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Tag Archives: Minnesota Timberwolves

12/9 Daily Links

Solid come-back win last night.  Let’s hope they keep the momentum going to get ready for their rematch against the Hornets.

What the pros are saying:

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Game 23 Results: Hi KD, I Didn’t See You Come In

Final score: Thunder 111, Timberwolves 103

Record: 15-8

Division: 5-1

Stat Leaders

Points: Durant with 30, Beasley with 26

Rebounds: Kevin Love with 21, Durant with 11

Assists: Luke Ridnour with 9, Westbrook with 8, Durant with 6

Wow, I think I’m going to need some antacid medicine after that one.

For the first time this year (I think) I was actively getting angry at this team that I am devoting myself to.  It was a strange feeling, because I have not felt an emotional connection to an NBA team for a long time (with the exception of the Lakers; still hate them through and through).  Through two and a half quarters, I felt like I was subtly but openly despising what I was watching.  One of these teams has a record of 5-16?  You’d be forgiven if you guessed it was the team in blue.

How did I get there?

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Game 23: Thunder at Timberwolves

Tipoff 8:00PM EST

Previous game stats

Previous post-game analysis

Key injuries:

Darko(!) – DTD
Martell Webster – OUT
Anthony Tolliver – OUT

Tonight is the rematch from Game 14, where the Thunder cruised to an easy win.  At least they should have, if not for falling apart early in the 4th.  Kevin Love is playing like Moses Malone, but hasn’t got much help anywhere else.  Both teams are coming off of losses and are looking to rebound.

How can the Thunder continue their winning streak (seven in a row) against the Wolves?

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Game 14 Results: Thunder Win, Defense Fails

Final Score: Thunder 117, Timberwolves 107

Record: 10-4

Division: 4-1

Stat leaders

Points: Durant with 28, Green with 24, Kevin Love with 24

Rebounds: Love with 17, Sefolosha with 11

Assists: Westbrook with 14, Luke Ridnour with 7, Durant with 5

Back at full Strength, the Thunder once again looked like an offensive juggernaut.  They had three guys score over 20, tallied 29 assists for the game, and shot 54.8%.

So why did I kind of hate the end result?

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Game 14 Preview: Timberwolves at Thunder

Tipoff at 8:00PM EST

ESPN Preview.

Tonight the long-suffering Wolves come to OKC to try to rebound from their bad loss to the Lakers.   They too have been struggling from the defensive end, giving up more PPG than the Thunder have been.  Their two strengths right now come in the form of young players Michael Beasley and Kevin Love.  Beasley’s offensive skillset is finally being showcased, and Love is the author of one of the sickest statlines of the year (31 points, 31 rebounds in win against Knicks).

Meanwhile, the Thunder are coming off of two huge wins where they were missing Durant and Green.  Role players have emerged and the team is beginning to focus defensively.

The Thunder have won five in a row against the Wolves. Here are some keys for #6.

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11/22 Daily Links

There is seldom rest for the weary.  After two mettle-testing wins against the Celtics and Bucks, where the Thunder held them to 89 and 81 (12 and 17 points below the Thunder’s “points allowed” average) they get what hopes to be an easier test tonight against the Timberwolves.  Here is the weekend roundup of links:

What the pros are saying:

What I’m saying:

  • Mayberry puts a lot of emphasis on Harden’s uncertainty in shooting the basketball.  I think that observation has a lot of merit, but speaks to the deeper issue of Harden not really knowing where he fits into the Thunder’s offensive scheme.  Most bench players have specific roles – Maynor distributes the ball, White comes in for rebounds and post play, etc.  But Harden doesn’t really fit into that mold.  He’s not a great ball handler or pure shooter, so he can’t come in to play the point or shoot spot-up shots, all though he can offer those things in limited quantities.When he was thrust into the starting spot due to Durant’s injury, he didn’t seem to want to believe that he could be a primary scoring option, which probably ended up costing him at least four to six more shot attempts.   He is humble and deferential, and those are good things.  However, Coach Brooks can only tell him so many times to attack the basket before it stops being lack of mandate and more of a confidence issue.Harden has a quirky offensive  game, kind of like Monte Ellis of the Warriors.  Unlike Ellis though, he doesn’t have the inherent self-confidence.  I was hoping that the starting role would begin to infuse that, and it seems to have begun to take effect.  The next step is for his teammates to show confidence and deference to his abilities.  I think the team wants him to be a primary scoring threat for the 2nd team; these early steps will hopefully get him there.
  • Nice little note on Westbrook’s post-up game in the last two games.  He is good at keeping the defender on his hip and then pivoting into the lane, where he can use his vertical explosiveness.  This ability is definitely something to keep in his back pocket, because it could pay huge dividends in the playoffs, especially when facing smaller PG’s.
    • Now, if only Durant would take the hint on how to play that way…
  • Re: the free throw disparity between Rose and Westbrook; a few possible differences in their games.
    • Rose attempts six more FG’s per game than Westbrook – 20 to 14.
    • Rose attempts almost four 3-pointers per game, versus Westbrook’s slightly more than one per.
    • Westbrook averages almost two more rebounds per game.
      Conclusion?  Inconclusive.  But if I had to take a stab at it, I’d conjecture that it might have to do with the fact that Westbrook is more comfortable playing inside the paint and is less likely to settle for long distance shots.  Incrementally, Rose has to spend a lot more energy than the super-efficient Westbrook to generate just slightly more point production.  Or it could just be that Westbrook knows how to draw fouls.

Bill Simmons Interviews Kevin Love

On Simmons’ 11/17 podcast, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love came on to talk about a myriad of things, including his experience playing with Russell Westbrook in college (UCLA) and Kevin Durant during the World Championships.

The B.S. Report

The transcript is edited for readability.

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