Jonah: Despite falling behind 10-0 in the opening minutes, the Wolves actually battled and kept things close through the entire game until the end of the third quarter. The competitiveness was due in large part to another great game from Ricky Rubio. Following up his first career — and certainly not last — triple double, Rubio dropped 21 points and dished out 10 assists. The ever-improving Spaniard even tallied two 3-pointers tonight, which is always a good sign, considering his well documented struggles from distance. Even more impressive was how aggressive he was that led to eight free throw attempts. These kinds of games can no longer come at a premium, though, if the Wolves want to continue to win; they need to become nearly constant.
Derek: Matchups. The Timberwolves did a lot of things in their favor tonight, and still got blown out. Turnovers and points off of them were even, made their free throws and there wasn’t too much disparity in fast break points either. If only it weren’t for…(see my negative below)
Jonah: The old Alexey Shved showed up tonight to the Timberwolves’ demise. Last night, against the Spurs, Shved poured in an efficient 16 points. Tonight, instead, he botched open attempts on his way to a 2-8 — 1-4 from deep — shooting night, finishing with just five points in 28 minutes of floor time. There’s no doubting he’s hit the dreaded “rookie wall” but it’s nice when he can overcome it for a night at the very least. Better luck on Friday, I hope.
Derek: Hey! Greg Stiemsma played 35 minutes without fouling out of a game. But he still had 5 fouls. That would’ve been okay since– oh, Chris Johnson also had five, and the Wolves were missing three frontcourt players already. It’s understandable that the Pacers were going to throw a tough frontcourt at the Timberwolves’ depleted front, but they got beat in points in the paint (52-24) and on the glass (49-36) as well.
Jonah: It’s a shame that he picked up four fouls in just seven minutes of work but on the offensive end, Chris Johnson finished converting all three of his attempts from the field. But outmatched in pure strength down low by Roy Hibbert, Johnson had a tough time getting what he wanted out of Hibbert. It was kind of a lost hope.
Derek: A pretty nondescript night for Derrick Williams, which I couldn’t decide if it was a negative since he didn’t do enough to stand out, or a positive since he didn’t really do anything to hurt the team either. He was sorta just…there.
Next up: Wolves play the Rockets on friday night, 7 pm.