Archives For Tim Duncan

This one was not so fun.

Game six of the seven-game road trip looked like this team was just tired of being away from the Target Center. The energy was low, the effort was inadequate and the Wolves just seemed like they wanted out of there. I don’t really blame them. Not having Pekovic and Rubio has taken a toll on this team. The inside of the lane is a lot harder to patrol for the Wolves on both ends. The top of the defense is trying, but they’re just not the same without Rubio and his elastic wingspan deterring basic passes around the perimeter and into the post.

Gregg Popovich probably knew exactly how this game was going to go. Without Pekovic inside, he was going to make Love be a primary defender against the older but still effective Tim Duncan. If the Wolves fought back early, he’d probably unleash Manu and Parker drives all night. If not, he’d let Timmy break the will of Minnesota by showing them that even this old man could kick their butts on any given night. The Spurs had their perimeter attack waiting in the wings (no pun intended… okay, maybe it was a little intended) to unleash on a tired and road weary Wolves team. The Spurs are number one in the league in 3-point percentage and they’ll break your backs and runs with it.

In the end, the Wolves just were outmanned and out-energized for this game. One more Friday night in OKC before they get to come home and reacquaint themselves with home briefly. Grades after the jump. Continue Reading…

Photo by Rudy Burckhardt

It’s not so much that the Wolves have, for the first time in over a decade, beaten the Spurs twice in one year, or that they’ve done the same to the defending champs, or that they’ve won five out of their last seven. This is all great. But what’s really fascinated me is that they’ve managed to win in such routine fashion. This Spurs game, the wins over Sacramento and Detroit; these were just unremarkable mid-season NBA games, games that both teams had solid chances to win and that were resolved not by any miracle comeback or mythic displays of heroism, but simply by slight margins in effort and execution.

I’m aware that this is just what basketball teams do; these anonymous, unobserved wins happen all the time. It’s just slightly miraculous and bewildering that they are actually falling in the Wolves’ favor. (By the way, am I the only one bothered by the lingering anxiety that this could all come crashing suddenly down? Like that the Kevin Love/O.J. Mayo trade will be somehow rescinded, or that Ricky Rubio will be deported for committing identity fraud, or that Rick Adelman will suddenly decide that he needs to spend some time with his family?)

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Well the Western Conference coaches have made up their minds about the All-Star reserves. You can check them out here. One thing you might notice is that Kevin Love is not among those listed. I know that just this morning I prepared us all for this eventuality, and it was certainly gratifying to hear Charles and EJ and Kenny and C-Webb express outrage in their boozily solipsistic, Gentlemen’s-Club-for-bros-y way (and even more gratifying to here the Round Mound refer to himself as a “big black grizzly bear”), but I’m surprised to notice that it still burns me up a little.

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