On Tuesday, Our Beloved Puppies ran into a buzzsaw. Not only did they play the world champions, but they did so on a night where the champs boasted a .552 efg on the back of .520 3 point shooting. If the Heat are hitting from outside they're going to be tough to beat.
Tonight, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Minnesota Timberwolves were able to put in a relatively (for them) Heatish performance, posting a .494 efg on the back of .450 3 point shooting. Hey, when you're the worst 3-point shooting team in the league, relativity matters.
BTW: If you want to waste some quality time during the day, check out the Advanced Stats Calculator over at Sactown Royalty. It's amazing.
Anywho, the Wolves were able to win this game because they shot the hell out of the 3 ball for the better part of the game and were able to stay as close to even as possible on the glass, with turnovers, and at the line. Four Factors, folks, it's not rocket science.
The star of tonight's game was, amazingly, Alexey Shved. JJ Barea hit some great 4th quarter 3s and got a big flop/charge, and Pek beasted for an efficient 20/10, but Shved was the straw that stirred the drink. Following a cruel lesson at the hands of Dwane Wade, Shved turned in an amazing performance against the Thunder: 12 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and only 1 turnover in 33 minutes. In every sense of the word and imagination, he lived up to the nickname of "Russian Rubio." He found open guys, he kept the ball moving, he hit shots when he had to, he was crafty with the ball, he...well, it was masterful. I can't wait to see what a healthy Shved/Rubio backcourt can do.
This was a big and exciting win and...crap, it's really too bad they blew the Orlando game.
FWIW, I know we just ran a network-wide trade post and that I'm clearly on the record as saying that I think Love is gone in 2 years, but let me be very clear that I think this team is stupid good and that they could be a very dangerous team with Budinger back in the lineup and/or with a D-Will trade for a decent wing/backup big. This team, when healthy, has top 3 talent in the Western Conference. Don't forget that.