The Timberwolves were without Kevin Love for the second game of his two-game suspension and tonight it showed! The Wolves missed his scoring and his rebounding, tonight--more than ever!
Let's get a rundown of tonight's game...
1.) I questioned the Timberwolves' backcourt for the first time tonight. Ricky Rubio & Luke Ridnour have been fairly effective this season. But tonight--on both ends of the floor--things just weren't working (granted not the only problem tonight). Ridnour struggled mightly against...Quincy Pondexter. Yeah, you read that right: Quincy Pondexter! Quincy scored a career-high 17pts (previous high: 14pts) on 50% shooting (7-14). Clearly--if a guy like Pondexter continues to take it to the rack on you and is having no trouble doing so--and is Quincy Pondexter, it's rightful to question! Don't get me wrong though--I have 100% faith in what Adelman does!
2.) The Timberwolves got slaughtered on the boards. They came into tonight's game out-rebounding their last eight opponents--clearly not the case tonight as the Grizz had a +12 on the boards (59-47). Marreese Speights dominated on the glass with 15 rebounds (tying a career-high). He had 5 offensive rebounds--in the first quarter! He finished with 8 (offensive rebounds) for the game. Also on the boards: Gay added 9, Gasol had 8, Cunningham had 7, Pondexter had 6...and the list goes on and on--the lowest was 2 boards by reserve point guard Jeremy Pargo. The Timberwolves no one in double-digits for rebounds, but Pek & D-Will both had 9, Rubio had 7 and Beas added 6.
3.) The Grizzlies finished with 21 offensive rebounds that they were able to turn into 22 second chance points! Those 21 offensive boards are also a season-high for opponents vs. the Wolves. The previous high was 19 vs. New Orleans on 1/13/12. You've got to assume with Love in this one--the game would've been MUCH different.
4.) The Timberwolves' rebounding wasn't the only thing that was dreadful tonight. The Wolves' transition defense was equally terrible. The Grizz had 20 fast break points. There were far too many times that the Wolves were giving up easy buckets--not just on the break--but also in half-court offense: something that, coming into the game--I thought the Wolves would be able to thrive on/with.
5.) The Timberwolves held a slim one-point lead early in the first quarter--but the Grizz quickly grabbed the lead and never gave it back. Memphis found themselves down 17 at one point (largest deficit of the night). Minnesota battled back in the final quarter under the likes of Barea, Ellington, Beasley, Tolliver & Randolph. In the third quarter the Timberwolves were able to cut it to just a six point lead 50-56 on the back of a 10-0 run, but an 8-0 run by the Grizzlies quickly made it 50-64 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.
6.) Here's a crazy stat for you: Ricky Rubio didn't have an assist in the entire first half. He finished with just one on the night (coming in the third quarter). Pretty crazy considering he came into the game averaging 9.1 a game!
7.) Clearly Rick Adelman wasn't happy with the way his starters were playing in the third quarter as they sat the entire final quarter! Anthony Randolph & Wayne Ellington came off the bench for the first time all night to start the fourth and played all 12 minutes! Ultimately a lineup of Barea, Ellington, Beasley, Tolliver & Randolph didn't get the job done in the final quarter either!
8.) For the Timberwolves--the high-point man was J.J. Barea off the bench. He finished with a season-high 17pts on 4-of-9 shooting. Also finishing with a team-high 6ast as well as 3rebs & 2stls. Pek played just 28 minutes and had 10pts & 9rebs as the starter, Williams added 13pts & 9rebs in 30 minutes (starting again in place of Love), Beas came off the bench and in 27 minutes had 13pts, 6rebs, 2ast & 2stls.
9.) For the Grizzlies their leading scorer was Gay with 19pts as well as 9rebs, 3ast, 3stls & a block. Pondexter added those 17pts as well as 6rebs & 2ast. Dante Cunningham added 12pts & 7rebs off the bench.
10.) The Timberwolves came into the game averaging 96.8ppg, but finished with just 80 (a season-low). Tonight also marked the end of the TWolves' three-game winning streak as well as their three-game winning streak on the road! Moving them to 13-13 on the year and 6-5 on the road this season.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!