Lakers 119, Timberwolves 115: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I’m going to keep this short, because Minneapolis has been hit hard by a damn blizzard and I have to get up in six five damn hours to snowblow the driveway for a second time so I can make it to work tomorrow.

The Wolves lost to the Lakers. Kobe Bryant scored 38 points, knocked down 7 threes and 11 free throws, and hit some very big shots down the stretch. It is the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Sixteen, and I am still typing sentences like “Kobe Bryant scored 38 points, knocked down 7 threes and 11 free throws, and hit some very big shots down the stretch.” Amazing.

The game appeared headed for a blowout but since Byron Scott is Byron Scott he sat one of his best players because learning reasons or something and the Wolves got back in it. There was a time, when the Wolves were trailing by double digits in the middle of the second quarter, that I thought the recap was going to go the full-on crazy route. For instance, I had every intention of leading off with this tweet from our own Zach Harper and just getting weirder and weirder from there:

After all, the Lakers have the second-worst offense in the NBA as measured by Offensive Rating (97.1 points per 100 possessions) and the very worst effective field goal percentage (45.8%, nearly two full points worse than the next closest team), and yet they scored 66 points on 56% shooting (including 38% from three) in the first half against the Wolves.


I was ready to get weird and completely mail this in, but then I watched this replay several times and realized how awesome it was. Ricky’s long bounce pass to Wiggins to end the first half was crazy town banana pants…

And that inspired me to at least try a little. Ricky has that effect on my life. I wish he had the same effect on some of his teammates.

Anyhoo, a quick run at the start of the fourth trimmed the lead from 11 to 3 in just 3:05 of game time. The Wolves even took the lead for a brief moment, thanks to back-to-back Zach LaVine buckets, but that’s when Kobe decided to take over. He hit back-to-back threes, followed by a an airballed desperation fallaway jumper that didn’t have to be taken, but hey, two out of three wasn’t bad. It wasn’t like watching a young Kobe again, but it was a refreshing turn from the bricklaying we’ve seen so often over the past couple of years. 38 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists from an all-time great in his farewell season. I’m not a big Kobe fan, and I obviously pull for the Wolves, but it was still cool to watch. What did you think, Sam Mitchell?

Fair enough.

Like, check out this nice little moment between Andrew Wiggins and Kobe Bryant after Wiggy hit a turnaround jumper right in front of the Mamba:

As Kobe said postgame:

In summary, the Wolves dug a deep hole by playing like shit in the first half and couldn’t dig out of it. Much of the game was a massive bummer to watch, which is probably why so many of us on Twitter hit the bottle. It got fun at the end, but only if “watching an all-time great offer up a vintage performance” or “seeing a cool little moment between a 20-year veteran on his way out and a 20-year-old kid” trumps “watching the Wolves win.” If you’re more a fan of the latter, and are pissed at the loss, I hear you. God, the Wolves were awful. Wiggins was excellent, Towns was pretty good but didn’t get enough touches, and Ricky played with the same heart he always does, but beyond that…

Beyond that, it was one of the Wolves’ worst losses of the season, to a team they probably should’ve beaten, who had entered the game as losers of 10 straight. Whatever. Shrug. 50 down, 32 to go.


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3 Responsesso far.

  1. Marshall Andersen DVM says:

    Really great to see wiggins bounce back game after his display of awfulness at portland, and Lavine some nice PG like passes in the third there. All and all I feel like I should be angry after this game, but Im actually ok with losing as long as the kids play well, really all that matters at this point in time for them.

  2. gjk says:

    In the big picture, games like this are going to happen in a long season. Embarrassment would’ve been losing the season series. Getting swept by any team that isn’t Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland, and maybe Toronto (partly because they only play twice) is truly disappointing; being swept by teams around .500 or lower is the true embarrassment. Being swept by Portland, for example, will fit that category when it happens. It should be reasonable to expect them to win/tie season series vs. the Lakers, Philly, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Denver, Sacramento, and New Orleans. Getting at least a game off of everyone but the true elites is reasonable. So far, they should be embarrassed to get swept by Orlando, Detroit, and Indiana, and lose 3 of 4 to Denver and at least 3 games to Portland. The rest is just disappointment that they’re not further along that can be slightly buffered by them sweeping the Hawks, with another potential bright spot on Saturday if they can beat the Bulls for the sweep.

  3. pyrrol says:

    Not much good to say about this poor effort. Rubio played well…

    Jim Petersen talked about how the players seem to like Sam and he is doing a good job developing the players. How does he know? I mean, we’ve regressed all season, until we had our worst Jan. in franchise history. OK, so it’s not clicking as a team… How about individually? There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of individual progress. Towns has rocked since day one. Wiggins is a good young player, but has obvious things he needs to work on often discussed here (playing hard and aggressive all the time, rebounding, better defense, passing and not ball stopping esp out of iso doubles). He’s shown no real improvement on any of this. I just am not buying this conspiracy theory that Sam is really a good coach, but it just doesn’t show yet, in ANY way, because we’re so darn young. I think folks who care about this team (like Petersen) owe it to everyone to not promote the idea that Sam is a good coach on a wing and a prayer and because the players like him.

    Spoiler alert: The most loyal person on earth (KG) is being loyal to his buddy. That should mean less than nothing. Unfortunately, I’m afraid it counts for a lot.

    Played well!? Two major problems. One, horrific defense (note how we won games to open the season with our D and now bleed games away with our D–regression). Two, although our field goal percent was good, we did go on funks that helped us get behind–we were very inconsistent on offense. We allowed Kobe to out three the whole Wolves roster. (I didn’t enjoy the Kobe throwback, for the obvious reason that it was at out expense, but really he looked nothing like prime Kobe, he just jacked up a lot of threes and hit many of them.)

    One game is a short term annoyance. I’m getting long term worried.

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