 23-13 game. Don’t look at the 15 shots to zero assists ratio, though.

Two Negatives:

Jonah: The Timberwolves aren’t used to leading ballgames, especially late in the fourth quarter. So when a talented team like the Warriors make their push, the Wolves just don’t understand how to hold them off. Their halfcourt offense becomes jumbled and mindless — we saw this as the final minute ticked away when Nikola Pekovic panicked in the post, saw no shot and passed out to Andrei Kirilenko, who subsequently airballs a go-ahead three point attempt. Turnovers start piling up and the score starts to even out when they start playing like this, and it never bodes well in the final result.

Derek: You see a stat like points in the paint and see a team edged another by 26 in a category that’s indicative of being able to score easy points. That was the Timberwolves today. Yet, this was also the Timberwolves today: lost the rebounding advantage, had fewer points off of turnovers, took seven more free throws– do I need to go on? Between the points and the paint and the free throws, they should’ve been able to wear out the Warriors, but the Warriors wound up outpacing the Timberwolves.

Two Observations:

Jonah: After some nice positioning and defense from Luke Ridnour, Jarret Jack forced up a long, step-back two with a one point lead. It rattles out, Wolves secure the ball and pass it off to Ridnour. Now, stop. There’s two options here, A) Allow Ridnour to push the ball and force the transition defense to beat him, or; B) Take a timeout to set up a better look, even with just seven seconds left on the clock. Not to say either option is wrong because they’re not. But I sorta cringe at the thought of allowing Ridnour to be the one to zoom up the court in a desperate fleet to decide the game. I feel like a better option is to set up Rubio for a controlled drive that could at least draw a foul. There will be differing opinions on this but that’s the way I feel.

Derek:  This game was weird. The only kind of weird that can come from Sunday afternoon basketball. If we insist on playing on Sunday, can we have games start after 5pm?

Next up: Wolves head south to take on Phoenix on Tuesday at 8 pm.