Category: 2010-2011 Game Recaps

The quintessential league; Wolves lose 90-79

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant Drives
Wes did a heck of a job, but the task of containing the Black Mamba is no easy feat

Where would the NBA be if teams in major markets didn’t win? Imagine the Los Angeles Lakers being right around the level of our Minnesota Timberwolves. Or even date back to the time where the post-Jordan Bulls were nothing but a faded memory. The NBA is structured so that these larger markets have the resources to build up such monstrous teams, so unbeatable that poor teams, such as our Puppies, have a next-to-nil chance of winning.

Coming into this game it was clear who was the favorite (Kobe Bryant had more fans in the Target Center than the actual Wolves tonight). The only real chance the Wolves had of even competing with the Lakers tonight was to play solid defense, make lots of shots and hope our starters would play well enough to fend off the former Champions.

Achieving only two out of those three didn’t cut it and thus another loss gets thrown onto the ole’ record.

The first half showed serious promise. Aside from Andrew Bynum, who’s seriously just a large, schoolyard bully with zero remorse for his physical play and violent post moves — he was just down-right mean tonight, especially to Anthony Randolph, — the Lakers just couldn’t make shots. Kobe was forcing anything and everything — typical — and Pau Gasol wasn’t too active on the offensive end. Whether the Lakers’ inefficiency and lull on offense was due in part to a stilfing team defense on our behalf — doubtful — or just a cold shooting night from their team standpoint, it left them struggling, praying for an answer.

Sure enough, as the NBA Gods bless our major market foes on a nightly to yearly basis, they did.

The Lakers emerged from the tunnel with some hope. The Wolves never gave up, though. It’s just that once Rambis had to pull the starters and reserves came in to the call of duty, the Lakers’ depth and talent just overpowered us. How is Lazar Hayward supposed to hang with Lamar Odom, who’s looking to have the best season of his career… Coming off the bench! But even when it was painfully noticeable that our resereves could not play to the level of the Lakers, Rambis refused to let his starters back in.

All through a brutal end to the third quarter into a big run in the start of the fourth, led by the Black Mamba himself, it just became a nasty sight. Defense started to fail, the offense grew stagnant behind Jonny Flynn’s control, even though he played decently, in my opinion. Even when the starters finally got back in, they couldn’t do anything with it. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley went a combined 8-28 and never found a real rhythm in the game’s flow; Everything that went right in the first half came to a halting stop in the second, thus allowing my Tweet to come true… Unfortunately, that is. And it wasn’t just the Wolves that changed, like I said, Kobe started firing from all cylinders — no surprise there — but this time he was making them, proving his ultimate status as one of the NBA’s elite. All game long Wes Johnson harrassed Kobe, not allowing him to pull off any of his Kobe-esque shimmy-shakes and turn-around fades. But you can only hold a future Hall-of-Famer out of one game for so long.

So despite one of the better first halves the Wolves have played this season, especially on the defensive end, it just wasn’t enough to override fate and beat a team like the Lakers.

One thing to take away from this game was the improved play of Anthony Randolph and, more importantly, Wes Johnson. Randolph received 14 minutes today, the most as a T-Wolf this year, and made significant progress with it. We saw his potential in the form of alley-oops and incredibly insane rebounds. The guy has serious skills, but has a long ways to go, especially if he wants to fit into this complex system — he needs to be more selective with his shot and understand his range shouldn’t go farther beyond 15-feet. But as for Wes, I mean, wow, what a hell of a game? Arguably his best game as a pro, Wes displayed that he too has the potential of being the guy we knew he could be when drafting him 4th overall this summer. We all knew the guy could shoot, that was a given. But now he’s discovering new, more versatile parts to his game. His athleticism and size are coming up huge on the defensive end. Even though he may not be the most instinctive defender such as Corey Brewer was, but he locked up Kobe most of the night, always remembering to keep a hand in his grill. His qualities helped him on the boards as well. I now notice him attack the rim and reaching for balls more often. He crashes the rim when the ball is thrown up and goes and gets it with raw ups. We could very well be seeing the demise of Kevin Love’s double-double streak shape before our eyes in the new rebounding monster that is Wes Johnson. That’s a complete bunch of bologna but you get the idea.

The Wolves head to Detroit tomorrow night to face a depleted and divided Pistons squad. Should be able to pick up a win after tomorrow night. So until then, you stay classy, Minnesota.

Kevin Love's big night; Wolves win 126-123

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Kevin Love is an All-Star. Even though he didn’t look the part when he was shining under the L.A. lights, but underneath the Northern Lights, he’s a different animal.

First came the unimaginable 31-31 game in the comeback win over the New York Knicks. And tonight he did the unthinkable putting up 37 points on just 13 shots from the field.

This is a truly amazing feat. Toss in that he grabbed 23 rebounds as well and Love made a serious statement tonight. He loudly pronounced that he is the leader of this team and refuses to give up that right.

If only I could’ve actually seen this game — I was driving back from a weekend in Chicago — I was very disappointed I missed such a good game. Here’s the box score and here are some quick thoughts:

  • There was a special cohesive effort from out starting five tonight. Led behind Love’s immaculate effort, Michael Beasley dropped 25 points and Wes Johnson and Luke Ridnour combined for 30. This may be the best effort from all starting five players in a very long time. That’s considerable improvement.
  • Stephen Curry dropped 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Jonny Flynn? A putrid two points and nine assists. Can you guess on who would’ve been the better draft pick.
  • Our front court depth was impressive tonight. Aside from newcomer Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver and Nikola Pekovic stepped in and were very productive.
  • 13 mins for Darko? Really?
  • The Wolves rebounded 61 tonight. That’s insane.

As pathetic as this recap is, back off! No, I’m kidding. Next up is the Lakers on Tuesday night. Should be a great game if the starters play the way they did tonight.

Not tonight; Wolves lose to Grizzlies 104-95

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You want crazy hair? Michael Beasley has it for you:
Only God knows what actually goes on inside that head of his.

It just wasn’t our night.

It wasn’t Rambis’ either, that’s safe to say.

No matter how big Michael Beasley’s hair can be, nothing will ever be big or intimidating enough to fend off the Grizzlies. All season long the Grizzlies have had our number. And rightfully so. Zach Randolph nearly cancels out Kevin Love’s effectiveness on the boards and on offense. Darko Milicic came nowhere near the level of play of Marc Gasol’s, nor should he ever (Gasol is soo much better than Darko). And Tony Allen is such a fierce, fundamentally sound defender that none of our wings — Most notably Wes Johnson and Beasley — could ever find a rhythm.

So despite Love finally achieving his 44th consecutive double-double in garbage minutes, yet again, at the end of the fourth quarter, this team had nothing to play for. The fans had nothing to watch for. The Grizzlies are a far more superior physical team when it comes to both ends of the court. They run their offense through the beastly Randolph inside, and, again, rightfully so. He and Gasol play so beautifully together. They compliment each other so well; Gasol allows Randolph to handle the bulk of the business but isn’t afraid to dish it off right back to Randolph when he gets his chance and controls the ball underneath. There were a few plays where Gasol found a wide-open Randolph underneath for the easy bucket. Whether that was a lapse in our “longer, more athletic” defense or the dynamic duo that is Randolph-Gasol, it was pathetic and accounted for 33 points against the Wolves tonight.

The point guard play was horrendous. Our wings never found a rhythm, as I mentioned earlier. What else is left to say?

How about the head coach’s performance?

Many fans sat fearful that Love wasn’t going to be able to extend his double-double streak. And don’t think it was because he was playing poorly. Even though Love, like everyone else, wasn’t making shots, Rambis decided to sit Love for a near 10-minute stretch from the third into the fourth quarter. Beasley suffered the same penalty. I sort of understand Rambis’ decision: our super reserves, so to say, were able to muster out quite the run at the end of the fourth gaining seven points on the Grizzlies in the process. The only problem was we were still down by eight at the end of the third and the game seemed out of hand regardless of the nice little stretch form the reserves. He decided to stick with his reserves well into the fourth, keeping Love on the bench and fans’ nails in their mouth. It’s just all getting a little sickening. Rambis seems like he’s worn down a lot from this season and even he doesn’t look confident with the product on the court. We all know this team is lacking in quite a few areas but his job is to calm the storm and give these guys the best possible chance to win each and every night. Tonight was not his best effort, all aspects combined, rotations, plays and composure. Nothing clicked for the team, nothing clicked for him. Can we trade coaches??

Next up comes the New Orleans Hornets Friday night at the Target Center. I’ll unfortnately be in Chicago for a conference but will do my best to follow along on my iPhone and tweet to all you. Maybe there will be an Anthony Randolph sighting! (SIGH!)

Love him or hate him; Wolves edged by Clippers 98-90

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Martell Webster, Right, Heads
Martell was oh-so close to breaking his back again. To lose him in another freakishly fall would be devastating.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: An exceptionally athletic budding star beginning his career in L.A., wowing crowds around the nation with stellar plays and amazing stat lines.

Led by Blake Griffin, the Clippers took it hard to the Wolves in the second half by out-hustling, playing great defense and sticking with their guns on offense.

Coming into this game with two offensive-oriented teams, you’d figure this to be a typical barn burner. But with a first half score of 43-42 and dismal shooting percentages, the ending was practically anyone’s guess. That is until the Wolves came out with zero energy.

Contrary to a first half of hustle and effort on both ends of the floor, the Wolves came out of the tunnel at half completely flat. The offense wasn’t running seamlessly through Darko anymore and there wasn’t any other takers willing to step up and take control in the half-court sets. Kevin Love, after getting his shoulder banged up and leaving the game, returned with little intensity and clearly wasn’t the answer. Martell Webster received the start tonight but didn’t have his smooth jumper falling from outside. Luke Ridnour was wild with his shot selection, dating back to his old self from the cold, weary November days.

All there was to cheer for tonight was Love’s double-double streak. He did indeed extend his streak up to 42 straight games, but who really cares anymore? When your team is playing this terrible as of late and all you have to root for is a pesky stat, it ought to be time to give up all hope. Not that I am in any way, but Love’s receiving a bulk of his stats in garbage minutes when the Wolves are already far from winning the game. If he were to prove himself as a real All-Star, he’d be getting the majority of his boards and points when it matters the most, when this team actually has a shot at winning a game. But without a change to the current mentality and perhaps the roster itself, I don’t know if I see that change happening.

There was just nothing really worth watching tonight. It’s the third time in a row that the Wolves were severely beat on both ends of the court, ending in yet another ugly loss. So let’s go back to my main point: Blake Griffin.

I started off making the comparison between Griffin and a young Kobe Bryant. Both players ventured into the NBA into ideal situations, being allowed to rise to stardom with a luxurious, Laguna Beach-like life spoon-fed to them. Griffin has taken this nation by storm, there’s no doubt about that. He’s been treating fan-bases around the country welcoming them all to the “Blake Griffin Show” including us Minnesotans tonight. But there are times where his high-flying antics leaves his face snickered in the direction of the opposition’s bench and/or fans. So pick a side: Either you choose to fall in love with his thunderous dunks and explosive personality or you despise his smug facial expressions and cocky on-court attitude.

Feel free to comment with your own opinion on the game and/or Griffin. The Wolves return after the All-Star break with a showdown in Milwaukee.

So, until then, stay classy and cheer on Love this weekend.

In your dreams; Wolves drop to the Pacers 116-105

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Indiana Pacers Guard Dahntay Jones, Left, Shoots
Dahntay Jones was hot tonight -- Keep your head out of the gutter, too.

Winning three consecutively on the road was just too good to be true. And although the Wolves dominated for most of the game, it only took a Pacer to go off in the first and another to catch fire in the fourth to send the Wolves home without a victory.

In the first quarter it was the Wolves vs. Mike Dunleavy. Exchanging buckets with one of the better pure shooters in the league is never a good idea and it didn’t bode well for the Wolves tonight. Dunleavy found himself open on multiple occasions and took advantage of the space by hitting his first five shots, racking up a very quick 14 points in the process. The same old storyline was developing: A very random wing player of the opposition dominated all game long, not letting the Wolves gasp for air just once. Then, little did we know, Dunleavy found himself in foul trouble and took a seat for a majority part of the game.

But don’t let that fool you. Instead of Dunleavy tossing the final dagger into the Wolves’ back, it was Dahntay Jones. A huge quarter from Jones allowed the Pacers to steal the lead away from the Wolves and then coast to victory after being man-handled in the third.

Who would’ve thought that Jones would’ve been the difference maker tonight? My guess was as good as Dunleavy, but Jones? Jones averages just 4.5 ppg this season and has seen his minutes diminish with the emergence of Paul George. But reserve players in basketball, more so than any other sport, know the importance of being ready to go when called upon. You might miss strings of games at a time, but you need to be ready when coach needs you the most. That’s how can picture Jones’ night. He was ready to play and caught fire.

Give the Wolves some credit, though. They did indeed dominate for most of this game, commanding a decent lead throught the third. We are clearly the better team, especially when you get the kind of production we received throughout this road trip from our reserves. Guys like Wayne Ellington, Sebastian Telfair and even Lazar Hayward all pitched in to give Wolves two out of three on the road and that’s big. Playing without three starters, your rotations are bound to look pitiful and scary nonetheless. I mean, at one point the Wolves had Telfair, Ellington, Hayward, Tolliver and Koufos out there — YIKES! But consistent play from Ellington and Hayward led the charge, not leaving our reserves to hang out to dry.

Tonight it was especially fun to see Hayward play so well. People forget that Hayward was taken with the last pick in the first round. We even traded up to assure we grabbed him in time. He’s got the skills to defend shooting guards and both forward spots. What I particularly like about Hayward’s game, though, is his versatility on offense. He honestly reminds me of a young Ryan Gomes, who prefers playing on the perimeter but has the ability to bang down low with the big boys. Tonight he showed off all facets of his game hitting threes, scoring off the dribble and even getting to the charity stripe. He scored a definite career-high in points with 14, but more importantly emitted energy and hustle and both ends of floor when in the lineup. He’s a treat to watch, so all of these injuries may actually be a blessing in disguise.

Not much else to report tonight. Kevin Love extended his double-double streak to 39, only five away from tying Moses Malone’s modern day record. Jonny Flynn had a disappointing night after such a promising road trip. Sebastian Telfair clearly outplayed him tonight and was awarded the clutch minutes down the stretch. And once again, the bench was the story for the Wolves tonight with all of these injuries.

Quick question: Do the Wolves play better team basketball without Mike Beasley in the lineup? Or could you say are they a better team period without him out there? The way we’ve played we’ve played without him might suggest we are, but I’ll leave that open to a debate.

The Wolves come home tomorrow night to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Should prove to be yet another winnable game for the Wolves if the bench continues their solid play alongside Love’s fantastic output. Should also be fun to see how Wes Johnson fairs against Evan Turner (Neither has played well as of late and are well on their way to be considered busts of this year’s draft.)

Love prevails; Wolves win 112-108

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love Beats
Kevin Love set the franchise record for double-doubles last night in Houston

It was by no sense of the word or meaning of the word prototypical of Love last night. His rugged frame and clunky stride all remained but the production was done, especially the efficiency. Love was finding it difficult to go around the likes of Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes (The man’s built like a mountain; the easiest way is to go over) His lack of effort and hustle continued all the way up until the fourth quarter. Then he woke up.

Without needing to carry the team for much of the game, in tight situations like these, a team needs someone to tip their cap on; someone who’s not afraid to take the big shot because they have the confidence and the swagger to effortlessly flutter it through the air. With Beasley watching from the pine, who else would you expect to step up other than Love?

Love ended up nailing two dagger three-pointers and a big slam dunk to close the coffin. Clearly this is something we’re not used to. Sometimes in these tight spots we’ve been known to isolate Beasley and put all our eggs into that basket, but what’s wrong with sticking to what works? Love is clearly better when setting screens and rolling either to the basket or the arc, awaiting an easy pass to throw up a wide-open three, lay-up or sometimes a rare dunk. It’s arguably our most effective play we got, but how it is under-utilized oh so much. We can just thank Rambis for answering the call at the end there and not botching his own thoughts.

As for getting to those final, suspenseful moments, you have thank Jonny Flynn for that. Unlike his recent past filled with the fans’ demise and little-to-no support, Jonny’s play has become progressively better. His sporadic dribbling and wildly flung passes now have some sense of control. He’s looking for more open shooters and hitting them with cleaner, crisper passes. So even though Flynn lost the ball six times last night, he still commanded the offense with a controlled kamikaze-like demeanor. We’ve seen this out of him the past few games, and it started when he took over Ridnour’s spot while he’s been absent.

What this second consecutive road victory showed us was that these Wolves do have some fight left in them. Despite being down a few starters and some key role players, we have some guys that have the ability to step up when called upon. As explained earlier, Love stepped up as the marquee finisher and Flynn stepped up for Luke as a somewhat level-headed commander. But even guys like Nikola Pekovic and Wayne Ellington all stepped in for their injured elders and were arguably the reason this game was ever close in the first place. Really, without them Love would’ve had no game to save at the end of the game. Instead he’d just be trying to pad some stats before the clock hit all zero’s.

Next up is the Indiana Pacers. This could very well turn into the successful road trip, as the Pacers are an easily beatable team at this point. Although with no Darko inside to contain Roy Hibbert, and our suspect defense on the perimeter could pose to be a feast in the “baking” — Sorry, I try real hard to get these puns down — for Danny Granger, there’s still a very good chance the Wolves come home with three wins under their belt.

Buzz-kill; Wolves beat Nawlins 104-92

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Minnesota Timberwolves Guard Jonny Flynn (10) Scores As New Orleans Hornets Forward Sasha Pavlovic (6) And Center D.J.Buzz-kill, yeah I went there.

Unfortunately I was unable to park myself in front of a boob-tube to check this tilt out, and it truly is unfortunate. Road wins only come few and far between for our Puppies and tonight was indeed a big one. New Orleans is fifth in the West and the Wolves now have two wins on them this year. I call that improvement.

Here are just a few notes from tonight’s game:

  • Kevin Love put the team on his back (Warning: Harsh language) and carried the Wolves to victory tonight. Upon their trusty double-double steed, the others had wide open looks from outside all night and drained them. Love now has tied the modern-day record for consecutive double-doubles set at 37 by none other than Kevin Garnett. Clap, clap clap (That’s the sound of a standing ovation)
  • As I mentioned eariler, Love’s domination inside opened up the offense for everybody, especially Anthony Tolliver. He hit four three’s in the first half, as the Wolves went on to shoot over 40-percent from long range.
  • Jonny Flynn continues to impress. Slowly but surely, you can see him reeling some of that confidence and swagger back in. His movements are less timid and he’s attacking the basket with an open-mind. Luke Ridnour could very well come back to this team with his starting job in jeopardy.
  • Darko was a non-factor and hasn’t been for nearly two weeks now.
  • Corey Brewer only played 15 minutes. Weird…
  • I’m happy to see Lazar Hayward getting some more time off the bench lately. I think he has the potential to be a Ryan Gomes-like player in this league for a long time. Just produce on both ends of the floor day in and day out.

That’s really all for now. I apologize for not watching the game again and providing you with a better analyzation of the game. But, hey! A win’s a win!

Couldn't "bear" anymore; Wolves demolished 102-84

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Pretty good pun, eh?

It’s hard to really describe what even happened tonight. The Wolves actually came out a played a competitive half in the first, even though the Grizzlies maintained a steady 8-point lead for most of the half. But for the most part we were still in it.

That was until the second half started.

The Wolves came out deathly stagnated, failing to get anything moving and/or motivated. The Grizzlies came out of the tunnel at the other end of the spectrum, completely suffocating the Wolves’ offense with stifling defense and a relentless offensive attack.

This game wasn’t worth my time, and neither is the write up. I left the game with 2:27 left in the third and I’m leaving this recap right now.

Feel free to comment on tonight’s atrosity.

Quick note: Kevin Love completed his double-double tonight giving him 34 consecutively. Whoopdee-doo.

We have a winner…

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For the last few weeks, I asked you guys to come up with some sort of trade that could help the Wolves this year, and hopefully set them up for a better situation if/when Ricky Rubio comes to town.

I received well over 50 trades, some great, some bad. Some thought a simple trade of one-for-one might do it. Others had the sense that it is time to completely revamp the roster in a major blockbuster deal.

But based on how the Wolves have been playing, as well as the other players in all the potential deals I received, and the overall spirit around this team, I chose this trade as the winner:

Minnesota trades: Wes Johnson, Martell Webster, Utah’s protected first rounder and Memphis’ protected first rounder.

Houston trades: Kevin Martin, Shane Battier and New York’s 2012 first rounder.

This trade works for several different reason:

  1. We don’t have to go through an entire roster shakeup mid-way through the season to see our team improve.
  2. Talk about improvement, in receiving Martin we get a premier scorer who does everything that we need him to do on offense (Shoot three-pointer, get to the foul-line, etc.) The sweetener in the deal is Battier. He would come in with a veteran presence that could help turn more of these close losses into wins instead of losses. He’s also a tremendous outside perimeter, so playing him alongside Beasley when Brewer needs a break would be great.
  3. The only reason the Rockets may decline this one is the potentiality of losing that New York first rounder they received for essentially taking Jordan Hill off their hands. That pick would really help the Wolves because then they are guaranteed a first rounder in 2012, and wouldn’t have to worry so much about the Clippers acquiring it (That comes from the Marko Jaric trade…. Yeah, I know it hurts.)

There are some other reasons this trade really works, but that’s about the gist of it all. Congrats to the winner, ynotsema2. He’ll be receiving himself a pair of tickets to the Feb. 23rd game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Just a quick thanks to all of you who spent time configuring that crazy Trade Machine on ESPN. But this isn’t the last of it. Keep your trades coming because we all know this team is in need of a quick shakeup. Maybe if you send a good enough trade, I’ll be willing to throw tickets your way regardless of a competition or not!

And feel free to comment on the results of our winning trade. Debate is welcomed.

David vs. Goliath; Wolves topped 118-117

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love (42) Lays
Kevin Love made his mark tonight.

There’s just something about these David vs. Goliath match ups that can’t help but get you charged up. As a true American, rooting for the under dog is as homey as apple pie. When the onlookers put all they have into cheering their team on with a fiery passion, the combatants have no choice but to leave it all on the floor and go for the gold.

How else can you explain the atmosphere at the Target Center tonight? Never in the last seven years of attending games have I been apart of such a heart-throbbing, emotional contest.

And how else can you explain the play of two NBA giants, Kevin Love and Kevin Durant, and their respective teammates’ efforts? It was as if everyone on the floor was fired up and ready to make the big play when they needed it most.

But really it comes down to this: How can you explain this game entirely? Where do I even start?

From the get-go, both team exchanged buckets through the first half. Michael Beasley had a special touch developing through the second quarter and ended the half with a game-high 19 points, which was the only reason we had a slight advantage going into the break. Whenever these types of first half performances occur, it’s hard not to second-guess this team. Honestly, how many times do we go into a half with a hot player, some momentum and, better yet, a lead, only to have our hopes crushed harder than ever imagined?

But instead tonight was different. The Pups emerged from the tunnel with a newfound swagger believing they could beat the Thunder on this very night. They stretched a sizable lead in the third, but inevitably it wasn’t enough. Not when Kevin Durant’s on the other team.

Behind Durant’s career night, the Thunder clawed their way back into the game in the fourth. And standing behind 16 straight points from Durant, the Thunder actually pulled ahead. Oh, and I’m not finished. Once again allowing Durant to be their leader and seal the deal, he hit a ridiculous 28-foot step-back jumper to put what was thought to be the final dagger into the Wolves’ backside.

But tonight, like I said, a different group of Wolves emerged from the tunnel at halftime. Usually these types of daggers are enough to hinder our play and ultimately seal our fate. Instead the Wolves rebounded after their mistakes with vengeance, hoping to inflict as much pain as possible unto their opponent. Seriously, silly mistakes from Luke Ridnour resulted in him playing stifling defense on Russel Westbrook on the other end. A bad pass from the hands of Beasley normally goes to the other end for a slam, but instead resulted in a charge after pure hustle on Beasley’s part to get back and set. A new monster was playing out there, not our usual timid and fearful-of-making-mistakes Puppies.

Sure does sound like an epic David vs. Goliath battle, doesn’t it?

And it truly was. Only this time the good guy didn’t win.

Despite the wonderful effort on both ends and the resiliency to make up/clean up our petty mistakes, the Thunder had the final say in this one. Do you blame it on turnovers? Do you blame it on free throws? Or how about you blame it on the lack of whistles near the end of the game?

Or how about you blame it on nothing? This has been the story all season long and we usually know how it ends up. Somehow tonight was different. Maybe it was the crowd or the guts that our players put out on the court tonight, but, hell, this was a fun, entertaining game.

Here’s some quick notes:

  • Kevin Durant tied his career high of 47 points tonight. He coupled that 18 rebounds and had himself a big game.
  • Maybe even bigger and more meaningful though was Kevin Love’s performance (31 points, 21 rebounds). We’re so used to double-doubles out of the big fella and he does it so nonchalantly, it’s really insane. But tonight his hustle exceeded all those around him. It’s just a shame he couldn’t get more whistles inside at the end when things really started getting physical.
  • Corey Brewer had a chance to tie the game up from the line with seven seconds to go. All those around me were so furious when he missed that second shot though. Can you really be angry at him? He was the only person all night that had any chance of shutting Durant down, and did so in the first half. Nothing can be put on Corey for this one.
  • After perhaps looking further into his slump,  it seems that Wes Johnson has re-emerged. He’s starting to attack the rim and settling for less jump shots from outside. Some people might not know but Wes actually has handles when he needs to pull ‘em out as well.
  • We could’ve used more out of Darko tonight. Only 20 minutes just isn’t enough for the big guy. He needs to be in there as much as possible to help the Wolves run their offense and establish a better pace in the half-court. Otherwise things tend to get messy and selfish.

That’s all for now. Next up is an ailing Utah Jazz squad. Unfortunately we have to hit the road for this one, but it could be a winnable match up.