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Timberwolves Week 4


A four pack of games. A 50% win percentage. Could have been better but also could have been worse. It's an inconsistent bunch but there are signs from which to draw positive conclusions.

Lakers coming up lacking


Due to Wiggins' game, went with the full highlight package.

In what is and should be a surprise to everyone, except maybe the biggest rubes, the Los Angeles Lakers have started this season off well. After losing their latest stalwart to retirement they have a young and talented team but just as many question marks as the home town Wolves. That was the match up on Sunday night in the Twin Cities.

The wolves were without Zach Lavine, Shabazz Muhammed and Brandon Rush but you'd never know if by the final score. Andrew Wiggins went off. In only 21 shots, with only five 3 points, he poured in 47 points. 17 coming from the charity stripe but a very impressive out put for the third year player! Check the Twitter feed if you want to see the rest of his stats because it was a heck of a game for him!

Bjelica, and Towns complimented Maple Jordan exceptionally and even Rubio and ...Adreian Payne made some things happen on offense. Tie that all in to the defense being able to hold the former MN team under 100 and it was another win on the books! On top of the scoring, Rubio managed 10 assists and Towns wrangled 12 rebounds. The trend of Jones getting more minutes then Dunn continued on Sunday as well. He just keeps making plays and it seems like Thibs has a little more trust in the local boy then in the rook.

So win #3 on the season. Far from the showtime squad but it's always nice to beat the Purple and Gold of LA!

Wolves stung again


A twelve point lead at the half, a seven point deficit when the fourth quarter started. With three minutes to go in the third quarter, they were within points of each other. Not a positive but a tie is better then a deficit. Well the team couldn't match up over the final minutes of the quarter and found themselves behind.

Comebacks happen all the time in sports and a few points is no big deal in the NBA, they just don't seem mentally able to handle it. The third quarter has been a thorn in the team's side for several games this year. I mean they've lead by double digits in seven of the 10 games so far, yet only the three wins. Fatigue in the brain is already showing itself by some of the post game comments.

Since they're playing the masters of it as I type, I'll use the word. It's part of the process. Is it enjoyable? No. Is it acceptable? Not for much longer, if at all. Will it change? Hopefully!

On Tuesday it was too much of a problem for them to be able to come back from. The Hornets are a fine team. An Eastern Conference playoff team but not a championship level team. It was just the kind of game that the team will have to win to jump from 29 to 45+. Will there be more chances? Yes, 72 of them to be precise. But there youth or their mental incompetence blew their latest chance.

Beat em down like Balboa


The Philadelphia 76ers have spent years mired in the same muck the the Timberwolves occupied. High draft picks, often resulting in busts and more losing seasons. For whatever reason, TV people opted to choose a game between the two teams for national broadcasting on Thursday night. I'm glad they did since it kept it from getting relegated to FSN plus. If you didn't watch the game or even the highlight package, take my word for it that it was a dandy!

The team beat em down like Rocky used to. It was almost as mythical of a performance as that man. Too bad for both cities that there haven't been many better examples that I could draw from but a made up boxer from 30+ years ago.

Towns may be on the cover but Wiggins is going on all 90's on the game right now. I'm talking NBA Jam. He's On Fire!

47

29

35

Not a locker combination. Not a lotto ticket. Not a random selection of numbers.

That's how many points he's dropped over the last three. On Thursday he was only a part of the action too. They pummeled the Philly squad.

The 24 point final margin only got that close because the starters and key reserves barely played in the fourth quarter. They were up by 30+ in the third quarter and probably could have had a 50 point win if Thibs had kept them on the peddle.

Even with the recent history, it was a game they were supposed to win. Philly is still a couple years behind the Wolves, which really stinks for their fans but I'm still excited about beating them in such convincing fashion. The rise of Air Canada, the continued improvement of KAT, Lavine, the addition of Dunn and all those vets has me & should have you feeling pretty good about the future and loving being able to beat inferior opponents!

Melt down in Memphis


Deep breathe. That one was abysmal! When I thought about the teams that the Timberwolves would jump this season, the Griz were on that list. Not at the top but in the mix. I just thought they would take a step back as their guys got up in age. That could still happen, but certainly didn't seem likely off last night. Holding any NBA team to 71 points is hard to believe. I thought that a performance as bad as this one would rank amongst the lowest scoring games in association history but it actually wasn't. For the record, there have been 10 games since 2000 where a team managed 62 or fewer points. Teams between 62 and 71 aren't included in the list so there are probably several more examples of putrid offense.

That's a faint point from which to pull positivity. And I'm not even trying to do that, just want to lend a little bit of perspective to it. Now that that's out of the way, lets get into it. The first half was respectable. The second half was bad as they've been yet this year. KAT being in foul trouble certainly didn't help and forced him to have to sit early in the third but this isn't a Lebron like one man show. When one guy can't go, the other's have to pick up the slack. Dieng with rebounds, Lavine & Wiggins with points. Lavine held up his end and somehow managed to get 22 points. Dieng got to double digits in boards and even with all the time spent sitting, KAT put it through for 17. The rest of the team flopped, worse the "best" of em. Save for the rare 40 point game, getting 14 points from the bench and seven by Wiggins will spell failure almost every time.

Maybe it was exactly how the week needed to end. With the way the Vikings started it, it was a fitting end to the pro sports week. So with the Purple already up 7 and hopefully able to start a positive trend, I'm ready to move on from the week. A sneaky positive that could be drawn from the Timberwolves week is that even with the terrible performance they were guaranteed a .500+ record for the week. That still leaves the team well below equal for the season but winning half the games the rest of the way would be extremely acceptable.

Next up are the Celtics on Monday night (FSN), the Pelicans on Wednesday (ESPN) and a back to back of Phoenix & the Warriors on Friday and Saturday (FSN). 3 - 4 is entirely possible and a perfect week could happen, how they regroup against the C's will go a long way in showing how the week will go!

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