*The game will be broadcast on NBA.com at 1:00 pm CST (sorry for the confusion about the start time of the game, the NBA press release was inaccurate)…should be a fun one.
*The crowd’s giving a nice ovation for our guys…Turkish people = classy. Or just excited that an NBA team is actually playing in their country.
*Uh…this is awkward. NBA.com is showing the feed of the Celtics game instead of the Wolves game, for some reason. The Wolves are trailing 10-7, with Foye, Gomes, and Ricky Buckets putting up points, thus far.
*Well, as long as they’re showing the Celtics, let’s make this a live blog of Garnett’s debut with his new squad.
Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
*Man…seeing Garnett at the Celtics press conference is one thing, but actually seeing him in a Celtics uniform is even stranger. We miss ya, KG!
*The Wolves, meanwhile, trail 21-18. Foye leads the team with six points, with Gomes and Blount adding four each, and Big Al on the board with a basket. Al, by the way, aleady has six rebounds, as the first quarter winds down.
More after the jump…
*KG gets the biggest ovation during the Celtics starting lineups.
*Efes Pilsen leads 23-22 at the end of the first quarter. Telfair, Buckner, and Juwan have all seen the court.
*NASTY drive by KG…went right by Bargnani, and picked up the foul. He leads the Celtics with five points.
Ah…what do you know? The Wolves game just came on the webcast. All right…forget the Celtics game. Let’s talk some T’Wolves, baby!
*Richard’s in early foul trouble…I’ve heard the coaching staff’s concerns about Richard picking up too many fouls, so I guess today’s game won’t calm any of those worries.
*Haha…Loren Woods is playing for Efes Pilsen. His career has sure taken off. Wolves lead 31-28.
*Richard picks up his third foul. And after an Efes Pilsen basket, Foye gives the ball right back with a turnover. Take care of the ball, Randy! Play under control!
*Hmm…not sure I like that decision by Randy. He took a heavily contested shot, which missed everything. No need to force shots, Mr. Foye…you’ve got other scoring options around you.
*Man, I hate to be focusing purely on Foye, but he didn’t put up much of a fight against the Efes Pilsen fast break. Drew Nicholas gets the layup, and we have a tied game.
*We have a Gerald Green sighting…he picks up a foul, after entering the game for the first time.
*Gomes and Big Al continue to dominate the boards…they have eight rebounds apiece. Gomes is already displaying the value of a small forward who can make an impact on the boards.
*SWEET shot by Green to beat the buzzer. I know some people have criticized his jumper, but man…he put a nice touch on that shot. His basket gives the Wolves a 41-39 halftime lead.
Halftime: Timberwolves 41, Efes Pilsen 39
*Gomes is the clear standout for the Wolves. He has 10 points, and six offensive rebounds. Looking back to last year, the Wolves got very, very few second-chance opportunities, so it’s good to see Gomes making an impact on the offensive glass.
*Checking back in with the Celtics, Garnett’s played 21 minutes and has seven points and six rebounds.
*The Wolves have, as a whole, dominated the boards. They’ve outrebounded Efes Pilsen 35-17.
*An unwatchable matchup is taking place in the paint…Mark Blount vs. Loren Woods. Oof!
*Both teams are struggling from the field…the Wolves are only shooting 34%. They have a 45-39 lead, as Randy Wittman takes a timeout.
*I can’t even begin to guess why Elvis is on the court during a timeout.
*This game is turning me into a Ryan Gomes fan. He’s dominated the boards, and just scored with an awesome up-and-under.
*Meanwhile, KG has 10 points and 11 rebounds at the half in the Boston/Raptors game.
*The Wolves could be doing a better job of taking care of the basketball…they have 13 turnovers. Efes Pilsen is doing a good job of capitalizing off those turnovers in the fast break. Wolves lead 54-48 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
*Don’t forget about Big Al…he’s grabbed 15 rebounds, and scored nine points. He’s also shown a pretty decent touch at the free throw line (for a big man, at least).
*Timberwolves cheerleaders > Turkish cheerleaders.
*If this game has revealed something about the Wolves, it’s that they need to improve their transition defense. Too many easy baskets for Efes Pilsen.
*The Wolves seemed to finally be taking control of this game, but Efes Pilsen has quickly closed the gap as the third quarter winds down. Wolves lead 60-59, as we head to the fourth.
*All right, the Wolves seem to be pulling away. Gerald Green hit a nice jumper, and two possessions later, Foye made a great pass to an open Green under the basket. They’ve gone on a quick 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, and lead 68-59 with ten minutes remaining in the game.
*Note to Gerald Green- Taking a three with a hand in your face probably isn’t a great decision.
*Checking back in with the Celtics and Raptors, KG has 17 points and 15 rebounds midway through the third quarter.
*There’s that fast break I’m loving to see…Foye hits Green downcourt with another great pass, resulting in a dunk. Looks like Foye and Green are developing some chemistry.
*Telfair has a quiet seven points and seven boards.
*Nice defense by Green, as he breaks up the alley oop. Wolves lead 74-69 with four minutes remaining.
*Wow…Efes Pilsen gets a few stops on defense (thanks to a lack of ball movement by the Wolves), and we have a tied game all of a sudden. It’s time for the Wolves to slow things down, and try to find a good look. They seem to be forcing quite a few shots, as of late.
*The Wolves followed my advice, and found Richard in the post who scored with a quick turnaround. But Efes Pilsen comes right back on the next possession, and takes a one point lead. Two minutes remain.
*Richard has come up huge in crunch time. He grabbed an offensive rebound to put the Wolves back up by one, and then tracked down the defensive board to force Efes Pilsen to start fouling. Wolves lead 78-77 with 27 seconds to go.
*Telfair calmly knocks down two free throws, but Efes Pilsen cuts the lead back to one with a quick bucket.
*Foye goes 1-2 from the line, but the Wolves track down the missed free throw, and Foye gets sent back to the line. This time, he drains both shots. Wolves lead 83-79 with 10 seconds remaining.
*Ballgame. Wolves win 84-81.