Wolves v Memphis & Cleveland – Ugly Losses

I decided to write about these  two games in one blog because they don’t deserve their own posts.  They really don’t deserve a post at all.  Everyone on the team looked flat footed and slow.  Wolves players were getting pushed around all over the court in both games.  Shooting has become a huge issue.  The wolves can’t seem to buy a bucket in either game.  Kevin Love still looks strong but at times he relies on that 3 point shot too much.  Rubio can still control the flow of the game but gets pushed around on D a little too much.  Beasley is Beasley and now looks like he might be out a few games with a sprained foot.  Wes Johnson just looks absolutely lost as a shooting guard.  He has no confidence.  Darko tries hard but just can’t seem to put together a full game.  I can’t believe how many free throws this team has missed these last two games.  The whole team is shooting around 63% for the two games.  The shots just aren’t falling for the wolves.  I see a lot of frustration out there and not a lot of positive thinking.  Hopefully Adelman can get things turned around.  That is why he gets paid the big bucks.

Wolves v Spurs W 106-96

Another night down at Target Center and another win for the twolves.  Monday night was a fun night to watch the twolves for the main reason that they took it to the much hated San Antonio Spurs.  The final score was twolves 106 to the Spurs 96.  The main reason for the win was the extremely hot shooting that carried over from Sunday night against the Mavs.  At one point I looked up and the wolves were shooting over 70% and that was late in the 3rd quarter.  An early observation was the intensity that Darko come out with.  For some reason Darko can only get motivated for a few games a year and one of those games is always against the Spurs.  The bulk of the intensity was on the defensive end where Darko was really giving Tim Duncan a tough time inside the paint.  Duncan then found his points from long range but Darko wasn’t giving anything easy.  Love had his hands full in the paint too playing against DeJuan Blair.  Blair really brought a physical game that Love had not seen this year yet but Love responded nicely as usual.  An unfortunate key to the game was that Manu fractured his shooting hand in the second quarter and looks to be out for a few weeks.  A huge loss for the Spurs.  Rubio was once again electric hooking up with Derrick Williams for a nice alley opp and then later chasing down Tony Parker from behind and swatting his shot into the fourth row.  Beasley came to play in the game too driving the ball to the basket aggressively and knocking down some shots.  I felt that Ridnour and Tolliver were key role players in the game.  Luke added 19 points and 9 rebounds in the win and Tolliver played strong defense that really hindered the Spurs’ offense attack.  Tolliver’s energy and defense was so good that Adelman had no choice but to put him in late when the Spurs were making a run.  I was not a big Tolliver guy last year.  I felt he lacked talent and took too many bad threes.  I am starting to come around on him this year though.  His three point shots have become better and you can see a very strong effort that seems to rub off on the rest of the team when he is on the floor.  The win is a nice win against a Spurs team that consistently gives the twolves trouble.  I always want the wolves to beat the Spurs because I honestly can’t stand the team.  The next challenge for the wolves will be the Memphis Grizzlies and it looks like Memphis will be without Zack Randolph.  A win would bring the wolves to .500 which would be a nice goal even if it is only 6 games into the season.  Go wolves!

Wolves v. Mavericks W 99-82

Tonight the wolves were able to put their first W on the board with a win over the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.  The game was quite back and forth in the beginning.  The two teams traded baskets for much of the first half.  Dallas very much looked like a team with the championship hangover.  They seem like they were just going through the motions for the first part of the game.  Early in the second half the wolves were able to open the game up to a 15 point lead 60 – 45.  That is when the Mavericks decided to wake up start their late game run which they were able to cut the lead to two 84-82.  In years past this is where the wolves would collapse and finish with the loss, but Kevin Love came through in the clutch by hitting five for six from behind the arc.  A couple of the 3’s he hit were late in the game in almost like a bail out mode for his teammates.  Rubio was another big reason the wolves were able to hold off the Mavs.  His passing and ability to run the offense were huge keys to the game.  Rubio hit a late three of his own and was able to find Anthony Tolliver for two more, one of which he passed through Dirk’s legs to the shooting Tolliver in the corner.  In the end the game went to the wolves in classic “we want it more.”  Spurs are in town Monday night which I think could shake out much the way this game did.  We will have to watch and see.  Go wolves!

Wolves v. Miami L 101-103

Downtown Minneapolis was the place to be on Friday night as the wolves took on the hated Miami Heat.  A near sell out crowd filled the Target Center as Lebron and Dwayne Wade came to town.  Wade was a game time decision according to all the local news outlet but did not show any signs of injury.  The wolves however would be without their spark plug off the bench J.J. Barea.  The game started off with a fast pace that never let up through out the game. Lebron was especially hot the first quarter scoring 15 points shooting 7 for 10.  Most of the Heat’s scoring chances were due to the poor turnovers by the wolves.  The wolves committed a total of 25 turnovers with Rubio and Love causing 11 of them.  Every time the wolves coughed up the ball the Heat would be off like a gun shot.  Despite the turnovers the wolves went into halftime with a 2 point lead.  The second half echoed the first half of the game with high energy and a tight game.  Rubio played most of the second half at the point mainly because the wolves looked like at much different team with him out on the floor.  The offense looked smoother and defense was more active.  Rubio was giving the Heat so much trouble that they gave Lebron the task of guarding him.  Rubio finished with 12 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds.  A pretty healthy line for a rookie point guard.  He added a big three late in the game that shouldn’t be forgotten.  One of my favorite plays Rubio made was when him and a Heat defender both went after loose ball and Rubio threw the ball of the defender’s head to himself.  Kevin Love once again proved why he is the best rebounder in the league by battling the Heat players in the middle of the paint.  Love added 25 points himself in the loss.  A topic I hate to dive into but I feel is necessary in this case is the absolutely awful calls be the officiating crew.  I have been to many of the wolve’s games and I have never seen so many missed calls as I did tonight.  On more than one occasion the refs called charges on wolves players when clearly the Heat defender was in the circle.  Numerous times a wolve’s shooter would be mugged at one end with no call and then a Heat shooter would get breathed on and earn two shots.  The worst call and maybe most crucial came late in the game when Tolliver clearly beat Lebron to a spot on the floor only to be leveled by a shoulder from Lebron who then took three steps and got the continuation call.  Even with the bad calls the wolves were able to tie the game up at 101 with a Tolliver free throw with around 5 secs left.  Then the Heat were able to complete a Lebron to Wade alley-oop from an inbounds play.  At the other end Ellington was able to get a shot off as time expired but came up short.  As a wolves fan all you can say is “What a game” and shrug off the loss.  I know the wolves are winless but they took the favorites in each conference down to the wire.  Next on the wolves schedule is Dallas on Sunday and the Spurs on Monday.  Tough games but hopefully the wolves can find a win.

Wolves v. Bucks L 95 – 98

The wolves suffered their second loss of the season on Tuesday night at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.  Coach Rick Adelman was not at the game due to the death of his wife’s mother which left former wolves player Terry Porter at the helm.  The wolves made a valiant effort at the end to make it a close game but fell short.  This was one of those games that was hard to watch if you were a wolves fan.  The wolves shot a dismal 40% from the field and also a below average 73% from the charity stripe.  Much like many of the people who live in Milwaukee, the wolves looked like the didn’t want to be there.  Where the previous game against Okie City was full of energy and excitement, this game was filled with missed shots and fouls.  The wolves were actually pretty clever about getting themselves to the line with 45 attempts compared to Milwaukee’s 20.  Kevin Love set a franchise record with 19 free throw makes of his own.  Kevin Love was once again a bright spot in the black hole that can be a wolves road game.  Like Ridnour provided energy as well when the wolves were down helping Love keep the wolves in the game when others on the team simply went through the motions.  Towards the end Beasley stopped his pity party and started knocking down some shots to help cut the lead down.  In the end though it was the Bucks that would be victorious.   They made just enough plays and just enough shots to get by the wolves.  The wolves will need to find a way to play a consistent game throughout if they want to find some wins in the near future.  The hated Miami Villains are coming to town on Friday and games against the Spurs and Mavs are on the horizon.

 

Wolves v. Okie City

The wolves regular season started off with a bang down at Target Center on Monday night despite falling short at the end to the Okie City Thunder.  There was very few games last year that could equal the energy the home crowd was providing.  I got goose bumps as the Timberwolves players were announced.  The game started and the play quickly turned physical as Darko threw a cheap shoulder charge into Okie City’s Glen Perkins.  Beasley was an aggressive ball player that wanted to take the ball to the hoop and knock down the open jump shots.  Unfortunately the shots were not falling for him at a high percentage.  The entire wolves squad couldn’t find many outside buckets which turned out to be the big difference in the game.  Positives to the game were definitely aplenty.  First and foremost would be the play of Ricky Rubio.  I haven’t seen anything this smooth since my tours of the Chinese silk factories.  Rubio looked confident in his passes and active on defense.  He had an uncanny knack to know where the open wolves cutter would be.  He was even able to knock down a few jump shots.  Looking at Rubio’s stat line you would see a modest 6 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds but watching his play would tell you more.  Kevin Love was a beast as usual providing a double with over 20 points and 12 rebounds.  To wolves fans and my dismiss though there was just too much Durant and Westbrook.  Westbrook took the ball to the whole time and time again while Durant knocked down 15 to 20 footers that ultimately did the wolves in.  On the few times the were lucky enough to make Durant miss somehow Okie City would find an offensive rebound.  At the end of the day wolves fans can find more positives than negatives in this game.  They did take the probable favorite to come out of the west down to the wire.  If this is any indication  on how the rest of the season will be then I am anxious to see what happens next!

 

Welcome to Top TPups Talk!

Welcome to the only place for great Timberwolves conversation as seen from a season ticket holder.  There is a ton of buzz surrounding this team and rightfully so.  With the additions of Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams, this team should be a fast paced, high scoring team that will be fun to watch.  After watching the preseason, it looks like new head coach Rick Adelman has this team more organized and willing to at least attempt to play some defense.  It will be a busy season with many back to back games as well as tough opponents.  You cannot predict what will happen in a short season so let’s sit back and watch the season unfold.  Go wolves!!!