Down by twenty points at one point in tonight's contest, the Timberwolves battled back and had a chance to tie the game with 7.2 seconds to go. Out of the timeout, the ball went to Kevin Love who put up a three that missed long, and the Timberwolves fell to the Bucks 95-98. This was the 7th loss in 8 games for the Wolves at the Bradley Center dating back to 2004. It was also (technically) the Wolves' 17th-straight loss which is a new franchise record for consecutive losses.
Plain and simple: The way the Timberwolves played tonight; they didn't deserve to win this game. They may have defeated the Bucks twice in the preseason--but when it counted the Bucks buckled down and simply played harder on both ends of the floor.
The Wolves were without head coach Rick Adelman who was attending funeral services for his mother-in-law. Terry Porter was the head coach for the Wolves in tonight's contest. Let's just say, some of the lineups he trotted out there were head-scratchers--to say the least, just that he kept units out there that just weren't working, on either side of the ball.
For the past few weeks we've heard all about how this was a different Timberwolves team. Tonight, I saw the same team I saw for 82 games last season. Turnover-prone, uncommitted on defense and just flat-out; not playing as a cohesive unit.
This drops to Wolves to 0-2 on the season as they're still searching for their first win on the year. The Timberwolves won't play again until Thursday (Dec. 30th) when they return home to the Target Center to face the Miami Heat. A full gameday preview of that game will be available on this site sometime tomorrow.
Let's take a look at some of the team stats from tonight's contest...
The Wolves shot fairly well from the field, from deep and from the line. But, the story here (unlike last night) was all about the teams turnovers. The Wolves turned the ball over 25 times, which more than doubled not only Milwaukee's totals tonight--but the Wolves' own numbers from last night's game vs. OKC when they had just 12! No team can turn the ball over that many times and expect to win any games in the NBA! I know, the Bucks are known for their defensive efforts, but that's just pathetic! If you watched the game, you see what I mean. Every time they threw it away, it was just cringe-worthy!
Let's take a look at some of tonight's top players for each squad...
Kevin Love: 31pts, 20rebs, 2ast, 1fl, 3tos, 6-for-18 FG, 0-for-4 from deep, 19-for-24 from the line in 40 minutes
--Kevin Love set a new Timberwolves single game record with 19 free throws made as well as 24 free throws attempted. He did a good job of staying aggressive and getting himself to the line. His turnovers are definitely higher this season, I'm not quite sure yet why that is. My best guess: he's looking to pass more and that's both good and bad.
Luke Ridnour: 17pts, 3ast, 4fls, 4tos, 1stl, 7-10 FG, 2-2 from 3, 1-2 at the line in 34 minutes
--Luke is definitely not giving up his starting job without a fight. He had a solid game, scoring in double digits with an extremely high percentage. He missed a free throw late that would have eventually put them down by just 2 points in the final seconds which could have made this a completely different ball game! His 4 turnovers and 4 fouls did certainly hurt them tonight!
Michael Beasley: 15pts, 7rebs, 4fls, 3tos, 6-13 FG, 1-2 from 3, 2-6 from the line, in 25 minutes
--Fouls limited Beas' playing time tonight. He started the game off VERY slow and had just 3 points at halftime and 5 by the end of the third. He turned it on in the final quarter as the TWolves made their push scoring 10 of his 15. He took considerably less shots, but was a bit more efficient on the night.
OTHERS: Ricky Rubio (6pts, 3rebs, 4ast, 3stls, 3fls, 3tos in 27 minutes), J.J. Barea (9pts, 3rebs, 4ast, 1fl, 1to, 1stl, 1-9 FG, 6-6 from line in 19 minutes)
Brandon Jennings: 24pts, 3rebs, 7ast, 2tos, 7-14 FG, 1-5 from 3, 9-10 from the line in 36 minutes
Stephen Jackson: 16pts, 5rebs, 2ast, 4fls, 2tos, 3stls, 7-20 FG in 36 minutes
Andrew Bogut: 15pts, 9rebs, 3ast, 6fls, 1to, 2stls, 7-20 FG, in 31 minutes
Jon Leuer: 14pts, 8rebs, 1ast, 2blks, 3fls, 1to, 2stls, 5-7FG in 20 minutes
Jennings & Leuer were big contributors that were also very efficient. Leuer got some extended playing time in the absence of forward Drew Gooden who was serving a suspension after a flagrant two foul last night against Gerald Henderson of Charlotte. The Bucks were also without Tobias Harris, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute & Carlos Delfino who are all dealing with injuries. Both Jackson & Bogut threw up 20 shots apiece connecting on just 7! The Bucks will rely heavily on Jennings, Bogut & Jackson night in and night out. If just one of them struggles it'll be a tough night for Milwaukee. Unfortunately they all had solid games--as did reserve rookie forward Jon Leuer whose three-point play with just over a minute to play, helped seal a W.
The Timberwolves will be back in action Thursday vs. Miami at the Target Center (as noted before). Tipoff is set for 7pmCT and a full gameday preview can be found on this site before then. Stay tuned for some pictures, videos & stats for tonight's game. Thanks for reading--GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!