It’s official: my favorite Timberwolf of all-time is gone: on Friday, the Wolves traded Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf to Houston for guard Troy Daniels and two second-round picks, per Yahoo! Sports.
Woj had the beat, of course:
Brewer became famous last season for receiving and dunking Kevin Love’s outlet passes and for scoring 51 points in a game in Love’s absence.
Let us briefly appreciate this Bizarre Brewer Moment in history.
But Brewer was incompatible with Wolves POBO-Coach Flip Saunders’ rebuilding plan, which is focused on shedding age and salary and acquiring young talent and assets for future trades. (Eds. Note: Brewer is also famous for owning a pet goat named Billy.)
What does the Brewer trade mean?
The Wolves defeated the Lakers last night in a 120-119 barnburner at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant missed a wide-open three point shot that would’ve won the game at the buzzer.
- Zach Lavine: Lavine made shots. The media made a lot out of his psychology in this game because he was squaring off against his childhood hero, Kobe Bryant. Lavine played by far his best game as a pro. He had 18 points in the second quarter alone (28 for the game), and shot 11-14 from the floor. He and Jeremy Lin were locked up against each other for much of this quarter, and Lavine looked confident that he could get any shot he wanted against Lin. Lavine’s shot selection leaves plenty to be desired and maybe always will — a lot of his makes last night were of the “dribble jumper with plenty of time on the shot clock” variety — but you feel a lot better about it when the shots actually fall, and he doesn’t look surprised by the result.
A lot of times before last night, it looked like Lavine simply shoots to try to get his self going, but doesn’t really expect the ball to go in. Last night was a different story. As athletic as Lavine is, it goes to show how important timing and rhythm are for his offensive game. He was well within the flow of what was a very fast-paced game last night. Hopefully he can take away some lessons about why he was so successful last night and has looked so poorly on other nights.
But it bears emphasis: Lavine put together one of the best games that any rookie plays this season.
More below the fold…
“Obviously Corey was incredible, unbelievable game. I don’t know where he works up the energy he has. I mean 45 minutes in and he’s still going strong at the end…
Really he’s just a guy who has just done his role in everything else. I don’t think they knew what to do with him. I don’t think we knew what to do with them. He’s just scoring and flying around and squeezing. Using his body leading us to get through those gaps then he hits a three at the end of the first half, just banks it in. It was his night. I give him credit. He set the tone for the whole night.”
Andy G: The Wolves took on LeBron James and the two-time defending champion Miami Heat last night, so they must’ve lost, right?
For the first time in approximately forever the Wolves were victors over a team with LeBron James on it. (Eds note: I think Dave or Jim on the broadcast said the last time was 2005, back about when ‘Bron was going to war with Agent Zero and Caron Butler’s Wizards in the Playoffs. How long ago does that seem?) It took a pair of overtimes, some Kevin Love and even Chase Budinger heroics (!) and every ounce of Ricky Rubio’s floor-generaling stamina, but they eked it out.
They eked it out, of course, on a missed Corey Brewer backwards alley-oop layup attempt… in which he was fouled for some reason! He made one of the free throws. Crazy ending to a crazy game.
I enjoyed it tremendously.
Patrick J: The Brewer “shot” (at about 3:20 in those highlights) was one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen that didn’t go in. You know how Corey does inexplicable stuff all the time and it’s sort of endearing and sort of grating? This was one of those times. I still don’t know (1) how he even got in position to get that shot, (2) how he formulated the idea that the shot could look like that, (3) how he managed to draw a foul call on such an ill-advised shot. But that’s just Brew. Continue reading
In which we discuss Timberwolves injuries and their implications; the upcoming schedule; and longer term implications (TRADE DEADLINE). (!)
I spilled a lot of virtual ink yesterday about the Wolves season to date. They went on to pummel the Lakers, defeating LAL by the most points in franchise history and for the first time in years. Three pointers by the Kevins, Outlet bombs to Brewer, pesky backcourt defense, and a Ricky Rubio triple double all factored into the win. Oh, and Nick Young’s shot selection.
Another big one tonight at the same arena, against a much better Clippers team.
Update (11:05 A.M. CST): It’s a cliche , but we’d be remiss not to honor Ricky’s triple-double (highlights here) by giving it the proper Ice Cube treatment (see 1:18) – Patrick J
It Was A Good Day (NSFW, depending where you W)
If you see this man in Minneapolis tonight, don’t look directly at his shirt or you might go blind.
The undefeated Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off of a season-opening victory in overtime against the Orlando Magic, take on a more formidable opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at Target Center.
You should watch it if you want to see how the team responds to the trouble it had putting away a lesser opponent, and to see how they stack up against one of the better teams in the Western Conference.
No, Russell Westbrook won’t be walking through that door–check that, maybe he’ll be walking through that door (I’m not sure if he’s traveling with the team, but if he is, just look for the athletic-looking guy limping around in borderline absurd technicolor hipster garb–you can’t miss him.)
A few quick dashes about tonight’s tilt before my lunch break ends: