We have a new broadcast booth for today’s game and I wasn’t too excited about it. While I enjoy Joel Meyers, he was partnering with someone that I loathe. The analyst for today’s broadcast is none other than Isiah Thomas; one of the more despicable men in the world. Sorry, but I’m not holding back here. I have no idea why NBA TV hired Thomas, or why anyone else would across the league … for ANY position. Please go away for good! (Steps off pedestal)
The first quarter was an even matchup between the two squads. The Wolves were almost perfectly balanced, as the first five baskets were scored by a different player from the starting lineup. In fact, at the end of the first quarter, the Timberwolves held a 23-21 lead with eight different players hitting a basket. That’s a balanced attack.
At the start of the second quarter, Terry Porter joined the broadcast booth. Here are a few tidbits from the discussion:
- Injuries – let’s just move on
- In regard to Gorgui Dieng, Porter said he is from a championship caliber program in Louisville and brings intangibles (blocks shots, rebounds).
- In regard to Muhammad, Porter pointed to the obvious, “He’s a scorer” and then spoke about Luke playing out of position last year, and how Shabazz brings good size to the SG position. (Somewhat interesting comment even if the league is now more about “wings” vs. SG/SF’s.)
- Joel Meyers tried to talk about the Wolves’ struggles shooting and Isiah “Me first” Thomas tried to turn the conversation around to be about him. Shocker.
- When they finally got around to talking about the Wolves, Porter said the team really needed to get shooters around Ricky Rubio.
- After a commercial break, they talked about the continuity between Flip and Coach Adelman.
- Nikola Pekovic news … there is none, but Porter noted how he has gotten better over the past few years in case you weren’t aware.
Moving back to the game, which slowed down a bit, the Wolves took the lead back from the Heat about midway through the quarter. After a three pointer from Lorenzo Brown, the Timberwolves claimed their largest lead of the game, 45-36, with just under two minutes to go in the half. Similar to a lot of quarters so far in Vegas, the Wolves struggled to close out the quarter, missing a few shots and turning the ball over. At halftime, the Wolves held a 45-39 lead, with John Holland leading the team with 10 points.
As Erik Spoelstra joined the broadcast booth, the Miami Heat squad went on a nice little run to start the second half. The Wolves turned the ball over way too much and allowed the Heat to take a 47-45 lead. That seemed to wake up the Wolves, and most specifically Chris Johnson, who had two power dunks to give the team the lead. The remainder of the quarter became the Othyus Jeffers (making buckets) and Luke Sikma (a little bit of everything) show. At the end of the third quarter, the Wolves built a 64-51 lead.
Lorenzo Brown looked terrible on (what I assume to be) a set play to start the fourth quarter. However, after the Heat blocked Brown’s shot, the ball wound up in Brandon Paul’s hands for a three pointer. After another bucket from Paul, the Wolves opened up a 20 point lead, 73-53.
As seen on Monday night, the Wolves let their opponent back in the game over the course of the final frame. The Heat continued to cut into the lead, getting the deficit into single digits with less than three minutes to go. Shabazz struggled to find his shot and turned the ball over in the final few minutes. However, after the Heat cut the lead to seven points, Muhammad answered the call, hitting a three pointer to put the final nail in the coffin. The final score from Las Vegas was 80-71, Timberwolves over the Heat.
The Wolves finish the opening “round” 1-2 and we’ll know later tonight where they fall in the Las Vegas tournament to follow, which starts tomorrow.
You want Three Stars? Here are Game 3’s Three Stars of the Game (Wolves lens only):
- Brandon Paul
- John Holland
- Gorgui Dieng