GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Everybody, Back on the Bandwagon!

The Wolves had what very well might have been a statement win against Seattle, but it wouldn't have meant much if they had walked into Portland and shown the same lethargy they've shown through most of the first half of the season. Fortunately, they didn't. They came out and played hard-nosed intense basketball from start to finish (with only a small lapse during the 3rd quarter). A few things worthy of note:

Defense, Defense, Defense

The Wolves played probably their best defense of the season, holding the Blazers to only 83 points. The 26 points they gave up during the 3rd quarter can be largely attributed to sloppy offense, which lead to easy fast break opportunities. Other than that, the Wolves brought defensive intensity the whole game.

In the first quarter, KG caused what has to be the most errant layup I've ever seen in an NBA game. Ruben "The Rapist" Patterson was on a fast break coming down the left side of the court. KG stayed right with him the whole way. By the time he got to the basket, he was forced into trying to make a difficult shot with his left hand. He put the ball up and over the backboard--never coming anywhere near the basket. I laughed and laughed.


He's playing the best basketball right now that I've ever seen him play. The past few years when he's tried to put the ball on the floor he's been a liability to turn it over. This year, he's been much better. The main difference is that he's more decisive when he has the ball now. He's not jut dribbling around aimlessly looking for something to open up. He takes the ball and heads straight for the basket. If something goes wrong, he picks up the ball and shoots or passes it back out.

After the Sonics game, KG told Wally that he'd never seen him that aggressive. Me either.

Freddy Zoidberg

Remember how good he was at the beginning of the year and how everybody was talking about him? Then, his minutes started getting cut down and he became a non-factor. He seems to be making a comeback now, playing very solidly in his last two games. He played very well shooting 5-8 from the field and collecting 3 steals on defense, including a big hustle steal that helped us seal the deal. Something tells me after his performance tonight he'll be getting more minutes again.

I think Freddy is really good for what the Wolves need right now. He's a solid player who plays good defense. He's also fairly tall at 6'5". This helps with rebounding and also allows him to guard some bigger players. Unlike many of the Timberwolves players, he doesn't need to take a lot of shots, but he can hit the three when he's open. This type of player is exactly the kind of player the Wolves have been lacking.

The Bench and the Starters

It's funny how the Wolves used to have the problem with too many scorers in its starting lineup, and now the bench seems to have all of our scorers. With Cassell out and Sprewell ineffective, our starting lineup has been the defensively oriented Carter/Hassell /Sprewell /Garnett /Johnson. A very solid defensive lineup, but KG is pretty much the only scoring threat. Flip may have over-compensated slightly, but it should be quite well balanced once Sam gets back into the mix.

This leaves our bench to do the bulk of the scoring. Against Seattle they scored a franchise record 72 points and last night they scored 59. Funny how this has happened.