As expected, the Timberwolves cruised to victory against Kevin Garnett and the seemingly dismal Brooklyn Nets. This was a refreshing performance in many ways by the Wolves, soundly beating on the Nets early. They got off to a great start on both sides of the floor, taking Brooklyn out of whatever game plan that sorry line up may have had and torched them on offense with Adelmanian ball movement and efficiency. It was literally refreshing for the top performing starting line up in the league, that was able to get some rest as only Kevin Martin eclipsed the thirty minute mark.
While the class work this evening may have been below grade level, the Wolves came up on top, exactly as they had to.
Ricky Rubio: (12 pts, 2-3 Treys, 8 ast, 3 stls, in 24 mins) Grade: A-
Ricky’s productivity was stellar tonight. For his limited minutes he really stuffed the stat sheet. Ricky seems to always do what Ricky does. He effectlivly uses his length and disrupts passing lanes and makes phenomenal passes. He effectively had a ninth assist were he spoon fed Derrick Williams a lob that Derrick somehow couldn’t finish. Other than early foul trouble, this was an “A“ worthy effort, but against a higher caliber opponent, he needs to find a way to be disruptive while remaining on the quart
Kevin Martin: (17 pts, 3 asts, in 31 mins) Grade: B+
A six for sixteen night for K-mart is going to happen occasionally and while it is less that stellar, it effectively put 17 points on the board. Marin find ways to get buckets, something that the Minnesota Timberwolves have totally lacked from the shooting guard position. That spinning fading jumper was a perfect illustration of K-mart’s abilities. One instance stood out specifically was a play when Martin dropped of a sweet dish to Nikola Pekovic for three point play opportunity. A solid game for K-mart, but it could have been better. A tougher night shooting, and not much else to bring to the box score keep his grade from rising
Corey “Chaos” Brewer: (15pts, 3-6 Treys, in 27 mins) Grade: B+
Corey gave the T- pups a spark. He hit his corner threes, ran the floor and got the sweet block in transition. Corey played a big role in the Wolves quick start and brewed plenty of chaos on defense even though the stat sheet doesn’t necessarily show it. It was a solid game from Brew. There are always pros and cons when Corey brews chaos but he’s matured now from his younger years. Stuff the sheet a little bit more and pass out of shots that aren’t his cup of tea and his grade would fly high, just like he did on that sweet fast break throw down.
Kevin Love: (17 pts, 16 Rebs, 6 Orebs, 4 asts, 2 stls in 27 mins) Grade: A
For a short night this was quite a performance from Kevin Love. It wasn’t dominating. It didn’t provide any rim rocking dunks or display any streaks of expert long range marksmanship, but that sure is a stuffed box score, eh?
K-Love got it done tonight. Against that other Minnesota Kevin power forward guy too. One small highlight (as boring as it may seem) was Kevin’s ability to knock down free throws, making all seven freebies he shot (some gifted to the wolves by that other Kevin).
Nikola Pekovic: (15 pts, 7 rebs, in 26 mins) Grade: B-
This grade might be somewhat harsh. It wasn’t that bad of a game for Pek and he’s certainly been coming around as of late, but there are certain things a guy would like to see an NBA center do. One of those things is not air-balling hook shots. He got on the boards adequately, coming down with a handful of Brewer Bricks on offense, but it would have been nice to see him be a bit more assertive with his strength inside. One of these nights Pek is going to be brilliant, this was just not one of those nights. Thankfully, he didn’t have to.
Bench Bright Spot:
J. J. Barea: (8pts, 2-4 Treys, 2 asts, in 15 mins). Grade: A
J.J. stepped into his role tonight and did just was the Twolves needed. He came into the game when Ricky got into foul trouble and scored the basketball, hitting two threes early and providing the offense with a needed spark. He also made a slick play saving a loose ball directly to K-Love for an assist as the first quarter came to a close. Bottom line: J.J. did his job tonight.
Dante Cunningham: (7 rebs, 3 ast in 19 mins) Grade: B
Dante also did his job. He took his shots and nothing else. He moved the ball, evidenced in his three assists for the game and he hustled all day on defense as Wolves fans have gotten accustomed to seeing. Two for five shooting could certainly be better, but he took his shot and if anybody remembers last year: Dante can hit his shot.
The rest of the bench was relatively dismal. Wolves forth quarters in blow outs seem to become a “gall Dieng it, “don’t do it Derrick! “ and “you’ve got to be Shvedding me” kind of event. Light in the dark there can be found with Gorgui Dieng jumping over somebody, Derrick’s one effortless successful dunk, and Robbie Hummel’s tenacity and tendency to always be in the right place.
Anyway, it was sweet game: a breath of fresh air for players and fans alike. It’s always good to see a team win the games they should win, but as evidenced by these grades, things could still be better. Professor Adelman should hope for better test results had Brooke Lopez and Deron “The Real D-Will” Williams showed up.
Dass a wrap. Class dismissed.