37.7% from the floor.
4-17 from three.
All of that? It was on merit. The Wolves, despite the return of their point guard and floor leader Ricky Rubio to the lineup for the first time this preseason put on a putrid offensive display where they once again reverted to their habits of dribbling into contested shots, forcing isolation plays, and making sloppy passes.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Update: Wolves still the best at dribbling themselves into bad, contested shots. Uncanny.</p>— canishoopus (@canishoopus) <a href="https://twitter.com/canishoopus/status/655894268423213056">October 18, 2015</a></blockquote>
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This one was hard to watch, as we only had an in-arena feed to follow, so we can't delve too deeply into the minutiae, which is just as well.
There really isn't anything good to say about anyone's play in this one. Rubio was the focus, and it was clear that his teammates were not used to his passes, as several bounced off hands and faces that probably should have been caught. That said, Rubio himself was not particularly sharp tonight, missing all four of his shot attempts and having some timing trouble. That's the least of our worries, however, as the important thing is he played 23 healthy minutes--roughly 15 in two first half stints, then 7-8 to start the third, after which the starters did not return.
Meanwhile, for reasons that remain unclear, Sam Mitchell decided to use Zach LaVine, who had been moved to shooting guard, as the back up point guard. Which went about as well as you might expect. Hopefully Mitchell, like the rest of us, has seen enough of that, as he left his other three point guards (Andre Miller, Tyus Jones, and Lorenzo Brown) on the bench all night.
Mitchell also promised to play Adreian Payne and Shabazz Muhammad more tonight, and he kept that promise, as Payne went 24 minutes and Muhammad 19. Neither distinguished themselves. As a result, Nemanja Bjelica only played 11 minutes tonight, and while he made a three, he also had a couple of ugly turnovers.
It's hard to write a recap when there is nothing good to hang your hat on. The Wolves tried to go to Karl-Anthony Towns in the post some early, but Marc Gasol swallowed him up, and he forced several bad looking shots. Gorgui Dieng managed to finish 5-9 for 12 points in what was probably the best offensive performance of the game, but overall looked as lost as everyone else.
The Grizzlies did play their starters fairly heavy minutes, with everyone but Conley (24) going 30 minutes, and it showed, as this veteran squad got most of what they wanted and had little trouble with the young Wolves. However, even their young bench guys like Russ Smith and JaMychal Green had a field day. The good news is it's only preseason.