Wolves 108, Kings 103
"Finally." That was the first word out of Randy Wittman's mouth at the post-game press conference Wednesday night. And why not? It sucks to start a season with a prolonged losing streak, even a season that everyone is preemptively chalking up to a rebuilding effort.
Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine the Wolves winning too many more games like this one. Here's the problem: Pretty much every T-Wolf had a good--or at least decent--outing. And they beat the Sacramento Kings (1-5 against the rest of the league, with their only win coming against the lowly Supersonics) by five points. At home.
You can go right down the list. -Rashad McCants had 33 points on 13 of 22 shooting, including 4 of 7 from downtown. -Al Jefferson was fantastic in the low post, shooting 11 of 16 for 23 points, to go along with 7 boards and 3 blocks. -'Toine hit half his shots for 19 points and gave up only one turnover. -Marko actually ran the point effectively in the second half, didn't shoot too much (2 of 6 for 9 points), and picked up 8 boards. -Even Chris Richard, in less than four minutes of action, hit a bucket and picked up an offensive rebound.
It's a simple point, but a sobering one: Good teams find ways to win on off nights. The T-Wolves picked up their first win in game where pretty much everyone contributed.
Well, except for Gerald Green, who never got in the game. But even the normally surly-looking benchman was seen doling out a couple high-fives, and helping Ratliff up from his supine position when the big man was called back to battle.
Don't get me wrong. It's great that they won. It's certainly more fun for everyone when they do. All's I'm saying is, don't hold your breath for the next W.
Favorite Moment: With the Wolves up 96-90 and just over two minutes remaining, Brad Miller made an ill-advised pass into the paint. Reading it all the way, Rashad McCants picked it off, dribbled the length of the floor, and finished with a nifty finger-roll. It iced the game, and it was only fitting that it was McCants--who was hitting from pretty much everywhere, all night long--that made the decisive play.
A pattern? T-Wolves' record in games where Al Jefferson scores a double-double: 0-5 T-Wolves' record in games where Al Jefferson does not score a double-double: 1-0
Trillion Report No trillions to report tonight. Oddly, though, in what turned out to be Antoine Walker's most productive game since joining the Wolves, he started the game with a five trillion.
Locker Room Notes: Speaking of 'Toine, it was just a few days ago, after registering his first career DNP-CD, when he told the Strib that "I don't know what I'm doing here."
Thirty minutes of playing time later, and it's all "I'm here to help the team" and "I get the situation with Craig." (Craig Smith was out for the game with a turned ankle, enabling Walker to get all that playing time).
In a league full of epic tattoos, Rashad McCants has a couple that stand out for sheer self-important amazingness. The tats in questions are prominently displayed on each of Shaddy's million-dollar arms. On the right: Born To Be Hated. On the left: Dying To Be Loved.
Which brings up an important issue: The NBA is home to some remarkable tattoos. Perhaps it's time we had an NBA all-tattoo team?
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