There Wolves were very good in several areas tonight and many players contributed to the victory, but the outstanding feature of their successful preseason continues to be their ability to get steals and win the turnover battle, which they did again tonight, The Bucks turned the ball over 21 times to the Wolves 14, while the Wolves also generated 14 steals, led by Ricky Rubio's 4 in his 18 minutes of play.
In truth, that understates the turnover difference, as several of the Wolves turnovers took place in a 4th quarter that featured Zach LaVine at the helm. It really is nice to see them able to go long stretches without coughing the ball up, something that will help them greatly as they are going to need all the shot attempts they can get this season.
The rebounding was also a plus, though the final numbers don't reflect how dominant the Wolves were on the offensive glass through the first three quarters of the game. Nikola Pekovic led the way with 5 offensive boards among his 13 total rebounds to go along with 15 points in 19 minutes of action. He was simply too much for the Bucks to handle in the paint. He dominated with his strength.
The best player on the floor tonight was Ricky Rubio, who played only 18 minutes and scored 10 points on 2-6 from the field. But he was a constant disruption on defense, tallied 6 assists and 4 steals, and dominated proceedings when he was out there, especially during his 6 minute stint to start the 3rd quarter. He helped push a 6 point halftime lead to double figures and essentially put it out of reach for the Bucks before sitting down for the rest of the night, a wise choice given it was the 2nd night of a back to back.
Chase Budinger continued his bright play with 15 and 7, and seems very lively and active, chasing down several loose balls and generally looking like a contributor. Please lets not trade him.
Shabazz Muhammad had his best outing of the preseason as well, scoring 19 points and actually recording 3 assists, something I would have bet against ever happening. He was still tunnel visioned at times, but credit where it's due: a pretty good outing for Muhammad.
A final mention for Gorgui Dieng, who had a good offensive night, with 14 points on 7 shots. The center combo played 48 minutes and finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds. I'll take that every night thank you.
The Wolves have looked good for three straight games now in various combinations, which is nice to see. It's still preseason, but more guys than I expected are looking helpful. They seemed to exhibit good defensive energy as well, not only forcing a lot of turnovers, but also forcing the Bucks into a lot of contested jumpers and holding them to 40% shooting.
The Wolves looked good tonight. It was fun to watch. What did you think?