It would be really easy to panic after a game like this.
After all, the Nuggets (considered one of Minnesota’s fellow playoff contenders before the season) are forging ahead in the standings. Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson torched Minnesota. The second unit was a mess on both ends and was outscored 47-10.
And yet, late in the fourth quarter, Minnesota was close. So close that Kevin Love could have tied the game on a 3-point attempt with three minutes remaining, and again with 44 seconds left. He missed both times, and even though the Wolves kept pulling upward to the edge of the hole, the Nuggets had built too large a lead for Minnesota to hoist themselves out.
This recap has become predictable recently. First, here’s where I blame the sleeved jerseys (which admittedly looked pretty good, IMO) for the fact that Minnesota’s line looked uncomfortably like one from last year: 5-for-20 from behind the arc. Here’s the part where I tell you that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will help the second unit’s porous defense. Now I’m going to tell you that there were encouraging signs from the starters, like Kevin Martin’s 29 points (on 0-for-5 shooting from 3-point range, oddly enough) and Corey Brewer’s 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting. Here’s the reminder, once again, that the Nuggets are hot, and I advise temperance on any panic within the ranks. Finally, I remind you that November is difficult, but not every team in the NBA is good (in fact, there’s an entire conference of bad teams directly east of us!), and that the Wolves will face many of the not-good teams in January.
But these losses rankle, and I’m sure the same could be said in the locker room. The Wolves are below .500, and although it’s not panic time, it’s also not a very comfortable place.
Here’s where I would ordinarily insert bullet points (but instead, I’m going to bed because it’s late and I’m annoyed with the loss).
Here’s where I tell you to follow me on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.