This was a blowout. Blowouts are difficult to analyze. It’s difficult to bring myself to write about it, and it’s difficult to put stats in the proper perspective when most of them meant nothing. The first quarter was close, mostly because the Wolves pounded the glass to rebound their own misses. When that stopped working, the glass-crashing led to Memphis points a plenty in transition. The Grizz won the middle quarters by a combined 55 to 36. Aside from in transition defense–primary or secondary–the Wolves kept fighting and managed to cut the deficit to 11 with 7:33 to go. But that happens in blowouts, and it didn’t matter. The Grizz put their starters back in and closed er down. It was a blowout.
What went wrong? (Besides “everything.”)
Pekovic had only 8 points. Marc Gasol is a great defender. Ricky only had 4 assists. Memphis schemes for his pass-first style. Shved mixed good plays with bad. He had 9 assists and also 5 turnovers. Stiemer fouled out in 13 minutes. D-Thrill’s 9 points were Wesley Johnsonesque, floating around, not sure where an easy basket might be found. And, as I mentioned, the transition defense did them in. Some of this was turnovers, some of it was just not getting back on secondary breaks. The Grizz shot 52 percent from the floor, well above their 24th-ranked season average of 43.6 percent. Much of that was due to transition baskets.
What went well?
Gelabale shot 5 for 7 from the floor, including 2 for 3 from downtown. His corner trey looks legit — quick to fire with solid form. Ricky made 6 of 11 shot attempts, including some jumpers. 17 points in 28 minutes, one game removed from 18 points and 11 assists versus the Knicks, is another sign of development. I still think his shot needs overhauling in the summer, but progress is progress. He’s beginning to make more shots.
I’m not sure what else to add. It was a really, really ugly game, filled with sloppy decision making and weak dribbling. The Grizzlies are good. The Wolves, right now, are not.
“Breaks” Running Diary
About Timberwolves assistant coach, then rookie Portland Trailblazer, T.R. Dunn, Halberstam writes:
Dunn had the strongest body of any guard in the camp and probably in the league; he seemed to be sculpted out of black marble and his physique was the first thing that coaches looked at.
Sorry, this isn’t much of an excerpt except that if any of my friends ever had this said or written about them they’d be “Black Marble” for the rest of their lives. Later in the book, Halberstam described Dunn’s excellent defensive ability, shutting down the likes of Pistol Pete Maravich and David Thompson in just his rookie season. A brief look at Dunn’s wiki page reveals 3 All-Defensive Team (2nd Team) awards. #TheMoreYouKnow
Season Record: 18-30