Perhaps it's the bigotry of low expectations, but I'm actually finding a way to enjoy this season. The last couple of games have been hard to swallow, and constantly losing the close ones is no fun, but they are competitive, and have won some games this year.
Look: this organization is broken. It starts with ownership and cascades down as bad process leads to poor results. Other teams hire smart, forward thinking executives; we get the Flip Saunders Word Salad. Other teams understand the value of a superstar and lock them up as long as possible, the Wolves hold open the door. Other teams have a draft plan and execute it, the Wolves...don't.
We know this. We've known it for years; it's been our mantra. Maybe with a little better fortune they would make the playoffs this year. I certainly had hopes for that prior to the season. (And hell, they still might I guess). Or next season with Love. But this franchise is not going to be consistently seriously competitive because the people in charge don't take it seriously enough.
My point is this: I'm letting go of expectations. I enjoy the games as competition and entertainment. I get pissed when they play poorly and lose, but I'm not holding on to the losses as part of a season long narrative. The narrative already exists: a poorly run franchise cannot get out of its own way.
We choose to root for this team, and part of that is understanding what it is: a bland badly run league afterthought.
Onto the game.
Lets start with this: The Raptors are pretty good. Losing to them on the road is no shame, frankly I didn't really expect a win tonight. It's Sacramento at home that's a problem. It's all the other games that should have been wins that weren't that leave the Wolves three games under .500 and on the precipice.
As for tonight: More woeful Wolves shooting was the story of this one, along with a red hot Kyle Lowry, who went 6-9 from three. Overall, the Raps made 11 three pointers and shot 46% from the arc, while the Wolves went 3-18. That was enough to overcome the Wolves 56-30 advantage in the paint.
The game started ugly and pretty much stayed that way from a Wolves perspective, as the Raps got out to an early 12-2 advantage, and the rest of the night was pretty much a matter of the Wolves cutting into the lead, only to see the Raps extend it out again.
Meanwhile, Rick Adelman is getting more and more desperate trying to find something that works, as we actually saw A.J. Price in a contested situation. It didn't help. For reasons that continue to escape me, Adelman continues to play J.J. Barea down the stretch of close games instead of Ricky Rubio, who played only 23 minutes tonight. While it's true that Rubio has been struggling, it's also true that he's a better player then Barea, and needs to be in the game.
Tonight it cost them badly, as Barea committed two crucial turnovers and badly missed an open three pointer when the game was still in doubt.