Before I talk about tonight’s dismal performance by the Timberwolves, I’d like to say thank you to Marko “The Gigolo” Jaric for making me laugh. On a night where the Wolves embarrassed themselves with a 14-point loss (It was even more mismatched than the score suggests) to the Denver Thuggets, Jaric was the lone player who gave me something to smile about. His backwards jersey antics and that halfcourt shot he made at the end of the first quarter were the only two things keeping me from skinning myself and taking a bath in lemon juice. It’s safe to say that Marko is now officially my favorite Eastern European. (My apologies to Dolph Lundgren.)
Marko Jaric provided the Timberwolves lone highlight against Denver… [image2]
Now onto the game…
Too much 1-on-1 basketball by the Wolves, too many easy buckets for the Nuggets, and far too much complacency.
[ad2] Watching the game, it was clear who the better “team” was. (Can you believe I’m saying that about the Thuggets?) The Timberwolves looked like it was the first game of the pre-season. Nobody was in sync with each other. Everyone was just doing their own thing, chucking up shots. There was no semblance of any type of offense set. That’s been a common theme this season with the Wolves, but tonight it was near, if not at, it’s worst.
There was a period early on in the game where Foye, Davis, and Jaric were working well together, distributing the ball, and running breaks. The Timberwolves actually had the lead at that point. Then they decided it would be much more fun to go back to being selfish and throw the game away.
To get off on a mini-tangent, the Timberwolves knack to play awful, then make adjustments and play spectacularly, then five minutes later go back to what they were doing when they looked awful, has got to be the most frustrating part of this season. Can we please stick with what works? If a lineup of Foye, Davis, Jaric, Smith, and Garnett is what gets us the most points, then let’s make that our main lineup. What is the fixation with beating a bad lineup to death and costing us games? If passing the ball and fast-breaking is working, why start running isolation and chucking up 17-footers?
Anyway, the game got completely out of hand in the third quarter. The Timberwolves looked like they were trying to let the Nuggets get a huge lead to set the stage for one of their signature, but incredibly ineffective, 4th quarter comebacks. I guess it sort of worked if you want to call cutting the deficit from 22 to 14 a comeback.
I really don’t like being harsh on this team. I want to say good things and get my fellow fans pumped. After all, my moniker has been “The Eternal Optimist” for quite a while now. But after tonight’s display, joking about Marko’s wardrobe malfunction was about as optimistic as I can get. Losing is bad. Losing to the Nuggets is very bad. Losing to the Nuggets by double-digits is very, very, very, very bad and I don’t take it well. There was absolutely no fire in this team tonight, something that’s absolutely unacceptable at home against a major division rival. This team had better get a heart transplant soon, or we’re all in big trouble.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to a season where the best we can hope for on any given night is a male striptease.