SnP was looking for a game wrap, I was at the game - what a natural fit, eh? A few thoughts:
- The box score says 15,000+ were at Target Center. They weren't, but for a Wednesday night against Indiana, there was a pretty good crowd - and they were all on their feet for Kevin Love. Big cheers went up whenever he grabbed a rebound, or touched the ball on offense, and when he went to the free throw line in the second quarter with nine points and 10 boards already, the crowd rose to its feet. Love hit the first, waved to the roaring crowd, then bricked the second. He ended up missing seven free throws and he limped everywhere he went, but he gave the crowd what they came to see.
UPDATE: Quotes from Love, via Twitter: "So... I couldn't make a damn free throw tonight." We noticed! But... "Love the fans in MSP...appreciate all the love you guys give us win or lose. And I appreciate all the support for the streak." That's pretty much what he said in the postgame on-court interview, too.
- Being a Timberwolves fan, I've seen some bad, bad basketball in the past few years - but I haven't seen a team play worse than Indiana did tonight. They were awful, truly awful, in every phase of the game. 29.6% from the floor, 4-23 from behind the arc - they even missed more free throws than did Minnesota. Danny Granger finished the night 2-19 from the floor, 0-9 from three. The Pacers spent the night settling for jumpers instead of trying to get to the rim. They missed about eight layups and at least two dunks. They also threw the ball randomly into the crowd several times.
They played last night at home, but watching their performance, you'd figure they'd played last night in Dubai and flown all day to get to Minneapolis.
- Only Nikola Pekovic finished as a minus for the Wolves. Possibly because he got called for two tackles on the same possession in the second quarter, then left the game for the rest of the night.
- Kudos to the fan in the lower deck who, following yet another missed lefty hook by Darko Milicic, stood up and screamed in frustration, "YOU HAVE ANOTHER HAND!", loud enough to give half the arena a giggle.
- If Tyler Hansbrough and Mark Madsen ever meet, would time and space collapse upon itself?
- I can't quite understand how the coaching staff chose to use Wes Johnson. He started, missed a couple of shots, and then rode the pine much of the rest of the game. This wouldn't have been too confusing, except Wayne Ellington was on the floor missing layups and bricking jumpers and going 1-11. (UPDATE: Wise commenters tell me that Johnson was sick, which explains everything.)
- Jonny Flynn only had two stupid turnovers, and was out of control maybe only 30% of the time. That's an improvement, right?
- Anthony Randolph played the final 19 minutes and displayed a pretty sweet shooting stroke from 20 feet. It's a little hard to imagine how the Wolves will use him, but it's hard not to think he could be useful somehow. At the very least, he has a move besides the left-handed jump hook.
A win's a win, I guess, but jeez was Indiana awful. It was one of those games where you'd get frustrated with the Wolves' offensive shot selection, or something stupid that Luke Ridnour or Flynn did, or Michael Beasley missing a shot, and you'd throw your hands up in disgust. And then you'd look up and see the Wolves were leading by 26.