On Friday, the Minnesota Timberwolves were in New Orleans after announced that, due to the death of his Mother, Lula Hall, Thaddeus Young would not be available against the New Orleans Pelicans. Young will remain out for an indefinite amount of time. His absence left the Wolves without two key starters - when Ricky Rubio will return remains uncertain.
Flip Saunders went with Zach LaVine, Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic to start the game. Pelicans head coach Monty Williams countered with Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis and Omer Asik.
Not long after Davis controlled the opening tip, Holiday attacked the basket and connected on a running jump shot to give the Pelicans a 2-0 lead. He had attacked LaVine off the dribble, something Isaiah Canaan of the Houston Rockets rarely tried to do against the Wolves on Wednesday night in Mexico City. Holiday, unlike Canaan, wasn't going to be satisfied simply facilitating an offense.
The Pelicans ran through offensive sets as if they were holding a practice in front of a live audience. By the end of the opening frame, they had jumped out to a 43-19 lead. And things just kept getting worse.
The Wolves entered the locker room at halftime after allowing the Pelicans to score a franchise record 80 points through two quarters. Holiday and Gordon, collectively, scored 25 points and were a perfect nine-for-nine from the field. Davis added 16 points. At least the second quarter ended on somewhat of a high note.
Nice drive & side door slam for Zach LaVine after a hesitation move https://t.co/zIOAHtzgLV— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 15, 2014
During the third quarter, Andrew Wiggins continued to showcase different facets of his repertoire at the offensive end. A longggg three-point shot was one of four successful field goal attempts taken by Wiggins during the third frame. But the Wolves weren't scoring on well designed plays but rather in isolation situations as well as transition opportunities.
It was at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Flip Saunders decided to wave the proverbial white flag.
Wiggins, Martin and Pekovic did not play during the final frame. Chase Budinger and Glenn Robinson III saw the court in what is considered by many to be garbage time. During the fourth quarter the score was trivial, although the bench players managed to keep within two points of the Pelicans second-tier group.
Final Score: 90-139.
Right now, we're observing how younger players respond to adversity. Moreover, as fans, we're also going through some of that adversity ourselves. We knew this team wasn't going to be very good.
Losing happens. But this is all in the name of getting better. We hope.