Print your playoff tickets, Timberwolves fans, the Wolves win 106-85 over the Bucks of Milwaukee.
I had the privilege of attending this evening's game and I am doing my inaugural game recap for this site.
First off, here's the Box Score off of ESPN to get the statistics.
Now to the recap, for things you care about pertaining to the game:
- Al Jefferson continues to look tough in the post. He had 24 and 12. If you're not accustomed to my expectation, I won't heap praise on Jefferson for those numbers. I expect 18-25 and 10-15 every night. HOWEVER, he did it on 9-12 shooting, which deserves praise. What can't you see from the box score? He played excellent D tonight on Charlie Villanueva, who has a dangerous inside-out game and he also passed better out of the double team tonight than he did on Tuesday night against the Pacers. I'm also McLovin' the 10 free throw attempts in 30 minutes.
- Theophilus (yes, that's his name) Ratliff hopped in his DeLorean, hit the pedal to 88 mph, and turned the dial back to 2001 on 6-8 shooting. It's nice to have a center playing center after a season and a half of Mark Blount moonlighting as a shooting guard that can't dribble, rebound or play D. He had several blocks, the most notable of which was a two-handed rejection of a full-speed (and out-of-nowhere ripped!) Daniel Gadzuric. Although I think 13 points is more than we should expect from him, watch for smart, blue-collar play out of the center position when he's in the game.
- I am no Rashad McCants apologist, but he had a good game that goes beyond the statistics. His shots were mostly smart-open looks or created shots in one-on-one situations. His four turnovers were probably all easily preventable (including a two on one fast break where he tried to do a behind-the-back-pass-fake-layup that was stolen).
- In the limited time Brewer was on Michael Redd, he did an excellent job. Redd did hit a three in Brewer's face, but he's Michael Redd. Brewer played good transition defense and his four steals were more the product of him than bad offensive play by the Bucks. He did have a couple of rookie turnovers.
- For those with Ryan Gomes' crushes, it got more attractive tonight. He's the type of player that can spread the defense and defender's have to pay constant attention to him because he moves around a lot. He brings a serious inside-out threat and, if he's not paid attention to, he'll sneak by post players for an offensive board on missed jumpers.
- Bassy looked better than Foye tonight at point.
- Gerald Green continues to look as scared and lost as a sophomore in high school whose girlfriend just uttered the phrase, "I'm pregnant." He should be worried that his future is about as unsure as that sophomore right now, too.
- Toine Walker (I think "Hot Pudgy" is a good nickname) was in the building in his suit. Doleac either (a) was not or (b) I just didn't see him (possible). I read in one of SG's news post's links that Doleac and Walker were to report, Simien was not. Is Doleac one of the cuts? We still need to shave this thing down.
Please click "Read More" to go after the jump if you want to read stuff that virtually no one cares about that can't be ascertained by box scores.
Tonight's co-attendee with the Old Logo was the Hunter for Red October (aka Ryan, I'm too lazy to type the preceding several times). He attended all the games with me last year, but splits tickets with another buddy of mine and my fiancee this season.
- We were both pumped to see Yi Jianlian in action. Unfortunately for Yi, Mark Blount was the closest we had to a chair on defense. On plus notes for the Wolves, Yi tried coming in the lane several times. He was able to score on offensive boards, but struggled one-on-one with any Wovles defender on him. Yi really does have a nice jumper, though. My verdict is definitely no Yao, but he can contribute in this league, unlike Wang ZhiZhi.
- Whoever makes the musical choices for the Timberwolves needs to start selecting songs past 1998. No one needs to hears Montell Jordan twice in one year, much less twice in one game. The song actually states that it is 1994. There's plenty of decent pump-up music out there. No NBA player short of Big Country Reeves is going to get excited by the Proclaimers.
- Am I alone in remembering Dan Gadzuric as a stick-thin lanker out of UCLA?
- Saw an interesting duo of children today. One was flossing the Yi China jersey and his friend a Wolves Wally jersey. Ryan agreed with my assessment that Yi and Wally need to actually hang out and cameras need to follow.
- At three of the four novelty stands I passed, the only available jersey to purchase was Corey Brewer.
- Until you see Chris Richard, you might not have an accurate guage in this bet. If Chris Richard fought Craig Smith, who would win? The duo played several minutes together on the floor and it reminded me of having dual Gary Trents. In any event, I think Richard has reach and height on Smith (and possibly, probably weight?), but there's something scrappy about Smith. Richard would definitely win a stuffed animal on one of those "guess my age" carnie-games. From a couple points ago, I seriously think Dan Gadzuric would take both of these guys to the house now. I think he could take Latimer from The Program, too.
- Had an interesting exchange with a dude from Milwaukee in Block E. He was yelling about how good Milwaukee was (after the 21-point loss) and I asked him, in earnest, "How long is Bogut out for?"
He retorted with, "Where's KG?"
My response, "In Boston, seriously, is Bogut out for the season?"
Young Milwaukee D-Bag, "Where's KG?"
Me, "You're a Douche."
YMDB - "Where's KG?"
I thought this form of douchery was solely reserved for Packer fans.
- The jury's still out on this year's dance team. They seem to be more attractive facially and younger, but clearly less energetic than the previous incarnation. We'll see if it's the preseason for them, too.