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Jonah: Some will absolutely disagree with me on this, but a team with as little offensive firepower as they do now, someone needs to push the envelope and make something happen. Derrick Williams has been doing that as of late and certainly tried tonight. His 9-22 shooting is by no means sexy nor efficient but it’s aggressive. Other than Williams and perhaps JJ Barea, no one is looking to make their own shot on this team right now and it’s resulted in some really poor offensive outings lately. But if Williams stay determined and aggressive to get his points, well, at least you can make things interesting as they did in this one at multiple points in the game.
Tom: Jonah will certainly get no argument from me that Derrick Williams has been doing much better of late, despite somewhat inefficient shooting lines. One of the most positive things we’ve seen from him has been his frequent forays into the paint. An aggressive Williams doesn’t necessarily score more on his off-nights (we’ve covered Williams’ struggles at the rim before in these recaps), but it WILL send him to the free throw line more as officials adjust to his newfound aggressiveness. Williams shot chart for the evening was still a little bit more spread out than we would like to see, but he is gradually moving his game in closer to the basket, and the more he does that, the less I will mind seeing him firing up mid-range jumpers.
Derek: We’ve seen it at times this season where Ricky Rubio’s shooting form looks much improved, but the shot just doesn’t fall. Well, tonight it did, and while it may not be wise to say that 6-11 is sustainable, we can hope that it’s indicative of progress in the least.
Jonah: Referees don’t win or lose games for you but they can certainly swing momentum, which then affects the final result. The flagrant two foul called on Barea for sumo-chesting Ray Allen to the floor was pretty ridiculous. Even more ridiculous was that the refs offered Rick Adelman little-to-no explanation for the switch in foul call and his subsequent ejection. It’s irritating to see how refs can drastically influence a game like that, and certainly in such a negative way. There’s no denying that the Wolves’ offense and poor shooting is why they officially lost but you just never hope to see officiating like that ever again.
Tom: The Timberwolves were 5-20 from 3-point range tonight. Ricky Rubio was hands down the best 3-point shooter on the floor. I leave you to draw your own conclusions about the way this game ended up.
Derek: The Heat did their best Timberwolves impression shooting 23.8% from three and still won by 16. Of course, they made their free throws at a better rate than the Wolves, so that helped.
Jonah: Luke Ridnour was -23 on the court tonight. He couldn’t shoot and he certainly couldn’t defend. If the team ever wants contend, Adelman will need to be much more creative against bigger, stronger teams like the Heat. With nine players healthy, he doesn’t have much of a choice but for future reference, Ridnour should never be covering Dwyane Wade in crunch time.
Tom: LeBron, by his standards, had an off night, shooting 9-16 from the floor for 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. More importantly: He was 1-4 from 3-point range and dished out just four assists. MORE LIKE LEBUM JAMES, AMIRITE GUYS?!
Derek: I can only imagine how loud the “FREE CHRIS JOHNSON” chants were as he entered the game tonight. However, six minutes later those same fans were probably thinking “HERE’S CHRIS JOHNSON…FOR FREE!” after watching him commit two fouls, and go 1-3 from the floor in such a short amount of court time.
Next up: The Washington Wizards come to town on Wednesday night, 7 pm.