NBA Preseason: Timberwolves 95 – Pistons 76

1974 called and they apparently wanted their NBA League Pass back.  There is very little in the world that annoys me more than clearing my calendar for something/anything and then having said event blow up in my face.  This is exactly what happened for tonight’s game against the Pistons.  There was absolutely no TV coverage for tonight’s game – nothing on League Pass through Cablevision, League Pass Broadband, or any back alley channel.  Yes, you can read between the lines on that last one.

I wasn’t even able to get the Twolves radio broadcast, as that wasn’t an option through NBA.com.  Therefore, tonight’s game recap comes from listening to the Detroit Pistons radio broadcast and something called “NBA TV Companion” that I found on NBA.com.  My blood boiled for about twenty minutes because of all of this and then I realized that my fantasy basketball draft was about to start in an hour …

Tonight’s starters for the Wolves were Ridnour, Roy, Kirilenko, Williams, and Pekovic – the likely starting lineup for the season opener against Sacramento.  The Pistons started the game with Knight, Stuckey, Prince, Maxiell, and Monroe.  As what could/should have been expected, the Pups jumped out to a strong start, with a 19-6 run that saw Pekovic put up a monster 8 points & 7 rebounds in the first 10 minutes of action.  Are Pekovic’s odds of making the All-Star team closing in on 33% or so?

Aside from Pek’s first quarter brilliance, the Twolves dominance remained intact through the remainder of the game thanks to the efforts of Dante Cunningham and Chase Budinger.  While the Pups backcourt members struggled to hit shots, Cunningham and Budinger provided the necessary spark to ensure this game never got too interesting.  Cunningham provided an active body going for 12 points and 14 rebounds.  Chase was 5-8 from beyond the arc and finished with 21 points.

A relatively quick update on the most polarizing player on the roster this preseason, Derrick Williams.  As mentioned, he got the nod in the starting rotation tonight and had a decent first quarter and finished the game with 18 points.  That said, the 2 rebounds that he totaled isn’t going to cut it for this team in November and December.  I think Big Al is one of the few promoters left on this bandwagon.  I hope he turns it around, but every game that passes makes me less and less optimistic.  He has the keys to the car and needs to make something happen.  Dante Cunningham will continue to eat into DWill’s minutes if he can’t show vast improvement and consistent play/effort.

Tonight’s (pretty obvious) three stars of the game:

  1. Dante Cunningham
  2. Chase Budinger
  3. Nikola Pekovic

The Wolves play their last preseason game this Friday in Green Bay, Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Let’s go Wolves!