I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell can’t we beat the Clippers? Perhaps it’s late karma for last season’s whoopings and the late thriller in Los Angeles, where Kevin Love defeated them with one final swooping dagger. It’s a little frustrating knowing that we’ve lost twice to the Clips in just 12 games to start the season but you have to look for that silver lining.
In the four-point loss tonight and the two-point nail-biter in L.A., there’s a clear-cut and recurring theme in both games: Rivalry. Oh, yes. There’s without a doubt a rivalry brewing between Minnesota and the one who hails from Los Angeles, but now it’s the Clippers, no longer the Lakers that should be the target of our unending demise. It shouldn’t be a rivalry of hate, though, rather one of anxious, intense battles that push fans to the edges of their seats on a nightly basis. Fans not just of the Wolves and Clippers should adore this newfound rivalry but the average NBA fan will find a special place watching these two young titans clash for the next few years. Also, if you want to check out the latest NBA Odds, click that link!
We have two of the best power forwards going head-to-head but with completely contrasting styles. Kevin Love is a combo forward with a sharp-shooting three-ball and intense grind for grabbing rebounds, while Blake Griffin dashes and dazzles with his high-flying trapeze act. Then there’s Chris Paul, the greatest point guard in the world going up against Ricky Rubio, one of the toughest on-ball defenders in the league. Nikola Pekovic vs Deandre Jordan also intrigues given just the sheer size of the two behemoths.
I can’t lay it out any simpler. These two teams, some of the youngest in the league producing the most entertaining basketball the NBA has to offer, pair up brilliantly to give the league a new rivalry worth rooting for. And in a league where player-on-player rivalries have all but gone out the window, we have to rely for true competition to come out of matchups like these, making these square-dances more than worth the time investment of watching.
Anyways, now that my monologue is over, let’s review what happened tonight in some BULLET POINTS!
- Kevin Love happened tonight. And it’s OKAY, people. As fans of a team that has found some success after years of misery, we have to learn to take the good with the bad. Love himself will be the first one to say that 2-14 is pretty bad but he still got his double-double and also led the team in assists with eight. As long as he can make contributions elsewhere on an off-shooting night, we can be okay with that, especially since the Wolves only fell by four.
- The bench has been awfully inconsistent this year. It almost seems like every game is a new opportunity for a reserve to make his mark but ONLY one player. Tonight’s game was Dante Cunningham, who put up a solid line and also had a nasty block against Griffin down in the post. But Adelman needs more from those guys to win close games like this.
- I’m getting ready to name Kevin Martin the unsung hero of the NBA in this early phase of the season. He had 28 tonight and led the comeback bid late in the fourth and recorded his first double-double since 2009. He’s the most consistent option on offense we got, so keep on feeding him.
- This game was a battle. The only Wolf with a positive plus/minus was Love and no one on the Clippers exceeded Ryan Hollins’ plus-eight mark.
- Clippers shot 49-percent from the field. Wolves shot under 38-percent. Why just a four-point loss? Free throws. The Wolves are 6th in the NBA in FTA per game and 3rd in free throw percentage. Tonight they outshot the Clips from the stripe 31 to 16, converting on 25 compared to 10.
- Two tough losses in a row, two straight games Rubio fails to reach even seven assists. Part of that was Love’s discombobulation but others have to be open, right? The Wolves rely on him to create open shots for his teammates, so it’d be nice to see more in the coming games.
That’s all for now, folks. Next up is the Brooklyn Nets, where Kevin Garnett may make his final trip to the Target Center. GET YO TICKETS NOW!