The Minnesota Timberwolves came into tonight's game fresh off a great win over the Washington Wizards the night before. The last thing they wanted, was to follow up that solid performance with a dud against an inferior squad, that has only won six games this season.
There's no doubt that a lot of Milwaukee's struggles have been the result of injuries to their key players. If any franchise knows that pain it's the 2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves. I would never wish the 'injury bug' on another team, but I can definitely say--I'm glad it's not us!
Minnesota's Bruise Brothers bullied their way to a win on Friday night and tonight was no different. Each finished with double-doubles. Love had 33 points & 15 rebounds while Pek added 18 points & 11 boards. Kevin also added 6 assists. Love & Pek have been on a tear the last few weeks and it's incredible how dangerous Minnesota's offense is when they're both on. When you add in the Kevin Martin factor (who has struggled somewhat the past few weeks), the offense is near unstoppable. Martin returned to his early season form tonight as he finished with 20 points which included 4 made threes.
It was Minnesota's three-point shooting and forced turnovers that earned them this W. The Bucks turned the ball over 20 times for 25 TWolves points. The Wolves made 11 three-pointers and shot 45.8% from deep.
The Wolves built a lead that ballooned to 30-plus in this one, but a late rally in the final quarter forced Adelman to put Love back in to ensure there would be no Bucks comeback. Love helped slam the door and the Wolves earned the W.
There seems to be very little doubt that the Bucks are already viewing this as a lost season. I wouldn't be surprised if guys like Khris Middleton & Giannis A. (no, I'm not even going to try to spell his last name) more playing time. There will definitely be a youth movement in Milwaukee this season and it goes without saying that players such as O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler & Ersan Ilyasova could probably be had via trade.
I really like the skill set of the "Greek Freak". His potential is incredibly tantalizing, I'm really excited for his future in the NBA, because it's abundantly clear that he has all the physical gifts to be a real star in this league. Just to think, he was taken just one pick after Flip took Shabazz Muhammad. I'm not ready to write off Shabazz, but it's definitely concerning that a team that is in desperate need of scoring off the bench hasn't given the rookie known for his scoring ability a chance! Unfortunately, the chances of that happening this season are none, barring injuries.
The Wolves are now back at .500 on the season, which means they also moved up in the standings. They're now 9th in the Western Conference (2 games out of the 8th seed) and they're 3rd in the Northwest division (passing the 14-15 Denver Nuggets).
Here's tonight's box score...
The Wolves played some decent halfcourt defense tonight and the result was a 22-point victory. It's clear that Minnesota's offense has been pretty good all season long (there have definitely been some hiccups, but this is a team that is capable of putting points on the board every night out), but when they couple good offense with even average defense, the results are usually pretty favorable.
The .500 Minnesota Timberwolves won't play again until Monday vs. the Mavericks. That game will be in Minneapolis at the Target Center. The Wolves have already defeated the Mavericks twice this season. Dallas is actually, currently the 8th seed in the West at 17-13. Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!