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Wolves vs. Hornets Recap: So Close, Yet Still So Far Away

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The Jonny Flynn-led Summer Wolves were up by 7 on the Hornets at halftime. They were tied at 77 when the 4th quarter began. And when the final buzzer sounded, they were down by 2 with 10 seconds to go. But the game proved to be too frantic at the end and the Wolves poor transition D left Julian Wright get a free dunk with 7 seconds to go. Wayne Ellington misses his drawn-up three, and that's the game. Hornets win 100-96.

Flynn and Ellington, despite the loss, were on fire with their jumpers, they combined for 13 for 20 from the field and a searing 7 for 10 from downtown. Flynn even gave the heckler behind me a point and a wink after making two 3s within 30 seconds.

It was good to see the Hornets trap and press Flynn in the backcourt. The Wolves have clearly been telling Flynn to push on offense in preparation for the regular season, and Washington didn't seem interested in adjusting last game. When the Hornets doubled Flynn with a big man as he brought the ball up, he got better at recognizing earlier and finding the open man. Similarly, whenever Flynn was at the key or elbow, the Hornets would send a big man over to prevent Jonny from flying to the rack. Ellington, Garrett Siler, Gerald Henderson and Rob Kurz all took advantage of being open at one time or another.

If there's one thing to say about Oleksiy Pecherov, it's that he's not afraid to shoot. In fact, he almost seems afraid to pass. I recall exactly 1 touch where Pech passed. Otherwise, he shot a jumper (most often a 3-pointer) and on one occasion actually backed his man down to flip in a layup (something I don't think anyone had ever seen him do before). That layup was his only make from the field. So, it is with great laughter that I relay to you the nickname the aforementioned heckler bestowed upon the Ukrainian big man: "The White Hole." Use it well Timberwolves fans.

Lastly, Corey Brewer. I talked briefly with Corey after the game and it is clear to me that it's more important his confidence heals than his knee. He talked about how big this year is for him and how he's working on everything this summer. While he hasn't played basketball in something like 8 months prior to the Summer League, he also doesn't look ready to compete on an NBA level yet.

Despite putting up a team-high 11 field goals while playing the 6th most minutes, Brewer's game was nearly silent against the Hornets. He made sure to fly down the wing on every defensive rebound the Wolves got, and he was agressive trying to get to the rim. But Corey was easily disrupted by defenders and getting a layup swatted by Luke Nevill visibly frustrated him.

I'm pulling for Brewer since he's a great kid and is clearly trying to get better. It just seems like he's got a long ways to go.