A collection of thoughts about The Ricky Rubio Heat Check Three Game, as last night’s win over the Magic will henceforth be known:
1. Watching KAT and Serge Ibaka battle it out was a lot of fun. KAT wound up with 23-12-7 and 3 blocks, and Serge wound up with 17-10-2 and 2 blocks, but don’t mistake the gaudy numbers for a passive, your-turn-my-turn back and forth. Ibaka did a great job mucking things up for the Wolves’ offense, which runs through KAT elbow and post touches more than ever, by fighting for position, fronting entry passes, and pushing Towns around at every opportunity. Karl still did a pretty good job passing out of doubles when they came, but he did turn the ball over 5 times, one shy of a career high. Towns also took zero shots in nine fourth quarter minutes – a pretty stunning shutout for the team
2. Towns was pretty bad on the defensive end of the floor. He struggles especially in scrambles after the Wolves allow second chance opportunities; as John Meyer of Canis Hoopus pointed out (comically during a 4th quarter possession)… “Karl… he’s not guarding anyone. He’s not guarding anyone. Look! He’s not… he’s not guarding anyone!” Thankfully Ibaka missed the open two. There was also a sequence where he bumped Jeff Green on a drive then committed an unnecessary goaltending violation when Green tossed the ball at the hoop.
3. Despite how clunky the offense looked at times, the Wolves did a pretty good job at patiently swinging the ball to find the open man. They finished with 29 assists on their 40 made field goals, compared to 22 dimes on 41 baskets for the Magic.
4. D.J. Augustin got a technical for throwing the ball (underhanded, mind you) in an aggressive manner at an official after a call he didn’t like. He probably could’ve gotten tossed.
5. With 10 seconds to go in the 1st half, Gorgui Dieng hit the 11th corner three of his career. I have seen him hit, like, 20 in a row from the corners in pregame shootarounds and warmups. It’s obviously not the first option on any play, but he is now 7-of-21 from beyond the arc this season, so it definitely isn’t a bad shot.
6. Also, Gorgui had a really great game, making tons of hustle plays and little plays when it mattered most. He is, by far, the team’s most consistent player.
7. There was a crazy man yelling at the top of his lungs at every single call that went against the Wolves; anyone in the lower bowl near the Wolves’ bench can attest to it. I felt legitimately terrible for his wife and his kid (who was maybe around 10?) for having to deal with it. Guys: don’t be that guy. Don’t ever be that guy.
8. If you were at the game you get some FREE CHERRY BERRY tomorrow! Cherry Berry! Yeah! Loudest cheers of the night! Cherry Berry! Woo-hoo! Thanks, Bismack Biyongo!
9. Rest in peace, Nikola Vucevic. He has been buried in pretty much the same spot That One Plumlee From the Bucks was buried; he died on the court when Andrew Wiggins kilt him dead with a big slam jam:
Andrew Wiggins slam!!! pic.twitter.com/sogKl4Qld1
— StreetHistory (@streethistory) January 31, 2017
10. Bazzerbeater! Shabuzzerbeater Muhammad! Or as Dave Benz put it, “Bazz, the Great and Powerful!”
‘BAZZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL!
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) January 31, 2017