First off, I’d like to say that this is going up much later than I thought it would. First, I had TweetDeck crash on me at the arena and couldn’t finish tweeting through the fourth quarter. Then, I compounded my problems by leaving my laptop charger at Target Center. Well, now TweetDeck is working and I picked up another adapter on the cheap so life is good again, but your recap is really late as a result.
Anyway, the Timberwolves were playing the new look Celtics — one of the more random collections of players in the NBA — on the second night of a back-to-back. The Timberwolves came out slow as Avery Bradley quickly got six quick points to put the Celtics up 6-1. It wasn’t until the 5:23 mark when the Timberwolves first took the lead and somehow managed to finish the quarter with 33 points on .500 percent shooting.
Kevin Love had a quiet 12 points and nine rebounds at the half, but his namesake, Kevin Martin was the one who was struggling. Adelman told the media after the game that he challenged Martin to bring his energy up and be more aggressive. Martin responded and improved his shooting in the second to finish with 20 points, though on 18 shots.
The Timberwolves spent much of the second quarter with a fluctuating lead, but still looked like a team playing on the second night of a back-to-back. As a result, the upstart Celtics were able to pull within five points at the end of two. Displease, Adelman said after the game he told his team that, “They’re going to keep playing; they’re going to come at you. You gotta get the first five minutes [of the third] to get control of the game.”
How did the team respond? With a 15-5 run that would take the scrappy Celtics out of the game. The Celtics struggled to find a match for Nikola Pekovic down low and they utilized him in the post to put the game out of reach. Yet, with the game steadily in hand, Adelman kept four of the five starters in the game until around the 3:00 minute mark. Clearly, the bench production has been questionable, but on the second night of a back-to-back and being late in an 18 point blowout, what’s the worst that could happen? The Celtics were not coming back. Evidently the bench still has quite a bit of proving to do.
Love led the Wolves with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Pekovic and Martin each finished with 20+ points for the third time this season. Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 27 points.
Instead of writing a 1,000 word dissertation on this game, how about some notes?
* With last night’s win the Timberwolves are now 7-4, tying the second best start in franchise history. The best? 8-3 in 1998-’99.
* Kevin Love surpassed Christian Laettner for third place all-time in Timberwolves history for made free throws. Love finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
* Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love go streaking. Love and Pek extended their league-leading offensive rebounding streaks to 86 and 85 games, respectively. In the mean time, Rubio extending his league-leading steals streak to 32.
* The Timberwolves shot .864 percent from the free throw line last night, which made me happy. Love committed seven turnovers, but the team finished with 13, which sort of makes me happy-ish.