Some Monday randomness...
*First, a shameless plug...here's my recap of yesterday's Vikings game.
*Saturday's game was absolutely one of the best Wolves games I've attended in recent memory. The biggest thing I saw: This team played with heart. Yeah, they started the season by being competative against superior teams on a nightly basis, but since that strong opening stretch, they've had too many games where they've simply come out flat. I have no idea what Jerry Sichting told these guys prior to Saturday's game, but they played one of the most intense 48 minutes of basketball that a Wolves team has played in a while (and most of all, they played a COMPLETE 48 minutes).
*Next best thing on Saturday: 19 offensive rebounds. That's flat-out ridiculous...Craig Smith and Al Jefferson are certainly proving themselves to be two of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA (Jeff ranks seventh in the league in that category, averaging 3.5 offensive rebounds per game).
*The Wolves also had the edge on the defensive glass...36-25. That's also great to see, as I've been a little concerned about this team's ability to limit the opposition's second-chance opportunities. Mainly, Corey Brewer's insane rebounding over the past two games has helped the Wolves control the defensive boards...I have no idea what's gotten into this guy lately, but he's been on an absolute tear. Sichting just loosened Corey's leash quite a bit this week, and Brewer's responded in a big way. Couldn't be happier for the kid.
*Liked the starting lineup...Bassy, Jaric, Brewer, Jefferson, and Craiggers. Bassy and Jaric would've sounded like a cringe-worthy combination prior to this season, but I'm liking what I'm seeing when they're on the court together. And not only did I like the starting lineup, but the rotation was also managed very effectively...Al played 42 minutes, and most importantly, they played him for the majority of the fourth quarter (I'm so tired of Wittman putting him back in with 6-7 minutes remaining in the fourth). I've been a long-time Craig Smith rube, so I was thrilled to see him get 36 minutes...the Rhino deserves more than 15-20 minutes per game! And Corey deserved every one of his 30 minutes. Finally, I enjoyed seeing the Wolves' eight-man rotation in action, but that rotation was prompted by injuries more than anything.
*As well as he's been playing, the jumper just isn't falling for Corey, and he's having trouble finishing his drives. More than anything, I think that's just a confidence issue...he's missing a lot of jumpers and layups that, frankly, he shouldn't be missing (he's 6-25 from the field over the last two games). Let the kid get more comfortable, and his offensive game will be just fine (the jumper, though, could use some fine-tuning on the practice court).
*Enjoyed seeing the Sugarhill Gang, even though I can't say I was around in their era...for those interested, here's their Myspace page. Some good stuff.
*If you're ever planning on attending a Wolves game, I implore you to buy tickets through scalpers...you'll get great seats for under half of face value. I definitely plan on getting scalped tickets for the remaining games I attend this season...just as long as the tickets I buy aren't made of crackers.
*I respectfully disagree with Mike Trudell's claim that it's Jaric's increased minutes, and not Adrianna Lima, that's improved Marko's play.
*And, on that note, I'd like to thank you for checking out my quick thoughts by presenting you with a picture of Adrianna eating a watermelon, after the jump: