If you're a recurring reader/follower you've seen this form of recap: the in-game analysis. I write about the game as I watch...mainly updates on scores, stats and most importantly my in-game thoughts--checking in on key matchups, sharing thoughts about opposing players, etc. Enjoy!
-I was a bit off on the starting lineups for both teams. It's Williams instead of Brewer for the Wolves and Courtney Lee instead of Jordan Crawford and Gerald Wallace instead of Jeff Green for the Celtics.
-Williams starts the scoring for the Wolves with an and-one vs. Wallace.
-Love starts the game hot. 3-4 FG & 2-3 3PT.
-Minnesota's offense is HEATING up. Easy buckets, open looks...I can't remember the last time I've seen a Wolves offense come this easy. I think we'll see quite a bit of that this year.
-Boston rookie Kelly Olynyk enters the game with just over 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. This is someone I've been looking forward to seeing. He's matched up against Kevin Love, too.
-There's nothing that these Celtic big men can do against PEK. It was the same last season when they faced each other late in the season and Boston was without Kevin Garnett. He's making Jared Sullinger look weak out there.
-The Wolves have cooled a bit since the Celtics took that timeout. It's now 20-18 Wolves with 4:20 to play in the first quarter. Celtics on a run and getting out on the fast break for very easy buckets.
-Jared Sullinger has taken two threes in this first quarter and neither have been very close. May need to get back in the gym with that one. Sully reminds me a bit of Glen Davis, a big 250lb.+ big man who can throw his weight around...still getting it together, but should make some strides with these rebuilding Celtics this season.
-With 3:15 to play in the first quarter, Adelman still hasn't subbed anyone else in--giving this first unit a lot of run. Adelman did say he'd play Rubio & Love quite a bit tonight, will it approach 35+ minutes?
-Kevin Martin heating up from deep as he hits two on consecutive possessions. Has 11 in this quarter, Love with 9. This will undoubtedly be a Top 5 offensive team this season.
-Turiaf, Brewer and Shved hit the floor with Rubio & Love with just over 2 minutes to go in the first quarter. Gave that starting unit a solid 10 minutes together to start this one.
-Jeff Green flies to the rack for an easy lay in, there's no doubt he should average 20+ a game for these Young Celtics.
-Barea comes in for Rubio with 30 seconds to go in the quarter. Kevin Love plays the entire first quarter.
-The Wolves end the quarter up by 4, 31-27. Love with 11pts, 3reb, 2ast, 1stl; Martin adds 11pts, 1reb, 3ast. Gerald Wallace leads the Celts with 10pts, 1ast, 1stl.
-Wolves going with all subs to start the second quarter (Cunningham enters for Love).
-Ronny Turiaf with the massive swat on rookie Olynyk. Wolves take the ball down court and Shved drains the triple, excellent "D leading to O".
-WOW! The Wolves pummeling the Celtics on the offensive glass as they gather boards at least 5 times on one possession, ending with a Dante bunny shot.
-There's no question that Ronny Turiaf is one of my new favorite Wolves. Like Anthony Tolliver before him, you've got to love a guy who leaves it all on the court and plays with unlimited hustle and energy. Right now they've got a Brewer, Cunningham, Turiaf frontcourt, that's the epitome of hustle players.
-Wolves lead 41-32 with 8:15 to play in the half.
-That Dante mid-range jumper...OH YEAH!
-The Celtics are getting their buckets on the break. Wolves need to limit turnovers and get back quicker on defense. Wolves lead by 5, 45-40 with just under 6 minutes to play.
-The Celtics have their starters back on the floor now, Adelman brings back Love, Pek & Martin to join Brewer and Barea.
-It's clear that the focal parts of the offense will be Love & Martin. I wonder what kind of numbers Pekovic will average this season (16 points and 9 rebounds a year ago). I'm thinking 14 points and 8 rebounds.
-Adelman goes back to the full starting lineup (Rubio & Williams) to end this first half.
-The Celtics have been finding quite a few buckets on the break and on bunny shots in the paint, but they have had a few possessions where they've moved the ball very well, made the extra pass(es) and found the open man for an easy look.
-The Celtics start two physical big men (Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger) however they are definitely undersized 6'8" and 6'9". Not a HUGE concern against Minnesota's 6'10" and 6'11", but they will definitely have some games where their undersized frontcourt will hurt them.
-Wolves winding down the quarter and Rubio converts a layup, then gets a steal (within 5 seconds of one another) to give the Wolves another possession.
-The Wolves end the first half with Love knocking down two free throws to put the Wolves up 57-51 after two quarters.
-Wolves end the first half shooting 40.5% from the field, 40% from deep and 85% from the line. The Wolves have gone to the line for 20 attempts as the Celtics racked up 14 first half fouls. The Celtics have 8 steals and 9 fast break points as a team.
-Kevin Love leads all scorers with 16pts, 3reb, 2ast, 1stl, 3-7 FG, 2-5 3PT, 8-9 FT in 17 min. Martin adds 11pts, 2reb, 3ast, 3-5 3PT and Rubio had 6pts, 3reb, 4ast, 1stl.
-The Celtics were led by Wallace: 12pts, 1reb, 2ast, 2stls; Bradley added 7pts, 3reb, 2ast, 3stls and Jeff Green came off the bench for 9pts, 3reb, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.
-Wolves go with same starting unit, the Celtics start Jeff Green in place of Courtney Lee in the second half.
-Kevin Martin begins second half guarding Jeff Green. Obviously a mismatch in favor of Boston. Of course, with the Celtics essentially starting one guard (Bradley) and four forwards, there should be mismatches aplenty for Minnesota on O...haven't really taken advantage yet.
-Rubio just drained a three! Took it with time winding down on the shot clock and buried it!
-Vitor Faverani makes his first appearance for Boston in this second half after Sullinger picks up his fourth personal foul. See if he can find more success vs. PEK on the block.
-I think Rubio has shown improvement on his shooting and finishing ability. However, those thinking he should become Ray Allen overnight are just dumb. He's definitely improving though.
-The Wolves with a very good defensive possession. Nice transition D by Minnesota leads to three missed Boston shots and Minnesota ball following a foul call.
-Wallace hits two free throws to make it a five-point Wolves lead 69-64 with 6:30 to go in the third quarter.
-Rubio doing a lot more playmaking this quarter. We haven't seen a lot of his playmaking abilities through the preseason, but it's on full display here in the third quarter as he's driving the lane for lay ins and dump passes to wide open big men.
-Gerald Wallace has looked very good in this game. With 16pts with 5:40 to go in the third. If he's committed, he could revitalize his career in Boston this season...I think he's still got plenty of basketball left in him (productive basketball at that).
-That fadeaway floater that Martin throws up is a heck of a shot. It always seems to either find bottom or get him a foul call. Very effective. But that's Kevin Martin: very effective.
-Faverani looking good on the offensive end, a small sample size that I've seen him, but I think there's little doubt that he'll work his way into the rotation in Boston this season and could challenge Sullinger for that starting center spot. In nine minutes of action he's up to 8 points.
-WOW! Kevin Love with the fake in three-point land (Faverani bites) and drives the lane for the one-handed slam on Vitor. Welcome to the NBA rook.
-Speaking of rookies, Adelman hasn't played anyone outside his 10-man rotation of the starters and then Barea, Shved, Brewer, Cunningham and Turiaf. None of the non-guaranteed guys or rookies Shabazz & Dieng.
-After three quarters, the Wolves lead by 9; 81-72. Martin leads Wolves with 19, Love adds 18.
-Wolves start the final quarter with their second unit of Barea, Shved, Brewer, Cunningham and Turiaf. Celtics go with Lee, Crawford, Brooks, Olynyk & Faverani.
-There was rumored interest for the Wolves on draft night in Kelly Olynyk (apparently Flip tried to trade up (after trading down to #14 & #21) to draft him). Watching him tonight, I don't think he would have been a very good fit with this Wolves squad. Of course, it looks like Muhammad and Dieng aren't fitting into any plans early this season, either.
-Vitor Faverani jacked up a three on a possession and I don't understand what is with this big physical Boston bigs (Vitor & Sullinger) jacking up triples...and missing badly?! Maybe they do have that range...but not in this game tonight!
-A big concern for the Wolves heading into this game was coming out of the gates firing and keeping up the energy for 48 minutes after having eight days off between games. They've done that and have looked good through 39 minutes in this one.
-Watching J.J. Barea out there in this one. I think if he can be the sparkplug/energy guy off the bench that the Wolves will look to him for, he could be in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year. Will be very interested to see his averages in another couple months.
-TWolves playing some sloppy defense in this final quarter. A lot of penetration allowed in the paint and then lazy fouls on the interior by the Wolves.
-The starters return to the court for the final five minutes in this one and they're looking to close this one out RIGHT NOW. On fire offensively and they lead by 20; 102-80 w/3:30 to play.
-With just a few minutes left to play, Adelman has played just 10 players. All of those guys will be in the rotation and it's likely he adds one or two more to that rotation throughout the year. Maybe one of the rookies (Bazz or Dieng), but it seems more likely that they make a trade or sign a free agent to help out on the wing off the bench. Of course, when Chase finally returns (November or December sometime) he'll work his way into extended minutes.
-As I finished writing that, Adelman emptied his bench and we get an appearance from CHRIS JOHNSON!? First preseason game he's played. Also joining him: Robbie Hummel, A.J. Price, Shabazz Muhammad and Othyus Jeffers...so make that 15 players taking the court tonight.
-A lot of fouls called in these final couple minutes. these last two minutes are taking FOREVER. Chris Johnson not impressing out there with consecutive fouls, one on a defensive possession and another on the ensuing offensive possession...oh...what's that another foul...fancy that. Boston back to the line for a couple more and this last minute make take another 20 minutes... Hahaha...another foul call and the clock stops again! Gotta love this high-octane NBA action Montreal!
-And that's (finally) the game. The Wolves win 104-89 and move to 3-2 in the preseason.
Let's take a look at tonight's box score...
The Wolves could NOT rely on the three-point shot at all last season. Tonight, they leaned a bit more heavily on it and it paid off. Kevin Martin led the charge as he buried half of Minnesota's makes from deep and finished 5-of-8 from deep for a team that went 10-for-25. That meant less points in the paint (38 to Boston's 50), but for tonight, it worked. That's going to be the great thing about this Wolves squad, when things aren't working on offense, they have a lot of guys who can score in a lot of different ways. The Wolves owned the boards and won the battle by a +14. They did struggle taking care of the basketball, something they did very well in their first couple preseason games. That carelessness with the ball led to those fast break points for the Celtics as well as their advantage in paint scoring.
The Wolves play again on Wednesday night vs. the 76ers in Philadelphia. Check out the weekly preview in the post before this one to get ready for that one! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!