Category: 2010-2011 Game Recaps

Stinky fish; Wolves lose 109-99

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The Minnesota Muskies jerseys were classic. The Muskies' play? Not so much.

Who would’ve thought that a tiff between Danny Granger and Kevin Love would be a huge swinging point in what was supposed to be a tight game? And who would’ve thought that swing was in the favor of the road team?

Usually those kinds of moments swing momentum in the home team’s favor but that was the biggest difference in tonight’s loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Wolves lost 109-99 to a very good Pacers team led by Granger’s big second half.

Granger proved tonight, at least to me, that he is a #1 option for a good team like the Pacers. Granger couldn’t miss a shot in the third and fourth quarters, which just so happened to come after he shoved Love after a lose ball foul.

Love swung his paw down hard over the top of Granger on a lose rebound. Granger didn’t take a liking to it and shoved right back with some words for Love and the rest of the Muskies. Shoving commenced and both sides had to be seperated by the referees. From that point on the chippiness was at an all-time high. Whistles were ringing from all around the court, which seemed to throw off the Wolves’ focus. But not Granger’s. No, Granger took advantage of that moment, where he received a technical, and lit up the Target Center up until the final buzzer.

Granger’s big night was just ridiculous. Part of it was due to poor on-ball defense from Wes Johnson and Martell Webster but most of it was just Granger being on fire. 29 of his 36 points came in the second half, including five dagger-like three pointers.

The Timberwolves — donning Hardwood Classics featuring the ABA Minnesota Muskies jerseys from 1966-1967 season — were unable to answer Granger’s play all night long. Love, who I thought was going to rejuvenate this team after his tussle, never got much cooking in the second half. His three-point stroke wasn’t working tonight, which disappointingly seems to throw off his entire offensive repertoire. And without Love hitting outside shots, Ricky Rubio’s outside options are nearly exhausted. Instead, he was forced to go through other options, such as Michael Beasley and Nikola Pekovic, who couldn’t muster up enough to match Granger’s play.

Let’s finish with some bullets:

  • The Wolves’ defense was bad tonight. That patented scrappiness we’ve come to love this season wasn’t there, and when it was, it just turned into boneheaded fouls. As mentioned earlier, Johnson and Webster struggled to cover Granger all game long. Even point guard Darren Collison was using his speed to blaze by Rubio and company; it was the first time I noticed Rubio completely overmatched on the defensive end; he didn’t even register a single steal tonight, the tell tale sign that the defense just isn’t clicking or nearly as active.
  • Darko Milicic officially made his bid to be Pekovic’s backup for good tonight. He went 2-9 in just 18 minutes. But those seven missed shots are way worse than you can imagine; just the ugliest, flat hook shots I’ve ever witnessed. And again, there were multiple dunk opportunities that he bypassed for a hook/layup looking shot. Just not a good game for the good guy and it may be time for him to take a permanent seat. His defensive prowess is still needed in specific matchups but he can be better utilized from the bench.
  • Speaking of bench players, JJ Barea made his return tonight and it could’ve come later. Barea’s first stint on the floor after returning from injury was rough; he went 0-4 and was stalemated by the oversized Pacers’ frontcourt. Even his second stint, where his shooting and points increased, he still struggled to squeak through lanes inside. Indiana was just too big, way too big.
  • Beasley followed up his 34-point night in Houston with an 11-point dud. Remember how in Houston he worked for his shots? Well, he tried to get those same looks without trying for them. It might not make sense but just check the box score and you’ll know what I mean. I did, however, enjoy seeing him get back to the free throw line. More of that, please.
  • Going back to the starting center saga, check these numbers: Pekovic recorded his second double-double in the last five games. He’s also scored in double-digits in four of those five tilts. ‘Nuff said.
  • The Wolves hit only three of 17 three-pointers. The Wolves had 16 turnovers. The Wolves missed nine free throws. This game should’ve been much closer between two very well matched teams but the Wolves didn’t show up with their best effort.
  • To sum it all up, this was a tough loss indeed but I’m thankful it came to a really good team. The Indiana Pacers will challenge some of the East’s best like Miami and Chicago, especially if Granger can pull his weight like he did tonight. The Pacers have a deep bench and one of the most complete rosters I’ve seen in the NBA. I expect big things to keep comin’ from Indiana. Way to go, Larry; GM of the year, indeed.

The Wolves go to New Jersey Friday night. Hopefully they don’t have Dwight Howard by then, although a Pek-Superman matchup would be pretty special to watch. Definitely another winnable road game that could give the Wolves some momentum moving forward into an easier schedule over the next few games.

A win-win? Wolves lose 108-98

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Utah Jazz Guard Raja Bell (19) Falls To The Court As Minnesota Timberwolves Center Kevin Love, Center, Attempt To Score
Love followed his "big shot" with a forgetful performance

You didn’t expect Utah to give us roses and hugs after our big victory last night, did you?

A three game winning streak and a huge win over the NBA’s new golden child, the L.A. Clippers, on national television puts a target on your back. And, when you’re as young as the Wolves are, being targeted is uncharted territory and feels plain, old awkward.

The Utah Jazz knew that. They didn’t let any of that momentum from the Wolves’ win last night be harnessed in any way whatsoever. One ongoing theme the Wolves have shown this year is a special scrappiness, especially late in games. But tonight that scrappiness just turned into desperation in the fourth quarter. The Wolves failed to play scrappy defense, which was the downfall in the end, and then it turned into desperation on the offensive side.

As for the individual performances, Ricky Rubio can only do so much. Without the help of a true supporting cast — especially in areas where your opposition is strong — Rubio was severely limited all night long. He did have 11 assists but should’ve had 15+ if others were playing at the same level of competitiveness as him.

The number one culprit: Kevin Love. It hurts to say it, especially after last night’s big shot that captivated SportsCenter from an entire day. What makes that statement even worse is that he didn’t even get a double-double (He ended with 15 points and only eight boards). He was out-muscled and over-finessed underneath the hoop all night long. And it was a mirage of opponents doing the damage. Al Jefferson, Paul Milsap and even Enes Kanter all had field days in the paint, hitting shots and grabbing offensive boards all night long.

With Love on this team, the Wolves are one of the strongest rebounding teams in the NBA. But having an off night against a strong frontline like the Jazz is never a good idea, and that’s ultimately what decided this outcome.

On to the bullets:

  • Not to belabor Love’s rough night anymore, but he went 5-21 from the field — 1-7 from three-point land — and was visibly frustrated all night long. I noticed that the Wolves, as a whole, started to lose their cool in the third quarter. A string of iffy calls and poor officiating overall got under Love’s skin, which led to his second technical of the season. To me, Love doesn’t play well angry and tonight was the best example of that.
  • Rubio shot poor early on tonight, just like last night. The only difference is that he didn’t let it get to him and he started attacking instead. We’ve learned this from Wes Johnson the past few games but the best cure of poor outside shooting is to attack the rim and draw fouls. Rubio did that tonight, and just seeing those few lay-ups and free throws go down gives you enough confidence to shoot another from outside.
  • Speaking of Johnson, this dude is starting to figure things out. I joked with my father last week that Johnson just used his rookie season and the first 10 games of this year to fake others into thinking he’ll always shoot from outside. Dude was just hustlin’ everybody. It was a lengthy ploy but it’s starting to work. Whenever he gets the ball on the perimeter, a simple pump fake gives him enough space to drive to the hoop where he’s starting to hit some shots. He had an And-1 in the first quarter tonight. Enough said.
  • Darko Milicic followed his gaudy performance last night with another 10 points but only played 16 minutes due to a sore hip.
  • You had to be impressed with Derrick Williams tonight. He came out aggressive, which usually doesn’t go his way, but tonight it worked out for the better. He’ll continue to learn and develop and these performances will only aide that growth.
  • Everyone is so surprised by the Utah Jazz but why? Their bench is rather impressive. I love the way Earl Watson plays and CJ Miles gives them a special scoring option off the bench. And that frontline rotation, if they keep them together, is going to be something special.
  • You’ve read this far and you still have no clue what I mean by the title, do you? Before tonight’s tilt, the Wolves had a chance to go to .500 and have eight wins already this season. That’d be one hell of a win in all aspects. But even though they lost, that gives the Jazz one more win and pushes them that much closer to a playoff spot. The Wolves own the Jazz’s lottery protected first rounder this year, so if they make the playoffs, the Wolves will have a first rounder after all. Sure, it’s not much of a win but in a draft as deep as this upcoming win, any pick in the first round is going to help.

Next game is Monday night against the Houston Rockets at the Target Center. Rick Adelman faces off against is old team and Kevin McHale comes home — can’t wait to hear the crowd reaction to his announcement.

Rubio vs Rose; Wolves lose 111-100

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio Of Spain, Right, Keeps
Rubio vs Rose was nothing short of spectacular

This team has based this short season on moral victories so far. With those small but indulging wins comes a sense of pride; that’s what the I saw from the Wolves playing at home last night against the Bulls.

The Bulls came out of the gun hot and the Wolves just couldn’t keep up; they were shooting upwards of 70-percent for the majority of the first half to a paltry sub 30-percent for the Wolves. But then, Ricky Rubio happened.

Rubio sparked a 20-2 run that pulled the Wolves within six at halftime. It was an amazing run filled with Kevin Love threes, Rubio-to-Randolph lobs and, most of all, defense stops, something completely absent in the first quarter and a half.

The Wolves came out and pushed the Bulls even a little further in the second half, and at one point tied the game late in the third. But then Derrick Rose and Luol Deng buckled down and started hitting contested looks from all over the court and eventually put the Wolves to shame in the end.

First off, I’ll just say that tt’s fun going into games against the NBA’s elite at point guard to see just how well our new Spanish Wonder-Boy would hold up. First was against Russell Westbrook and the response was amazing; even though Westbrook ended with a great game, you could see that bothered look on his face all night long as Rubio would constantly nag the All-Star on both ends of the floor. No one wants to get schooled by a rookie. Well, Derrick Rose came out with a very similar performance tonight. When the Bulls needed him most, we pulled his laces tight and went straight at Rubio. He eventually made enough plays to win the game down the stretch for the Bulls but he certainly was giving it his all because Rubio was that close to showing the reigning MVP up. It was a treat to watch.

Although Rubio wasn’t able to better Rose in the end, at least he did better than just hold his ground; he frustrated Rose to the brink, forcing him to compete at his highest level. Although it doesn’t always bode well, it sure will once this team understands how to finish games and win key individual battles to help the team.

Here’s a few other points from last night’s game:

  • Anthony Randolph has a terrific game last night. He wasn’t a complete ball hog and he went 6-10 from the field. When Randolph is attacking the hoop and has his mid-range jumper working, his potential truly shines bright. We’ve also seen a special connection between he and Rubio so far this season. Those two are constantly connecting on lobs on a nightly basis now.
  • JJ Barea went down with a sprained ankle last night. He twisted it on a miraculous hook shot over Omer Asik and then went down hard. He didn’t need much help to get up the court and sit on the bench. Then, like nothing happened, he jogged back out onto the court. His shift lasted about another three minutes, like everything was in order, and then limped into the tunnel without notifying anyone. It was kind of bizarre but he was clearly still in pain. Losing him again would be a giant blow because he provides that huge spark off the bench.
  • If Barea sits out another few games, hopefully Luke Ridnour can keep his hot streak up. Ridnour went 8-11 last night and 3-3 from three-point land. That makes him 20-30 from the field over the last three games. Sure, he makes some questionable calls as the sole point guard out there but he benefits — as does anyone — playing alongside Rubio. He gets open on the perimeter and Rubio finds him. He does get exposed, though, on defense, much more than Barea would, but as long as he’s hitting his shots, you have to live with it.
  • Wes Johnson started the game 3-5 and seemed in a bit of a groove. He took a seat in the first quarter and never saw the court again. Ay ya ya…
  • It’s the second consecutive game where Kevin Love pieced together a respectable game but it wasn’t pretty. He earned his tenth consecutive double-double to start the season — the most in the NBA. But Love is clearly having issues in getting the ball to go down. He struggled from three to start the game but hit a few big ones in the second half. He’s having the most trouble getting his tip-ins and lay-ups to fall, which is odd. It’s hurting his shooting percentage bad and it’s hurting the offensive efficiency. Listen, I love that Love can stretch his game and shoot threes but if he doesn’t figure out a way to score more consistently down low from the post, he’ll be missing out on some serious stats. His one-dimensional offense is frustrating because, especially with Beasley out, is one of our limited offensive opportunities to score points. I think the Wolves deeply miss Beaz right now because he offers another scoring opportunity outside of Rubio’s drive-and-dish and Love’s three ball. Beaz’s isolation game, even though it’s been cold to start the season, can be a potent weapon when the offense, or Love and Rubio, is struggling.

That’s all I got for now. The Wolves get — and need — a nice break and play the Paul-less New Orleans Hornets on Friday night. Just judging by the match-ups, they should have a good chance at grabbing a win there.

The margin of error; Wolves lose 90-86

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Memphis Grizzlies' Dante Cunningham, Left, Defends As Minnesota Timberwolves' Luke Ridnour (13) Drives Under The Basket
Turnovers and missed free throws overshadow this team's brief successes

How many times can you say it until the team actually listens? I’m sure that’s what’s going through Rick Adelman’s mind after this one.

In a comeback effort, the Wolves played catch up in the fourth quarter but it all went for naught, as the Wolves lost to the Grizzlies, 90-86.

What’s there really to say about this one? I feel like a broken record. Every loss suffered since the start of the year have been on their shoulders alone. Only Oklahoma City really beat us all night long. But the others . . . it just comes down to simple, fundamental basketball where the Wolves start to fall apart and eventually drop the game.

Free throws, as I’ve mentioned before, are one of the most fundamental shots in the game. You hit them, you’re chances of winning drastically improve. The Wolves are not only missing free throws in volume but in key moments that could potentially help sway games in their favor. Tonight they hit just 13 of 24 free throws, 54-percent, to be exact. Ricky Rubio missed two big ones in the final three minutes that could’ve changed everything. It’s the same old, same old.

Also the turnovers are killing the Wolves, too. 17 tonight, five from Beasley, four from Rubio; it’s not just one person ruining it for all. It’s the team’s ball movement that struggles in key moments, breaking down when we need it the most. You can’t continue to hand the ball over and expect to have another chance at the win.

It’s simple mistakes that our costing so much. Luckily they’re all fixable but that, unfortunately, takes time. With more experience, this team should show more poise down the stretch of these close ball games, but for now, we’re just gonna have to wait. Patience is key in watching this team; as fun and exciting as this team can be, we’re going to have to show patience and sit in through their growing pains.

Next up is a winnable game at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Until then…

That's all she wrote; Wolves blown out 121-102

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That’s how we end the season. And rightfully so. The Wolves decidedly closed the season in front of a putrid home crowd with one big fart of a game against an inadequate Rockets squad, missing Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry. It just rounded off the season beautifully.

The Wolves never had much of a chance in this one. Michael Beasley came out shooting and was hitting a few of them, as usual. Other than that the Wolves seemed lost in the emotion of a long journey of a season and failed to get any other contributions on offense. But what really lost it for us was the defensive side of the ball, but nothing’s new there.

Until Anthony Randolph started going off in the third quarter, the Wolves didn’t have much of a prayer. And when Randolph started hitting, the team started clicking and turned a 20+ point lead in to a one-point lead going into the fourth. But, as I said earlier, the story was all too consistent with this year’s theme and the Wolves let everyone down in the fourth.

Considering that I could basically copy and paste this recap from any other in the past two months, that’ll be all for now. Stay tuned for my season recap which should be posted within the next couple days. Until then, enjoy your break, find a hobby and, most of all, forget about this team for a while, it’ll be therapeutic.

David Kahn's To-Do List

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This is written by team writer Jerry Zgoda:

1Determine coach Kurt Rambis’ future.

2. Sign Ricky Rubio by a May 31 deadline that allows the Spanish guard to agree to terms under the current labor agreement.

3. Pursue veteran leadership. Expect them to inquire again about Phoenix’s Steve Nash. Who’d be a more stabilizing veteran than the two-time MVP?

4. Wait until a new labor agreement is reached to try to sign Kevin Love to a contract extension and then wait some more to let Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph prove themselves before paying up.

5. Say goodbye to point guard Jonny Flynn, who almost certainly will be traded before the Wolves play again.


Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sun burnt, round 2; Wolves lose 135-127 in OT

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley, Right, And Anthony Randolph React
Randolph and Beasley did all they could but this team needs more pieces

In what was a real barn-burner from the opening tip, the Wolves took the Suns all the way to overtime in this instance to prove their yet again they’re not worthy of winning anymore.

You could argue the fact that both Kevin Love and Darko Milicic being shut down for possibly the rest of the season due to injury has hurt us in recent tilts, but in a run-and-gun, shoot ‘em up type of game like this not having your two slowest, most un-athletic players on the court shouldn’t hurt too bad. Maybe that’s even why we pushed this game into extra minutes. Without Love or Darko slowing the pace down on offense, the Wolves were able to sprint right alongside Steve Nash and the Suns. But factor in our inexperience and lack of quality wins and you get this kind of result: A young team not being able to keep chase all the way until the end. Just like all the ones from earlier on this season.

Here’s just a few notes from the game and ideologies for the future:

  • Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley shoot too much. In normal situations, it’s okay to have a high volume shooter on your club, but when there’s two that’s when things get interesting. They combined for 40 shots but luckily made 21 of them tonight. I’ll just say it right now that that’s not a winning formula. When two guys are chucking up close to 20 shots a night, there’s a good chance that one, if not both, are going to be off or the defense is going to stump them. The Wolves are suffering from a lack of unity, especially from the starters, and it’s because of ball hogs like Beasley and Randolph. Potentially one of them may have to go if nobody can gel.
  • Defense is all but gone at this point in the season. Tell me if you don’t believe that defense is the first to weaken when your psyche and confidence runs low. This game clearly exposed what our players are going through.
  • Martell Webster’s slowly getting some minutes back. I wasn’t sure if he’s been injured the past month or longer but he was suffering from what Love caught last year: Influ-Rambis. It’s when coach Rambis decides to cut your minutes for no apparent reason other than to piss people off. Luckily he’s been doing a nice job stepping up because we all surely know that Wes Johnson is struggling.
  • MVP status for Anthony Tolliver right now. The man has come up big in Love’s wake and has made an impact. Speaking of impact, it’s now safe to say he’s been the most impactful free agent of last year’s class but has slipped under the radar due to the Timberwolves’ suckiness. Love has been receiving wrap for making a push in this year’s Most Improved Player award. My vote goes to Tolliver.

That’s all I can really muster up for the night. Another tough loss has me begging for the offseason. On the bright side, the Minnesota Lynx cashed in today by choosing UConn’s Maya Moore with the first pick of the WNBA draft. It’s unfortunate, though, that the WNBA is going bankrupt and these women will have very little time left until they’re searching for new jobs (That’s completely my opinion).

Next up comes the Houston Rockets as the Wolves look to close up for the season — Thank God. Should be a fun one — hopefully — so grab a pair of tickets and root this team into the offseason… Please.

Sun burnt; Wolves lose 108-98

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley (8) Gets Off A Shot In Front Of Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat, Right, Of Poland,
Beasley lost focus in the second half. Typical.

Let’s begin with an apology. I’ve been so far knee-deep in other activities lately that my priority of covering our beloved Timberwolves has steadily disintegrated and found a home on the back burner. Not like I missed much anyways in my absence. Two losses, one in Jersey and you can consider this season arguably worst than last’s. Tonight was just the cherry on top. And now, on to the game.

Like the itchy and painful sensation you get after laying out on the beach too long, the Wolves just got torched in this one. The score may not tell the whole story, so allow me to explain.

Without having to use much mileage on their starters, the Suns opened the first with a big lead. Surprise! The Wolves’ defense was being carved up from every direction thanks to Nash’s culinary skills and Grant Hill was receiving the 5-course meal. On the offensive end, Michael Beasley was handling the bulk without our floor leader, Kevin Love, who was sidelined for yet another game due to injury. But Beasley’s production is only good for so long until he runs out of gas, forces bad shots and then pouts and grows frustrated, which was ultimately the case in the second half.

The Suns’ offensive attack continued into the second quarter, and by this point almost none of the Suns’ starters were in the game any more, but neither were the Wolves’ starters, if that’s any consolation — which it really isn’t given how terrible our bench truly is. The Wolves, however, found a way to claw back into the game. Aaron Brooks committed a few big turnovers that kept it close and Anthony Randolph worked hard to make them pay for his mistakes. The Wolves went in to halftime only down by three but it really didn’t seem like it.

As the second half started, so did the Wolves’ decrease in production. Beasley wasn’t firing on all cylinders any longer. Wes Johnson sported an offensive repertoire so closely resembling that of Corey Brewer’s and no one else was doing enough to step up and make a difference, including Randolph who actually had a nice game. The story rolls on and the trend remains consistent with that of our season’s aspirations and the Suns pulled ahead permanently and sailed to victory.

A loss is a loss, right? The Wolves came out tonight both emotionally and physically beleaguered to the extent where starting a game is as good as a loss in the column. It’s been the theme to the whole season. And what’s particularly interesting about this loss? Maybe it’s the fact that the Wolves have now put themselves in the position to say, “We have the worst record in the NBA and we are horrible.” With tonight’s loss, the Wolves actually slipped to dead last in the standings behind a battered Cleveland Cavaliers squad. It’s a brand new low-point that I’m not quite used to even though I’ve prepared for it for oh-so long.

But even in the midst of being the worst team in the league, we still have a chance to look at the bright side. So let’s dwell on the positives, then. Kyrie Irving declared for the NBA Draft this summer today and looks to be a viable contender to be the number one pick. Oh, and that Ricky Rubio guy said he in fact will be a Timberwolf next year… Sort of. That’s good news too. So both of our potential life-saving point guards are available. Who knows if anything falls into place, but when in Rome, right?! (“I still don’t quite understand that use of that,” — Ron Burgandy, Anchorman)

I’m just getting goofy now. Next up are the red-hot Nuggets, who have thrived since trading away superstar Carmelo Anthony. A red-hot opponent against a defeated Wolves squad doesn’t sound pretty. Maybe find a hobby for Saturday night.

Heat Wave; Wolves lose 111-92

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 LeBron James #6 Of The Miami Heat GuardsI pictured this game to be like walking through the scorching levels of hell, while all our beloved Puppies all melted into the ground, piece by piece. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. Until the third quarter, that is.

In what was one of the better halves of basketball this year, the Wolves made this one incredibly tight. Thanks to some big shots and the outrageous hustle from Kevin Love, the Wolves played out of their minds and hung with, no, outplayed the Heat in the first half in tonight’s big contest.

The tilt started off like any other, Love was playing off his ass, and I mean straight to the grind. His hustle and strength created plays on the offensive end. Too bad energy never accounts for anything, especially when you’re facing some of the league’s most elite. Through the first half the Heat proved why it only takes three to win. They had the occasional James Jones three pointer or Mike Bibby dribble-drive but the box score doesn’t lie; there were three Heat players in double-digits and they are easily namable.

Anywho, the first concluded with the Heat in a comfortable lead. Then there was momentum shift. Like a lightning bolt shot out of the sky, the Wolves found some life. And coming from our end against the mighty Heat is something remarkable. It all started with an alley-oop, or lack-thereof, that is. On a brief fast break, Lebron dribbled down the sideline, threw a lob to Wade and he immediately tossed it back to James. In a split second James soared upwards but collided directly with Anthony Tolliver, losing the oop in the process. No foul was called and the Wolves found a dunk of their own on the other end to tie the game. After exchanging baskets for a few possessions, the Wolves ended the half with a one-point lead. It felt like it should be enough to go into the second half with some confidence to keep it close. That wasn’t the case.

The Heat came out of the tunnel fuming, and thus the Heat Wave commenced. In a matter of only five minutes, the Heat found themselves with a 21-point lead. Missed shots, lackluster defense, it all contributed to the brutal 23-1 run. And from then on out it only got uglier. Half-court alley-oops and typical D-Wade drives only strengthened the beating.

At that point all the starters found themselves on the bench and it was basically over. So, although the Wolves fought with some passion in the first and energized the crowd to its maximum extent, it was never much of a contest. Whenever you play the Heat you have to realize the potent power they truly have and teams as small and puny as the Wolves never really have a chance from the get-go.

One interesting tid-bit to note was the rough match-up between Martell Webster and Lebron James. As Beasley found himself in foul trouble and Wes Johnson was losing confidence, Webster stepped in. Webster hasn’t produced much of anything lately; he’s actually only scored nine points in the last three games, but it goes beyond his scoring woes. As he stepped in, everyone was wishing for a breakout performance and he delivered. His shots kept falling and his confidence was rising, enough to start tussling with the King himself. While the game progressed, the two started jostling and eventually exchanged words at one point in the night. The morale of the matchup was the reluctance of seeing one of our wings not taking any crap by anyone and just going out there and playing. All year long we’ve lacked that consistency at those positions and we’ve suffered for it. Hopefully this is the wake-up type of performance that is going to spark him to perform better through the year.

That just about sums it up, not much else to say about this one. Next up the Wolves travel to Memphis to take on some scorching Grizzlies. Here’s to being excited for the season to be at end.

Chicago beat down; Wolves trounced 108-91

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What’s stopping me from calling the Chicago Bulls the best team in the East, maybe the NBA, right now? One name: Lebron James.

My point aside, the Bulls had what it takes to throttle the Wolves tonight on their way to an easy victory at the Target Center. There was minimal effort form the Wolves side, while the Bulls came in with the mindset to bully.

From the opening tip, the starters looked flat and Kevin Love, returning from injury, was sadly left in the dust. On the contrary, Derrick Rose and the Bulls came out firing. More importantly, their defense stiffened and the Wolves’ chances on offense were minimal and not very opportune. Michael Beasley never found a real groove and Love didn’t warm up until the second quarter. The only person I saw any ounce of intensity in was Luke Ridnour but he clearly isn’t enough to match the one and only Derrick Rose. Oh, and Carlos Boozer, of all people.

Carlos Boozer is a staple in the Chicago Bulls tightly sewn sail. I’ll just get it out of the way now: I don’t like Boozer. Even as my hatred for Boozer streams deep within my veins, it’s hard not to admit he is the core of this young Bulls team. I’ll describe it like this: Rose may be the gears, twisting and turning, assuring that every piece is working in sync but Boozer bolsters everything down into place just so the machine doesn’t get out of control. He scores, rebounds, passes and plays physical interior defense. Sure his game is full of elbows and cheap shots but there’s no denying that he was the piece that helped put Chicago where they are now: Large and in charge of the Eastern Conference.

As for our beloved Puppies, tonight wasn’t a fair showing. Out-muscled and even out-hustled in the first quarter, they never had a real opportunity to make this interesting. Without Beasley, Love or Darko making an impact in the first, this young squad doesn’t have the wherewithal to make comebacks against some of the league’s best late in games.

That’s gonna be all for now, unfortunately; there wasn’t too much to report in this one, just your typical beat down by one of the league’s best. Next up comes the Heat on Friday night. I tweeted earlier tonight, “How excited are you to see Flynn-Ellington-Webster-Randolph-Tolliver against the #heat?!” This could get out of hand.