Through 41 games the Wolves season can be described as many things, a roller coaster ride being one of them. It’s been an up-and-down season — win 1, lose 2, win 2, lose 3 (and so forth) — and expectations haven’t necessarily been met; at least in the eyes of most onlookers.
Nevertheless, the team is still in position to make a second half run and, with my fingers crossed, ultimately end a 9-year playoff drought. With a record of 20-21 on the season, the Wolves currently trail the Dallas Mavericks by 3 1/2 games for the last playoff spot in the West.
Seeing as this is the official midway point of the season, I wanted to compile highlights from all 41 games and give a brief little blurb for readers that either (1) have been stuck in a coma all season (2) drank themselves into a coma during a particular game or (3) just want to review what has occurred up to this point. Like as in, how the hell did we get to 20-21? Anyways, the goal of this post is to look back and see what has happened thus far.
(Note: Box scores are in parenthesis and all quotes are sourced from the Associated Press)
Kevin Love scored 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. He also hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to force overtime, which sent the Target Center into a rowdy oblivion. After the game Love said,
“I personally knew we’d win the whole time. I told the guys with two or three minutes left, just keep playing through it. It’s going to be a learning experience for us, but we’re going to win this game. They all agreed.”
OKC didn’t have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant was limited to 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting (easily his worst game of the season). Ronny Turiaf suffered a radial head fracture in his right elbow during the game and went on to miss the next 31 contests. After the game Ricky Rubio said,
“We know we can score but when we play defense, we’re a different team.”
K-Love had a monster game — 34 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Kevin Martin also gave Wolves fans a performance to get all sorts of jacked up about (30 points on 12 shots — YES TWELVE!).
With a little over three minutes left, Love hit a crazy off-balance bank shot from the left wing to put the Wolves up eight. Mike Woodson called timeout, blankly stared into the MSG crowd, and Love got a sideline dap from Spike Lee.
How do you like them apples, Spike!?
C.J. Miles scored 19 points in 19 minutes off the bench (8-for-13) and Pekovic struggled mightily (3-for-12), but the Wolves still had a chance to win at the end. Kevin Love launched a contested 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left that bounced off the back rim and sent the Wolves to their first loss of the season. After the game Kevin Martin said,
“Heck yeah, we’ll take that shot every time. The best power forward in the league with a great look to win the game.”
I nodded my head in agreement.
Klay Thompson came for blood in this one — he scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and led the Warriors to victory. Kevin Love had 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Wolves, while Kevin Martin chipped in 23 points. But it simply was not enough.
“We’re a better team than that defensively,” Love said. “There were a lot of times where, I was guilty of it too, but I was throwing my hands up and was like, `Where is the weak side help.”
Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis combined for 44 points (16-for-35), 10 assists, and 7 rebounds, but the Wolves were able to hold Dirk to a meager 14 points. The Kevins scored 32 points apiece (for you math folks, that’s 64 total points).
Love was 2 assists away from a triple-double (32 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists) and put the game on ice in the final minutes.
“That’s why he gets paid the big bucks,” coach Rick Adelman said.
Wolves had the coolest 1st quarter ever. Like, EVER EVER. They scored 47 points.
“Forty-seven points in one quarter … it’s outrageous,” Gasol said.
Ricky Rubio diced up the Lakers to the tune of 12 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Kevins (Love and Martin, DUH!) were dominant again. They combined for 52 points. Most importantly, the Wolves ended their 22-game losing streak to the Lakers. Sighs of relief were heard amongst the Twin Cities.
The early season momentum was halted a bit in this one. Love, Pekovic, and Martin destroyed it (totaling 76 points, 30 rebounds, and 11 assists) but Love missed a point blank tip-in in the final seconds.
“My natural instinct was to try to rush it and get it up there, but it sat on the rim and came right off. I would say 99 times out of a hundred times that goes in,” Love said. “I could have dunked it, but I thought I just had to touch it real quick because time was running out.”
We avenged our previous loss to Cleveland in this one. Brewer balled out (27 points) and Love was Love (33 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), though the biggest key in the blowout was Ricky Rubio. He went head-to-head with Kyrie Irving and finished with 16 points, 16 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. You didn’t forget, did you?
“It was fun tonight,” Brewer said. “We were passing the ball. Ricky had a great night. Kevin Love had a great night. The game’s easy when you’re passing the ball.”
This game was televised on ESPN for the world to watch. Ricky dished out 12 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds, but scored 0 points; the nation took notice. Again, the Kevins scored buckets (55 points) — this time it wasn’t enough. The Nuggets bench broke our hearts with 66 points.
“It was our defense all game. Our rotations weren’t there. We needed to help the helper, ball screen rotations, they were off all night but we were still right there at the end. We feel as if we can get a lot better with this team. It’s still mid-November and we’re going to get a lot better.”
• • •
Now, I’m going to pull a 180 on you and completely change the way I’m assessing these games. My boss is breathing down my neck…
Good, we better beat the Celtics 9 times out of 10. I swear if we lose to them the next time around…
Seriously? The Washington Wizards? We lost to the Washington Wizards?
Somehow we lost to a team that starts 5 whining babies and is coached by the Whiny Baby King.
Money can’t buy you love. Apparently it can’t buy Mikhail Prokhorov wins either. Wolves cruised in this one. Good times were had at the Target Center.
James Harden didn’t suit up for this contest. But hey, at least we have an All-Star starter. Am I right, Houston?
What did you expect? Indiana is 33-8.
Why can’t we beat the Nuggets?? Denver PG’s dropped 48 points on us. OUR DEFENSE BARFED.
Thank you for ending that 3-game losing streak. Love, Pek, and Martin dominated yet again. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played his first game with the Wolves, posting a pretty nice performance off the bench in 26 minutes (4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 3 turnovers). The Sheep (or better known as LRMAM) is averaging 10.5 minutes in January.
Kevin Durant put up video game numbers: 32 points (14-for-21), 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks.
Love shot 4-for-14.
We were outscored 35-20 in the 4th quarter.
SOURCES say we lost before tip-off. Love missed the game due to the death of his Grandmother.
“We don’t like losing back-to-back games, and we definitely don’t want to lose three in a row,” James said. “So it was a good pick-up game after the loss to Chicago.”
Andre Drummond meet Nikola Pekovic. Greg Monroe meet Kevin Love.
“We did a great job of pushing the ball,” Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio said. “We had fun out there, and we were aggressive. That got us to the line, and then Kevin (Love) just does everything for us.”
Back to .500 — Wolves rallied from 19 down behind Hummel’s 10 4th quarter points. How can you not cheer for Robbie?
“It showed the second unit can step up and can score,” said Love, who racked up his fifth game this season with at least 25 points, 15 boards and five assists. No other player has done it once. “So I guess this was a character builder for us.”
Love enters Starbury’s stratosphere, tying a franchise record with 8 3-pointers — he finished with 42 points. And it didn’t matter. We were outscored 37-21 in the 4th. 37 POINTS. THIRTY-SEVEN POINTS.
In 19 minutes Kevin Martin went scoreless. No worries… Love had 30 points and the Wolves went 12-for-26 from deep. Infinite Sorrow? Not tonight.
We talked about this game earlier…
Love took a leave of absence on defense tonight, allowing Sullinger to score 15 in the 4th. It was an ugly one that kept us below .500 yet again.
“He did take it up a notch at the end,” Stevens said of Sullinger, who made one 3-pointer all last season but pulled himself above 30 percent from the arc this season. “He’s a scorer. He’s always been a scorer. He’s been a scorer as long as I’ve known him. It never surprises me when scorers make plays.”
Definitely the best game of the season to date. Pek dominated. Love destroyed (finishing 1 assist shy of his first career triple double — again). And Oh My (Basketball) God Damian Lillard.
Swaggy P (we’re not giving the Lakers the time of day).
KEVIN MARTIN… HOLD ON TO THE BALL. People criticized Ricky for his 0 points in this loss, but I can find a million other reasons why we didn’t win.
In typical Wolves fashion, we lost a close one and respond by blowing the next team out of the gym. Sorry Washington, this was destiny. Barea and Shved combined for 30 points and the bench awoke from its season long coma.
Oh, Ed Malloy! IT WAS A FOUL. Thank you, Alan Horton…
Ricky Rubio came to play — 14 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
The Wolves Big 3 scorers combined for 63 points.
Anthony Davis is 20 years old. Whoa.
Record: 16-17 (we just can’t get over the hump)
Durantula wasn’t messing around, err, I mean the Slim Reaper — he ripped off 23 points in 4th.
“I just hear a lot of stuff and I just wanted to come through for my team in the fourth quarter,” Durant said, an apparent shot at some trash talk he heard from the Wolves’ bench.
Can we play at the Wells Fargo Center more often? Please?
Are you kidding me, Gerald Green. Like seriously!? I’m sure that’s exactly what Hornacek drew up.
Wolves were pissed about the loss to Phoenix and they took it out on the Bobkittens. This one was over at halftime, behind 39 second quarter points. Great offensive execution throughout the entire game.
Garbage defense with far too much ball watching and almost no hustle; a lethargic performance. I envy the damn Spurs.
Perhaps the worst game of the season. There was no energy in the building from the fans or the players. This might be the lowest point of the season thus far — getting destroyed by a 13-win team at home when they were on a back-to-back; flat out inexplicable. Skipping past these highlights might be the best idea…
Why can’t we win in Toronto? Minnesota’s last win in Toronto was a 108-97 victory on Jan. 21, 2004. This game was the definition of sloppy. Slow start, slow second, slow third, yeah you get the picture.
“We need to win, we need to string together a few in a row,” Love said. “If we can do that, our confidence will be right back.”
Of course this game wasn’t on TV. We all could have used a nice shellacking after watching 3 losses in a row, but I didn’t really care too much. Instead I played WhirlyBall for the first time ever with a group of friends. And let me tell you, it’s a blast.
Can we keep playing the Jazz? Every. Single. Night? The 76ers are suitable too.
So that’s that — the Wolves sit 1 game under .500 at the midway point. The season is far from lost, but as the weeks pass by — and spring inches closer — the room for error shrinks. The collective patience of our fanbase will almost certainly be tested, but if it’s too hot in the kitchen you can see your way out.
And seriously, if you made it this far surely you’re committed enough to comment…