Dec 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) , guard Luke Ridnour (13) , center Nikola Pekovic (14) , forward Kevin Love (42) , guard Alexey Shved (1) and head coach Rick Adelman during a timeout during against the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Suns 111-107. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

GameNotes: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz

Quarter 1

  •  The biggest story line of today is the absence of Ricky Rubio on this road trip. He is sitting out as a precaution due to back spasms.
  • Good to once again play a team within the Northwest conference. These next few games will have a huge impact on the playoff picture down the road.
  • AK47 with a big homecoming game. Before the Timberwolves, Jazz was the only team he had known and he was a very, very popular player there.
  • Jamal Tinsley with a classic vet inbounds move. He bounced the pass of off Pekovic and took it easily for the quick layup.
  • Marvin Williams play this year has really been pretty good considering how underwhelming he was in Atlanta. To put it simply a 6’10 shooting guard/small forward with his ability should dominate in the NBA.
  • Utah, one of the younger teams in the league have a very unique mix of veterans and youth. They use their vets as starters and primary players (Mo Williams, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap) but retain them for their use as trading chips in a trade to acquire that much coveted star player.
  • Derrick Favors is a poor man’s Anthony Davis. His shot blocking ability and length is really breathtaking, especially in game. His offense game is a bit raw, but he has shown great improvements this year.
  • Will be interesting to see who will help this otherwise stagnate offense kickstart into high gear. On occassion, Barea is really that “Energizer Bunny” player who just runs out their wrecking havoc on defenses.
  • Bench players in with Kevin Love. Love should use this time to focus his shooting and start carrying the team.
Quarter 2
  • Wolves offense goes cold as the shots once again aren’t falling. This super-sized lineup that Adelman is forced to throw out there really puts Minnesota in a hole.
  • Minnesota: 26 Utah: 32
  • Kanter absolutely torching Minnesota by just hustling down the floor before the Wolves’ bigs get down there. Steamer has gotten beat twice now.
  • Both Pek and Love are getting stymied by the length and athleticism of Utah’s front court. Our scoring primarily comes uniquely from within situations created by Adelman’s offense.
  • Wolves seem intent on smashing the ball down the paint and putting up shots till they fall or get a fouled call. May not be that bad off an idea.
  • Minny’s rebounding might be the only factor that they aren’t getting blown out right now.
  • The Jazz are beating Wolves to every loose ball and beating them down the floor. Their set offense isn’t going to very much damage to Minnesota.
Quarter 3
  • Wolves some how only down 8 points despite playing some mediocre basketball. Shved, Pek and Love really have to step their game up.
  • Wolves: 38% Jazz: 53%. Should normalize sometime in the 2nd half.
  • Paul Millsap once again outplaying Kevin Love. He always seems to have a lot of success against Love.
  • Then Love proceeds to go and turn the ball over on the other end of the court. Not a good sequence for him.
  • Minnesota’s energy just seems flat. They are just playing with no emotion or desire. A KG type player would really help here.
  • Wolves going with a odd match up zone to stymie the Jazz. It’s Adelman’s attempt of jump starting this team.
  • The inefficiency at both ends continue for Minnesota. This game just isn’t looking in Minnesota’s favor.
  • Utah: 76 Minnesota: 60
Quarter 4
  • Lou Amundson now getting some playing time. That’s usually either a very good thing or a very bad thing.
  • Wolves idea of pounding it down the lane is getting slapped around by Utah’s post players. They’re just swatting away anything they see.
  • If there’s anything positive to take away from this, Derrick Williams free throw shooting has vastly improved these last few games. He has yet to miss one yet in 4 attempts.

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