Celtics 113, Timberwolves 99: The Annual Crowdsource Recap


Don’t let the final score fool you. This was a blowout. Boston pushed their lead to double digits midway through the third and never looked back, pushing their lead all the way to 22 at one point. It wasn’t much fun to watch from the Wolves’ perspective; other than Wiggins, Towns and LaVine on the offensive end of the floor, no one was very effective. The Celtics hit 12-of-25 threes and cleaned up on the glass (odd, considering they were short two of their rotation big men, Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger). The Wolves hit 2-of-13 threes and insisted on trying to pound the ball inside, even when they were down big and needed some outside shooting to get back into the game.

There was a nice moment, however. It came late in the fourth quarter, when the in-arena entertainment crew put “Gino Time” on the big board, much to the delight of the Celtics’ faithful, and especially Kevin Garnett. The TD Garden crowd had been chanting for KG for much of the second half, but to no avail. Finally, their moment came – as “Gino Time” began to play, the Big Ticket stood and smiled, saluting the crowd for over a minute, happy and thankful for the warm welcome his second NBA home had given him.

In case you’d like to know about “Gino Time,” here is some background, and here is some video:

Anyway… Like KG, I don’t really “do” the whole “second night of a back-to-back’ thing. Also, like KG, I drew some inspiration from the crowd (Twitter) to help me get through it. For the third consecutive season, I decided to let you all dance like Gino for me as l crowdsourced a recap.

Note: These are all real tweets, from real people (I believe). Very few are actually about basketball. Let’s get weird. 

I think what my friend Zach is referencing, here, is the fact that I was so critical of the Tyus Jones trade in this past year’s draft. One of the guys I happened to like in that general range was Hunter, a shooting guard from Georgia State University. Coming into last night, Hunter was shooting 39% from the field and 29% from three in 170 (mostly) inconsequential minutes. Due to the Celtics’ shortened rotation, he played 19 minutes against the Timberwolves, scoring 7 points and blocking three shots.

Hunter is long, his shooting will likely come around as he gets adjusted to the NBA, and he’s in a great system to maximize his skill set. I’m not sure the same would be true if he was in Minnesota. Plus, I’ve started to eat a little bit of crow on Tyus (more on that later). I liked what I saw from him in the preseason, and I think he has the chance to be a fine NBA backup at some point. So, I’m sorry, Zach. YOU are going to have to write that column, buddy.

I hate to disappoint you, Colin, but I don’t watch much college hoops, nor do I plug into the draft scene much until the season is over. But, to toss a few names out there from Draft Express… PF Henry Ellenson (Marquette), SG Jamal Murray (Kentucky) if he should fall to the 8-11 range where the Wolves will be drafting (he probably won’t, but a boy can dream), PF Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), and SG Caris LaVert (Michigan). Ideally, I’d love for the Wolves to take a playmaking shooting guard who can knock down threes, or a high upside power forward who can platoon with Nemanja Bjelica over the next couple of seasons. At first glance, this class seems thin on the former and a heavier on the latter.

I got food poisoning the one time I ate New England Clam Chowder. I refuse to endanger others by including a recipe for that death trap dish in this recap.

Positive: KAT is amazing and I love him and I am so happy the Wolves had him and he makes bad games bearable because MY GOD how is a 20-year-old this freaking good it doesn’t make any damn sense at all.

Negative: I can’t complain about the schedule because I don’t think it was that bad. I am not one of those hot take artists who believes “GAR, the back-to-back thing is overrated, these guys are just lazy and like to make excuses, HAR-RUMPH.” The whole Minnesota-to-New York-to-Minnesota-back to New York-to Boston thing in the span of 7 days was really, really silly scheduling by the NBA. Yeah, maybe the Wolves were a little burned out by all that traveling, but every team has to deal with it. Minnesota just got beat by a better team tonight. The people I feel sorry for, to be honest, are the announcers (Dave, Jim, and Marney), P.R. crew, and the beat guys who travel with the team. The frequent flyer miles are nice, but yeesh.

What I CAN, and will, complain about is Christmas music, and rank the very worst Christmas songs from worst to somehow even worser. 

  • Worst: “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” No one would actually want ANY of that stuff.
  • More worst: “Santa Baby.” Sure, Eartha Kitt, let’s bring unbridled materialism and sexual undertones into the feast of Jesus’ birth, that’s a great idea.
  • Even more worst: “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Hey, it’s two people mumbling over one another with a creepy reference to Rohypnol. Neat.
  • Somehow more worster than the last one: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” YES, A BUNCH OF PEOPLE SINGING OUT OF TUNE.
  • The very, very worstest of all: “Grown-Up Christmas List.” GTFOH, Michael Buble.

I’d hazard to guess it’s his inconsistency that drives everyone nuts. Martin is now shooting 38% on three pointers, which is fine, but he is only taking 2.8 per game. The majority of his takes are from the elbow/long two midrange area, where he’s 11-for-54 (20.4%) this season. He vacillates between great games and awful ones; he scored 78 points in the span of three games from the 9th through the 13th, then followed that up by going 1-for-12 over his next two combined, then was perfectly decent yesterday in Brooklyn (16 points on 5-of-9 shooting) before laying another egg last night (3 points on 1-of-6 from the floor).

All the front office wants, I’d hazard to guess, is a couple of solid weeks to stabilize his trade value before shipping him off for a second round pick. But as of now, no team would be inclined to take him; why would they? Is he merely unhappy, is he injured, or is he approaching the “washed-up” stage of his career? Until anyone has a clear answer, there’s no reason to take him on.

I had never heard of orange rolls, but after doing some digging, this is a recipe I can get behind. It’s basically a sweet roll with orange zest, which sounds weirdly delicious. Kacy, please make me some. In fact, make a whole pan, bring them to media row at the next home game. Much obliged.

As for the socks with sandals thing… they don’t bother me as much as people who wear crocs in public, with or without socks. Have some self-respect.

Did… did you have a question, sir? Or are you just short-circuiting again?


This is a cool observation – I actually haven’t noticed that in particular, but I will definitely keep an eye out for it. Ricky has been so locked in on defense lately, and it’s been really fun to watch. He seems to have the exact timing down for darting off his man and into double the ballhandler in the post, often resulting in steals and fastbreaks the other way. It wouldn’t surprise me if Miller is doing the same; he has a PHD in basketball, after all. He’s as crafty as they come.

First things first: Chris Barnewall, if this is you, you’re taking your trolling game to a new level by pretending to be this “Michael” person.

If this question wasn’t from Chris, and Michael is a real person asking an earnest question, I would like to answer as follows:

Tyus is playing for the Idaho Stampeders of the NBA D-League. Through six games, he is averaging 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He’s getting up a ton of shots – he’s taking nearly 20 attempts (including 8 from three) per night, but isn’t getting to the line much (just 13 tries, total).

Before anyone gets carried away with the gaudy offensive statistics, they need to understand that the D-League is a fast-paced, high-scoring place. That being said, it’s encouraging that he is down there producing instead of struggling. His shooting, quite frankly, is already much better than Rubio’s (I assume you’d like that addressed, since you brought up his 1/8 shooting night), but Ricky is worlds better at everything else. Tyus has a slight frame and isn’t an elite athlete, so he needs to get both smarter and stronger before he can handle the rigors of life as even a backup point guard.

But I think it will happen. Tyus has persevered at every level of competition he’s played at, so I won’t make the mistake of doubting him.

Share this because Rubio would pass this along:

8 Responsesso far.

  1. sportsbygreg says:

    I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, so I can’t add any kind of analysis. But I have to be kind in the sense that that was their 4th game in 5 nights. Hey, hate to be negative but I’m a realest, brace yourself for a long week and another probable four game losing streak. You know who’s on the schedule coming up. Last but not least… will somebody please tell me why Shabazz doesn’t get more minute? All this guy has done is work hard on both ends of the floor, and is one of the best young talents on the team. If he blows up in a negative manner at some point, honestly don’t think I will blame him. Just saying!

  2. sportsbygreg says:


  3. pyrrol says:

    The NBA schedule is really wacky this season.Golden State has had a very favorable schedule so far in terms of opponents and when they play. They don’t play the Spurs until January—by then they may have their record run up so much no one will be able to make a run at them. Meanwhile, we play the Spurs in 2 of the next three games. Our schedule hasn’t been our problem, but it is very uneven–easy at times, full of gaps and runs, tough at times. It seems like we never have a two week period of a normal amount of games against a mix of bad and good teams. And long ago we played out our games with Orlando and Atlanta. The NBA needs a new computer, the ENIAC isn’t cutting it this season.

    I liked Hunter in the draft, but one good game doesn’t guarantee a career. He actually looks like just the type of player who’d never blossom on the Wolves but would be decent on any number of normal teams. I’m hoping he does well.

    It is really hard to judge the Wolves on a back to back. I guess this is a game I expected to be tough–the Celtics are pesky, well coached and Minnesota never has seemed to like back to backs. But we needed to compete in this game and we didn’t. We need to show we can deal with being tired sometimes, win an occasional back to back (esp. against two beatable teams). We just can’t go out and lay eggs when we had the sprout of a winning steaks started if we expect to move forward as a franchise.

    Boston is not very good from a talent perspective. They also are built for the regular season to the T. But I was scared of this game. Why? Coaching. Stevens is a smart coach that goes out there and gets his teams to overachieve. The Wolves have suffered through a series of coaches that get an already blemished roster to underachieve. Sam looks like a classic prototype of this sort of Wolves coach. After two games of competent coaching we saw another outing of bad coaching. Our sets on offense looked lifeless–Boston ran simple but good and active action. Our defense was on it’s heels–Boston did a simple college-like swarm the ball defense and we looked like confused mid-major sophomores against it. Sam seemed to make no adjustments. He started the game off testy (got an early tech) and ended it only mildly agitated, as if to say it was not a winnable venture anyway. He went away from things that made us good the last two games, such as pairing LaVine with Miller or Rubio frequently. His ‘system’ is hard to define in any meaningful way, and the players struggle through this lack of identity. We can’t keep up with teams shooting well, because we don’t take enough threes and Sam won’t run plays that create more quality 3 looks (this hurts us most when tired and a step slow on D). We got beat by the three tonight and many times this season. And come on, our defense was not acceptable, we didn’t take enough of our own threes to expect to win, but 48%, 12-25 from three of Boston? We love to get teams hot…

    Sam’s played Dieng and Towns together and it is sort of fun. It might work–they both have center size and power forward skills. On the other hand, it is hard to not have Dieng clearly anchoring 2nd unit minutes as a stabilizer. And it is also clear that Dieng isn’t nearly the starting option that Towns is. Towns had another rockin’ night, while Dieng’s hot hand died off. He only managed 5 rebounds against a smaller team. His defense looked bad suddenly. Even when he’s struggling, Towns seems to work though it better, contributing and making him a more consistent player.

  4. sportsbygreg says:

    Well I guess it’s the same Ole Sam. So sad!

  5. Tom says:

    I couldn’t watch the whole game, but it shocks me that Adrian Payne gets more minutes now than Nemanja. When Payne was in we went from 6 down to 14 down and his poor defense was on display. Also, someone needs to tell Rudez that if he has the ball beyond the arc he should shoot. Maybe we were physically tired, but mentally Andrew was already on a plane by the second quarter. Wigs scares me a little bit with his motivation. Kobe would not have been so willing to pack it in.

  6. sportsbygreg says:

    Yeah Tom, as much as I like Wiggins, his seemingly lack of motivation at times scares me as well. That’s why I make the comments about his lack of rebounding or assists. Again, 0 assists last night and struggled to obtain a measly 3 boards. I’m just worried he’s going to be no more than a Carmelo Anthony in those areas, without even being a more prolific scorer. His lull is just way too often. It’s a red flag.

  7. gjk says:

    It’s becoming a bit of confirmation bias with Martin. When he does poorly, he’s “killing them out there,” and his admittedly rare decent performances get swept under the rug because they don’t fit the narrative. His performances look bad because his playing style looks bad when the shot’s not falling, but this team does nothing offensively that fits his strengths. It’s fine that they’re looking to the future, but when the team loses, they lose because of their youth or defensive breakdowns that get exacerbated by their lack of focus on offense in training camp. His true shooting % is 52% in wins vs 50% in losses. In fact, the only notable trend for him offensively is that the team is 6-7 when he gets double-digit shot attempts. They’re also 4-4 when he plays at least 28 minutes.

  8. pyrrol says:

    It’s not like Martin is playing that well this season. And when he’s having a bad game it isn’t helpful to our winning chances. I think it is a double edged sword. Martin is playing bad and falling into his worst habits, or at least not adjusting when his normal tricks aren’t working (he takes bad shots to draw foul, and even when he doesn’t get the calls he keeps doing difficult mid-range shots). On the other hand we play an offense, as gjk points out, that goes against his strengths. That’s too bad, because we could use the shooting. Martin looks downright uncomfortable with our offense and with good cause. In the end, I think it is bit of each–Martin was always a flawed player, but as he gets older his flaws are starting to be harder to cover with good things. On the other side of the coin, we’re not setting up Martin to be successful, so I think his tough season is a combo of the two.

    This concept is also playing out with Bjelica. We need his game to work on this team, we need his shooting and rebounding. Sam has allowed his confidence to get so low, has done so little to involve and feature him in the offense that he’s all but disappeared. Part of that is on Bjelica. He seems to have a fragile confidence and is easily thrown off into a tailspin. With the skills and experience he has, he should be able to work through these adjustment challenges better. But Sam is doing nothing to help him through it. It almost seems like he puts him in a tough situation to ‘get going’ as a player and then cites that trouble as reason for a short leash and no further effort to get his value to bloom on the court. The Boston game was one in which we needed his skills badly—rebounding and three point shooting.

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