Grizzlies 90, Wolves 86: A quick reaction
|Michael Beasley, SF 5-16 FG | 0-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -4
Oh… B-Easy… that was a rough game. I have no doubt the lacerated finger is really hurting his effectiveness. Shooting decisions aside, it seems really hard for him to get any kind of touch on his passing, dribbling or shooting. I like how much he found himself inside, but the touch just wasn’t possible.
|Kevin Love, PF 11-21 FG | 3-4 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 27 PTS | -11
It’s hard to find a lot of fault in what Kevin Love does night in and night out. He’s taking a lot of 3s but he’s also making a really good percentage. He missed a few shots inside in the fourth quarter. He didn’t make it to the free throw line a lot in this game. But I’m just searching for nits to pick right now. The turnaround fadeaway out of the post was sick. Love was fantastic again.
|Darko Milicic, C 1-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -7
I don’t even… I mean… he rebounded well… but I just don’t really understand why he’s taking so many shots… at least they were all in the paint… then again… HE MISSED 5 SHOTS IN THE PAINT!… I can’t even process this right now.
|Luke Ridnour, PG 4-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -5
Asking Luke to be the J.J. Barea in the 2-point guard lineup is a pretty difficult task. He’s just not that kind of scoring guard. However, I like the effort he’s putting into it. When Rubio isn’t in the game, he’s attempting to run a pretty inefficient halfcourt offense. When Rubio checks in, he’s trying to spread the floor for him.
|Wesley Johnson, SG 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
J.A. Adande has a hashtag on Twitter of shooters who can’t shoot. Wes might be the captain of that hashtag. Not exactly sure what he’s doing out there, other than getting his Donté Greene on right now.
|Anthony Tolliver, PF 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +7
Tolliver comes in and plays defense against Gasol, the Grizzlies’ NBA 2K12 create-a-player Josh Davis, and Rudy Gay. His defensive effort against small forwards like Gay and LeBron has been superb and inspiring. Need him making shots though.
|Wayne Ellington, G 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1
Speaking of shooters who can’t shoot, Wayne needs to start knocking down shots. He isn’t making spot-up jumpers. He isn’t making pull-up jumpers. He isn’t making much of anything.
|Anthony Randolph, PF 3-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -2
Anthony Randolph was a ball of energy tonight and it was in a very good way. Got three quick scores. He made a weird jumper just above the elbow. He got to the free throw line four times. Using him in a Chris Andersen, 10 minutes per game type of way may be the way to go with Rubio.
|Ricky Rubio, PG 5-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 12 PTS | +2
Ricky came in and energized a zombie offense that couldn’t generate any progress against the Grizzlies defense. He was looking to take shots and passed the ball incredibly. He had a couple of bad turnovers. Two lazy passes and a miscommunication on a kickout and he also missed two big free throws. But other than that, he was sliding his feet and changing the game. Puppy breath and cinnamon.
|Derrick Williams, F 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +5
We got to see a pick-and-pop 3-pointer from Derrick. We got to see the spin off the high post for the oop from Ricky. Williams seems to be a lot more comfortable out there on offense, but he’s still hesitating to shoot a bit on the perimeter. I’d love to see him take those hesitations and turn them into drives to the basket.
Five Things We Saw
- Missed shots. That offense was ugly. The execution wasn’t there and the shooting was just horrific. There were a lot of misses inside. Without Barea out there and with Beasley cut on his hand and unable to really get off a good shot (assuming he decides to take one), the offensive options are really limited. Wolves need a perimeter scorer in the worst way, especially in the halfcourt.
- Rubio impact. It’s hard to quantify the galvanization he brings into most games. Tonight? He brought the efficiency and the direction the Wolves badly needed. It’s nights like these when the offense starts slow and Rubio starts fast that people will be outraged he’s not starting yet. Hard to argue with, but I’m glad he’s at least finishing games. This isn’t the Rambis situation we flashback to.
- Rubio looking to shoot. Ricky is looking to shoot and it’s working out. He called for the ball for a 3-pointer on the wing. He made the pull-up 3 off the double screen when the Wolves needed a clutch basket. Adelman has been telling us he can shoot and not to believe the talk about his poor shooting. It seems to be legit.
- Horrendous free throw shooting. Missing 11 of 24 free throw attempts and four of 10 in the fourth quarter makes you want to punch everything you come into contact with. Wolves’ free throw shooting has been inconsistent this year and it needs to trend upward.
- Turnovers will kill you. Wolves had 17 turnovers and gave up 23 points off of them. They forced 12 turnovers and only scored seven points off of them. It’s going to be hard to win like that on any given night. Please no more of this.