Un-bear-able; Wolves lose 92-77

Memphis Grizzlies' Mike Conley, left, pushes Minnesota Timberwolves' Jose Barea, of Puerto Rico, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, March 18, 2013

Mike Conley is a straight bully on defense. Good for him

Three Positives:

Jonah: Late in the third quarter, Ricky Rubio tried fronting Mike Conley, I believe, as he was bursting up the floor. He lower-body buckled and jerked that left him limping until the next dead ball. He sat down in frustration as Wolves fans held their breaths. Then he made his way to the locker room and everyone thought all was lost. Luckily he arose from the tunnel and took a seat on the bench. Marney Gellner so candidly explained that it was only a tweaked groin and he was available if needed for the rest of the game, which he wisely wasn’t. So at least for everyone’s sake, he’s A-OKAY. That’s my positive.

Tom: Well, the Wolves managed just 14 assists, 33.7% shooting from the field overall, 25% shooting from 3-point range. They scored just 28 points in the paint and allowed 50 to Memphis. They were out-rebounded 49-45. Sooooo positives. Hmm. Just 11 turnovers, I guess? That was a thing.

Derek: Look, the bench scored 44 points! This is great because it has often because there have been times the bench has given the starters very little support. Wait– what’s this…(scroll down to my negative)

Three Negatives:

Jonah: People tell me that Nikola Pekovic needs to return to the Wolves at any cost possible. But when Marc Gasol takes Pek to school and leads the Grizzlies to a large deficit in scoring in the paint, 50-28 to be exact, I’m hardpressed to even listen to any of them. I’m as much of a Pek fan as the next guy but I also sport a realist mind that can’t justify paying the man much more than $10 million a year or so.

Tom: Two bad things about tonight’s game: Derrick Williams’ inefficiency (3-12 for eight points…sigh), and Jonah’s pun in the title above. Williams’ inefficiency is less excusable than Jonah’s pun work, because at least Jonah’s pun didn’t jack up five 3-pointers, making only made one. The same cannot be said about Derrick Williams.

Derek: …the starters combined for just 33 points? Seriously, here are the points for Timberwolves starters last night: 8-8-9-6-2. Everyone has their off-nights shooting, this team of course having been no exception all season long, but that lack of production is pretty bad. Whatever, though. They were on the second night of a back-to-back on a road and are just getting healthy as a whole, but that is one big negative.

Three Observations:

Jonah: The Wolves actually led most of the first half of this game but in typical fashion they left off the pedal in the second. Everyone seemed gassed and utterly disgusted in the fact that shots weren’t falling. It’s a common theme I’ve witnessed all season long, the complete disinterest in playing a second half, and thus the blowout.

Tom: Most teams struggle on the road, but the Wolves are 7-26 away from the Target Center. That’s barely better than Charlotte, who are 6-28. At this point, wins are tough to come by at home as well, but barring any unforeseen factors, most road games can be chalked up as a loss for Minnesota before they even begin.

Derek: Had this been a close game, one stat likely would have been on the Timberwolves’ side was points off of turnovers. The Timberwolves had 14 off of them, but the Grizzlies had just 6, and both teams finished with similar figures. At that rate they could have finished with twice as many since the Grizzlies didn’t exactly capitalize on their extra possessions. Of course, you shouldn’t be allowed to win if you finish with 24 or more turnovers, but that disparity just caught my eye.

Next up: Wolves have another road game in Sacramento on Thursday night, 7 pm.