Shorthanded Wolves fall short

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 9, 2014 - 12:49 AM

With Love, Martin out, Portland pulls away in fourth.

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chucktraylorFeb. 8, 14 9:53 PM

The "Barea" effect was in full evidence tonight. When Barea came into the game at the end of the first quarter the Wolves were up by three. When he went out they were down by seven before closing to one down at the end of the half. When Barea came into the game in the third quarter the Wolves were ahead by seven. When he went out the game was tied. The entire time Barea was in the game there was no ball movement, his teammates stood around watching him dribble, and then other players (Brewer and Muhammad) went one-on-one, just like Barea was doing, passing only as a last resort. In the fourth quarter the Wolves panicked, as evidenced by Brewer trying to take the game over with his crazy full-court one-on-four charges to the basket. The entire lot of Wolves reserves were negative in the plus-minus ratings, led by Barea at -18. With the exception of when Barea was in the game I really enjoyed this game and how the team played together. Budinger moved well without the ball and canned shots. Turiaf and Cunningham defended the paint. Against both OKC and Portland Rubio showed some flashes of offensive potential. Jim Peterson is right, though; Rubio needs to get stronger so he doesn't get knocked off line driving to the basket and so he can turn some of the missed layups into three-point plays. It would also help if he got himself under more control so he could jump higher and finish stronger at the basket. Muhammad has offensive skills, no question. His stint in the first half was excellent. In the second half he was just another Barea, concerned about his own offense every time he touched the ball.

truthtimeFeb. 8, 1410:26 PM

I like JJ's energy and fire (wish Ricky showed more fire), but you are right, he over dribbles, looks for his own shot almost exclusively and is not as good on defense. Yes, Ricky needs to his the protein shakes and weights. And I agree, when you successfully get to the basket for a layout, you've got to finish. And, Brewer seems to not understand what his limitations are.

minfan2Feb. 8, 1410:36 PM

the good news..Rubio may be reaching another level and our #1 pick was sighted getting some significant time. The sad news... J.C McCullem, the Guy we passed on, has already moved himself into the 6th man role on a great team,in spite of missing most of the season so far with a broken foot...Yes, he was the guy compared to Curry before the draft,and tonite ,only 19 pts. 3 of 6 from 3 pt land, a few steals, 3 assists, and fine D. After landing in our Lap I couldn't believe we passed on him.., I still can't. But, why should any of our GMs ever take the "Best up", must be a Minnesota tradition!!

rickradio11Feb. 8, 1410:47 PM

JJ Barea has destroyed this team. Yes, we should have drafted CJ McCullom. My guess is that Flip the Wizard passed on him because McCullom was rehabbing a broken foot and would not be available for the first part of the season. So what. AJ Price gathering dust on the end of the bench or CJ rehabbing? Not a tough question. Over and out.

october 15Feb. 8, 1410:56 PM

Is this any surprise with Adelman at the helm? Portland toyed with us the entire game and turned it up when they had to. There has not been a 4th quarter response all year and that is because we are led by someone far past his prime. It was a good effort, but this is the NBA and effort is not a stat.

chucktraylorFeb. 8, 1410:57 PM

ljb6599, I was awake through all of it. I commented on Ricky's night. For all that he scored 25 points, the fact that he missed numerous layups and failed to turn some of the fouls he received in to three-point plays offset the rest of his offensive game. As I noted after the OKC game, Rubio seems to do better offensively when he has more room to maneuver, something he does not have when Pek and Love are in the lineup. As I mentioned, I thought Muhammad did well in the first half; active on offense and defense, going to the boards. The second stint the ball stuck and he forced shots, committed an offensive foul, as well as taking an ill-advised three-point attempt. I certainly believe that he is an upgrade over Mbah a Moute, Hummel, et al, and should get more minutes. I am not yet convinced of his commitment to a team ethos.

ljb6599Feb. 8, 1411:07 PM

chucktraylor...We just

ljb6599Feb. 8, 1411:08 PM

rickradio11...I thought we were supposed to take Trey

samspade77Feb. 8, 1411:12 PM

Here's an interesting stat you can easily see in the box score: The Wolves entire bench that played the game combined for ZERO assists! J.J. is a ball hog and dribbles way too much. Corey Brewer plays out of control, and Rubio was outclassed once again. The Wolves are not a .500 team. They are a sub .500 team! Arghh!!!

jachesteFeb. 8, 1411:12 PM

A few random thoughts from someone who was at the game tonight.....It's performances like this one that reminds me that Cory Brewer is so much better than he was in his first stint with the Wolves. Happy for him.... Turiaf can play on my team any day. He challenges guys in the paint, talks, captains the defense, plays physical, rebounds, swats, and knows his limitations. Great teammate. This was Budinger's best game this year. He was active, shot confidently, and was contesting perimeter shots. Portland's Aldridge has to be the calmest basketball player I've ever seen. Nothing rattles that man and he's never in the wrong place. For a big man, his shooting stroke is flawless. Very impressive pro. Bazz had some nice low block moments offensively, but he better learn how to pass or he'll never get off the bench. That last stretch of myopic shooting (and missing) had the entire coaching staff reacting.


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