T-Wolves -vs- Houston Rockets (1.11.08)
I’m not gonna lie, after the game started to get out of hand I may have started to lose a little interest. Can you blame me though? Can you blame anyone? It was a blowout approximately halfway through the second quarter. It was simply “more of the same” that we’ve been accustomed to seeing so far this entire season. The win versus the Miami Heat was simply an apparition. I suspected that the win on Tuesday didn’t really mean much, but I didn’t want to rain on the proverbial parade and ruin something positive for any remaining fans. I’m not sure if it would be worse to be a Heat or Wolves fan at this point in the season. Shaq is out (again) and Dwayne Wade is perpetually injured. I mean, being resorted to cheering for super starters Ricky Davis and Mark Blount? I’d rather scratch out my eyeballs. They don’t have much for youngsters other than Wade, and have virtually no depth. Then again, they still do have 3 more wins than us. It’s a toss up I guess.
When the Wolves are letting guys like Luis Scola and Carl Landry to run roughshod in the paint, you know it is gonna be a l o n g night. Houston was hustling for lose balls and displaying far more energy than the Wolves, despite the fact that we were coming off the “big win” against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Also, the Wolves had 3 days off and quite frankly, there is no excuse for coming out for a game so flat, dull, inconsistent, and lifeless. The Wolves put forth a putrid effort and it was quite an embarrassing performance. It’s no wonder we were down 30+ points for a large part of the game. I was more bored watching this game than Michael Jackson at an all girl keg party. Heck, I was more bored than Elton John in the Playboy Mansion. I was even more bored than John Amaechi at the… ok, you get the point.
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Despite still not having Tracy McGrady, the Houston Rockets dominated the listless Wolves tonight. YAO scored 15 points while only needing to play 28 minutes. Even then, the Wolves had no answer for him. They started Michael Doleac at Center, who is up to the challenge as well as anyone on our roster I guess. I’m sure YAO enjoyed the night off and the resulting 30 point victory. The game really broke open when the Rockets outscored the Wolves 34-15 in the second quarter. I’m glad the game broke open earlier rather than later, because it allowed me to best utilize my DVR and save precious moments of my life.
The Rockets dominated us in the paint, scoring 54 points to our 36. The Wolves managed to not make a single three point shot, while the Rockets nailed 8 at a 47% clip. The Rockets outshot us by 10% overall from the field (53% to 43%) as well as from the free throw line (17-24 compared to a horrible 14-22 for the Wolves.) Lastly, the Wolves haven’t won back to back games since February 14th of last season.
- Carl Landry: Who’s he you ask? I didn’t know either. Apparently he’s some second round draft pick who has only played in three previous games this entire season. Tonight was his fourth game played, for a total of only 36 minutes so far this season. As fate would have it, against the Wolves he looked like a stud draft choice with 15 points and 11 boards. The Wolves couldn’t contain him inside. I bet he wishes he could play the Wolves every game.
- Luis Scola had a career game, dropping 22 and 9 in limited minutes. He looked very Rico Suave in the post. Of course, of defenders were pretty much turnstiles tonight so take it with a grain of salt.
- Luther Head played the most minutes of any Rocket with 33. Rafer Alston had a +27 “plus/minus” rating. Mutombo, T-Mac, Bonzi Wells, and Steve Franchise did not play. I dunno, there isn’t a whole lot left to say about this crapfest of a game.
- The last game against the Miami Heat presented us with our 18th different starting lineup in 34 games this season. That’s honestly incredible. That averages out to about 45 or so different starting lineups this season. (I’m not even sure if that’s possible but I’ll roll with the linear math projection.) It’s no wonder we’ve only got 5 wins when there is no consistency from game to game. How are guys supposed to get settled into their roles? Also, I think it’s safe to say that I have already won my pre-season prediction that the Wolves would have more different starting lineups than wins this season. The sad thing is, if our total ended up at only 18 different starting lineups, I have 0% faith that the Wolves will amass 19 or more wins. So yeah, College Wolfstradamus strikes again. Bold prediction, I know.
- Corey Brewer was great, albeit in garbage time. Turbo came in during the fourth quarter and he immediately stuck a few baseline turnaround jumpers en route to shooting a confidence inducing 7 for 9 from the field. Corey does look like the confidence in his jump shot has been increasing the past few games, which is a great sign for him as well as the team. Hopefully he can continue to contribute and earn minutes.
- Sebastian Telfair and Marko Jaric were not so great. Our point guards played as most of us expected they would going into the season. And was it terrible. They each had 2 points and shot a combined 1 for 6 from the field. Telfair had 6 assists but that’s the only impressive stat of note amongst the two of them.
- Randy Wittman. What is going on here? Does he have any coaching acumen whatsoever? Do the players even listen to him anymore? I don’t think so. He is easily on par with Casey as being one of the most terrible “in-game” coaches. At least Casey was better at relating to most of his players. I don’t blame them because I wouldn’t listen to DimWittman either. I’m tempted to hypothesize that he had a lobotomy before the Wolves hired him as our head coach, but that would infer he had a brain at some point.
- Lucky for Michael Doleac and Greg Buckner, they got to play this game. Not so lucky for us is that they are on our team.
- Antoine Walker got the least amount of burn amongst any Wolves that actually played. He only logged 7 and a half minutes, with 2 fouls and 2 turnovers. I guess there’s probably the reason he isn’t getting playing time anymore.
- How did the Wolves only have 11 total turnovers? I believe we had 8 at half time. Well, I guess I should be positive at look at this “on the bright side.” The way we were turning it over in the first half, I thought we were en route to a solid 20+ turnover night. Heck, it still seemed like we had 20 turnovers… and I didn’t even watch the entire game! I would have never guessed we only had 8. Good for us… ?
- Rashad McCants follows up his previous remarkable three game stretch with a complete dud, by the new “standards” that he has set. He was 4 for 12 from the field with three fouls and three turnovers in only 25 minutes of action. I can’t comment on his defense because I wasn’t really paying that much attention, but my guess is that it was horrible as usual. He also had the third lowest “plus/minus” at -22.
- Gerald Green looks like a special needs child with the way he wears his headband in the middle of his head, rather than on his forehead. Is that a tribute to anyone? Does anyone know WHY he wears it so far up his head? If so, I’d love to know. Isn't someone from his posse obligated to inform him how stupid he looks? What a gomer.
- Anti-Player of the Game: Al Jefferson. He had the worst game of his young Wolves career. He was a sad sack 2 of 10 from the field, with only 6 points and 6 rebounds. I guess everyone is capable of having games like this, but it’s just a shock to see it come from Old Skool.
- The Wolves are offering ticket deals called “Metro Transit Tuesdays” where you can purchase a regularly priced $35 dollar ticket for only $20, provided that you ride public transportation to the Target Center. Serious? They will only sell the Upper Level ticket to a fan for the reduced price if they can prove they got to the TC via public transportation?!? I don’t buy that for one second… have you seen the crowds for Wolves games? Hell, if I was the ticket office I’d be glad any fans are still interested in buying upper level tickets at all! Maybe I should do a little experiment on Tuesday and see if they’ll sell me the ticket without proof of public transportation. That could be interesting and slightly humorous. Ok, I mean it could be very humorous.
- The best part of the entire game was when the Wolves and Rockets broadcast teams switched announcers for the second quarter. Clyde the Glide Drexler came over and joined with Tom Hanneman for the Wolves broadcast, with Jim Peterson going over to the Houston side for their broadcast. Clyde was pretty entertaining… and anything that allows us to not have to hear “Mr. Hyperbole” Jim Pete ramble on for an extended amount of time is definitely a very good thing.