FANTASTIC!!!

Imagine if you will the 26th and 27th worst defensive teams in the NBA squaring off against one another.  Now imagine that one of them decides to mail it in.  

This was one of those games that makes you want to petition the NBA to institute a clause in the new CBA where a team that dogs it has to refund anyone who paid for a ticket.  Of course, as I write this, the Raptors have switched to the ultimate Wolves killing defense: the zone.  I'll keep a running commentary on the game below the fold.  After all, this game is only available on League Pass and local fans deserve to have a taste of the NBA Fantastic Action. 

 

  • 2041: Highlight of game thus far has been listening to the Raptors TV crew try on Kevin Love's Numbers cologne and after shave.  They likey.  
  • 2044: The zone is absolutely flummoxing the Wolves.  Will this be another edition of what Don Nelson did to Randy Wittman a few years ago?  Witt couldn't figure out the zone and it led to some comical losses.  It would be an amazing thing for defense to decide anything in this game.  It's simply not being played on either side of the court. 
  • 2045: The Raptors are using the leading D-League scorer.  When will Joe Alexander get another crack?  
  • 2047: Did you know that the Raptors are the best offensive rebounding team in the league?  They also shoot worse than the Wolves.  
  • 2048: OK, the Wolves have figured out the Raptors zone.  Good, I would have hated to have defense be a part of this game. 
  • 2049: Looking through the game thread, I see that folks are talking about computer programming.  Yes, it's that interesting of a game.  My Kindle is sitting on the coffee table.  It's calling me.  Too Big to Fail is calling me.  Apparently, someone at Target Center drove all the way there from Saskatoon. That's just crazy.  
  • 2051: Jonny Flynn vs. Jarryd Bayless.  I want to say something clever and funny here but I just can't seem to think of anything.  I'm not really sure I believe this match up is happening.  What makes it even more surreal is that Shaddy is sitting court side.  The game thread is now onto Linux OS.  
  • 2053: The Raptors announcers are really talking up Kevin Love.  How is it that they get what a lot of Minny fans don't?: He's not the problem and every other team in the league would want him. Here are Love's season splits.   Win or lose, he produces.  He's the absolute foundation of this team and they'd be sub-Cleveland and a horrible future without him. 
  • 2057: The Raptors enter the 4th quarter with 59 points.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the Wolves' defense.  It is amazing how little fire power this Raptors team has.  
  • 2059: FSN twitter just posted that Wolves would be 4-6 on the back end of B2Bs if they win tonight.  That's kind of crazy. 
  • 2100: Raptors crew really giving props to Love.  They even hinted that Kahn and Rambis might not have known what they had in him.  No, no they did not. They are now talking about the importance of picking up a veteran player who can produce, be a good player, and change the culture.  They've done good work tonight.  A bit over the top, but pretty good.  
  • 2103: Martell Webster takes it right down the middle of the lane for a nice 1 handed jam. 
OK folks, the score is now 91-65 with more than 1/2 of the 4th quarter to go.  Did the Wolves play well tonight or did they simply go up against an equally awful team that mailed it in?  I'd say it's about 55/45 good play/not trying.  It was an ugly game that featured one team that absolutely was not trying.  It featured one team that absolutely had zero good players on offense.  It featured one team that had worse individual defenders than the Wolves.  It was ugly.   Beyond ugly.  This was one of those games where you can really start to talk yourself into the idea that contraction wouldn't be that bad of an idea.  It was a glorified practice and a possible reminder of how good teams view the Wolves when they beat up on the good guys: there is not much you can take from a game where one team doesn't have any business being in the mix.  Tonight, the Wolves were on the other side of that ugly equation.  

PS: How bad were the Raps?  They're shooting .295 from the floor with about 4 minutes left. Their eFG is .312.  That has about .2% to do with the Wolves' defense.  Awful.  They looked worse than Cleveland did when the Wolves blew them out.  

BTW: Jonny Flynn has a +29 as I am about to push publish.  Until later. 

BTBTW: Somewhere in the 2nd quarter, Kevin Love passed his total minutes played from last season.  He has more points and rebounds than he did of all last year.  If you want to know why the Wolves seem like they're closer this year, it's pretty much one guy.  He is insanely productive. 
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