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Timberwolves meowmeowbeenz past the Pistons 114-101

The Wolves' early lead end up being just enough

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

So. I sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out the right adjective to describe this one.

The Wolves...outlast the Pistons? No, that doesn't really capture the lethargy...survive the Pistons? No, that implies Detroit had some sort of attack plan, which they most definitely did not.

It was more like....the Wolves thought the final buzzer sounded 8 minutes before it actually did, and spent the rest of the game in a daze wondering why the crowd hadn't left yet and the guys in blue shirts kept shooting. Meanwhile the Pistons made the most aimless, random, uncoordinated comeback attempt ever, that would have succeeded nonetheless had NBA basketball employed a fifth quarter.

Only the absurdity of Community can capture the full absurdity of what took place: I give this game 2 out of 5 meowmeowbeenz.

To whoever tweeted at us that our absence may be a good thing for the team: you might be on to something. We shall investigate further.

It's puzzling that a game that started off so well ended so pathetically. Kevin^2 scored 25 points just the two of them in the first quarter alone to power the Wolves to a 39-21 lead. By the middle of the fourth quarter, the Wolves had turned a 30 point blowout into an 11 point scrum, rapidly seceding ground to the scrubiest of Detroit's scrubs.

The Pistons threw in the towel with over 8 minutes to go by checking in Charlie Villanueva. His scrubs proceeded to thrash our scrubs so mightily that Adelman checked all 5 starters back in not 90 seconds later. And boy, was he ever not happy about that. Best thing Charlie V has done for the Pistons in years. Or worst, I guess. Depending on your point of view.

Post game, Adelman fumed about the team's collapse, citing the need to the players to know the score and know the clock. Don't jack up shots early in the possession. Don't streetball and make a mistake that could cost you later. Adelman made a game effort to coach the bench through the struggle, but quickly decided it wasn't enough.

The thing I didn't like, you can miss shots and all of that but they had their bench out there and were running the court and it changes quickly and I had to put the starters back in. But they have to deal with that. They have to understand that because you're up big doesn't mean the game is over. This is their time, their opportunity. You have to be ready to go in and play as a team and they just didn't do it.

The atmosphere at the end was pretty muted. We won, but it didn't feel like a victory. The crowd seemed in shock, like they had just watched a cage match where both contestants had to be carted out. To quote my all-time favorite Zach Harper tweet, I'm not sure what we were watching, but I don't think it was basketball.

Random notes:

  • It's pretty amazing how in sync Martin and Adelman are. At the post presser, Adelman was asked if he told Martin he needed to be aggressive early. Rick responded "he's been in the league 9 years, he knows. I didn't tell him and I shouldn't have to tell him." Later in the locker room, Martin was asked if he and Adelman are at that point where he knows what coach wants him to do without being told. "Oh, I reached that point 7 years ago."
  • Pekovic jokes about how his minutes limit is supposed to be 20. Welp. So much for that. He felt that playing against Detroit's bigger front lineup was a good test of his condition physically, and he looked in good spirits post game. But as they say, what really matters is how it feels the next morning.,
  • He also talked about how the team focused on limiting Drummond. They know he can't create his own shot, so if you cut off passing angles and keep him off the glass, you can really shut him down. Mission accomplished: Dre posted just 6 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out. Far cry from the 17-26 he put up against the Knicks just a few days ago.
  • That said, Drummond is a potential beast. He seems over whatever complex he was dealing with at UConn, and well....guys that big that move that fast and jump that high are few and far between. Dre had a block on Pekovic in the fourth quarter that was shades of 20 year old Dwight Howard.
  • THAT said, the Drummond/Monroe/Smith lineup is incredibly awkward. Neither Tim or I could come up with an answer for what Detroit is hoping to get out of keeping Monroe around. But man...Smith at the 3 is a flynnin' disaster.
  • Who knows how seriously they actually believe it, but the team is at least saying they're still focused on making the playoffs. But yeah...the margin of error is literally 0 at this point. And they probably already exceeded it with the loss to New York, so...

Anywho. Toronto is in town on Sunday. By schedule at least, they should be the only serious challenge to the Wolves over this stretch.