Many moons ago we used to do game wraps after the box score and popcorn game flow were released. I figured it was high time to try that out once again.
Last night the Wolves played an entertaining yet somehow still predictable game against the Indiana Pacers. Entertaining in the sense that lots of points were scored, Jonny Flynn found new and amazing ways to display his negative brilliance; and predictable, in that the team was once again torched by a marginal wing player while losing the game down the stretch.
Once again, the Wolves played without Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Darko Milicic, and Luke Ridnour. Once again, the Wolves looked exactly like the Wolves without Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Darko Milicic, and Luke Ridnour.
In Shooter's latest column he quotes Glen Taylor as saying that David Kahn went out and got the players that Kurt Rambis wanted. At first I thought this was simply a shot across the bow of SS Rambis, but after thinking about it, I think it says more about a lack of faith in the abilities of a guy who allowed himself to get bullied into moves by a coach and then blame said coach when things go poorly with the club than it does about the guy getting the same results out of a diminished roster as he did with the whole caboodle.
Anywho, the Second Verse, Same as the First Wolves took the court against the Pacers and were able to pull off the following items of note:
- The teams engaged in dual 8-1 runs within the first 8 minutes of the 2nd half. The Wolves completed theirs in 3:19 while the Pacers got the duty done in less than 3 minutes flat.
- The Pacers bookended the 4th quarter with 14-4 and 12-2 runs.
- Dahntay Jones outscored the Wolves 19-15 in the 4th quarter. He was +18 with a 100% eFG. He could not be contained. He was primarily matched up against Lazar Hayward and Wayne Ellington. Wes Johnson and Corey Brewer were apparently being rested.
- Tyler Hansborough was the only Pacer with a negative +/-. I know it's a small sample size, but the guy looked terrible out there. Grabby, elbowy, pokey, shovey, and not very basketbally.
- The Pacers got to the line at a better rate, shot a better eFG, and turned it over at a lesser rate than Our Beloved Puppies. That's not going to win the good guys many games. The Wolves were able to keep things close because of their proficiency on the offensive glass, collecting 20 of their 44 boards on the offensive end of the court. Of course, this meant a lot of close range misses, but it also meant a lot of close range 2nd chance makes and extended possessions.
- Wayne Ellington and Lazar Hayward were 11-26 from the floor last night. Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson were 4-15. The Late 1st Duo played significantly more minutes than the Syracuse Lotto Duo. At the cliched end of the day, and despite any feelings towards the guy who made the picks, the fact that the team was able to find similar performers with picks near the end of the 1st round as they did with the #4 and #6 picks in the lottery is what is going to set this team back in a bad, bad way. Typically, you don't want to see your favorite team use multiple lottery picks for backup players. That's what the end of the 1st round and the 2nd round is for. At least Kahn seems to have 1/2 of that equation down. Look on the bright side of things, David Kahn was able to find someone with the 28th pick that plays just as well as a #4 pick. Plus, they're both the same age! Double bonus.
- Wayne Ellington has now passed Darko Milicic in the Win Share column. He has done so in just less than 1/2 of Darko's minutes. Wayne doesn't block shots, however. Wayne is the team's biggest positive over the past few games. He has been a blast to watch and if there has been any internal player development going on with the NBA Leaders In Player Development, it is with the play of Mr. Ellington...over a very small sample size, of course.
- Kurt Rambis has now coached the 4th most games in franchise history. He is 8 games short of reaching the number of contests afforded to Randy Wittman. His average record compared to .500 is -39.5. He has a .207 winning percentage. He is 28-107 and has a very legitimate shot of losing more than 100 games than he has won by the end of this season. Now think of any sort of meaningful metric used to judge GM performance. Now tell yourself that Kahn is his equal. Now imagine that they might get to determine what happens during yet another off season for everybody's favorite ball club. Sorry, I know it's repetitive but they it cannot be repeated enough. They're awful and they do the fan base of this team a disservice with nearly everything they do. They are quite possibly the worst coach and GM this franchise has ever had and they are operating together as a team....at the same time.
- The double/double streak continues.