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March in Review

Wolves went 6-8 in March, starting strong, but hitting a bad stretch late.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Notes

The Wolves are back in action tonight when the host the Sacramento Kings. It’s a good chance to increase their winning streak to three after six consecutive losses killed their playoff hopes.

It was an up-and-down March for the Wolves, who started the month strong with four wins in six games, including impressive victories over the Jazz, Warriors, Clippers, and Wizards. Six straight losses followed, however, as their lack of depth and defensive fragility caught up with them. That stretch killed any playoff hopes they still harbored, and now they are just trying to finish the season strong.

The early part of the month featured some of their best defense of the season, but the losing streak some of their worst; it all added up to a 109.6 Drtg (per good for 22nd in the league. They also had a 109.6 offensive rating, which was ninth. In other words, when it was all said and done, March was not too dissimilar overall to the season as a whole.

Individual notable performances in March:

Ricky Rubio had a crazy month, averaging 17.8 points, 10.3 assists, and 4.6 boards in 34 minutes a night while shooting 47%/44%/93% with a 60.2 TS percentage and a 23 percent usage. It was the best scoring stretch of his career. His monthly splits have improved each month this season.

Kris Dunn found his way to more playing time late in March and finished with his highest mpg month of the season. He responded with some excellent performances, especially in the “do-shit” categories, grabbing 23 steals and rebounding the ball. He also had his best shooting month. Injuries gave him more opportunities, and he’s found himself playing off the ball most of the second half of the season, to apparently good effect.

Karl-Anthony Towns. 27.6/11.6 on 57% shooting and 40.7% from three. Ho-hum.

Andrew Wiggins followed up his excellent February with his worst month of the season. He shot a season-low 39% and had season lows in rpg and apg as well. I really think the season caught up to him and he got worn out, but that’s just an opinion.

A belated shout to Nemanja Bjelica, who was really finding his groove in seven March games, averaging a season high in minutes (25.5), posting a nine and seven, a season high in offensive and defensive ratings, and a strong +/- before breaking his foot. That really left the Wolves too thin to compete, and was a real disappointment.

We now enter the final month of the regular season. We’ll likely be seeing some of the current Wolves playing for the team for the final few times.

In other (amazing) news, Mississippi State upset Connecticut in a national semifinal in overtime last night, avenging a 60 point rout they suffered in last year’s tournament. It ends UConn’s winning streak at 111, and their run of national titles at four in a row. The championship game will pit them against South Carolina.

Today in History

527: Justinian I named successor to uncle, Byzantine Emperor Justin.
1693: Cotton Mather blames the death of his infant son on witches.
1789: First full meeting of House of Representatives; polls show approval rating plummeting.
1826: Samuel Morey is granted first U.S. patent for an internal combustion engine.
1863: Conscription law goes into effect
1891: Paul Gauguin leaves France bound for Tahiti.
1891: Wrigley Co. founded in Chicago.
1924: Adolf Hitler sentenced to five years labor.
1929: The Yo-Yo is introduced.
1933: Official boycott of Jewish businesses begins in Germany.
1939: U.S. recognizes the Franco government in Spain.
1946: 400,000 miners strike in U.S.
1970: Nixon signs bill limiting tobacco advertising.
1976: Apple Computer founded by Jobs and Wozniak.
1979: Iran becomes Islamic state following fall of Shah.
2001: Slobodan Milosevic surrenders to police.
2004: Google introduces Gmail.

Today’s Musical Birthday

Jimmy Cliff, born in 1948.