Wolves Wrap: Nuggets Embarrass Timberwolves, 100-85


Putrid. Filthy. Disgusting. Whichever synonym you wish to use for the word “repulsive,” it will probably perfectly describe the Timberwolves’ play tonight.

The Wolves played a pretty decent first quarter and led 19-12 at one point, but the Nuggets went on a 38-16 run over the next 12:54 to take a commanding lead and ultimately won 100-85 at Target Center.

The Timberwolves have issues, man. I wasn’t expecting .800 play after the KG trade, hell, I wasn’t even expecting above-.500 play. But I was at least hoping to see some real, tangible improvement.

I mean, seriously. The Nuggets had won a whopping three of their last 19 games entering tonight. They just fired their head coach. Their players were heard breaking a huddle with “1-2-3…six weeks,” appearing to be counting down to the end of the season. But I digress.

Yeah, some might say losing is the best thing for this team right now. But not in this way. The Wolves have a miserable losing culture and have been losers for 11 years and counting.

Possibly the most telling stat from tonight’s loss is the fact that the Nuggets best player didn’t even score and they still kicked 20 different kinds of crap out of the Wolves. Ty Lawson finished with 0 points on 0-9 shooting.

Andrew Wiggins, fresh off receiving his fourth consecutive Western Conference Rookie of the Month award, and KG were big reasons the Wolves got off to a hot start. Wiggy scored 10 points on 5-8 shooting in the first quarter, and KG had five points and five boards.

The Wolves’ debacle began when Garnett took his first break from action. He left the game with the Wolves up 19-12, and when he returned, the young pups trailed 41-32.

Wiggins’ promising start didn’t turn into much, as he scored just 10 more points after the first quarter. He took eight shots in the first and only eight the rest of the way. I just don’t get that — especially in a game where no one, and I mean no one, was playing well for the Timberwolves.

Ricky Rubio‘s shooting continues to be cause for concern. He had another dismal night from the field (4-13) and is now shooting 23-78 (29.5%) over his last seven games. He also continued his recent trend of making a couple boneheaded turnovers every night.

Star of the Game

Kenneth Faried – 18 points (8-14 FG) 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

The Manimal lived up to his nickname tonight as he dominated down low. Gorgui Dieng, Nikola Pekovic, and Adreian Payne were helpless trying to defend him.

It wasn’t quite the 26 point, 25 rebound effort he posted vs. Minnesota on December 26, but it certainly got the job done.

Tweet of the Night

Yeah, it didn’t turn.

Stat of the Night

The Nuggets used the 3 to help run away tonight, shooting 8-19 (42.1%) from beyond the arc. Denver entered the game as the league’s worst 3-point shooting team at 31.2%.

Denver was led by reserve Will Barton (2-4), Danilo Gallinari (3-6), and ex-Timberwolf Randy Foye (2-2) from downtown. Those three players are shooting 30.6%, 32.4%, and 31% on 3s this season, respectively.

Notable Lines

  • Andrew Wiggins: 20 points (8-16 FG, 4-8 FT), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
  • Kevin Garnett: 11 points (5-6 FG, 1-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
  • Will Barton: 17 points (6-11 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals

Who’s Got Next?

The Timberwolves host the Portland Trailblazers Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Wolves and Blazers split their first two meetings this season with each squad winning on its home court. Portland has dominated the series of late as it has won 25 of its last 29 games vs. the Timberwolves.

This is just a gut feeling, but look for the Wolves to bounce back on Saturday. I can imagine KG had some harsh words for the team after tonight’s performance, and the players will come out ready to go vs. a superior Blazers team.