The Wolves made easy work of the Hawks Wednesday night. Minnesota outscored Atlanta in every quarter, going on to win by 24 points.
Yet, the Atlanta Hawks (31-39), are in the playoff picture in the East, where they are two games ahead of the ninth place Knicks. Minnesota (35-35), however, sit on the outside looking in in the West, seven games back of a playoff spot with only 12 games to play.
Gorgui Dieng: A+
Starting for a still injured Pekovic, Dieng was a force on both ends of the floor, with an impressive 15 points and 15 rebounds on 6-8 shooting, and a team high plus/minus of +25. Most noteworthy, however, was that Gorgui only committed three fouls all game, with his first foul not taking place into the third quarter. When Gorgui is defending without fouling, good things tend to happen. Dieng even had a pump fake that had to leave even Kevin Love impressed.
Kevin Love: B (for Bored)
Kevin Love looked depressed and frustrated all game long. Love only attempted nine shots in his 29 minutes of play, put still grabbed 12 rebounds and scored 14 points.
Ricky Rubio: B
Ricky was unable to get anything going shooting the ball. Ricky was 1-6 from the floor, but made his mark in the normal Rubio fashion, with 10 assists and 6 steals, as well as several stitches to his upper lip after being hit hard in the first quarter.
The Blonde Brothers (Hummel and Budinger): A-
Hummel seems to have finally found his shot. Hummel was 2-3 from deep, scoring 9 points on the night. As for Budinger, although he hasn't yet showcased the efficiency from deep this season he was known for early in his career, he was able to contribute in other ways. Chase was a solid cutter all night, and scored 12 points to go along with his 7 rebounds.
Corey and KMart: B
Combine these two players and you would have the entire package: an explosive shooter who can finish fast breaks and shoot the lights out, while being a pest defensively. Until the technology to combine players becomes available to the public, the Wolves will be stuck with two one-way players.
Bobby Jackson: A+
The player development coach. The majority of the credit for the improvement of both Gorgui and Shabazz should go to him.
Atlanta Hawks: F
For a team fighting for their playoff lives, you would think the Hawks would play with a sense of urgency. The Hawks shot 38% and turned the ball over 26 times.