Minnesota Timberwolves (2.04.09)
vs. Atlanta Hawks
Season Record: 17-31
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- It was a good decent game overall, after what initially looked like a monster borefest. We were down 17 at one point and looked completely disinterested in playing at all. I mean, we had freakin 37 points at halftime! I will say, under Wittman, this is a game that we would have lost by 30+ points, after being down early. The Wolves have recently shown a will to be competitive, and fight back from deficits. In that regard, the game was "good." What I really mean is that it ended up competitive at the end, rather than another blowout, which we have been accustomed to in the past. Granted, the Hawks are good, but I was surprised how much they were able to run over us without Joe Johnson. It was really depressing to be honest. No one wanted to make free throws down the stretch, and I honestly thought we had a chance to steal this one when we pulled within 2. Alas, it was not to be.
- Marvin Williams is good. I think he would be a solid building block/addition to our team this off-season. That is, if he even wants to sign here as a free agent. We could throw some money at him though. We desperately need a long, agile SF like him.
- I thought Josh Smith would do more damage tonight, but Bibby burned us enough to make up for it.
- I can't believe I'm saying this, but the only reason the Wolves were in the game was because of Love, Miller, and (gulp) McCants (?!?!) Love was a beast with 9 offensive boards and some nice scoring down low. Miller finally(!) shot 10 field goals, making 7 of them for 17 points. 3 of 6 from deep was finally nice. And McCants. Man. That was the most inspired game I think I've ever seen him play. How surprising was that? McCants was a team high +9, when no one else was in the positives for plus/minus. He was 4 of 7 for 10 points and 4 boards, although he did have 3 fouls and 2 turnovers in only 15 minutes.
- That defensive stop by McCants like 2 minutes or so into the fourth quarter was probably the best defensive play I've EVER seen him make. He stayed in front of Acie Law by himself out on the perimeter, and then blocked the shot causing a 24 second shot clock violation. It was amazing, especially by McCants standards. The downside is that now we know he has the tools to play good defense, he just has never chosen to do so in the past.
- Fairly typical game from Al, although it seemed like they were trying to force it to him down the stretch.
- For the statheads: The Wolves shot a ridiculous 22 more shots than the Hawks, mostly because of their astounding offensive rebounding. The Wolves had an OREB% of 33.93% (nabbing 19 of their 56(!) misses. The Hawks OREB% paled in comparison at 21%. What also did the Wolves in was putrid overall shooting. The Wolves were 36.4% from the field, compared to 50% for the Hawks. Even worse, thanks to 8 of 30 from deep, the Wolves eFG% was only 40.9%, which is insanely low. The Hawks went for an eFG% of 52.3%, in comparison.
- Foye, Gomes, and Telfair all just had monumentally awful games. Unfortunately, this all happened in the SAME game. That's partly the reason we lost. I mean, Foye was 4 of 19. Gomes was 1 of 10. Telfair 0 for 9. They combined for 18 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 turnovers, and 8 fouls in 109 minutes. That is beyond awful from 60% of your starting rotation. It's amazing that we were even in this game.
- Well, we've lost 4 of our last 5. Again the Wolves lose to a legit team, despite the fact that we've been beating all the teams we "should" beat. It makes for exciting basketball, but it's kind of depressing in a way. What worries me is that it's the path to perpetual mediocrity. I hope they can prove me wrong.