Good evening ladies and gents...glad to have you along for tonight's live blog.
*Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs has an awesome voice for those Ford ads...and on a completely unrelated moment, click here to watch Mike try to get people to pay 25 bucks for a paper bag. Anyways, it's game time...
*Artest's return will be the main storyline tonight...and on the other end, I love to see McCants making his way to the free throw line. Seeing a Wolf at the charity stripe was way too rare of a sight in the first five games...I think we shot around 25 free throws on Saturday, which was a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can continue that trend tonight.
*Brad Miller looks more like a NASCAR wannabee than a starting NBA big man.
*To say that the crowd looks sparse would be a huge understatement.
*Ugh...that's the Marko we know and love. Doesn't finish the drive, and then bricks an open look. You've gotta love Al Jefferson's pump fake...it's money every time.
*All right, that was officially Theo's coolest block of the season.
*Big Al's dominating...looks like he's gearing up for a huge night. And man, that crowd looks horrible...the lower level barely looks like it's half full.
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*Telfair's in the game, and I think that's a good move. Jaric has been the most effective guy at point as of late, but he was really struggling in those first six minutes.
*Ugh...I might take that back...what a horrible pass from Telfair. It results in yet another Wolves turnover.
*Haha, that's a good point from Hanny. Maybe Starbury's psycho behavior is a distraction for Telfair. Great shot from Corey Brewer...let's see him build off of last Saturday's game, which was easily the best of his young NBA career. If Fatoine Walker thinks he should get minutes over Corey Brewer, he should pull a Marbury, and just stop showing up.
*More on the Walker story...I must say that I underestimated Antoine. I thought we'd at least be able to play two or three weeks before he started complaining about playing time...but we were just over a week into the season when he started whining to the media. Congratulations, Fatoine. At least that's one area in which you've exceeded expectations.
*Ratliff at the free throw line = not too pretty.
*The Wolves have six turnovers, thus far.
*Spencer Hawes is showing some range. On a side note, Hawes doesn't believe in global warming.
* Whelp, the Wolves did start doing a better job of taking care of the basketball towards the end of the first quarter. Telfair did do a better job of running the offense than Jaric did, even after Sebastian got off to a rough start after coming in the game. We're tied up, 21-21.
*McCants seems to have improved his shooting touch...the three has been spot-on for Rashad, thus far.
*McCants continues to show his sweet release...meanwhile, the Wolves are giving the Kings too many open looks, and the stats show that...Sactown's shooting 50% from the field to start the game.
*Love Sweetwater Jones...he can't be over two feet tall.
*Christ, there's been a lot of defensive lapses in tonight's game...we definitely seem a bit disorganized on D.
*All right, I've been ripping Antoine Walker over the last few days, but he came to play tonight. Great job forcing the turnover, and he actually knocked down a three. How about that.
*Oh man, that was a blown call. Corey Brewer had all ball on that alley-oop attempt.
*Quick boxscore update: Big Al has 11 points and 5 rebounds, Rashad has 10, and Artest has 6. The Kings are shooting 50% from the field, while the Wolves are shooting 51.6%.
*Man, there's yet another turnover for the Wolves...they just aren't taking care of the basketball with Jaric running the show.
*Holy crap. I literally groaned when Antoine put up that three, but he proved me wrong once again. Nice shot...he's off to a great start, tonight.
*Well, just as I was typing that last bullet, Walker missed a gimmee in the paint. On another note, Gomesey's having an extremely quiet night...he hasn't even put up a shot yet. He needs to get himself more involved.
*That's just what we needed...another injured point guard. Gee, I can't wait to see more of Marko Jaric. Hope Sebastian's all right.
*That's great- that camera shot made it look like the trainers were aiding Sebastian into NBA City, not the locker room.
*Has Al Jefferson missed a hook shot all season? That shot is always money.
*I look forward to what will surely be a hard-hitting, controversial interview between Telly Hughes and Ryan Gomes at halftime.
Halftime: Sactown 48, Wolves 45
*The Wolves seem to be a bit nervous about ticket sales for the next three home games...here's an email I got, yesterday:
Here's your chance to save on Wolves tickets to three games this week at Target Center. Get $70 lower level tickets for only $45 and $35 upper level tickets for just $20.
- Wednesday, November 14 vs. Sacramento Kings - 7:00 pm
- Friday, November 16 vs. Washington Wizards - 7:00 pm
- Saturday, November 17 vs. New Orleans Hornets - 7:00 pm
It should read: Please, please, please buy these heavily discounted tickets, so we don't have 5,000 people in the stands for the next three games. C'mon, we'll throw in a Mike James bobblehead if you buy this package.
*There's no way Federated Insurance spent more than 200 bucks in producing that Fred Hoiberg commercial.
*Box score update...Rashad and Big Al both have 13, and Brad Miller leads the Kings with 10 points. The Wolves have shot a lousy 6-12 from the free throw line, but at least they've gotten to the line more than Sactown has (the Kings are 3-9 from the charity stripe).
*Nevermind, I stink. Those are the three point stats. The Wolves are 3-5 from the line.
*That's the second time Theo's lowered the shoulder today...he's giving Mikki Moore a beating.
*I've said it time and time again...Al's baby hook is money every time. Big Al's continuing to have a good game, but Hanny just raised an interesting point...for as much time as Al spends on the interior, he's only been to the free throw line 13 times this season.
*They've gotta keep going to Rashad, if they're going to win this one. Keep feeding the hot hand.
*What a shame that shot didn't go in for Rashad. That was an ankle breaker, if I've ever seen one. And on Artest, no less.
*Ridiculous is the only way to describe Theo's shot-blocking ability. He's just a ridiculously good shot-blocker.
*I've gotta disagree with Rashad on that one...I think it's questionable whether or not Rashad had position on that play. Although Martin totally carried the ball prior to making contact with McCants
*Once Big Al starts dropping that 15-foot jumper, he'll be nearly unstoppable. I think that's one of the main aspects of his game that he has to improve...he has an incredible array of post moves, but the jumper needs some work.
*Ugh...Hanny's awful Fred Flinstone impression just made me want to mute the game.
*Predictably, this game is going right down to the wire. I though Artest could tilt things in Sacramento's favor tonight, but he's been a nonfactor, thus far. As we head to the fourth, the Wolves lead 71-69.
*That Hoiberg Federated Insurance ad is embarrassingly awful.
*Nothing says "NBA Basketball" like playing Neyo's "Sexy Love" during the game. Anyways, how awesome is it to see Chris Richard finally get on the board, in his NBA career?
*Oh man...Ron Artest had vanished for the first three quarters, but that three pointer was just plain cold-blooded. On the other end, Jefferson makes breaking a double team look easy.
*This isn''t good...that Udrich three could signify the beginning of another fourth quarter meltdown for the Wolves. Wittman seems to realize that.
*Oy, we could've really used that Fatoine three...his long-range shots seem to either be nothing but net, or total bricks. Unfortunately, more often than not, they're bricks.
*Big Al leads all scorers with 23, and Rashad has 22.
*What a great move from McCants...Artest had no answer for the stutter step. We've had a lot of discussion about Rashad's streakiness...well, this is certainly a night when Rashad is on. Big time.
*Once again, Rashad makes Artest look silly. He went right by him on his way to a layup...and that bucket puts the Wolves up by four, and gives Rashad 26 points for the evening.
*McCants is the man. But in cold-blooded fashion, Artest responds. McCants has 29, Artest has 17, and the Wolves lead by six.
*Great game for Walker. Yeah, he's done plenty of rippable things on and off the court this season, but he's actually shot the ball fairly well, and his floater has been falling.
*Well, this one's just about in the books. Great games for Rashad, Big Al, and Fatoine Walker. The Wolves came out with an intensity that the Kings frankly couldn't match, tonight.
I'm signing off...thanks for hanging out tonight. Great to finally get the money of the back...the Wolves deserved this one. They didn't take care of the basketball as well as I'd like to see, and there were a few too many defensive lapses that resulted in open looks for the Kings, but they played with a lot of energy on the offensive end of the floor. I can't say enough about what a phenomenal game Rashad had...the shot was dropping from start to finish, and he did a great job of creating his own open looks (even when matched up against Artest).