Ahh, it’s good to be back! A bug in our system may prevent us from writing about our beloved Wolves but it certainly did not bring down any passion I still share for this team.
So watching them win huge, 126-95, in Philly tonight was a blessing because we can all agree that the last few games, particularly the loss to OKC, totally sucked.
The Wolves used a three-point barrage to beat the 76ers to a bloody pulp tonight on their homecourt, and boy, was it needed. Here’s the analogy I’ll use; how many of you are the middle child? Bueller? Anyways, if you are, you know what it’s like to get beat up by the eldest. I mean, they’re bigger, stronger and, of course, older and wiser. There’s usually no way out of it except to scream for mom to tell them to stop. So you’re sitting there, all pouty and bruised when you’re little sibling walks into the room. They rub you the wrong way, poking and teasing, and next thing you know, you’re wailing on them out of sheer frustration.
That’s the mentality the Wolves had coming into tonight’s contest. The big, bad older brother Oklahoma City beat us up pretty good, even if it was close. It’s still bitter and hurts deep inside. So what’s the best way to get that out? Beat up on the younger, less experienced one, who simply loves to instigate the matter. That was Philadelphia tonight. It’s nothing personal against Philly. The Wolves were looking for anyone to take their frustration out on tonight. It just happened to be the poor 76ers.
But I don’t care. They needed this blowout win to prove it to themselves that they’re not broken. The season is still very long and there’s time to figure out how to scheme out a win over the bigger brother another day.
To get into the numbers a little bit, the Wolves ended up draining 16 threes, a season-high for them. The 76ers actually nailed eight themselves, which is pretty good. But what was mostly different from tonight than most of the Wolves’ scoring outbursts was the dispersion in the scoring. Typically you see just Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic dominating the scoring column. Well, they did so again tonight (42 points combined) but Corey Brewer added 15. Kevin Martin also netted 18. But the bench really came up big, which isn’t so typical, coming up with 47 points as well, mostly from JJ Barea (13), Dante Cunningham (10) and Alexey Shved (10).
Those last three guys are going to be a big piece of the season’s story moving forward. If Adelman can find some trust in those guys to come off the bench for 15+ minutes per game and NOT screw things up too drastically, this team’s makeup will be greatly different than if they can’t. Cut down the turnovers and at the very least just turn those into field goal attempts, and I think this unit will be more reliable than the previous couple months. Barea is the starter but Shved is going to be key as well because he has the potential to fill a sixth man sort of role. It’s just all about consistency for all three of them, which they’ve struggled with all season long. So really we just have to hope and pray that these kinds of nights happen a little more often.
Twas a great win tonight, and now the Wolves are back to .500 at 17-17 (That’s nothing new). They get one day rest but then gotta come prepared for a fiery Suns team on Wednesday night. Luckily, it’s at home but it won’t be as easy as preseason predictions had it to be.