So...tell me if you've heard this one before. A Frenchman, an Argentine, and a GOATPUFF walk into a Minnesota...The previous three games against Minnesota read like as horrible a joke as I was about to make. Playing them was getting a bit redundant. Oh wait, I said that already? Regardless, we beat them (redundantly) for the fourth time this season and second time this week. See you next season, Timberpups.
And I'll see the rest of you, after the jump.
Pre-warning- The Patriot, featuring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, amongst others, is on television. I am incapable of turning that movie off. I'll be a bit distracted.
So, this kid has a couple slip ups, but I like the voice, and the song, and who doesn't like a good cover every now and then?
In the last recap, I called for us to attack Kevin Love in the post, which we didn't do much of. I also said we were getting open looks and missing, and that Hill needed to start hitting his 3's. We'll see what happens.
Blair with a nice steal, Tony botches the layup.
We open with good execution on both ends, but shots aren't falling- and we're still up 9-2.
I hate playing against Luke Ridnour.
Manu comes out firing off another Blair deflection/steal.
BLAIR BLANK SHOT!!! I mean bank shot.
Minnesota starts to come back- I've got to give some kudos to Brewer, he's the biggest pest I've seen in a long time. He gives them a lot of energy.
Our bigs are in a little bit of foul trouble- we may see Splitter out of necessity. Also, Bonner got fouled on his drive. He's the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA- "No respect."
Someone other than Manu just made a corner 3- it feels like a decade since that happened.
Know what's been missing the past few games? Ball movement. Know what's back so far tonight? Ball movement. And not the "make too many passes then turn it over" ball movement that we have seen a bit of.
BONNER TRE BIEN! Followed by a Bonner drive leading to free throws, which he makes both of. Smooth.
Love can make jumpers. But he can't post up.
GEORGE HILL CORNER THREE!!!!!! Thank you, Gorgeous George.
Good stop on the last possession, even after we switched a screen/roll Bonner did an excellent job staying in front of Flynn and contesting his shot.
Love played wolf (get it?) and stole a Blair outlet pass, and IMO should have gotten called for a charge going for the layup. Blair had position.
Blair guarding Pekovic, doing a good job, over gambled for the steal, and gives up a basket and 1. Blair, if you're going to foul, don't let them score.
Next time down, Blair's 3rd foul...not sure I agree with the call, but whatever. He's played well so far. We'll either have to play small now or play Tiago. My bet? Super small ball with Bonner at the 5, RJ at the 4, and some combo of Neal/Hill/Tony/Manu. The only thing that could spread the floor more? Multiple Bonners. It's my dream to one day have both Luke (a former Austin Toro currently in Europe) and Matt at the same time. I don't think the NBA could handle it.
Nope, Duncan came back in. Darn.
BONNER TTREEEEYYY!!!!! (corner)
Bonner nice bucket off a dish from TP.
BONNER DRIVE AND 1!!! At this point, I think I know who my first star is.
Think Portland still wishes they had Martell Webster now?
Interesting stat on the screen: The Spurs bench plays the second most minutes in the NBA. Wonder who's first.
We just ran 4 down...and Tim looked confused. Kind of like "wait...we still do this? Manu...you're giving me the ball?" End result: Darko in foul trouble. Duncan I think made both of them.
LUKE RIDNOUR GO HOME!! STOP PLAYING WELL RIGHT NOW, AND I MEAN IT!
GEORGE WITH ANOTHER CORNER 3!!
Countered by Martell Webster. What's Brandon Roy doing again?
Another Webster bucket, countered by a RAGE 3.
Ridnour....these things you are doing are making me angry. You've played pretty good D on Tony and SOMEHOW you are scoring. I'm not sure how. I said in my previous recap that the Wolves' need Rubio to turn things around. I take it back. You are sufficient. I won't call you elite or top 10...but at the moment you appear better than average.
Halftime. Thank FSM. This game seems to be dragging.
We're up by 10 and RJ and Bonner are our leading scorers. Tony's got 4 points and 8 dimes...but 3 turnovers. I hate turnovers.
Let's look at how the teams are shooting: Spurs: 56% and 72% FROM 3!!!!! No way we keep this up the whole game, right? right?
They are shooting 40% and 33%.
We've assisted on 17 of our 22 makes. Very nice. Tony has almost half of those. Also, very nice.
They just burned the church and killed all the civilians in the Patriot. Excuse me while I weep.
Brewer hits a 3, RAGE dropped a corner 3.
Blair with a teardrop after an exchange of missed 3's.
Love for 3. Let's give it back to Ridnour.
Technical on Darko.
Manu makes FT
Technical on Rambis
Manu makes FT (this is getting a bit redundant)
Technical on Rambis
Manu makes FT (this is getting a bit redundant)
10 seconds later...Technical on Love
Manu hits free throw. (this is getting...you know what? forget it.)
Love hits a 3.
For the most part, I've been impressed so far with their announcers. They've been mostly impartial. Tommy point for them. And another one for saying "Death, Taxes, and Tim Duncan"
Brewer, Love, and Ridnour are keeping them in this. Love just took a charge...bad decision Tony. That's both a foul, AND a turnover. I disapprove.
McDyess just reminded Love of what he can and cannot do- can: rebound, shoot. Can't: post up. Can you say "rejected"? And it was a hook shot. That's just embarrassing.
We're up by 12. I'm reminded of the final battle scene in the Patriot, in which the undermanned and outmatched American militia executes the perfect ambush, routing the British. I suppose the question for the 4th quarter is who are the British in this analogy? The Pup's just used a pretty big burst of energy to cut the gap after all those techs. They've got to be running out of gas, right? Isn't it time we put a bayonet through their throat? Or perhaps unleash the French?
Beasley scored on Bonner, who returns the favor with a BONNER THREE! He's 3/6 tonight.
Wes Johnson/Martell Webster keeping them in it now. Beasley hasn't done much, but they also haven't really been feeding him. I think his ankle is definitely still giving him problems.
Ridnour hits a 3 (sigh), and either Hill, Neal, or both missed the rotation out there because as soon as he hit it Pop told Manu and Rage to go back in.
I just figured out why I'm not very impressed with Kevin Love. He's being lauded as a "franchise player" type, and he is a rebounding machine, but he's also a jumpshooter who couldn't defend a boot. He's Dirk without a post game (and worse defense) and better rebounding. I'm not impressed.
We're up by 12 with 3 minutes left. I did not see this coming.
Bonner is not a bad defender- and I would wager if he had adequate length he would be a good defender. (I saw what yall did in the game threads. Don't disappoint me here.)
HERE COMES TIAGO!!
Uneventful. We win by 11. 107-96.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, and also sounding like someone commentating for ESPN, I said last game that we needed to get more of our open looks to drop, and that if we made more of them we would win by more. Well, we did, and we did. George FINALLY started hitting his corner 3's again, Bonner lit it up, and for the night we shot 50% from 3. Not too shabby.
Ball movement was the key to the win. We assisted on 28 of our 37 makes. Off the top of my head, thats like 3 out of every 4, and if I'm doing my math right that's a whopping 75%(!!) Tony was the leader there with 13 assists, which is almost half. But he also turned the ball over 6 times. Not OK, Tony.
They only out rebounded us by 1. Good job, Spurs. Love got 20, but who cares? He's got a nose for the ball. Their bench was not very impressive- Martell Webster looked good but Wesley Johnson and Jonny Flynn look like busts at this point.
There's really not much else to say. We finally had our way with the dreaded Timberpuppies.
Now it's time for everyone's favorite: 3 Stars! (I'm pretty sure we stole this from old Hockey Video games)
Honorable Mention: Richard Jefferson. RAGE came out firing, played good D, and hit a barrage of 3's in the first quarter that the Wolves never really recovered from.
3. George Hill- You finally hit your corner 3's, added 4 rebounds and 3 assists and 2 steals. Solid game for our Sixth man.
2. Manu- 19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Oh, and he turned it over 1 less time than last game. I approve, Manu. I approve. But it is a shame, because JRW has a theory about your turnovers and I was wanting to test it. Shucks.
1. MATT BONNER*- The only thing he didn't do tonight was dunk. 16 points, 3-7 shooting from 3 (5-10 overall), and 4 boards.
*If you disagree with this decision, consider it a make-up call for the snub I gave him from last game.