GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Look Out Western Conference, Here Come the Timberwolves

The Wolves took another solid step forward toward becoming the team everybody thought they could be. The would have been a blowout, had it not been for an absolutely horrendous 3rd quarter, during which the Wolves didn't make a field goal for the last 9:10.

But before I go any further, I've gotta give props to my boy Eddie G. Last night, he missed a triple-double by 3 blocks. This makes the seventh consecutive game where he's had at least 3 blocks. From

"I feel great with Eddie behind me," Hudson said, smiling. "When I get beat off the dribble, I'm like, so what? Eddie's going to block it."

This is sort of funny because it partially explains how Eddie's been able to get so many blocks. Troy is always getting beat off the dribble. I just hope it doesn't cause Troy to rely on Eddie too much.

Back to the game. In the first half, the Wolves looked absolutely amazing. Their offense was slow starting out (as has become tradition), but our defense was fantastic. Eventually, our reserves came in and helped us out. Before you knew it, we had a 14 point lead.

Then, the third quarter came around. It was painful to watch for a number of reasons. First, it was painful to watch us blow our huge lead and just not be able to score. Secondly, it seemed like a foul was called on almost every possession. It got to the point where you couldn't even breathe on the other team without being called for a foul.

This really slowed the pace of the game and played right into the Pistons hands. It's not because the Pistons are a particularly good free throw shooting team (Benny Wallace is shooting 42% on the season), but because it's the kind of pace the Pistons like to play. They like the slow half-court game where they can set up their defense. This means that when whenever the Wolves weren't at the free throw line, they were left to face the tough Detroit defense.

The other thing that really plagued the Wolves through the entire game was the offensive rebounding of the Pistons. On just about every missed shot, the Pistons seemed to have 2 or 3 guys there trying to collect the garbage. The way to try and counteract that is to fast break at every opportunity you get. It would have been nice to see the Wolves do more of that. Had they been able to, they probably would have won the game easily. The problem was, the Pistons were rebounding so well and so aggressively that it was hard for the Wolves to come up with a clean rebound. A lot of the rebounds they got were balls that they had to tip, or balls that got knocked out of bounds by the Pistons, which left plenty of time for Detroit to get back on defense.