Live from Target Center its… Game Notes: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings


Oct 13, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved (1) against the Chicago Bulls at the Target Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Bulls 82-75. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Quarter 1:

  • The Minnesota fan base seems absolutely pumped that the NBA season might finally be a happy one for their team. Also the fact that their is currently no NHL team might have a huge impact on it too.
  • Derrick Williams is really over matched by Jason Thompson, who himself is an underachieving player. If he can’t hold up against an average player like Thompson, the other power forwards of the NBA will definitely have their way with him.
  • Just a few minutes into the quarter and the Wolves are already in the bonus. This is definitely something that wouldn’t have happened last year.
  • The double and triple teams are already happening with Pekovic. He already has made some good passes out of them but will have to continue to do so for this team to be successful.
  • Interesting that Shved came off the bench before JJ Barea and preseason star Dante Cunningham. He must have earned his spot during the practices.
  • Having a change of pace guard like Barea will definitely help jump start the Wolves when their shooting runs cold.
  • What’s great about the more expansive offense that the Timberwolves run is that it caters to each players strong spot.  For example, Cunningham is set up around the top of the key where his pick and pop jumper will be more useful. Budinger hovers more into the corner, where an open 3 is more likely available.

Quarter 2:

  • I’m still not sure what Stiemsma’s role will be for the season, but for now it seems as a defensive counterpart for Pekovic. His shotblocking will definitely help against a team like the Lakers or Spurs.
  • Thomas Robinson is doing what Derrick Williams was supposed to be: active, athletic defender with an aggressive offensive game.
  • Alexey Shved looks half clueless and half genius. When coming off the pick and roll his court vision allows him to see plays that normally wouldn’t be there, but at the same time he is not used these athletic defenders.
  • Unfortunately for the Kings fans, Cousins looks to be done for the half with 3 fouls. There’s some of the immaturity showing up again.
  • Smarter players = smarter plays. As simple as that sounds, just watching this Kings team will make any coach pull their hair out.
  • Kirilenko is really the godsend of this free agent class. He understands how to play the game and can execute. While he may never take over a game scoring wise, he can potentially dominate everywhere else.
  • The Wolves looks bounds and leaps better than last year. Switching on screens and hedging? Last seen 04-05.
  • As much as I like Brandon Roy, he really looks timid. I’ve read stories about how he’s nervous about playing again, but this team really needs that cold blooded scorer again.
  • Wolves end the half leading by 50-41 but it should be way more than that. Defensive lapses and lack of offensive movement is starting to show.

3rd Quarter:

  • Minnesota might need to break out Malcolm Lee in order to stop the Kings’ point guards from penetrating. Jimmer Fredette looked like Tony Parker against Ridnour.
  • Cousins just picked up his fourth foul. Seems determined to avoid Pekovic.
  • As atrocious as Luke is at defense, he does has some mighty quick hands. Almost his saving grace.
  • Derrick Williams is pretty adept at getting to the room, but is having trouble elevating once there. His patented “mud runs” are really hurting the Wolves. If he simply learned to tip the ball in, he would probably have 10 points.
  • Both of the Kings’ big men have 4 fouls. Pek anyone? As I type this, Cousins already picked up another foul.
  • The bench is really helping straighten the ship after a strong Kings’ run. Barea and Cunningham are really starting gel within Adelman’s corner offense.
  • It might be the first time in recent Minnesota basketball history when the bench came to help correct the mistakes of the starting  lineup.

4th Quarter:

  • It’ll be interesting to see how Minny finishes this game, especially since both Love and Rubio are out. Brandon Roy is one of this generation’s great closers, but he seems just a shell of himself.
  • Budinger really has to get more involved in this offense. His shooting and finishing ability are exactly what this team needs to put Sacramento away.
  • With the new flopping rules, it looks like JJ’s pocketbook might be a bit lighter this year.
  • If Sacramento wants to put out Chucky Hayes and Cousins, the Timberwolves should definitely put out Pekovic out with Steamer.
  • The scoring for the Wolves has been really spread out with Barea leading with 16 and Kirilenko supporting with 10. Everyone else seems to be right around 8 points.
  • Has someone checked if Kirilenko isn’t a human scarecrow. His arms are always in the middle of someone’s passing lane.
  • The free throw disparity is really saving the Wolves. Pair that with vast amount of boneheaded plays that the Kings’ are making and you have a recipe for a win.
  • It’s interesting to see Roy in a closing role again. His drives to basket and hockey assist to Pek pretty much put the game away late.
  • Looking ahead of this schedule, the Wolves really got a break here with an easy start. Hopefully it matches up with the return dates for Love and Rubio.