Minnesota 87 - Cleveland 98
Well, I think we can all agree that sucked. I picked this game to write a report card because I thought it would be an easy win, and it was on a Friday so I could stay up late and give the grades right after the game. Turned out it was an almost unwatchable game, and I fell asleep right after it was done anyways.
The only good thing that happened tonight was that League Pass Broadband performed well, and for that I will give it a B+. Now, on to the player grades, which may not be as generous.
And I'll be damned if this isn't the toughest grade to give, and the most polarizing player on the squad. On one hand he shot 4-12 for 9 points. That has Bad Beasley written all over it. On the other hand, he did grab 12 boards, 2 offensive, and a couple of the defensive ones were beastly. But... he did have 4 fouls, 3 TO's, and he got blocked twice. He didn't have any assists, but I counted 3 times (2 to Darko and 1 to Love) where he made a nice drive and dish, only to have the recipient bobble the catch and/or miss the shot.
Overall, I gave Beasley a C because of what I felt I saw him trying to do. He drove to the basket, he looked to make passes, and he put effort into rebounding and defense. He didn't do everything correctly, but he played hard when not many others did. And might I add he had the only positive +/- from anyone who played significant minutes? Well, it's hard to really care too much at this point. You either think he has something to give us or you don't. You could have given him an F for this game depending on how you wanted to frame the argument. Let's just move onto someone else.
I used +/- to help support my argument for Beas, and unfortunately, I am going to do it again for Love. -13, the second worst on the team (Tolliver was worst at -14). Now, +/- has its problems, and Love played almost 41 minutes so he was in for all the ups and downs, but this stat helped confirm what I felt I saw. Love didn't do much to impact the game. Of course he got his ho-hum 29/14 game, made 3/7 3's and got to the line plenty, but when it felt the outcome of the game was being decided, he didn't make big plays. Look, I'm not going to cut down our best player for not winning every game, but it felt like he just wasn't really tuned in for this one. Given the stats, I can't give him any worse than the B that I did, but for effort I'd place him more at a C.
Well, look at the human victory cigar. What's he doing posting 11 points with 4 rebounds in the first quarter? Wouldn't it have just been the best if he kept that up and posted a 40/15, while willing the team to victory? Unfortunately, that is all he did. Oringally I put him down as a C-. But if he played an A/A- for the first half of his minutes, then played at a D~ish level for the rest, that should be more like a C+, right?
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssss. That is the CHer cry of agony. If the national media knew our pain, it would surly replace 'Kaaaahhhhnnnnnnnn' as the favorite T-Wolves tagline. I really wanted to give him and F, but he did have some nice drive-and-dishes, and got Darko scoring in that first quarter.
Let me step away from talking about actual game for a second, because talking about this game is like trying to eat a raspberry bush with no raspberries, and let's talk about the brilliance that is Wesko. Wes and Darko, two peas in a pod. Someone in the game thread (sorry, to lazy to search, speak up for your rightly deserved credit) named this two-headed monster. And for whatever reason, these two seem to mesh really well together. Do you think that since J-Fly moved down to Houston, Wes and Darko have been besties? Maybe they wake up early and make egg-white omelets together. Maybe Wes stands outside in the cold while Darko smokes, just to keep him company. Anyways, sounds like a match made in heaven.
6 assists, but also 3 TO's and 7 points on 11 shots. I kind of get the feeling Luke isn't trying to be a PG anymore. Like Love, he had a bad +/- despite what seems like decent stats (6 assists!). But overall, it was his poor defense and an inability to affect the game that did him in.
But you know what really made this game suck? The fact that almost everyone play played poor to bad. No one did horrible (except Wes), and no one did great (can't count Love here).Not even anyone on the Cavs. We didn't bring any energy and got outplayed. What a boring game.
Pretty Ricky came back down to earth a little bit this game, and posted a 10/5 in 27 minutes. Actually the stats were decent, but as was the case with everyone else on the Wolves, you didn't really see him impact the game. At least not how we have come to expect. His scoring drives actually did seem to breathe a little life into us, and I like at the end of the game when he tried to will us back into the game, but ultimately he wasn't able to. Maybe he would have looked better if we could have shot better than 40%, or 4-20 for 3 pointers.
12 points, 4 boards, 2 blocks, 26 minutes. Maybe the only guy who brought full-out ready to play energy. DWill kind of feels like a puppy at this point. Always has energy, sometimes it's misused, but always has a couple plays that make you say 'wow, he might be really good.' I can't grade him too high, but certainly can't put him too low.
Well, I'm pretty tired of talking about this game. Almost everyone did below to slightly below average work. C, D-, C, C-... blehhhh. But doesn't that seem about right? If the Wolves average something like a C- on this game, and you give the Cavs a B/B+, that should be about 11 points, right?
He didn't make his shots, or do anything of substance. Looks like he got a steal... who cares? I can't give him an incomplete on this game because he played when the game still mattered (middle of the 2nd and end of 3rd/start of 4th).
Adolph (probably the best nickname of any wolf), scored 5 points in 7 minutes, and produced +2 on the trusty +/- scale. However, 3 of those points came in garbage time. The bulk of his play was in the middle of the second, where he failed to do much worthwhile.
It's great to see you again buddy! The skull/knight tattoo is looking as good as ever! Sure 1:36 in garbage time isn't much, but I figure coach is just saving you for the playoffs. Your stats? No... don't look at those. It's not about stats anyways, it's about helping the team wi-... well, never mind. Nice tattoo! See ya!
Well, there it is. As I said, if you figure the Wolves averaged someting like a C-, and the Cavs something like a B, that explains the 11 points and the unwatchable game. Hopefully the report card wasn't too boring, I did what I could for a crappy game.
I'd like to say thanks to bsg007 for coming up with this great idea and for allowing me to write up a report on it. Keep reading these report cards, and feel free to volunteer to write one up for any of the games this season. You might even get lucky and get to write about a good one.