It’s damn-near impossible to win a game shooting under 35 percent, let alone finishing a game around the 32.6 percent mark. And it’s also impractical to pick up a victory allowing anyone with the name George — first or last — put up daunting numbers like 52 points on 19-29 shooting.
So that right there just about sums up the game.
Indiana is a really, really good team. Arguably the best to start the season thus far. On paper, they have it all. The all-star scoring forward, who’s groomed his game to tailor a more all-around superstar (Paul George). A beastly center in the paint on both ends because he can now score in multiple ways and refuses to let anyone near the basket on defense (Roy Hibbert). A sharpshooting guard, who can heat up in a hurry (George Hill) alongside an aggressive defender (Lance Stephenson). Then you can’t forget David West, Orlando Johnson, Ian Mahinmi, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson, who all put in viable minutes with their time on the court. It’s a well-rounded club that plays a strong team game on both sides of the ball.
That kind of makeup creates a tough matchup for any team, let alone one coming off a tough back-to-back where they faced one of the Western Conference’s top teams just the previous night. I’m not making an excuse for this lackluster performance but a piss-poor shooting night is usually a byproduct of fatigue. The starters finished 23-70 from the field. Throw in JJ Barea’s pathetic 3-11 performance and, well, you’re well on your way to that nasty figure I pointed out earlier.
What’s becoming seemingly more alarming in the past few games is Adelman’s complete and udder lack of confidence in anyone besides the starting five and just Dante Cunningham and Barea. The Derrick Williams news is no good for the Wolves’ depth, none of the rookies have shown up this year, yet, and Alexey Shved has become one of the statistically worst players in the NBA. If someone does show up soon and on a consistent basis, well, the team many thought was ready to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years, will suffer from late-season fatigue and depth issues.
This game isn’t worth pushing any form of a panic button quite yet because, again, this was against one of, if not the best teams in the NBA. And they were pretty much hot all night long, playing to their strengths and bullying the Wolves with some stifling defense. But this one did emphasize some potential long-term flaws that could influence the future. All we need now is a few easy ones and some much-needed days of rest. Sleep in, boys.