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.
@BreakTheHuddle You better call dibs on the “Wolves should have drafted RJ Hunter” column.
— Zach Bennett (@ZacharyBD) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle early draft look ahead?
— Colin Martian (@cmart102) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle a New England Clam Chowder recipe might be appropriate.
— Tom Stolpman (@AATK_DP) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle Negative: complain about the schedule. Positive: KAT playing some ball. Also, Rank xmas songs from worst to more worst.
— SlowBreak (@AverageJer) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle how much kmart is hurting us
— Timberpups (@HoopsYo) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle The deliciousness of orange rolls and/or why people wear socks with sandals.
— Kacy (@KacyNoel) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle EVERYTHING IS POOP
— AVIATE (@CSAviate) December 22, 2015
Did… did you have a question, sir? Or are you just short-circuiting again?
@BreakTheHuddle talk about how crazy it is that the universes expansion is accelerating even though physics says that shouldn’t be happening
— Lucas (@the_longtwo) December 22, 2015
@BreakTheHuddle I’ve noticed Rubio and Miller being riskier for half court stls after a d board when a shooter falls over. Seems smart/cool
— Literary Reference (@WillJohnson33) December 22, 2015
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.
@BreakTheHuddle Where is Tyus and what will his role be in the rotation1 year, 2 years from now? Rubio 1-8.
— Michael (@1possessiongame) December 22, 2015
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.