February 21, 2012

Linsanity Ruins the Day for the Wolves

The Timberwolves have now dropped 11 of their last 13 games at the Pepsi Center in Denver, dating back to the 2005-06 season.  What a frustrating loss it was last night.  The Wolves were 6-27 (22.2%) from deep, shot 36.4% overall on the night, missed a bunny in the end, and watched Martell Webster go in for a dunk down 3 with time running out.  It’s hard not to be a little depressed this morning knowing that a win last night, combined with Portland’s loss to the Lakers, would have put the Wolves in a nice little tie for the #8 spot in the Western Conference with Denver and Portland.  As it stands, once again the Wolves are held at arm’s length 2 games back from Memphis and Denver, currently in the #7 and #8 spots in the West.

One of my favorite stats in basketball is the +/- statistic, which measures how the team did when that particular player was on the floor.  It definitely isn’t the undisputed champion of basketball statistics, but it does give you some basic insight to how well a player was playing.  Last night, the +/- showed some interesting “nuggets” that are fun to talk about the morning after a tough overtime loss.

First of all, Andre Miller quickly became one of my least favorite players last night.  What was that guy thinking?  Ty Lawson goes down with an ankle injury, and Andre Miller is absolutely dominating (despite his 0-8 shooting night).  Miller finished +15 in just under 29 minutes last night, but gets himself ejected with the 4th quarter remaining in a virtually tied ballgame.  What a terrible show of leadership on a team going down the stretch and into overtime last night with something called Julian Stone playing the point.

Also, Anthony Tolliver had a ridiculous -17 showing in 8.5 minutes last night.  I love Anthony Tolliver as a person – he seems like a really good guy.  Last week in Charlotte AT was -7.  In less than 2 minutes of playing time!  For being a defensive stopper, bad things sure happen when he’s on the floor right now.

Our 2-guard combo of Ridnour, Barea, and Webster was -3, -6, and -3 respectively.  Even more significant than that, our wings (Johnson, Ridnour, Barea, and Webster) went a combined 1-14 from distance last night.  How much better could this team be with any kind of scoring option on the wing?  The only thing that kept me from absolutely blowing up over our wing play last night was that I looked across the court and their stood our boy Corey Brewer.  Every time the Nuggets had a chance to put the game away, it seemed like Brewer was launching – and bricking – another three pointer.

My final thought from last night is Linsane.  I propose that Jeremy Lin may have had a hand in it if the Wolves do not end up making the playoffs this year.  How?  If Jeremy Lin had not gotten the chance to play, the Knicks may not have gone on their 7 game winning streak, propelling them into strong contention again.  If the Knicks had not been in contention, J.R. Smith may not have signed with the Knicks.  If J.R. Smith doesn’t sign with the Knicks, it’s my understanding that the Wolves had about as much money to offer as any team.  If a miracle happens and J.R. Smith actually signs with Minnesota, boy our 2-guard situation looks a lot more promising.  I know that's a lot of "if's", but thanks Jeremy Lin.

Follow Wolves Rubes on Twitter @wolvesrubes.

No comments:

Post a Comment