After Derek Williams was checked out in the 4th, leaving the Wolves with the lead in hand, the Wolves soon mysteriously found themselves down by two 79-77 with about 3 minutes let. That is when the leaders of the band took over and they never looked back. Rubio with 4 and Love with 4 in the final 3 minutes.
This was a sweet game to watch, Rick and Love Rocked the whole game and about 90 other players played for the Wolves, or so it seemed, and most of them contributed.
Let's see how it all shakes out in the Voodoo Magic grades!!!!
Now before I get started I realize I have a history of being one of the more optimistic characters that post on CH. That's cool, it's how I roll, it's kind of an outlook I bring to all area's of life and it's worked out pretty well for me. I will however try to do this as professionally as possible and give some semblance of a real grading scale for this team.
Kevin Love--- A+: KLova Lova possibly played a perfect game. I get that in comments sections I can be a little tough on Love, while I tend to go out of my way to highlight the "better" games some of our lesser players have. I think I just have very high standards for Love, standards which he helped set in my mind. The brother is a top 12 player minimum maybe higher and he played like it tonight.
I do think he is most effective when he is scoring a little less than 25 ppg. I'm willing for this to be a bad-take if I'm proven wrong in time, but I do believe that ultimately Love's game will probably be at it's absolutely most effective closer to 20 ppg. My reasoning is that he does appear to be developing some "shot-happiness" to his game, if anyone's earned on this team it's him obviously, but I still don't know if that's his game. Tonight was a flawless night in my estimation from Love. Not that he's had too many bad games, but for me this game stood out as just fantastic basketball
Ricky Rubio--A+: Rubio owns. I don't really know what has to be said. He killed this game, he is an absolute mercenary on the court. Hoping he can take a page out of TParker's book and get those floaters going. He might be ungaurdable if that happens
Nikola Pekovic--A: If Darko plays another minute for this basketball team I might go down to Target Center and....have a very pleasant conversation with Rick. Pekavic is developing into a legitimately good NBA basketball player. Is he a starting center yet? I don't know and I don't know if he ever will be a slam dunk starter...but the dude has been killing it. It's nice to have a center that at least does something well and does it consistently...and the extra rebounds don't hurt either. While Pek will probably never block 7 shots in a game it looks as though he plays good team ball and eats up about a square mile of land in the post on defense. He seems to be getting better. Is this coaching? Was he always a good baller? Maybe a combo of the two...but he's improving and it's fun to see us actually have an asset improve.
Wes Johnson--B-: Is this my most rippable grade yet? We'll see. Wes is becoming a very good "off-the-ball" player. His shooting is about as delinquent as any NBA wing I've seen in quite sometime, but he as well appears to be receptive to some coaching. I don't have any numbers to back this up, but I would bet money he has more shots at the rim in his last 3 starts than the entire season before combined. He played solid defense and moved the ball well on top of it.
Luke Ridnour--B: I'm only going B because it didn't really seem like any aspect of his game stood out one way or the other too me.
Michael Beasley--C: Beasley picked up right were he left off. Same old guy, some of those first quarter shots were nice though
Derek Williams--A++++++++++++++++(Okay in reality I'm going B+): Good game for my main man Thrilla. I loved seeing the shot chart where it was all but like 3 shots where at the rim. Guy spent a lot of time driving from the perimeter this game....If he can get that damn 3 point shot to start dropping we could really see some high point totals out of him. Most of you all know my stance on Thrill so I'll keep it short and sweet.....but he theoretically gives us exactly what we need to pair with Love for a scoring punch....
I will say though that what bugs me most about Williams is how much of a rookie he is (sounds stupid but hang with me), it seems like some very non-professional things mess with his game, Dallas was a good example of how his damn shoes kept coming undone...and then in this game he had a crystal clear drive and lost the ball off of a guys knee....just stupid crap that a professional shouldn't really do. I'm hoping it's a rookie thing, it has to be, but we'll see.
Anthony Randolph--C: Didn't really play, don't know why I went with C....I know I throw out a lot of fake trades....but the one I absolutely think we need to do is just like trade Randolph for a draft pick...like to Boston or something....just to clear a roster space up. Adleman clearly is bored with him. One thing that annoyed me a little bit was that Adleman seemed to not mind playing Randolph/Beasley/Williams together and I remember saying to myself "why the hell doesn't he do Love/Williams/Beasley together?" from my estimation Love is the best defensive player of the 4 so it can't be a defensive issue....
BRING THE PAIN Wayne Ellington B-: Didn't really think he mattered a whole lot one way or the other
Martell Webster B: Good to see him back in action....There is a lot of ability in that baller. I get that he has played 90000 minutes or something, but man....feels like he should be better than he is with that ability
This is becoming a good team. I'm hoping we can get to .500 here in a few games. Also hoping this report card went okay, tried to keep it pretty real but get my VooDude on as well.