The Wolves took down the Rockets last night 112 - 108 in Houston. Check out the TWB Forum Game Thread for more thoughts, analysis, and discussion from tons of fellow Wolves fans. In case you didn't see it, a great win; we really needed that tonight. Defeating the #4 defensive ranked Hornets and then the revived Rockets teams on the road is solid, no matter how you look at it. Especially for a team that struggles as badly as we do away from Target Center. Can the Puppies make it 3 consecutive road wins (for the first time in... I dunno, forever?) Friday night at Indiana?
We finally again won two consecutive road games for the first time since April of 2009. Someone mentioned this fact to me, of which I was already well aware. They then go on with "Ha, only since 2009? I would have thought it was longer ago than that!" Gotta love the casual baskball fan.
The Wolves looked great, winning a tough game at the end without 4 of our top 5 leading scorers. Can you imagine if the Rockets didn't have Scola, Lowry, Brooks, and whomever else? Battier? Regardless, the point is that I am pretty sure the Rockets would get destroyed if their only top 5 scorer for a given game was Kevin Martin.
Our bench has really stepped up HUGE the past two games. It sucks Rhombus keeps playing EVERYONE THAT IS ACTIVE, but we've won two in a row nonetheless. Still, it's a horrible coaching strategy. It was a bit "more necessary" tonight though because of all the injuries.
Pekovic played well I thought. Had some nice post moves and rebounds. He's a beast down low for sure. I can't wait until he figures out the speed of the NBA game, and all the rules/nuances and whatnot. If he doesn't ever figure this stuff out, we'll just combine him with Kosta to make Nikosta Pekofos, the ideal foreign NBA backup Center.
Tolliver, Telfair, and Ellington were all great off the bench and instrumental to the win. Nice to see Ellington playing well. I never thought he'd amount to much, but he seems servicable. Tolliver had 10 big boards and played well all around. For what we are paying him (basically chicken scratch), he's a great signing. He has been superb lately and needs more burn. I think everyone already knows my feelings on Telfair vs Flynn.
Not sure that Webster acquisition was the greatest, because will he ever truly get a chance to shine on a team like ours, where Rhombus plays 12 guys almost every game? Actually, is Webster even that good? I'm not sure we even know yet, but he has shown flashes.
Flynn had 15 points, but don't be decieved. I suppose he played better than he has earlier this season, but that still equates to Less-Than-Average-At-Best. Of course a starting PG playing 30+ minutes per game is going to score some points. He also had 7 assists and 5 more turnovers. He is a turnover machine. Sadly, he's our PG doing this turnover-ing. Please trade him and play Telfair and Ridnour the rest of the season.
I'm not a fan of the plus/minus statistic on a per game basis AT ALL, but once again, Telfair > Flynn. Check out the past 5 games:
|2/8 at Houston - Win||-1||+5|
|2/7 at New Orleans - Win||-3||+15|
|2/5 vs Denver - Loss||-14||+1|
|2/4 at Toronto - Loss||-14||+3|
In the previous 23 games, Telfair only played in 3 of them: 6, 15, and 3 minutes. In those games, the Wolves went 2-1. In the other 20 games that Telfair did not play a single second, the Wolves went 3-17.
Hopefully Flynn starting and playing huge minutes means he'll be traded soon. I think it's pretty obvious that Rhombus doesn't like Flynn either, nor the fact that he is forced to play him so much.
Love was sick last night, and as you could tell if you were watching the game, he did not chase down rebounds with his usual aplomb. He had a great fourth quarter though, hitting some threes and had 10 or 11 points? Maybe more. But if I remember correctly, he had something like 9 points and 11 boards at one point in the 4th, and finished with 20 and 14. He also set the franchise record for 38 consecutive double-doubles and counting. So big congrats to him for that. I think it's a pretty arbitrary stat to keep track of, but it's recognized around the league and by media members, so no discounting him setting the record for the longest DD streak in the past quarter century. How long can it continue? Through the rest of the season? Ha?
Regarding the Rockets, Luis Scola is really, really, really good. I can't believe the Spurs GAVE HIM AWAY FOR NOTHING!?! That's probably the biggest mistake that franchise has ever made. I truly believe they'd have at least 1 more title if they would have keep Scola. Heck, maybe even more. Scola would have prolonged Duncan's career, and he + Duncan would be nearly unstoppable. It's like having a big men version of LeBron and D-Wade together.
From the oh-my-dear-lord-department: Since December 1st, 2010 Wesley Johnson has 23 free throw ATTEMPTS. Total. In almost 40 games. That is beyond discouraging. Please tell me this is going to change? He's got the skills to be a slasher, but is it Rhombus that makes him camp out at the three point line all game long and hoisting jumpers? I'm no genius, but that's not what I had in mind when the Wolves drafted him. If this doesn't change at some point relatively soon, then give me Cousins over a high lottery pick jump shooter.
We had 15 turnovers and 21 fouls to only 7 and 17 for the Rockets. However, we shot 51% from the field, and 8 of 18 from three; compared to only 45% and 7 of 28 (!) for the Rockets. A great win.
Friday night the Wolves go for three consecutive road games, against the Indiana Pacers. Let's do it. Game Thread can be found HERE
"Our bench has really stepped up HUGE the past two games. It sucks Rhombus keeps playing EVERYONE THAT IS ACTIVE, but we've won two in a row nonetheless. Still, it's a horrible coaching strategy. It was a bit "more necessary" tonight though because of all the injuries."
First its Rambis. Second He doesn't always play everyone. Ask Ellington or Telfair who I think should be in the rotation before Flynn and Webster. Third 3 of our best players were out. Horrible Coaching strategy it isn't. Did you ever wonder how the lakers were able to be on top with only a couple stars?(not counting the 4 star 2004 year).
I cant believe people are advocating the strategy the thunder uses -- throw to durant. Or the strategy the other teams use where they never take their starters out. The problem with this is you end up with the Caveliers without LaBron, or you end up with a team that cant cope with their starters gone when they leave or get injured.
Rambis has a better strategy. Note: our C team(Ellignton and Haward are in the last rotation) whipped the Rockets, most teams cant say that. Our bench is pretty good.
You can do a lot of things right and still lose. I think that is the real complaint that we are losing and we are trying to find a reason. There isn't a single reason.
Like your write up, dude. As far as Wesley goes, however, let's keep in mind that a team needs shooters, and he can drop shots when he's feeling it. It's interesting that he was often compared to Shawn Marion, but he's playing more like a poor man's Ray Allen (the way Ray plays now that he is almost exclusively a shooter, not the way he did when younger and he would attack the rim every so often). You need guys like that who space the court and shoot without clogging up the lane. That said, he needs to add one last move, which is the shot fake, 1 dribble hesitation, and get all the way to the cup for the dunk. As he improves his handle and gets more comfortable in traffic, I see that happening.
Still totally comfortable with Wesley over Cousins, if nothing else, because he doesn't whine all the time and screw the lockerroom up. We have been winning shorthanded as a team the last two games and you can't do that without chemistry.
@Pants80 @Wolfenstein Seriously, Cousins has been awesome of late. Once he matures and figures things out... whoa, we'll regret it. I think he could have a similar career to someone like Zach Randolph. Immature and gets in trouble when he's young, but then matures and Z-Bo is now dropping like 20 and 13 per game, or whatever his averages are at. Cousins could do something like that too.
@Wolfenstein Thanks Wolfenstein, appreciate it. We need shooters, but we need Wes to be so much more than that. He was the #4 overall pick! You can't take a jumpshooter with that pick. I think it's frustrating, because from watching him in college he certainly has the tools to do everything else out there on the court (except well... his dribbling is suspect.)
I dunno about Wes over Cousins. Cousins has been absolutely BEASTING lately. He could end up a top 3 ROY candidate. And we don't exactly have a ton for big men. Yeah, we have Love and Darko (as long as he's not in the Darko-void), but we could certainly use another stud big man like Cousins...
http://cole-wolvesvikingsblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/wolves-look-impressive-on-road.html, read new wolves blog, about recent wolves wins and Love's record. comment- Flynn has looked better and i like telfair as a back up, this makes ridnour expendable.
A healthy Flynn did average 13.5 points and 4.4 assists as a rookie. Totally agree with Rambis playing too many players. Nothing about the Brewer trade though? Good idea or not? We will miss his defense for sure
@Ericwithlove Thanks for the comment, appreciate it. Didn't mention a Brewer trade because it doesn't really fit in with a game recap. There is a ton of Brewer trade discussion in our TWB Forums though if you want to come check that out and hang/chat with us. Basically, sounds like he won't be back next year no matter what (per Kahn), but I'd hate to simply give him away for nothing. He's been playing great, and his defense has been superb of late. He's an asset for now. It's almost a shame we won't keep him.
Loved the Flynn v. Telfair grid. I'll note that the Memphis game was an anomoly for Telfair. It was probalby the worst I've EVER seen him play. From what I've seen at games Telfair is the most natual leader on the Wolves roster. Maybe his feet wouldn't have allowed it but I wonder how many more wins this team has with Bassy as the starting PG the entire year.
@Pants80 Thanks for the grid props. There is sooooo much more comparison one can do between Flynn and Ridnour, but I just didn't have the time at the moment. Anyways, I think it's pretty obvious Telfair > Flynn. This is proven both by all stats (regular and "advanced") and the "eyeball test" as well.