If an exhibition game of NBA 2K14 is anything to judge by, the Timberwolves shouldn’t have any problem handling Moscow CSKA tonight at the Target Center. After one false start (ProTip: European teams’ visiting jerseys are white, so if you’re playing against an NBA team, you need to make them both wear home colors to tell them apart) I put the new-look Wolves through their paces against visiting CSKA.
First of all, I left Chase Budinger in the lineup because I didn’t want to keep having to fix the CPU’s substitutions, so don’t be alarmed when you see him in the clips below. Second of all, CSKA have some shooters, including Milos Teodosic and Sonny Weems and their best overall player, stretch 4 Viktor Khryapa. Ratings are a bit skewed for the Euro teams, though, meaning that Khryapa is an 84 while Kevin Love is an 86. I’m on record as hating debates about something as abstract as video game ratings, but there’s just no way Kevin Love is only two points better than Khryapa.
That aside, Love and the rest of the Wolves’ big three had a very solid game. Love won player of the game honors with 25 points, 18 rebounds and 3 assists to go with 3 blocks. Nikola Pekovic pitched in 18 points and 10 boards plus 3 blocks of his own and Ricky Rubio focused on playmaking rather than shooting, delivering 12 assists and 6 points. I can’t stress enough how much fun it is to use Rubio now that you can throw no-look passes on purpose. I’m sure you’ll see as much in the highlight clip below.
Final score was 96-76 and the result was never really in doubt after the second quarter. I wouldn’t expect Adelman to play the starters as much as I did, though.
Here’s a highlight reel, featuring a couple sweet no-look passes for Rubio and a tasty shimmy fade in the post for Love. Song is “Purexed” by Minnesota’s own P.O.S.