I don't know what to tell you about this one. What else is there to say about a team led my a magical Spanish Unicorn and Agape, the Oregon god of rebounding, shooting nearly 70% at the start of the 4th quarter against a rapidly aging team without its best player (lost in the 1st half with a broken bone in his hand)?
Not a whole lot.
At some point this has to come crashing back towards earth, right? Let's not think about that. Let's dance with lamps and talk about the places we must be. Here. Home.
Closed circuit to Section 121, you don't need a series of theme nights for the island of misfit toys. You do just fine with a banana, a pimp, Buzz Lightyear, and might I suggest a man in a big suit?
- Here is a list of Wes Johnson's 2010/11 games. Click on the "game score" column to sort the file with the Laker game at the top. That's his best effort. He shot well and did stuff. Now look down the list. Click on the date file to put the games in chronological order. Look at the FTA column. See the 3 six game stretches with no free throw attempts? See the streaks with 5? Look, as hard as I am on the guy for not being very good at professional basketball, if he is going to "turn things around" it will have to be in a few key areas. He's not a guy who can break people down off the dribble and he's not a guy who can bank on super spot up shooting. Let's just wipe those things off the board. He is going to butter his bread by playing super hustle defense, rebounding, blocking shots, and--playing off what has amazingly been his best NBA skill--passing off the dribble. 6-6 is an ok game. He's had a few of those. What the team needs is more than 2 rebounds, 1 block and no FTAs from their long and athletic 2 guard. Did everyone catch Kawhi Leonard tonight? That's basically the role: be active, rebound, defend, don't hesitate on the open shot if you have it, don't turn it over.
- One of the best signs that Ricky Rubio is a pretty damn good point guard came in the 2nd corner when he got the ball to a wide open Wes Johnson for a corner 3 attempt. Wes couldn't pull the trigger and the ball was kicked back out to Rubio, who proceeded to set up the floor for a cross court pass back to Johnson for the open 3, which this time, he hit. At some point confidence matters, even for the so-so to bad players. It's nice to see the point guard force feed a guy that needs some confidence within the flow of the game. That's the sign of a true maestro.
- This was far and away the best game for the Wolves starters as a group. They all scored in double figures while shooting over .500. They also all played over 20 minutes, with Michael Beasley and Kevin Love making it past the 40 minute mark.
- It was also the best game, by far, for Beasley. B-easy was active on defense, hustling, keeping his head up, and, best of all, he largely eschewed the 16-23 foot jumper that his entire NBA career has been based upon. If he is going to contribute to this team, and in this offense, it will have to be by either taking another step back on those long 2s or by taking it into the lane. 10 of his 15 shots were from within 15 feet. 2 of the remaining 3 were from beyond the arc. Next up, drawing fouls. (An added bonus of his drives to the hoop are collapsing defenses and open 3s.)