Live Blog: Wolves vs. Magic

First win of the season?  It’ll be a tough one for the Wolves, but it’d be sweet to take one from this Magic team.

First quarter:

*Rashad was taking that shot the whole way.  Great pump in the paint to get an open look…let’s hope he can get off to a hot start. 

*What’s that?  A Wolf getting sent to the free throw line?  Get outta here! 

*Man, that’s the second team foul on the Magic in the first two minutes.  How about that. 

*Loving the post move by Jeff…sweet hook shot.  Man, that guy has such an immense array of moves in the low block.  I’m continually amazed by his footwork. 

*Another foul on Orlando?  That’s their third team foul so far…this is a great sign that a) the Wolves are finally drawing some fouls, and b) the refs are actually blowing the whistle. 

*Wolves off to another quick start, as they lead 13-4.  Of course, the big question is how long they can maintain this early advantage. 

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*Nice!  Rashad drains a jumper…if his jumper continues to fall, we might be in pretty good shape.  Meanwhile, Greg Buckner continues to start the season surprisingly well, laying it in on the fast break.

*Big Al with the nice touch on the jumper, reminding everyone that he’s money in other areas besides the low post. 

*Am I the only one who isn’t a big fan of Telfair’s "Bassy" nickname?  Of course, the other ones listed on his Wikipedia page aren’t much better…Seba?  2 Fast 2 Furious?

*I agree with Telly Hughes…Randy Foye’s wearing a nice suit!

*Man, they just showed a shot at the crowd, and it looks like there’s about 10,000 people in attendance tonight.  This team will have to win quite a few people over, that’s for sure. 

*A rare basket by Marko Jaric.  Still hate the Marko/Antoine Walker lineup. 

*Oh crap, oh crap.  McCants is heading into the locker room.  Michael Doleac, by the way, looks like Fred Hoiberg…if Fred Hoiberg was from the south.

*Grrrr…bad mental error by Doleac.  He forgot we had a foul to give…Arroyo nails the buzzer-beater to give the Magic a 26-22 lead at the end of the first.

Second Quarter: 

*Well, that report by Telly Hughes didn’t lessen the panic of Wolves’ fans after the McCants injury.  Grimacing in pain as you head to the locker room usually isn’t a good sign.

*There you have it.  McCants’ return is doubtful.  What a major bummer…it looked like he was gonna be the hot hand tonight.  I just hope this ankle sprain won’t cause him to miss any time beyond tonight’s game.

*Circus shot by Craig…somehow, it goes in.  Corey Brewer is off to a hot start, as he nails another jumper.  He’s 3-4 from the field, and 2-2 from long range.

*I’m liking the Sweetwater Jones ads- especially the one where Madsen has a ‘fro.

*Man, I’m impressed with Greg Buckner.  I actually thought the Wolves would consider buying him out when they picked him up, but he’s proving to be a great addition.  Just as a type that, he nails a three.

*It pains me to complement Marko Jaric, but he’s playing much better tonight than he did against the Knicks and Nuggets.  Great dish from Jaric to Craiggers…he’s actually doing a nice job running the show.

*Greg Buckner’s start = completely unexpected.  Major props to this guy…he’s come to play tonight, following the McCants injury.  12 points, 5-8 from the field.  Wolves lead 43-42. 

*"Vikes are thinking playoffs?"  Dude, we’re 3-5…slow down! 

*That’s what I was talking about in my season preview for Craig Smith…on that Corey Brewer missed three, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to grab the offensive rebound.  He botched the putback, but I’m always impressed with his intuition for offensive rebounding.

*Man, we’re having a horrible time on the defensive boards…Orlando’s second-chance points are killing us.

*Big Al has such a huge variety of ways to attack defenders…that time, the pump fake clears the way for the slam. 

*Great job by Al, as he earns a trip to the free throw line.  The Wolves are going to have a very difficult time remaining competative if they’re shooting 10-15 free throws per night.  I do believe that part of that is earning the respect of the refs, but still, we absolutely must do a better job of drawing fouls.

Halftime: Magic 56, Wolves 50

*We certainly should be pleased with the performances of Buckner, Jaric, Jefferson, and Brew, but we must improve on the defensive boards if we’re going to hang with Orlando the rest of the way.  There’s also been too many defensive lapses for the Wolves…they’ve given Orlando too many open looks.  Dwight Howard’s been insane.

Third Quarter:

*No big deal with the Buckner miss.  As far as I’m concerned, he should be shooting on every open look he has…he’s been shooting lights-out to start the season.

*Jeff’s continuing to show a nice touch on his 15-footer…interesting, because his post game had been touted much more than his jumper.  Seems to me like he has an underrated jumper. 

*That timeout was a little too late for my liking…the Magic are starting to pull away.  They lead 67-57, with 7:26 to go in the third. 

*Quick peek at the boxscore: Buckner has 15, Jefferson has 13, and Dwight Howard leads all scorers with 21. 

*Telfair’s having a rough night.  He’s penetrating and getting some decent looks, but as Pete said, he’s having a rough time finishing.

*Very quiet night for Ryan Gomes, but he gets back into the mix by taking a trip to the charity stripe.  Meanwhile, Chris Richard makes his debut regular season appearance. 

*Well, the Wolves are starting to get some stops on defense, but they’re still in very dangerous territory.  With the Magic up by 10, and considering Orlando’s many offensive threats, this one could easily be broken open.  The Wolves need to sustain the tough D they’ve played on these last few possessions.

*Good move by Witt to bring Jaric back in.  Telfair’s having a rough night. 

*Alright, there’s the Marko we know and love…he puts up a total brick in transition. 

*Wolves down by 13…I’d like to see them get back to within 10 by the end of the third.

*Arrrggghhh…another second-chance opportunity for Dwight Howard, and he extends the lead to 14.  Good to see Antoine make his way to the free throw line, as the Wolves cut it back to 12.

*Orlando’s shot 33 free throws; we’ve shot 14.  Yikes. 

*Oh man, that Garrity three-pointer was a back-breaker.  The Wolves seemed to be gaining some slight momentum, but his three puts us down 14 as we head to the fourth.  Magic lead 88-74.  Crap.

Fourth Quarter: 

*Nice quck four-point spurt by Walker and Big Al.  Man, we really could’ve used that put-back by Al on the ensuing possession, but he makes up for it the next time down the court.  Yet another nice spin move and hook shot by Al, as the Wolves cut the lead to 10.

*Big Al has 17, Rashard Lewis has 18, and Dwight Howard continues to lead all scorers with 26. 

*Antoine’s success has come when he’s penetrated…his jumper looks horrible.

*Great defense by Marko.  I love the heart being displayed by this group…there’s no quit in this Wolves team.  The lead is down to four. 

*What an amazing put-back by Corey Brewer.  This is easily Brew and Jaric’s best game of the season…Jaric has made some great dishes, and he’s made some nice plays on defense.  Brewer, after a great first quarter, is coming back to life in the fourth.  The Wolves have ALL the momentum…the opportunity to pick up the win is there.  We’ve just gotta continue to excecute down the stretch.

*Buckner’s come to play BIG TIME.  Clutch three.  Rashard Lewis, meanwhile, is absolutely killing us.  He nails another three…get a body on this guy, for Crissakes.

*Rashard Lewis is the official comeback killer.  He’s been ridiculously on-target in these last three minutes…we could be guarding him better, but I doubt even the tightest defense would make much of a difference on this guy.  He’s on fire. 

*Another ugly three by Antoine is the LAST thing we needed on t hat possession.

*All of a sudden, we’re right back in it.  Marko has had a phenomenal game. 

*Horrible pass by Telfair seals the deal for the Magic.  Great game for Jaric and Buckner, but the Wolves had no answer for Dwight Howard, and Rashard Lewis was absolutely inhuman when the Wolves were making their comeback.  Well, this team is playing very hard…and that’s something we can hang our hat on.  The free throw disparity remains the major issue for this squad. 

*I’m out.  Thanks for hanging out tonight! 

TWolves Blog Staff

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