There were a lot of things to like about what the Wolves did tonight. Love is still a stud, Rubio is still electric, Williams' lone assist was a slick pass to Rubio for an open shot, Tolliver and Beasley hustled. But there were other things. Avoidable things that allowed the game to slide out of reach.
I don't want to downplay Memphis' win--they won the game largely because of what they did. They outplayed the Wolves tonight. But they also won because of some of the things the Wolves did and didn't do. What were those things?
(Fun fact: Other than Love, the starters shot a combined 10-37 from the field)
Ridnour: 4-10 from the field isn't great, but his real negative contribution was only 2 assists countered by 2 turnovers in 30 minutes. That's your starting point guard. Two assists in thirty minutes.
Johnson: 0-5 from the floor, three rebounds, and one personal foul in 14 minutes. That's his whole stat line. Not enough from the starting SG.
Beasley: 5-16 from the floor and 0-2 from the line for 11 points in 36 minutes. There's your go-to scorer--the only guy on the team who can create his own bad shot. Also, FIVE TURNOVERS!
Milicic: 1-6 from the floor and 2-4 from the line. No blocks, no steals, no assists in 20 minutes. He's more valuable this year with less usage on the offensive end, but tonight he didn't even convert in his few touches.
Love: Actually, Love didn't do too badly, considering. He shot better than 50% from the floor, collected an understated 14 rebounds, and even blocked two shots. He could have shot better than 2-6 from three-point range and he missed a free-throw. At first I was going to call him on his 0 assists, but then I realized that the rest of the team went 21-61 from the floor, which means there were only 16 other possible plays where he could have earned an assist (and that assumes that all of his scores were assisted, which I know they weren't).
(Fun fact: The bench shot a combined 4-9 from the free throw line)
Randolph: Actually played within himself tonight. Only real problems were his free throws (2-4), only one rebound, and zero blocks. With his athleticism, rebounds and blocks should be a bigger part of his game.
Tolliver: 1-4 from the floor and 0-1 from the line. Those were his contributions to the loss. Other than that, he was alright. He hustled well, and the rest of his stat line isn't terrible for 20 minutes for a fringe contributor.
Williams: He missed two free throws. That's really all he contributed negatively. He only had two rebounds in 15 minutes, but one was beastly.
Ellington: 2 points (on 1-4 shooting) and 2 rebounds in seventeen minutes. That's it. Invisible performance.
Unicorn: 0-2 from the line (in crunch time, no less) and 4 turnovers. Otherwise, a solid game.
The shooting let us down tonight. It had to come back to earth after the Spurs game, but it didn't have to come back Deep Impact style. Missed free throws and turnovers. That's what's killing us consistently.