Minnesota moves to 4-2 on the preseason following a 19-point win over the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday night in Winnipeg. With one game left in the preseason things seem to be coming together for Minnesota--despite being without their stars: Ricky Rubio & Kevin Love.
After one quarter the TWolves led 10-24 and it seemed as though the Wolves were well on their way to blowing out the Pistons. A 19-point W is still considered a 'blowout' in my mind. However, the Wolves had some bumps along the way. Things were still smooth sailing at halftime, with Minnesota leading by twenty-three at the break; 52-29.
I will admit, I did not watch any of the first half. There was a pretty bad thunderstorm going on that slowed my internet down to a crawl. By halftime the skies cleared and apparently they moved to Winnipeg, to hang a dark cloud over the Wolves (...that was a metaphor).
The Detroit Pistons came out of halftime and roared off a 14-1 run that spanned over the first six minutes of the third quarter. Rodney Stuckey had a big hand in that scoring 13 of his 21 points in the third, the other 11 Detroit points came from: Prince (2), Knight (4) and Monroe (5). Detroit ended up outscoring Minnesota 24-16 in that quarter and cut the lead to 15 heading into the final quarter. Detroit wasn't finished yet, however. Halfway through the fourth, Detroit found themselves trailing by just three points, following a furious run that spanned the majority of the second half.
Thankfully the TWolves bench picked things up and finished off the Pistons thanks to Chase Budinger, who scored 15 of his 21 points in that fourth quarter.
Ridnour & Pekovic (who both missed last week's game vs. Chicago) played and started for the Wolves. Ridnour played 24 minutes and finished with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists (we'll get to Pek in a second).
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top performers, for each squad...
After missing the game vs. the Bulls, Nikola returned against Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons to play 27 minutes and tally 14-9. He did so with a pad on that injured hand. Derrick Williams got the start at power forward, however Dante may have further solidified his case for that starting four spot. Sure, D-Will scored more points, however Adelman stated following the loss to the Bulls that they needed more rebounds from their starting power forward. With Dante's 14--compared to Williams' 2...do I even need to explain this? Kirilenko will start at power forward on Friday vs. the Bucks, but right now, Dante holds the advantage (at least that's my thought).
Stuckey had a good game, but he just didn't get much help from the rest of his team, he was a big part of that third quarter scare for Minny, but he certainly can't carry this team himself. They certainly have the talent, too: Greg Monroe, Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Knight.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
The TWolves were snapping the nets at a 46% clip and only missed three free throws. The Pistons on the other hand, hit just a third of their shots and left 11 points at the line. The TWolves (thanks in large part to Cunningham (14), Pekovic (9) and Kirilenko (8)) held a +17 on the boards, +10 in assists and a whopping +22 in points in the paint. Surprisingly the Wolves had more turnovers, however they didn't allow Detroit to score off their mistakes, allowing just 10 points off 15 turnovers..
That's all for now, the TWolves are back in action Friday night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. They'll play that one in Green Bay at the Resch Center, tipoff for that one is set for 7pmCT. You can expect a gameday preview either tomorrow afternoon/evening, until then thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!