Because it’s the preseason, and the actual storyline behind the game itself isn’t actually all that important, we’ll keep this recap short.
Despite some poor interior defense, and some equally questionable shot selection, the Timberwolves were able to pull away from the Sixers after a surge in the third quarter. Also, some veteran 4th quarter leadership and savvy from Mo Williams probably saved the Wolves’ bench from a collapse to end the game.
Despite some iffy shot selection, especially in the first half, we did get to witness the first one of these in the Target Center:
As well as one of these:
Some observations throughout the game:
- Shved made his return to Minneapolis in extremely Shveddy fashion. His first couple possessions resulted in points, but we saw a slew of empty drives to the hoop, ill-advised shots, and leaps in the air without intention. His statline, 7 points on 3-8 shooting, with 4 boards and 6 assists, didn’t really match up with what I felt like I saw. In my opinion, it seemed worse in-person.
- The combination of Rubio-Brewer-Wiggins-Young-Pek/Dieng was a nightmare for the opposing perimeter offense. This group’s combined 9 steals in the game was a driving force for the decent surge they had in the 3rd quarter. On the other hand, it was a bit of a disaster when the Sixers made it near the basket.
- Anthony Bennett was good in his Wolves debut. Bennett was very good – good enough for Flip to call him “the best player on the floor, when he was out there”. Spot up jumpers from just outside the free throw line seemed automatic for him. He also had a nice putback dunk off a miss early in the game (a rebound Flip Saunders referred to as a “man rebound” after the game). LaVine also had a nice game. In fact, nobody really played poorly for Minnesota tonight.
- Mo Williams was perhaps the most notable joy to see out there tonight. He was hitting shots and (usually) making the right passes. He was also the calming force of a mostly nervous 4th quarter lineup, which probably sealed the game for the Wolves tonight. Apparently, there was some friendly Blazers vs. Wolves Twitter debate going on regarding this surprisingly polarizing backup point guard. I didn’t hear any of it, though, so who knows? Maybe Blazers Twitter doesn’t follow me. Oh well.
- Lastly, I would like to thank Steve McPherson for my new Facebook header.