Not in the face!

OK, this is something of a game-wrap record for me.  I'm writing this with the score 106-73 in favor of the 1-6 Warriors with roughly 1:50 left to go in the 3rd quarter.  Hanny has just said something about the season not being about wins and losses and he's even moved on to the hustle award for the night. 

When I fired up the post editor Golden State had an astounding 48% oReb rate: 11 offensive rebounds on 23 misses.  Awesome? I know.  Flash forwarding to Stephen Curry's buzzer-beating 3 pointer to end the 3rd quarter and this is what the Four Factors look like:


Pace (Poss) Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Minnesota 105.4 (79) 97.5 47.8% 19.4 33.3 22.8
Golden State
140.5 61.1% 31.9 33.3 10.1

 

I suppose you could take something of a moral victory away from the fact that the Wolves have pulled even in the oReb% category but keep in mind that the Warriors have a significantly smaller number of misses to fool around with. 

Let's try something different for tonight's post.  Let's talk about the positives.  First and foremost is Corey Brewer.  Here's what True Hoop's Henry Abbott had to say about Brew after the Portland game:

In the last few weeks, I have heard Corey Brewer mentioned three or four times as the butt of jokes. It's getting to be time for that to stop. He and Andre Miller both dared each other to shoot all night, but Brewer did it with purpose -- and was an effective help defender helping to keep Roy (who had one of his worst games as a professional) at bay. He's no All-Star at this point, but there's no doubt he's vastly improved. He's among the team's leaders in steals, assists, blocks and free throws attempted -- and his defensive talents and efforts are constant and not to be overlooked. When he hits a couple of 3s, like last night, he's hard to miss.

In tonight's game, Brewer got out in transition, was disruptive in the open court, and for the first time I can remember he d'd up an opposing wing with superior size (Stephen Jackson) without getting physically abused.  I know what I am about to write doesn't seem like a big deal, but for those of us who have watched the Wolves over the past 2+ years, it is: Corey Brewer is an NBA rotation player.  For a while there his game was pretty dicey and I wasn't sure I would ever write that.  Yet, there it is.  Hooray!

Hey, look at that: Oleksiy Pecherov finally got into the game! Can he trigger a 28 point comeback?  That would be a gigantic positive. 

Another positive is that we got our first extended look at Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions in the same backcourt.  We'll have to wait for the PopcornMachine GameFlow to really break it down, but I believe the tally from the first stint was a +2 against the similarly undersized Warrior backcourt. 

Did the Warriors really have a 66-33 run?  Sorry, I have to get back to the positives.  AC Law is making his 3rd appearance of the year.  Good for him.  See, another positive. 

OK...more positives. (crickets)

Let's have some random thoughts to bring this thing on home:

  • This game will hurt the ol' defensive efficency ranking.  It will also hurt the less-mentioned Pride Index. 
  • It seems that the preseason optimism concerning free throws was both short-lived and ill-conceived.  Getting Kevin Love back will help a bit but this team is generating zero offense going at the rim.  This is problematic when you are not a jump shooting squad.  With just over 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter the Warriors have taken 4 more threes than the Wolves have FTAs. 
  • The Wolves aren't a very good team but their offense has faaaarrrr outpaced their defense in terms of ineptitude.  Here are their Four Factor stats heading into the GSW game:
Team Four Factors
  PACE   OFFENSE   DEFENSE
TYPE
   
STAT
94.3   96.8 45.1 16.2 27.2 17.0   106.8 49.6 17.6 29.2 24.6
RANK
9   27 27 18 9 29   16 18 8 27 15

 

This team simply can't put the little orange ball in the bucket.  Again, when you can't get to the line when you are not a jump shooting team, this is a tad problematic.

  • OK, AC Law just got a breakaway dunk.  Really? 
  • Nathan Jawai followed up his career performance in garbage time against the Blazers by getting worked on the offensive glass by Anthony Randolph

OK, that about does it.  The score is now 129-89 with Anthony Randolph at the line.  Corey Brewer is still the only player out there who looks like this bothers him enough to do something about it.  The problem here is that there is far too much to do and Mr. Brewer lacks the tools to do a lot of it.  There is no other way to put this one other than it is the most embarrassing and frustrating loss since Dwane Casey's Revenge last year against Dallas.  Who doesn't remember that classic tilt in which Minnesota built a 29 point lead shortly after the half only to watch the Casey-led Mavs claw their way back to not just a win, but a win where Minnesota conceded a 5 point game with 45 seconds to go.  I think Kevin McHale's post game comments were something along the lines of "our guys had had enough by that point."

It's now 144-99 and I'm going to bed. 

Until later.

UPDATE: The FSN studio crew has just told me that the Wolves have equalled the worst loss in franchise history as well as the most points given up.  Now that's a positive!! A record setting performance!!  Who wants to talk about cap space!!??

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