Well that was an ugly game to watch. Looks like FSN picked the right game to not broadcast, although I would've paid a large sum for them to take over for the NO crew at any point. Between League Pass, Comcast, and the NO broadcast, they really did not want me to see this one...or at least not enjoy it. Audio difficulties, DVR stopped recording after 45 mins for some reason, and League Pass Broadband wouldn't let me activate it. Nice! Glad the NO broadcast team got in some conversation about the number 13 on Friday the 13th, great stuff guys! Min 28% shooting in the first quarter, ugh. Offense looked out of sync most of the night. Just watching the game it was hard to tell who was having a positive or negative impact on the game. I'm tempted to give the whole team a C- for making me watch that clusterf--k, but since Love and Rubio did provide some entertainment, and we came away with a win, I'll give it a go at grading the individual efforts.
|Minnesota Timberwolves (4-7)|
|J. Barea||NWT - Sprained Left Ankle|
|M. Beasley||NWT - Right Mid-Foot Sprain|
|M. Lee||NWT - Torn Meniscus, Left Knee|
|N. Pekovic||DNP - Coach's Decision|
|34.3%||24.0%||86.8%||team rebs: 11||total to: 17|
Wes Johnson: C+
Looked anxious early, nice to see him hit an open three early from Rubio. Not sure why he's getting minutes at the end of this game. He had several potential momentum shift shots that he just could not hit. I feel horrible for the guy but giving him minutes at this point has to be more of a reflection of our depleted roster than anything else. If my math is right he is 24-71 from the field (34%) and 8-36 (22%) from 3 on the season. And both seem higher than my recollection from the games. He did have 8 boards, 1 steal, and a block, so I guess he made some positive impact. And he successfully avoided the free throw line once again.
Kevin Love: A-
He had a few nice looks early. Continues to look to the refs too much IMO. Shooting heated up nicely in the 3rd and 4th. He seemed like he was battling with the NOLA big men all night. They really made him work for every board. Looked like he played better once he stopped getting frustrated over the no calls. Nice to see him get back on track with his FT shooting and getting to the line so frequently. I'm not sure Love will have too many 3 block games so that was nice to see. The bad with him came from 6 turnovers and only 1 assist. Love seems like he's getting a little tunnel vision with the ball at times and he's too good of a passer to not have a few more assists per night.
I was hoping maybe he wouldn't start. Looks way too tentative near the rim. Did he really try to tip in an alley-oop toss instead of grabbing it and throwing it down? Did anyone else see this play? He looks like he has lost whatever confidence he might have once had in the early games this year. How can his free throw shooting be so bad? Sorry, I'm just left with so many questions with Darko. Please just give his minutes to Adolph. I don't know if it will be better but watching a timid Darko is painful. Seemed to play solid defense tonight and wasn't in foul trouble, which is good I guess. But I still don't know how he ended up a +10 in 21 mins. Please help me figure this out.
Ricky Rubio: A
Nice to see Rubio get the start. Definitely trying to make something happen to start the game. Nice fadeaway jumper towards the end of the 1st. His shot off the bounce looks pretty good and his timing for when he needs to take a shot seems really good. Rubio is by far the most active person on both ends on this team. A couple bad turnovers that led to easy points and the other end, but otherwise his passes looked solid. I wonder how he'll hold up playing this amount of minutes. Although Barea's return will surely help this. Rubio looks like the least bothered player on our team in crunch time. I was surprised to see that his stats weren't higher for playing 44 mins, but I'll take 12-9-6 with 3 steals from him on most nights. Perfect from the line and that coupled with Love's FT shooting really helped in this ugly game.
Luke Ridnour: B
Kind of disappeared for stretches in the game. He didn't shoot great tonight. I was kind of disappointed we didn't get him more shots when he was hot the last two games. Nice to see him able to play the 2 and not get abused on D, but that might've had more to do with NOLA not taking advantage of the match up than anything. Also, nice to see 11 boards from our starting backcourt/PG rotation.
Wayne Ellington: B-
Sometimes when Wayne takes a shot curling off a screen, his shot mechanics look like they're moving in slow motion. Not sure he's even an average defender, but he seems to be active and engaged on that end. He made a couple nice 3-pointers but not much else. Was I the only nervous when he and Wes were in as our wings for several minutes? I'm sure NOLA wasn't emphasizing too worried about guarding the 3-point line during that stretch.
Anthony Randolph: C-
Adolph's shot didn't look great tonight. Not sure why he didn't get more burn. Seems like he plays better in longer stretches and he looked pretty good in the game against Chicago.
Tolliver had a key rebound after a Wes miss down the stretch, which helped seal the win. He didn't shoot well but did other things like grab 4 boards and go 4-4 from the line. Again he just seems to have a positive impact when he's in there as evidenced by his +11 in 15 min.
Looked kind of lost, but that fit well with our offense tonight. Looked good fighting for rebounds. Interesting that his stat line looks very similar to Tolliver but his +/- was 24 pts worse. He's another person I thought would get more playing time tonight, but it looks like he didn't have a great effect on things when he was in there.
Nikola Pekovic: Incomplete
He's really not gonna play much, is he? I'm not mad at that decision, but I wonder what we could get to trade him at this point.
Who the hell is Jason Smith?
Where did they find Gustavo Ayon?
Is their backup PG named Squeaky?
Does Okafor think he's playing volleyball and do you seriously get credited with rebounds for that?
Do coaches teach the "don't take the same jump shot you just pump faked" philosophy? Cause they should if they don't. Wes needs this lesson, so does Love.
We don't seem interested in scoring in the low post more than twice a game. With the way Darko handles the ball near the paint that might be a good choice.
Topp Doggs were K Love and the Spanish Unicorn or anyone that made it through watching this thing
The Goat has to be the NOLA broadcast crew or Darko if I have to choose a player
It was fun writing this and I'm interested to see what you all thing of the grades. Go easy!