Friday, December 21, 2012

Oklahoma (13-11)

Let's get this straight....the Minnesota Timberwolves won the first quarter 30-11 then contrived to drop the next three quarters....on any other night we are talking collapse..... but not last night as the Wolves maintained a firm grip on OKC's throat and ran out six point victors....how did they do that?

Well....a few things contributed to this victory.

Working my way back to you babe......
Kevin Love....although he took 20 shots to get his 28 points ( nine of those being threes - connecting on four) he looked much more like his old self....still struggling as the game wears on but getting there. I don't buy these excuses that he's still struggling with illness and the hand...it's conditioning...he'll be fine and his shot looked massively better last night,  especially the three ball. He was stepping into it with more confidence. He also had 7 assists...that's a lot of assists.

There could be one other reason for K-Love's part return to form....apparently, according to the dreadful TNT announcers, he had a "clear the air" talk with all the players and staff in which he apologized (?) for things that have happened recently. Conflict Resolution - it's the future!! Nothing like a bit of catharsis to get you going again eh?

Whatever. I'm glad that Love looked much more like the Love we all know...and love.

Fall down 9..get up 10
Then there was Pek who rumbled effectively through three quarters leaving a pile of broken bones (most of which belong to Kendrick Perkins) and another double double on the table....he is still for some unknown reason missing lots of lay ups though...it's mystifying...as the wire wearing Rubio was heard to say, "Chast DANK eet, mayn!". Pek was good.

Kirilenko disturbed Durant, we all expected he might. Sure Durant got his 30+ points but outside of he and the odious Westbrook OKC had nothing much really. Ibaka had some blocks and a handful of points. AK47 made Durant work for every single bucket and was the main reason he missed 9 of his 21 attempts. Durant got teched up late in the game and I think we could all see that it was borne from frustration. Durant wasn't getting the volume of support Lebron did on Tuesday.

Shved and Barea were the shining lights of the backcourt as Rubio continues to bed back in.

Alexey Shved had a really good bounce back night after being torn to bits by Despicable Dwyane on Tuesday. This shows a lot of guts against, arguably, the best team in the league. Not just guts either...after hitting some early open jumpers ( two of them long threes) he went a bit cold so he reverted to his passing game and started finding open teammates in scoring positions...12 times he did that....who says he's not a quick learner? Smart boy.

Everything's gonna be alright.....
I save the last word for Jose Juan Barea. He can be infuriating at times but what I've learned to do is say to myself, "Would you rather he was playing against you?" most of the time that answer would be "Nope". JJ has found some consistent form and seems to be much more at ease within the Adelman system this season...he takes what it gives him more often than not...and so far he's doing a good job. The fourth quarter last night was a great moment for him...14 points, threes raining in....poetry.

I must admit I was always expecting OKC to come roaring back into this game but they didn't. The Wolves were never headed, not once. It wasn't thrilling basketball but it was extremely satisfying to watch our team close things out in the manner they did. Onto the Big Apple...let's take a huge chunk of that.