The Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up the 2012 preseason on Friday night, finishing with a 5-2 record.
With the preseason over the Minnesota Timberwolves shift their focus to November 2nd and their regular season opener vs. the Sacramento Kings (exactly one week from today).
Unfortunately the game wasn't broadcast on TV anywhere, so like most of you I listened to WCCO and Alan Horton's play-by-play. To be honest I didn't pay a whole lot of attention, thus this recap will be more statistical (than an analysis).
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn't have much trouble outworking the Bucks, from the very beginning.
The Wolves started Malcolm Lee, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic. Judging by the production they got from this lineup I wouldn't mind this being the starting lineup (replacing Malcolm with Ridnour OF COURSE). Chase got going early and had 8 points after just one quarter, Roy & Pek both added 7 apiece.
Derrick Williams and the second unit took the floor in the second quarter, D-Will had 8 of his 13 points in that second quarter. That's something we've seen before in the preseason: one good quarter from Williams and he basically disappears after that (though he did chip in another 5 points in the fourth quarter--by then the outcome was not in question.
The starters got rolling in that third quarter again, Chase had his other 12 points (finishing with 20 on the night), while Pek chipped in 8.
By the fourth quarter the game was well in hand and the Wolves were well on their way to the W. Adelman emptied his bench and played Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, Will Conroy and Greg Stiemsma.
It's likely that Minnesota cuts down their roster down to 15 players (likely cutting Chris Johnson & Mike Harris--while retaining Will Conroy). You can read more about that here in a post I wrote Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
Let's take a look at tonight's top performers for each squad...
Bud & Pek carried the team with their scoring AND did so VERY efficiently! However, if I had to pick the "Player of the Game" I would give the award to Andrei Kirilenko. AK started at power forward and had he played the regular starter minutes (let's say 40), there's a chance he could've come close to a triple or even quadruple-double! 8pts, 10reb, 4ast & 6stls in just 27 minutes! Not bad at all! Can't wait to see what he'll be doing with 35+ minutes a night.
For the Bucks, they struggled mightily, their star: Monta Ellis had a TERRIBLE night. Monta finished with 2pts on 1-11 FG & 5tos. He wasn't the only Buck who struggled, but he was certainly the worst of the bunch. Jennings led the team with 19 and Ilyasova chipped in 10-6. Ersan is a good power forward and had he played more than 18 minutes he would've improved that stat line.
I'm not quite sure about Milwaukee this season. Most are saying they have a legitimate chance of sliding into the 7th or 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, I don't agree, I just don't feel they have the talent to do so.
Let's take a look at the team stats...
I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm thinking, if Minnesota shoots 51% from the field and 43% from deep every night out...we won't lose too many games! Of course, when you hold an opponent to 36% FG, 30% 3PT and just 13 free-throw attempts, you have a good chance of winning. The TWolves also dominated in the paint, outscoring Milwaukee by 22 points! One things the Wolves continue to struggle with is turnovers. It was something we saw nearly every night last season and this preseason still has me worried. If the can get those turnover numbers between 10-12 a game (or lower...obviously) they'd be in great shape!
That's all for now! The next TWolves Gameday post will be before that season-opener vs. the Kings on Nov. 2nd. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!