Tonight's game between the Timberwolves and the Rockets tonight brought out some notable faces. Among the game's attendees included "former Rocket" Royce White at court side, as well as Gophers' head coach Richard Pitino at center court. If either of them came as Wolves fans (White was sporting a Wolves hat), they probably didn't leave too happy.
The Wolves' poor shooting resulted in a 107-89 loss tonight, dropping their record to 24-28, the worst the Wolves have been in the W-L column all year.
"A lot of guys that had good looks, looks we normally take, we just couldn't knock down," Wolves coach Terry Porter, who filled in for Rick Adelman (out for personal reasons), said after the game. "A couple of times our floor balance wasn't as good and sharp as they needed to be on those misses and they ran out and got some easy baskets and really kind of helped them extend the lead. It's just one of those nights in our league that we couldn't make shots when we needed to make shots and have someone get hot for us and no one got hot"
Kevin Love and Alexey Shved were the only sources of production in the first half for the Wolves, combining for 35 of the team's first 58 points. Among Shved's first half buckets was this monstrosity that had myself and Punch Drunk Wolves' Andy (among others) in complete shock.
The remainder of the half saw the Wolves make some runs, but remain down for its entirety. They got it down to 2 with an unlikely lineup of Barea/Shved/Mbah a Moute/Cunningham/Dieng, mainly due to Shved's scoring and some good help defense on the interior.
The close game remained as the game continued, but when the starters all started to re-enter the game, Houston started to re-establish a comfortable lead. Noticeable were some mental lapses on the defensive end and some lazy turnovers. The half concluded in classic Jamal Crawford-esque fashion, with James Harden burying a 3-pointer as time expired.
That same bench lineup was brought back in for the second half, but it did not see anywhere near the success it saw in the first half. Shved didn't score in the half, and Barea continued what turned out to be an awful shooting night from the field (1-9 from the field, 0-4 from beyond the arc). Defensively, they continued to hold their own (something the starters also helped with), only allowing 40 second half points.
Still, when your shot isn't falling, you aren't going to win. The Wolves shot a dismal 27.9 percent in the second half. That will never get it done.
There were certain points in the second half where Rubio and Love looked to be fatigued. With the injuries and ineffectiveness from some of the bench, that put Porter in a tough spot.
"It's tough. Keep more starters on the floor, I mean, they played a good chunk of the third quarter already. You can't let them go forever, you have to give them rest and give the guys in the second unit on the floor and give them chances," he said. "It is what it is, we were short handed to begin with and so it's an opportunity, and you just have to look at it like it's an opportunity."
The Wolves are off until Wednesday when they'll play Denver, again at home. Rick Adelman is expected back for the game.