Most of you probably know the situation the Wolves are in. 21 games left, 5 games back of the 8 spot (and 4 games back of the 9 spot). My hopes for the season seem to change with each passing game, but as of right now I just want to make the race interesting so that we actually have some "playoff-type" games in April (instead of the, you know, usual Wolves April). Actually scratch that. I'll even settle for a 5 game winning streak. How has it been 5 years since we last had one of those? (Which came during a 24-58 season, nonetheless)
As far as this game is concerned, it was pretty meh. At one point during the second quarter a man sitting next to me had a phone conversation about which bagels and cream cheese to pick up on his way home. And honestly the banter was more riveting than watching the Pistons. I don't know what was sadder: that or the fact that he was able to carry out a normal conversation during an entire quarter of an NBA basketball game.
Greg Monroe (8-17, 20 pts, 15 reb, -8) C
Pretty quiet 20-15 for him but he seemed to be the only starter able to make baskets in the early going.
Josh Smith (4-14, 13 pts, 7 reb, -32) F
How did Atlanta make the playoffs all those years with him? I can't imagine Detroit fans are excited to see this oversized JJ Barea for 3 more years...
Andre Drummond (3-7, 6 pts, 7 reb, -9) B-
His block on Pek at the end of the game alone raised his grade. He had some questionable calls go against him also which limited his minutes.
Brandon Jennings (6-13, 17 pts, 5 ast, -23) C-
His style of play is more fitting of a pick up game at the park. He's got all the fancy moves and probably talks a lot of trash, but at the end of the day, I don't know if he really cares whether his team won or lost. This is the epitome of Brandon Jennings
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2-5, 7 pts, 3 stl, +13) B-
I still would like him on the Wolves. He had a nice alley oop towards the end of the game. Shabazz for KCP? Who says no?
Ricky Rubio (2-6, 11 pts, 9 ast, 8 reb, 3 stl, +20) B
It seemed like he had more assists than that but he was getting wherever he wanted to against the Pistons. He only gets a B because he bricked at least 2 wide open layups and 2 wide open 3's. Still, he's one of my favorite players to watch and he's one of the only players I really really want to see succeed. You need those guys on your team.
Kevin Martin (9-16, 24 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb, +22) B+
I don't know what's going on with his three point shot, but he's had a lot of wide open looks go uncharacteristically astray. If he had knocked down a few more 3's his grade would've been higher but we pretty much all know what he's going to do for this team now. I also think Martin sells a lot of his calls (not flops, per say) by really just bumping into people when he's in the air. If I was an opposing fan I would probably get pissed off watching him play.
Corey Brewer (4-9, 8 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast, +21) B
Another case of a player doing what he was supposed to. I gotta give him props for converting a lot of tough layups this season. He's blown a bunch, but for the most part he has done a lot better than I expected. He
leaked oozed out on a bunch of misses, and I really believe teams do have that scouted but Corey has a great reaction time and is pretty fast that he can still beat the defense down the court. I still miss AK-47 though...
Kevin Love (10-18, 28 pts, 14 reb, 5 ast, +20) A
Played solid one-on-one defense on Monroe and had a very efficient offensive showing. It's pretty nice to have that luxury game in and game out.
Nikola Pekovic (5-14, 17 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl, +24) A-
Missed a few bunnies that normally go in for him. Still was able to draw fouls at a high rate, which took a lot of the Detroit bigs out of the game. So I guess you could say he played great defense!! I hope his minute restriction can be upped for the rest of the season, but I'm afraid these 5-6 minute stretches are all we're gonna get.
Dante Cunningham (2-8, 4 pts, 3 reb, 1 blk, -11) C+
If he's not hitting that jumper at a 40% or better clip, he's not helping the team too much.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (3-3, 6 pts, 4 reb, +3) C
Got those points mostly off blown JJ Barea layups, so other than that he was pretty invisible.
Shabazz Muhammad (0-2, 3 pts, 0 reb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 f***s, -6) D+
Push had a pretty bad game and one thing I cannot stand is being lazy on D, which it seemed like he was. And it seems like when he doesn't have the ball in the post he's not moving around much either on O. He's not the kind of person you want in the game when you're up big.
JJ Barea (don't care) F
His schtick is getting so tiresome that I don't even have the energy to complain about him anymore.
Chase Budinger (3-5, 7 pts, 3 reb, -9) C
This was his 27th game back, and he still does not look like the player he was in Houston. I'm afraid these knee injuries are going to be chronic, so he needs to rework his shot now that he doesn't have as much lift in his legs. A lot of his attempts just look off right away. He's going to need to raise that PER above 7.66 if we want to have any shot of making the p-word.
Gorgui Dieng (1-2, 2 pts, 3 reb, 2 blk, 12 fouls, -11) C-
His only bucket came off a tip-in which looked like offensive interference to me where I was sitting, but other than that he was also pretty invisible. It also seems like Gorgui has locked himself into "zero-respect" mode from the referees. If they see a foul and he is anywhere in the vicinity, he'll get the foul called on him. Hope this changes next season...
Didn't do anything too outrageous this game, but this grade is a hangover from the Knicks game (and the countless others this season). PLAY RICKY MORE YOU ____ (insert word of choice here).
Halftime entertainment B-
The Jamestown, North Dakota gymnasts were the halftime entertainment this evening, and the quote of the night went to my sister who summed up their performance: "reminds me of watching dolphins." If you were there you knew that meant no harm, but also accurately described what it is we saw.
Target Center atmosphere/entertainment F
Seriously, a great comment posted in an earlier game thread was "how many red bulls would it take to match the energy level of a Golden State game?" It's going to take a lot of winning to get that KG-era atmosphere again, but I really hope that comes soon. I can't take the golf claps and the lackadaisical environment anymore...
I also would like to thank all the regular posters and commenters on this site. I am a lurker by day (and night) but I read every comment and it has really helped get me through this season in one piece. Misery loves company I guess...