Tonight's tilt can be verily summarized in 16 seconds.
There's something energetic about seeing a well-executed ally-oop. It's almost like free points. As long as the allyer can kind of aim and the ooper can catch, it's pretty much a guaranteed 2 points. Basketball at it's simplest, and as we've learned through trial and a lot of error these past, oh, 9 years, simplest is the best....est....
And there's something intriguing about seeing new faces, even if they're not exactly the kind that turn the league upside-down. Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale aren't exactly Dwight Howard and LeBron James. But you'll forgive His Beardness and the Rockets if they couldn't quite tell the difference tonight. The Breakfast Club led a spirited, fan-enthusing charge while the Rocket-powered offense flew about as far as your typical North Korean experiment of the week.
(Although, for the record, NK recently managed to successfully put a satellite in orbit, which is pretty damn scary if you really think about it)
Think about this for uno momento. Love: out. Budinger: out. Pekovic: out. Shved: out. Lee: out. Cunningham: out (!!!!). Sans-newbies, that would have left the Wolves bench as literally....literally.....nothing but Amundson and Barea.
So the new guys got signed, and came off the bench, and they did their part. 26 points on 10 FG attempts. Channeling their inner Kirilenkos (Kirilenkoes...?) Which worked out pretty damn well, since the actually Kirilenko put in 21 points on 11 FG attempts himself. So that's 47 points on 21 attempts. Yep.
Now, before we all go Lonely Island (Youtube the song, you'll get it..........) let's remember that it's one game, and new guys always screw up the other team no matter what. NBA defense is like, 90% preparation. Game tape, practice, communication. Study what the other guys do and then work out ways to stop it. But with two guys who haven't played NBA at all this year, there's nothing to study. Can't predict something unprecedented.
Plus, it was still the starters that really built the winning margin.
That said, everything starts somewhere, and you couldn't have possibly asked for a better start for the latest dynamic duo. When you grab two names seeming at random out of complete obscurity, you don't expect much, but tonight, things went all
We'll see where Johnson and Gelabale ultimately land as players for the Wolves (assuming they're around long enough). One would certainly not expect them to shoot a combined 70% the rest of the year. And well, what Chris the Son of John did tonight is kinda what Chris the Son of Andreu has been doing for a decade (I'm not sayin....I'm just sayin'...) But tonight they played a big part in halting 'Sota's skid, and got the crowd at TC louder than they've been in weeks. That's definitely something.
- Dante Cunningham...aka the most indestructable man in the NBA....was unable to dress for tonight's game. Everyone start building bunkers and hoarding food.
- Andrei Kirilenko: 21 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals. S-n-P's hard liquor analysis is spot on for the guy: simply the best, but he's piling up minutes which makes you wonder if/when his typical injury cycle will strike again.
- More flashes of Unicorn Magic. The keys to Rubio's long term success will ultimately be what he showed tonight: assists, defense, make layups, get to the line. Particularly the layup one. Think Doc Rivers/Rajon Rondo. "I don't care if he never hits a three the rest of his career, but he has to make his layups and free throws."
- OR-7 with the comment of the night:
So......elephant in room
Derrik couldn’t get 4th qtr minutes over guys signed after breakfast? Ouch.
- I lol'd. Then I realized it was more sad then funny. Then I lol'd some more, but for a very different, very ironic reason...
- Forget the +/- numbers. Greg Stiemsma and Omar Asik has a terribleness contest tonight. The loser? Everyone.
- Keep Johnson for as long as it takes to not hand out minutes to Steamer and Amundson. If it's 10 days, it's 10 days. If it's the season, it's the season. Whatever it takes.
- Johnson's game has just highlighted more than ever the need for a low usage/high impact athlete of a center. John Henson, Birdman. Maybe Johnson will just be that guy. I don't know, but the Wolves need one in a bad way.
- I'm all for the Wolves getting a Dudley or Reddick or Korver. But it all else fails, there's always a million Carlos Delfinos floating around out there. If a low-cost specialist is what gets it done, then do it.
- James Harden's defense needs work.
- Blake Griffin seems to have heard me criticizing his rebounding.
- Anthony Davis put up 20-12-4 and 4 blocks, even though he shot just 2-7 from the line. The guy is on a Tim Duncan pace. Oof.
- And want to know something scary? I think Nerlens Noel will be even better than him. The guy is having a crazy spectacular year at UK.