The variables for this equation, when added together, surely meant a Timberwolves loss was in the making tonight. LA had won 10 of their last 11 games as they are firing on all cylinders at the moment.
The Wolves are the team who did not have RoCo, Rose, or Teague, as we know they have been shut down for the season.
The Clippers are the team with no superstar but more than competent basketball players, and some excellent ones too, down the entire bench.
The result was a 122-111 drubbing that doesn’t look like a drubbing in the box score after the fact. Ah, the game of basketball.
It did get close! KAT hit a three with a little over seven minutes to play in the game to bring the deficit within six, but that was as close as it would get.
The putrid first quarter is what did the team in. Los Angeles got whatever they wanted to start the game and they did it as a team. KAT did pick up two fouls in the first, but was never really in trouble after that, but he didn’t score his first field goal until the third quarter.
“I thought we didn’t come out with enough defensive intensity, that was the bottom line. That’s been the story in a number of games with us. You give up 42 points in one quarter it’s going to be hard to win,” Coach Ryan Saunders said after the game.
To me, the team looked intense enough the whole game. I think coaches like to use the intensity cliche to answer a question, but how often is that true?
What was more likely is that this team was out matched and out coached in the first half. The Clippers are just an immensely better team right now. The fact that they are this much better without a superstar is somewhat concerning.
With reports coming that Saunders is likely to remain head coach while Glen will search for a new GM who will be saddled with him, these meaningless games with regards to the playoffs do have some salience.
Having said that, it was Saunders adjustments at half time that bottled up Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams in the second half, which Minnesota “won” 56-47. I like Ryan and want him to succeed, especially if it can be with the Wolves.
Maybe this is all Glen needs to see to maintain his country club, minor improvements from half to half. I am sure he’s thinking what we are all thinking, can we please just start next season.
Here are the fun plays, guys:
Also Montrezl Harrell wore these crazy shoes for the first half but switched them at half time. IT WAS THE SHOES NOOOOOO
Next up, the Golden State Warriors this Friday.