Still giddy over the Wolves win over the Magic Wednesday night, my favorite thing from the box score is Kevin Martin’s line. Not Kevin Love’s superhuman 31 points and 17 rebounds, not Ricky Rubio’s 11 assists and 3 steals, but Kevin Martin’s 23 points on 19 shots.Some folks will complain that shots for Martin will come at some other highly paid component’s expense, and in this case they came from Nikola Pekovic. Pek took eight less shots than Martin to make only one less — but that’s not my point.
The point is Kevin Martin shot the ball craptastically, by his standards (44% career field goal percentage, 45% last year, 31% last night) and yet he still managed some production out there. When is the last time a Wolves’ shooting guard managed that?
Three assists, a turnover and some silly bad defense does not a complete player make, but let’s put on our Wolves glasses and look at this through the lens of undersized backcourts. Martin got to the line nine times and showed the ability to finish through contact. Last (two) year’s starting two-guard, Luke Ridnour, got there eight times in a game only twice all of last season — while he got posted up by guys like Martin when he wasn’t shooting mid-range jumpers and getting tossed around like a Barea. (Who also looked good for stretches yesterday…)
The general lack of quality perimeter scoring I’ve witnessed as a Wolves fan has me believing that maybe allowing Martin some time to find Pek for a few duck-in layups in the post will happen with time. In the meantime, the Wolves and their fans should be giddy after the first quarter 38-point explosion last night. Love looks back. The 3s will be hoisted. Let’s see how the plan changes as we head on to game number two…