If you watched this one and you're a Timberwolves fan, I don't have to go into to much detail about how inconsistent the refs were in this one and how some late calls that went to the Knicks doomed the TWolves to an 'UnMerry Christmas'.
I'll admit there were some no calls or questionable calls that went the TWolves way, however by the time the final few minutes of the fourth quarter rolled around it was as if the refs decided that every slight nudge while the Knicks were on offense, the Wolves were whistled for a foul.
A couple of possessions late in the game there were some VERY clear fouls on Nikola Pekovic. No fouls were called and the Wolves lost this one.
Carmelo Anthony was less than stellar through three quarters, however he turned in a great fourth quarter, scoring 19 of his 33 total points in that final quarter to seal the W. His 19 points were 23 of New York's in the fourth! I'd be lying if I said that his 'superstar status' didn't get him a number of foul calls late in the game.
Andrei Kirilenko's game didn't show up too much in the stat line, however if you watched the game you saw him working extremely hard denying Carmelo the ball and contesting every shot he put up. If you go back and watch there were at least two fouls that were called on AK that he hardly touched Melo, however that's his superstar status coming into play. Much like Kevin Love has earned.
I've been hearing a lot about these New York Knicks and how they're one of the best teams in the East and the entire NBA, however from what I saw tonight, they seem incredibly one dimensional. There's no way they're going to win a playoff series if they have to rely on Carmelo to drop 40 a night. If this is one of the NBA's best teams, I'm left quite unimpressed. There's no way this team has a chance of beating Miami or Chicago in a best of seven. I may sound spiteful, but I assure you, I'm not...just observant.
Let's take a look at tonight's top performers...
HOT: Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic had a great first three quarters, however he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter thanks to some double teams and defense...or no-call fouls...whatever it was... For the Knicks it was Carmelo Anthony's fourth quarter. I don't think I have to go into to much detail as to why a player scoring 19 points in a single quarter could be considered 'hot'.
NOT: Carmelo Anthony's first three quarters. Melo had a stretch in the first half when he missed ten straight shots! At halftime he had just 9 points (all scored in the first quarter) and added 5 in the third to have 14 through three quarters, before that huge fourth 19-point fourth.
MISC. STATS: Nikola Pekovic's 17 total rebounds is a new season/career-high....J.J. Barea got his second start of the season and set new season-highs in field goals attempted (14) and minutes played (38).....Dante Cunningham got his second double-double of the season......Alexey Shved tied a season/career-high with his four made threes and his nine attempted threes is a new season/career-high.....
Let's rundown the team stats...
The Wolves lost another one despite their big advantage on the boards. The beat the Knicks with a +12 on the boards, despite being without one of the NBA's premier rebounders in Kevin Love. The Knicks had just one offensive rebounds at halftime, compared to Minnesota's six. The Knicks did a good job of capitalizing off of the TWolves' turnovers. It was a close game and you can tell that not only by the final score, but the stats on either side certainly mirror one another. Unfortunately the one stat that matters W-L is quite different.
That's all for now, the TWolves will be back in action on Wednesday, when they face the Houston Rockets at the Target Center. We'll have a full gameday preview of that one before then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!