Oklahoma City escaped with a 109-107 victory last night. Darko was in the house and surprised I think just about everyone. Despite OKC Thunder analyst Grant Long’s grossly overstated comment that Darko is flat out not good enough to play in the NBA and has never shown one flash of talent since he was drafted, Darko played very well. In fact he played so well that it was he and not Big Al who was on the floor at the end of the game. In 19 minutes on the floor Darko scored 8 points, grabbed 8 boards, and dished out two beautiful assists. Now I would love to say Darko was the biggest surprised last night but he wasn’t. The biggest surprise was a two part shocker in my opinion.
First part was the fact the Wolves actually put up a fight despite clearly not having as much talent as the Thunder. The second part of the surprise was the fact the Wolves did this with their bench and not their starters. There was not a single T-Wolves starter with a positive plus/minus last night. The starter’s combined plus/minus was negative 107. Led by Kevin Love’s 19 point and 14 reound effort, the bench had a combined plus/minus of plus 97.
Aside from Kevin Love and Darko there were a couple more individuals who stuck out including Damien Wilkins. Damien dropped 18 points off the bench in 27 minutes on 7 of 12 shooting. Jonny Flynn looked very aggressive offensively while scoring 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting. His assist to turnover ratio was not very good but as a whole he still looked very solid. Corey Brewer seemed to force it offensively but still managed 18 points. It was defensively where Brewer struggled the most, then again who wouldn’t struggle trying to defend KD?
Anyway it was a bitter pill to swallow, but can’t complain too much when you almost beat a vastly more talented team who also happens to be the hottest team in the NBA. Here are the highlights from last night’s loss: