The Minnesota Timberwolves are now even in preseason action, 1-1 following a five-point loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Rick Adelman wanted to get a look at his second unit as well as the training camp invitees. As such, the starting lineup consisted of J.J. Barea (16 minutes), Brandon Roy (8 minutes), Derrick Williams (38 minutes), Kevin Love (12 minutes) and Nikola Pekovic (12 minutes).
Luke Ridnour (back), Malcolm Lee (groin) and Andrei Kirilenko (DNP-CD) didn't play. Training camp invitees Phil Jones & Seth Tarver also didn't play (CD).
For the Pacers, they got David West back (who didn't play on Wed. in Fargo), but were still without starting point guard George Hill and starting small forward Danny Granger, both missed Wednesday's game, too. Roy Hibbert also didn't play. Apparently he was healthy and would've been available to go, but they decided to give him the night off. Sounds like someone didn't want another beating from the MIGHTY PEK! :) Tyler Hansbrough, Luke Nevill, Blake Ahearn and Sundiata Gaines didn't play, either (all CD's).
I only caught the second half of the game (I was working during the first half). So, I didn't see any of the starters in that first quarter. After one quarter the Wolves were down by a point, when the subs came in, in the second quarter the TWolves went on a tear, outscoring the Pacers bench 25-13. Giving the Wolves a 53-42 lead at the half. The Timberwolves were still up after three quarters (70-63) and seemed on their way to continuing their undefeated preseason. However a late push led by Paul George, Gerald Green, Ian Mahinmi and Miles Plumlee was part of a 33-point fourth quarter for the Pacers that netted them their first win of the preseason.
Let's take a look at each team's top performers...
The team's seemed to reverse strategies between these two matchups. In the matchup in Fargo, the Timberwolves played their starters for 25+ minutes, while their bench saw some limited minutes. The matchup tonight in Indiana, the TWolves played their starters for one quarter and the second unit played the last three. As you can see, the TWolves got some great production from Williams, Budinger and Cunningham. Amundson also added 10pts and Alexey Shved & Will Conroy added 7pts apiece.
Let's take a look at the team statistics...
The Pacers did a MUCH better job shooting the ball (up from 35% FG on Wed.) as well as not turning the ball over (down from 25 on Wed). Looking at the stats, the TWolves may actually have some shot-blockers this season! Last year we were led by Anthony Randolph at 1.0bpg and really that was about it! This season, my guess is Greg Stiemsma (to lead the team in blocks) but guys like Cunningham, Williams and Amundson will all contribute to those totals. What was Indiana's downfall on Wednesday was Minnesota's today. The Wolves turned the ball over 20 times for 29 opponent points. It's understandable when you're playing substitutions for the majority of the ball game. Also when you only have Will Conroy as your only backup point guard.
That's all for now, the TWolves are back in action tomorrow night vs. the Chicago Bulls. That game will tip at 7pmCT from the Target Center. We should have a full gameday preview of that one, shortly. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!