The return of Bud; Wolves lose 101-98

Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, left, reaches in for the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, of Spain, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kings’ backcourt was just way too good in this one

Two Positives:

Jonah: I’m a big Bud fan, if you didn’t already know, so seeing Chase sprint the court, albeit for just 18 minutes, was certainly reassuring. I wasn’t — and won’t be moving forward — expecting too much while he returns from a torn meniscus but he also doesn’t need to do much to set up shop in a corner and rain down threes, something the Wolves need so desperately.

Derek: I really like efficient Nikola Pekovic– 18 and 12 on 6-12 shooting, and 6-8 from the line on top of that. Nice game for Pek.

Two Negatives:

Jonah: Budinger returns and hits a three. How does the rest of the team respond to his shooting? They go 0-18 from three-point land for the rest of the game. Just so awful. You’d think that just seeing a deep ball slide through the net would give someone else some confidence but it doesn’t. That’s just how historically bad this team is at shooting.

Derek: On the possession prior to the final possession, the Timberwolves subbed in Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham for defensive reasons, which is a fine strategy unless you’re not going to call a timeout to sub in more offensive players. Instead, Rubio kicked it to Ridnour, who passed it to Cunningham who was forced to take a three that he missed at the last second. Even though they would’ve had to inbound from the backcourt if they had taken a timeout, making for a tougher shot, I would’ve preferred to see Ridnour take that shot if they didn’t take the timeout.

Two Observations:

Jonah: Ever since Nikola Pekovic went down to minor injuries, Greg Stiemsma’s role has increased substantially  seeing that he’s the only other center on the roster with the ability and strength to play every opponent. Sorry, Chris Johnson. And I have to admit, he’s certainly been getting better and better each time he goes out there. He still makes some knuckle-headed decisions but I’m very impressed with Stiemer’s advanced offensive ability. In the last five games, he’s averaging just over eight points a game and shooting 53% from the field.

Derek: You all know I love the Timberwolves, but I’ve also been a huge fan of the Kings’ Isaiah Thomas since his Washington days, and  who was also the 60th pick in the draft a couple of years ago. Despite concerns over his size he’s risen to being a starter in the NBA and put up 24-3-6 last night. I know, I know…#trader!

Next up: Wolves stay out west to take on Phoenix tonight at 9 pm.