Wolves Week 15
I gotta say, the last few weeks of Wolf ball have been as fun as any stretch in recent memory. They've managed to beat good, great, bad & terrible teams. It hasn't been without a couple more losses but 5 of the last 6 and 8 of the last 11 have ended with W's so there shouldn't be too much complaining. That includes a great win tonight against the Magic. Things get tougher from here with a trip to the champs and a visit by the Griz. The hot streak may keep going through those games but at a minimum they need to keep playing well.
5 Quarters to the Good
This one had everything I can want from a Timberwolves game.
Rubio dropped 22 & got close to a trip double
KAT just did what he does
Thibs showed a small amount of variety in his player usage
Wiggins played with authority
He was the best part of this. That angry dunk will make SC Top 10. The shot at the end of the game to force overtime is more important. It's been a long time - possibly since their origination - since the Timberwolves had a true closer. Whatever his short comings may be, if Wiggins can keep developing to be that, then he will be invaluable.
Going into tonight I was looking for specific things that Towns does which makes him as good as he is. The points and rebounds are obvious. The nice passes are a great asset and he's starting to pick it up as a shot blocker but he's better then stats can show. The little pocket pass that he made to Wiggins late in the game is the best example of it but I was glad to see his greatness.
Getting back to the game overall, I know the Magic aren't even in the top half of NBA teams but they presented some specific challenges for the Wolves. Gladly, the Timberwolves seemed ready for those challenges, which speaks to the coaching staff's work and the players buying into the prep.
It seems to good to be true. The temptation to hedge and doubt the run that they're on is certainly real but maybe they can do what has so rarely been done by Minnesota pro teams for years now. That is, to not let the fans down.
I hope so.
As for tonight, it was five quarters where the Timberwolves did what it took to win the game. Keep that good feelin goin pups!
To say the recent run of good play will come to an end with the way tonight went would be pre-mature. The Cavs are still the champs and in spite of some of their issues they are one of the best teams in the NBA. Getting beat handily by them is really no big deal. I would have liked to see the Wolves do better and even to win it but stumbling against a better team is not a big deal.
The main take away can't actually be taken away until they play again. That's a bit of an oxymoron but is the deal. It was a blip on the radar. As good as the team's been playing I don't see it going back to the way things were going over the first couple of months of the season.
It's a simple point so I'm not going to beat it to death. When they play Detroit on Friday we'll know how isolated tonight's regressive play was. I'm going to guess it's a one off. That is all. I just don't think it was a big deal that they lost, even in embarrassing fashion in the second half.
Getting blown out by the champs is one thing. Losing again, in less but still convincing fashion is worse. I guess lows always follow highs on roller coasters but I would much rather be on a ride which stays on the same plain for the duration. That's not meant to be this year. The bad play should be a bit of a cause for concern now. Because I recently watched the movie "War Games," (which is semi classic but also typically corny at times for movies of a certain age) I'm going to add a new element.
That's the defcon meter. It's fitting that #5 is blue because I'm going to start using that as a meter for how good or how bad things are going with this team. 1 = flawless, 5 = shut it down & go home. That's a stark contrast but I'm gonna roll with it for now!
With Lavine's injury during the game, everything gets more difficult. The odds of a 30+ win season shrink. The complaints by fans will grow. The fact that the injury came in a loss to what should be another inferior team just stinks. I really don't want to be like the fans who whine over every little thing that goes wrong so I'm just going to cut it off at that.
18 point lead - good
Losing the lead - bad
Losing the game in the second quarter - worse
We're probably at a 2 Wolfo
During the game, up so much, I thought to myself "why can't we play the Griz all the time?" I remembered the convincing victory to start November but conveniently & regrettably I forgot the two drubbings that Memphis put on us before last night. They're still every bit of the playoff team that they have been & that was without several of their best players. No Gasol, no Allen, Zebo fouled out, this should have been a fair gimme. On the contrary, this was a classic failure for a team that has a history full of them.
Anybody else want to put there head in a vice?
At least we don't have to deal with the Packers in the Super Bowl. That's a small consolation and has nothing to do with the Timberwolves but sometimes fandom has to make connections that aren't natural for the sake of sanity.