The good news: Minnesota snapped its 4-game losing streak tonight, earning a decided victory against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The less-good news: I have no idea what to make of the performance, because Charlotte is the worst healthy NBA team I have seen in recent years.
Who is the Bobcats’ best player? Does anyone have an answer to this question? If win shares per 48 are your thing, I guess it’s Derrick Brown or D.J. White. John Hollinger and his PER would say it’s D.J. Augustine or Byron Mullens. From watching tonight, I’d probably vote for Kemba Walker or maybe even (hold the laughs) Boris Diaw. (Ol’ Boris dunked on Kevin Love and almost f’d around and got a triple double.)
It’s such an unbelievably-miserable roster (3-26 after tonight’s loss) that I don’t know how to interpret a 12-point win on the home floor in a game where the Wolves trailed at half and benched both Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams. Speaking of those two getting stuck on the pine, apparently Adelman had to stay with the group that was rolling. Bullshit. Beasley and Williams were both in the black for +/- in the first half; a half in which the team actually lost by two. Each player scored an efficient 4 points in 9 minutes of action with positive team performance. With Beasley, there was one specific play where he was fouled on a drive with no call and he spent the defensive possession in the front court by the bench. When it looked like the Wolves had possession he stayed back and the whole sequence looked really ugly for him. About 3 minutes prior to this Kevin Love did essentially the same thing, flopping for a no-call and laying on the ground while his man hammered home a dunk on the other end. I’m not saying these two should be treated equally (Love has earned much more rope than Mike) but if this one sequence led to some kind of Norman Dale Point to Prove, I guess we’re nearing the end of the Mike Beasley Era.
UPDATE: Fellow Wolves blogger Howl at the Moon has similar notes on Beasley and Williams here.
That was a bit of a tangent. There really isn’t much to say about this game.
- K-Love played great and put up huge numbers.
- Ricky found shooters who sometimes made shots.
- Luke got back on track with a team-best (+20) and 5 to 1 assists-to-turnovers.
- Big Pek played 44 minutes (!!!) and posted a ho-hum 21 & 11.
- J.J. Barea shocked the world with 8 assists and 0 turnovers.
It’s nice to be in a position where 12-point wins don’t feel very good. That’s the best spin on this game that I’ve got. Wolves travel to Houston for yet another Rockets matchup on Friday night. Maybe by then they’ll have traded for a shooting guard. Until then.
UPDATE: I see that 82games.com just updated its on/off numbers. These numbers aren’t perfect (far from it) but the majorly-negative net numbers for Ridnour and Johnson (the starting wings) versus all other wings being in the positive… that might say something about the decision to play those two so much. While I’d support many different trade proposals for a good shooting guard, a starting point might just be to start Michael Beasley or Martell Webster at the 3 over Wes Johnson.
Season Record: 14-16
13 responses to “Taking Care of Business…or something (WOLVES 102, Bobcats 90)”
Right there with you on the Beasley/Williams benching. I had in my game notes that the second unit..” were just about getting things rolling..” Beasley was dishing, scoring and playing defense and Williams was looking very engaged..including his “Mosgoving” of DJ White….they were hooked very abruptly ( only 8+ mins apiece!!?) and Wesley Johnson was given an inordinate amount of playing time where he achieved, yet again…very,very little. I also thought Pek played far too many minutes at the end…..Darko or Miller could easily have come in for the final 5 mins.
I’ll mostly “third” Andy’s and Kevin’s points. The Wolves didn’t so much outplay the Bobcats as they were simply the better team with a superior roster. (That we’re capable of winning one of these types of games is in itself sort of nice, as we’d usually lose them under RAMBIS.) I don’t think we’ve taken a game over and owned it since our last win over Houston, which now seems like forever ago.
I really thought Kahn would be aggressively shopping Ridnour once Rubio supplanted him at the point. We needed Luke when Barea and Webster were out. But now, as commenter Dave A. pointed out recently, our three point guard rotations just look awkward.
I suppose it’s kind of a no-win (aside from the literal victory) situation, playing a team like the Bobcats at home. I shouldn’t question Adelman, since the team is infinitely-better than it has been in recent years. It just seems odd that Wes continues to take Beasley’s minutes (and increasingly so) despite worse production and not noticeably-better defense on many occasions.
It’s hard not to expect a D-Thrill trade in the coming days.
@Andy G: Who are the most-likely targets of a Williams deal? Apart from reports that the Wolves AREN’T interested in JR Smith, I’ve read surprisingly little speculation about this in “official” sources like Jerry Zgoda’s blog. Each of us has a favorite SG prospect, but is there any decent RUMINT about trade talks that I’m missing?
The only rumors I see involve trying to land Pau Gasol. Obviously this would mean Derrick Williams is traded. Less clear is what happens to Pekovic, and what happens to the shooting guard position. If they pair Love with Gasol, there’s no reason to not try to win titles, immediately. One would think that more moves would follow that type of blockbuster trade.
@Andy G: Yeah, that’d introduce a whole lot of additional confusion.. though it’d be very interesting. Seems like Pek’s unexpected emergence would be enough to halt those talks…unless Kahn’s infatuated.
I wouldn’t be so sure re: Pek. I think it’s pretty clear that Pek is a non-passer (I’d use a negative adjective, but he simply never passes, so I can’t fairly try to describe it.) If the starting front line were Love and Pau, with Pek off the bench for 25 good minutes…. that is a championship front line. How good of a backcourt would Love-Gasol-Pekovic need? (Not rhetorical).
Yeah, that frontcourt would be nice. We’d really, really need a shooter at the two to stretch the defense. Webster should be able to do that, except that he’s never really shown that he can consistently since he’s been here. I’d hope another move would be coming.
You must be forgetting about Malcolm Lee…
One definite improvement are the plays coming out of a time out. I don’t know if its the players or the Coach, but the last play of the first half coming out of a timeout was beautiful, despite the fact that Wes missed the three.
I can answer this.
It’s the coach.
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