For the first time in years, the wolves couldn't win the season opener against a Kings team missing their best player, and with Cousins playing dreadful 1st half basketball. A shame, really. Several recaps and thoughts will follow, but a couple bullets:
-Wes' first NBA basket was a soaring one handed jam over Luther Head. Hopefully this is indicative of something, (if he manages to ever get off the bench of course).
-Target Center was actually a fun place to be last night.
-Michael Beasley settling for jumpshots is an easy way to lose the game. When he takes it to the tin, good things tend to happen. Him and Ridnour halted 2 or 3 Sacramento runs (along with Tolliver).
-Flynn can't come back and keep Sebastian on the bench soon enough. Bassy had some key buckets, but overall a rotten performance. He simply tried to do too much, and shot several erratic layups which disrupted fast breaks and/or potential opportunities to regain momentum going into the 4th. It was a tie between him and Darko for who generated the highest number of "collective crowd groans."
-Brewer is probably pretty disgruntled. After some time, it may be best to part ways in some capacity. Not sure he has much to offer in 10 minutes a game when he isn't shooting the ball well. Kind of feel bad for the guy.
-Ellington played ok, but was abused one-on-one several times last night and may not be starting material. Wes on the other hand, provided a lot of energy and hustle from the wing position. He didn't shoot the ball well from outside but made some nice plays to score on the inside.
-Pekovic is awesome in every respect, minus the fouling, 3-second calls, and as my friend pointed out last night: tiny feet. Otherwise, his drop step is money.
-I'm surely beating a dead horse here, but Rambis' substitution patterns last night were nothing short of embarrassing. Playing Love under 24 minutes in a very winnable first game of the year is just not what you want to do for a young man's confidence. Dreadful coaching decision, and everyone knows it but Kurt. Love has every right to be upset about it. Sure, Tolliver was playing great basketball and Love had a few rotten minutes to start the 2nd half including 2 turnovers in 3 minutes, but to sit him most of the 4th is nothing short of disrespectful to the new "franchise player." Seems sensible to assume Love's 4th quarter production would have been enough to win. If this pattern continues, and if Ellington and Tolliver are relied upon to give this team crunch time buckets, we are perhaps in for a very long season after all. Rambis also went 11 deep with over 2 minutes left to go in the 1st quarter. The pre-season is when rotations are ironed out, not the regular season. Play starters starters minutes, have the Tollivers come in the add some energy and light a fire under the ass of the starting unit... and then sit. Would Boston sit Garnett the whole 4th while Big Baby played most of their season opener? Never. Anyhow, let's see how Friday's game goes before continuing any more irrational rants. On to some links:
Jerry Zgoda Star Tribune recap of the game
A Wolf Among Wolves recap
Jim Souhan posts a writeup on Beasley, including a mention of him leaving the game without speaking to reporters. Best part of the article? "When someone asked why Rambis held out his best player, Rambis said, "That's your opinion.""
Howlin' Twolf posts a recap of last night's game
FSN North recap
Timberwolves.com recap from Jonah Ballow
Now this is interesting: From Zgoda: Team not contracting; are seeking draft pick from Blazers for Webster Injury?
Perhaps the standard physical evaluation would have helped after all, ya know, since it has been widely circulated the injury has bothered him since April. As some have pointed out, perhaps it wasn't inflamed, but still, overall a very suspicious thing. Typical Blazers and Kevin Pritchard swindling and sinister activity.