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Going Batty


This is a straw-colored fruit bat.  I learned about it last night when I switched the Wolves over to Discovery Channel's new series, Life.  30-6 second quarter runs will do that to a guy.  What is amazing about the straw-colored fruit bat? 

One of the great wildlife wonders of the world unfolds in southern Africa near the end of each year. As the sun sets, up to eight million fruit bats unfurl wings that average three feet (a meter) across, release their grip on the sagging branches of their tree roosts and take to the sky. A few lead the way, soaring off gracefully on those big wings. Then more follow, and more still, until the sky is filled with bats flying off in every direction. Three thousand metric tons (6.6 million pounds) of mammals in flight create an amazing and beautiful spectacle.
The straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) begin to arrive in Zambia’s Kasanka National Park in late October. Their numbers grow rapidly until, by the last week of November, up to eight million are packed into less than 2 1/2 acres (one hectare) of evergreen swamp forest (known locally as mushito).
According to Life, the current mushito of straw-colored fruit bats is over 10 million strong.  They consume over 6,000 tons (yes, tons) of fruit per night.  Thankfully, they are not straw-colored brain bats.  
Clicking back to the Wolves, I see...holy crap.  Really?  They're within 10?  I'm going to assume some sort of dark magic happened at the Target Center in the 3rd quarter.  Dark, dark magic. My attention is gotten....until I got caught up on a report about the sarcastic fringehead on the fish episode of Life. 

Getting back to the game, it's back to 6 points and they appear to have their best lineup on the floor: Sessions, Ellington, Gomes, Love, and Jefferson.  Over on Life, the weedy seadragon.  

The male weedy seadragon is the lucky chap who gets to carry the eggs. 

As for Our Beloved Puppies, I tuned back just in time to make the following random thoughts:
  • At least they didn't give up 152 points.  That's a positive all by itself. 
  • The Suns exist on some sort of upper level of pick-and-roll understanding.  They ran every sort of pick-and-roll you can conceive of against the Wolves.  Simple two man action with a big rotating off the pick towards the rim, two man pick-and-pops with the big opening up for a jumper, three man games with a low post big rising out of the low post for open threes, amazing split team cuts towards the hoop, and so on and so forth.  They did such an amazing job at giving Wolves fans an up and close look at how a good team runs the most basic action in the NBA that the FSN crew did a pick-and-roll tutorial after the game that did a good job of showing how the Suns incorporate 3 players in their basic 2 man play.  Good stuff.  Although, we would have like to see Jim Petersen try to dunk one...even in dress shoes ;) 
  • Kevin Love's performance brings up an interesting question, best brought up by Rascal Flatts and Oceanaryin the comments: Is Love destined to a Manu-esque role off the bench?  Is he a guy that will give his best effort starting off against opposing second units while still getting 30 plus minutes a game?  Whatever the case, the game thread comment of the night goes to rickyp: "it's sad that Love putting up a 20/20 game is less shocking to me than seeing him leading the team in minutes played." Say what you will about Love, his fluctuation in minutes this season has been frustrating, at best.  
  • It's getting harder and harder to dress up Jonny Flynn's constant dribbling and lack of basic point guard skills.  The Wolves cut a 25 Suns deficit to 10 with a Flynn jumper from the low right wing.  On the next possession, and with a chance to cut it to 8 after a nice stop, Flynn never took his eye off his own defender before jacking up a heat check shot that rimmed out, allowing the Suns to go back and put the lead back up to double digits.  It's possessions like this that really, really hurt the team.  That was an opportunity to drill the ball down to Jefferson or to engage the offense for a better look...not a quick jumper with hardly any time off the shot clock.  
  • Amare Stoudemire is in quite a groove right now.  The guy has everything going and he is running the pick-and-roll with Steve Nash on a level very few duos make it to.  From mid-range pick and pop jumpers to hugely athletic dives to the rim, he's playing as well as I've ever seen him play.  It's really fun to watch.  
  • The Wolves were outscored 40-19 in the 2nd.  Not much you can say about that one.  It will be interesting to see just how badly they were blown out in the popcorn game flow.  
Four Factors:

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr Phoenix 101.0 109.9 54.7% 19.8 15.6 12.9 Minnesota 104.0 41.5% 28.7 37.0 14.9

The Wolves were done in by awful, awful shooting. They dominated the offensive glass and the free throw battle while getting absolutely blown out in shooting percentage.  Thank god for Kevin Love out offensive rebounding the entire Phoenix team because bad shooting + limited attempts would have equaled an even worse night for the Wolves.  This was a game that was there for the taking, regardless of the awful 2nd quarter.  They missed 10 free throws and shot .423 from 2 and .250 from beyond the arc.  3 more free throws and 2 more made 2s and they win...with percentages that fall in line with what they typically put up.  Darko and Big Al were the worst offenders, shooting a combined .310 from the floor.  

Well folks, that about does it for the night.  

Until later. 


Bonus fish!


This creature is called the barreleye.  It has a see-through head.  Those little greenish orbs inside its head are its eyes.  The eye-looking things in the front of its head are nostrils.  The barreleye's eyes look straight upwards and it finds its prey by looking for moving shadows against the dim light of the deep Monterey Bay.  

Hooray nature!