Game Notes: Raptors vs. Timberwolves


1st Quarter

  • Minnesota will have to make sure that they don’t fall into a trap against this much improved Toronto team. With defensive guru Dwayne Casey leading them, you can bet that they solid defensively.
  • This pretty unique, Andrei Kirilenko is actually looking for his own shot and is driving hard to the hoop. I guess playing against a poor defender like Andrea Bargnani will make anyone look good.
  • Derrick could potentially go off if they continue to put him against Bargnani or Derozan. He is a mismatch for both of them and should be able to get to the hoop either way.
  • JJ Barea really is looking like the savior of this team while Love and Rubio are down. His aggressiveness and leadership skills will really pay off as this game goes on. His penetration is just another bonus.

2nd Quarter:

  • The Wolves need Shved to really understand how NBA offenses work. He just seems so caught up in trying to finesse his way through everything.
  • Looks like JJ Barea just sustained a pretty mean looking concussion from Dante Cunningham’s foot. Hopefully, it isn’t too serious.
  • Can’t tell if it’s bad referees or the Wolves are being over aggressive but there are a lot of calls coming from too much contact. Hopefully, both parties adjust.
  • The aggressiveness of this Toronto team is really overwhelming the Minnesota defense. Outside of Pekovic, there isn’t too much raw strength on this team.
  • Again, the bonus is really coming in handy for the Timberwolves. If they keep exploiting this, there will be many easy points for them.
  • This Toronto is really ferocious on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve already forced 20 points of turnovers and that number will only increase. Along with Minnesota, they’ll be a force to watch in a few years.
  • The athleticism of Toronto will really hurt players like Kirilenko and Roy who don’t exactly have the most athletic bodies int he league.
  • Roy looks absolutely atrocious. He is neither athletic enough to guard Derozan or attack him off the dribble. Apparently he can’t pass now either.
  • Wolves are now spontaneously imploding in every facet of the game. How this isn’t a complete blowout is beyond me. Somehow, they are only down by 9.

3rd Quarter

  • This will be the first real time where Rick Adelman and company have made adjustments. Against the Pistons and Sacramento, the Wolves have been flat coming out of the gate.
  • Jonas Valanciunas is going to be a great player someday. Unfortunately his offensive game is not quite where his defensive one is.
  • Pekovic might not be making that many baskets, but he has been an absolute foul magnet this couple of games.
  • Can’t tell what the proper adjective for Roy’s drives are. Still deciding between sluggish and smooth.
  • One of the coaches really lit something under Derrick Williams. He is really getting to the hoops this quarter.
  • While everyone has been criticizing the massive contract Derozan received, he really is earning it this game. Being that prototypical athletic slasher is exactly what Toronto needs from him and Derozan performs admirably.
  • Ridnour is really straying from his typical steady self. Uncharacteristically poor passes and missing wide open jumpers have really hurt this offense.
  • With Pekovic out, it’ll be really interesting to see who steps up and scores. If anyone at all…

4th Quarter

  • Would much rather see Malcolm Lee than Will Conroy as a backup for Ridnour. While I suppose his passing skills are superior, Lee’s defense would be welcome against the streaking Kyle Lowry.
  • The Minneapolis native Allen Anderson is really playing well. Not only his shooting but also creating shots for cutting teammates.
  • Dante Cunningham is going to win us a game just from pure hustle. Maybe not today, but one of these games is going to be decided .
  • What might be the biggest problem with the Wolves today is their hands seem to be deserting them. Even Pekovic is losing his grip on normally easy entry passes.
  • Shved is finally leading the offense. Seemed only a matter of time before Adelman relented and allowed him to see what he can do within its confines.
  • Looks like the Wolves have given up early as they substitute in Will Conroy, Malcolm Lee, and Amundson with just a few minutes to go. The schedule doesn’t get any easier after this, as the Wolves travel to take on the Brooklyn Nets. Hopefully, having Barea back will help soften the blow.
  • This Toronto team is going places. They are very young, very talented and rarest of all for a young team, play extremely good defense. Hopefully, injuries and contract issues don’t decimate an otherwise talented core of players.