Jonah: I’m sure even the Timberwolves didn’t see this coming but their 14 connections from deep are a season-high and come at just the oddest time, in a nothing game against the Pistons. Whatever, though. What tonight did solidify for me was that, given some dead-eye shooters and a brute presence in the paint, the Wolves are a really good team. It’s this kind of game that I picture a fully healthy Wolves squad to play like at the offensive end. That’s really exciting to envision.
Tom: Things we learned about Alexey Shved’s passing tonight: If the Wolves knock down shots, he can be a very good drive-and-kick player. Shved dished out seven assists, and six of the seven were driving passes that turned into jumpers. Sure, it helps for the Wolves to be hot like blue flames, but Shved’s passing was definitely a positive this evening.
Derek: I’m not a huge plus/minus guy, but this is interesting to note in such a blowout win. Timberwolves starters plus/minus': 18-23-28-16-26. Clearly the Timberwolves need to do one of three things in the future: 1) Shoot 50% from 3; 2) Play lockdown defense; 3) Play the Pistons every night.
Jonah: Derrick Williams of old sorta showed up again tonight. He finished with six in just 17 minutes, mostly because of some boneheaded D-Will plays. Like one when he dribbled down court himself, took it to the rack and got called for the charge. Just so blatantly too. The ensuing visual? A Rick Adelman facepalm. After that I couldn’t see the screen because I emulated the same move.
Tom: Aside from Williams’ somewhat mediocre performance, it’s hard to pick nits with tonight’s game. Chase Budinger continues to look a little bit uncomfortable, but his free pass to look uncomfortable doesn’t run out for a while. What’s more, we saw a few drives and cuts from Budinger, and even though few of them translated into points, it’s good to see him testing things out and re-acquainting himself with the court.
Derek: Timberwolves starters-not-named-Nikola-Pekovic 3 point shooting: 7-10. Nikola Pekovic from 3 tonight: 0-0. Oh, someone didn’t feel like doing their part…
…I’m kidding of course. You could point out a few small things here and there, as far as negatives that that haven’t been mentioned, but you would really picking nits.
Jonah: He’s 6-foot-9 and ultra lanky, so when Andrei Kirilenko goes up for a slam, it looks sorta awkward. But in full stride and with some oomph, AK’s literally one of my favorite dunkers. Just so simple yet but fun to watch.
Tom: In a little under half of Ricky Rubio’s games, we express surprise at how well he shot and wish he could shoot that well consistently. Tonight, he shot 6-9 with two made 3-pointers. If Zach Lowe is correct (he usually is) and shooting is perhaps the easiest thing for NBA coaches to teach their players, Rubio’s potential is so unbelievably high.
Also of note: That pass where he throws his arm way out and whips a pocket pass into the middle of the defense is one of my favorite plays in basketball.
Derek: This isn’t really a positive or a negative, so it’s going here. Know how I know you shot 53% from three on 26 shots? Well, you only took eight free throws in the entire game. Furthermore, here is a list of players who didn’t go to the line even once: Luke Ridnour, JJ Barea, Alexey Shved, and Derrick Williams. There were more who didn’t get to the line, but these are the ones that stand out considering their styles of play, but when you’re shooting threes like that I’m not going to complain about not drawing a bunch of fouls and just observe it.
Next up: Wolves come back home to take on the hated Los Angeles Lakers, 7 pm.