Tag Archives: Jason Terry

Garnett [still] Got Game (CELTICS 104, Wolves 94)

KG played like his prime years tonight, albeit in fewer minutes.

I feel bad for the fans that only tuned in for the second half.  After a couple competitive quarters of basketball that left the Wolves leading by 4 points, everything came unraveled for Rick Adelman’s team.  Boston turned the halftime deficit into a 7-point lead after three.  The third quarter was largely dominated by large Celtic power forward, Brandon Bass, who scored 10 points on 5-5 shooting in the period.  The Wolves second unit, that played quite well in the first half, continued the struggles in the early fourth, seeing the Celtic lead extend to 9 points when Love and Pekovic came back in.  Those subs didn’t help and the bleeding continued.  Profusely.  Boston’s lead ballooned to 15.  In the first 6:08 of the final period the Wolves managed just 3 points, blending a toxic mix of bricked jumpers, botched layups, offensive fouls and turnovers, and above all else, missed free throws.  Despite getting enough defensive stops to hold out a shred of hope through the 6-minute mark, the game was never again a close one.

Rather than harp on everything negative, I’ll start with some praise:

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Cut & Shooters

The B.S. Report podcast, when NBA-focused, is probably my favorite going right now.  Joe House, a Wizards fan and funny dude, makes a good sidekick for Simmons when talking all the latest in pro hoops.  But in their recent discussion about Ray Allen, Simmons said something that I took issue with:

Simmons: I think the thing people miss with Ray and the reason him and Rondo struggle to play together and struggle to get along.. Ray’s a… you know… everybody.. has to chip in to help Ray succeed.  He’s runnin’ off double and triple screens.  The point guard’s gotta pound the ball, twenty-five feet from the basket, for five, six seconds waiting for Ray to come around all these different things.  And I think Rondo is starting to get frustrated.  That, you know, they’re devoting so much time to helping Ray succeed, almost at the expense of his game.  And when [Avery] Bradley was in there and Rondo could just do whatever he wanted, Bradley’s doing backcuts, all that stuff.  That was such a better fit for Rondo’s game.  I think that was part of the problem.

House: But that was just something that came to light last season.  It’s not like that’s been going on for a long time.  And it happened to coincide with, you know, Ray’s physical aging curve.  He’s right at, kind of, the end of his career.

Even though Joe House did a solid job of quickly explaining Simmons’ comment away, it still bugged me when I listened to it.  For two reasons: Continue reading

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The Return of Dirk (Mavericks 104, WOLVES 97)

As you probably know, the Wolves have twice defeated the defending-champion Mavericks in this short season, each game by a decided margin of victory.  Although I joined the excitement of other Wolves fans about last year’s worst dominating last year’s best, it was impossible not to notice two things about those games:

1) In the first game, Dirk wasn’t Dirk (as Bill Simmons explained yesterday, Dirk showed up for training camp way out of shape, not yet recovering from the championship hangover).

2) In the second game, Dirk wasn’t playing.  (His legs were broken down from playing his way into shape, for the above reason.)

Last night’s game would include neither of those beneficial factors.  After beginning the season 3-5, Dallas had won 12 of its last 18 games, returning to contender form.  After his worst start to a season in over a decade, Dirk had finally caught fire.  In the three games leading up to last night’s, Dirk was averaging over 26 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting.  It appeared as though he’d be the matchup nightmare that fans have grown accustomed to watching.

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The Sixty Million Dollar Man (Wolves 105, MAVERICKS 90)

After penning his name on a gigantic four-year contract extension (approximately $62 Million over 4 years, with player option after third year) Kevin Love went out and played a near-perfect game of basketball against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.  Spearheading a dominant second half for his team (53-36) Love posted 31 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks without any of the disruptive, gimmicky tactics that I whined so much about the other night.  Love shot 6 treys and hit 4 of them, he played hard defense all over the floor (not his type of matchup when Yi draws him outside the paint) and provided the uber-efficient productivity that makes him special.  One game in, Love looks well-worth the dough.

Beating Dallas at its home court is a bit less (okay, WAY LESS) impressive when Dirk is on the sidelines with a knee injury.  The Mavs started this game with some red-hot shooting, particularly from Jasons Kidd and Terry, Yi Jianlian, and Rodrique Beaubois.  I wondered whether the Wolves (shorthanded themselves without Ridnour, Barea, Beasley, Webster, Miller, and Lee) would have enough legs to ramp up the defensive pressure and hang in this game.

They did.  Rubio in particular was relentless in attacking the defense, staving off defensive pressure, and constantly seeking out steal opportunities (4 times successfully) for 46 crucial minutes of point guard play.  Only for a short two-minute stint of Wayne at the point did Ricky get a breather.

My one problem with Rubio’s game (no, not his 7 turnovers; those are part of the package for this type of playmaker) is that he shot too much.  His jumper is quickly molding into its Euro League form, with his field goal percentage now plummeted to 38.6.  He shot 4 of 16 from the floor, tonight.  On too many possessions, Rubio’s first decision was to penetrate the lane and look for his own shot.  It wasn’t working for him tonight.  His overall efficiency (17 points on 16 shots) was partially saved by an ability to draw fouls (8-9 FT’s) that is second only to Love on this team.  Ricky stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals.  Triple doubles are in this kid’s future.

A road win is a good win, especially with the Spurs and Lakers on the horizon.  Additional jottings:

* I lobbied for Anthony Randolph to take the center minutes from Darko and Pekovic.  Rick Adelman disagrees, obviously, because Randolph played 9 minutes tonight, while Darko and Pek combined for 44.  Darko had an efficient 8 points, 7 rebounds and a whopping 7 blocks in 24 minutes.  Pekovic shot 4 for 5, for 13 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes.  Randolph?  The only Wolf in the minus column (-5) with a 1 for 4 shooting night.  Perhaps Coach knows what he’s doing.

* Lamar Odom looks horrible.  He is notoriously inconsistent, but tonight looked cranky, out of shape, and not at all ready for an NBA basketball game.  As he has done throughout his career, he took the bait on jump shot opportunities, and put together a 2 for 14 shooting performance in just 16 minutes of action.  Mavs fans must miss them some Tyson Chandler.

* Solid game for Derrick Williams.  He is not a small forward–that much should be obvious by now–but on plays when Rubio was cycling the half court with the ball, D-Thrill found opportunities to dive in the paint.  He was rewarded with Rubio passes and easy hoops were had.  On one instance, it was Rubio-to-Williams-to-Darko without the ball touching the floor.  On another, Williams finished it off himself.  10 points (4-7 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 0 turnovers in 25 minutes is good work for a rookie playing out of position.

Season Record: 8-10

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