Jan 5, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman looks on during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Target Center. The Blazers won 102-97. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

GameNotes: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks


Quarter 1

  • Minnesota will go into this game without the services of Kevin Love and Rick Adelman. Love will be out a “number of weeks” according to David Kahn while Adelman is off on a personal leave.
  • Wolves also signed Lazar Hayward, again, to a 10-day contract.
  • Hawks are one of those teams that when you first look at them don’t seem to dangerous, but as a result of good roster construction, are a stealth contender for a championship. They rely on an exceptional group of shooters (Korver, Lou Williams, Jenkins and Morrow) to balance out their flashy frontcourt of Josh Smith and Al Horford.
  • Wolves holding their own as the Hawks are struggling to generate any semblance of offensive flow.
  • Rubio’s return might be the saving grace of the Wolves once this game is over.
  • Jon Jenkins might have been the steal of the draft. For where he was drafted his production far outweighs his counterparts.

Quarter 2

  • Wolves with a surprisingly large lead as they are just simply executing the Corner offense to perfection.
  • Derrick Williams seems to just feast off Rubio’s assists. Ricky might be the motivation that D-Will needs to come into his own.
  • One player who has been doing surprisingly well is Greg Stiemsma. His rebounding, which is usually quite bad for a center, has been more than adequate today.
  • Wolves going up by double digits on a struggling Atlanta team.
  • If this pace is repeatable, the Wolves should have themselves a blueprint for victory.
  • Understated in all this madness is the Wolves rock solid defense. Once again, they are forcing teams into contested mid range jumpers.
  • Ricky Rubio already has 7 assists in just 10 minutes. Those per36 numbers have to be looking pretty inflated right now.
  • Steamer starting to become a real force as he throws down a thundering alley oop to put the Wolves up 52-36.
  • Even when Minnesota is missing shots, they are wide open looks that normally would be converted. This offense is really clicking right now.
  • Wolves close out the quarter with a brilliant inbounds play to Pekovic. Terry Porter is really pushing for a head coaching gig somewhere in the NBA.
Quarter 3
  • Dante Cunningham’s ability to just cause general havoc on the defensive end is widely under appreciated by the NBA. Good thing the Wolves recognize it.
  • Wolves will once again try to avoid their periodical 2nd quarter meltdown. They are one of the worst teams in the league at holding onto their leads, primarily attributed to their high roster turnover and short rotations.
  • Minnesota is currently sporting a very svelte 18-3 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Hawks come aggressively with a full court trap to generate a few turnovers.
  • Refs starting let the game get a bit physical as both teams take it hard to the rim to no avail.
  • Pekovic just dominating the 6-10 Horford. The Hawks big man is very talented, but he just doesn’t have the body to stay in front of big Pek.
  • Hawks chip this lead down to 9 points.
  • Minnesota’s turnovers are starting to add up as easy points for ATL. Need to cut those down to stem this decreasing lead.
  • For such a streaky shooter, Shved sure does have a beautiful stroke. For him, it’s more about finding the perfect medium for shot selection.
  • A couple of quick shots get the Wolves’ lead back into double digits.
  • Kind of odd not to see D-Will in yet. He had a surprisingly good 1st half.
  • And on cue, he appears.
  • Anthony Tolliver sighting! He has really struggled to establish a foothold in Atlanta after a decent career in Minnesota.

Quarter 4

  • Ricky’s defense is once again underrated as he just shut down Lou Williams. Terrific play.
  • Wolves with a surprisingly solid 3rd quarter and hope to do the same in the 4th.
  • Minnesota executing a textbook press break. The passing was exactly what coaches dream of.
  • Hawks on a mission to foul out the entire Wolves bench. So far they’re coming pretty close as they already go into the bonus.
  • Wolves not helping out their own case as they are playing some pretty bad basketball. The off-ball movement is more or less non existent.
  • Lou Williams is starting to take this game over. For what Atlanta got him for, he’s outperforming his contract.
  • Every time the Hawks get close, it seems some Wolves player is hitting a big shot. Good to see some semblance of offensive competency.

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves