In the preliminary play, the Timberwolves went 1-2 in Las Vegas, good enough for the 13 seed in the tournament that commenced Wednesday. Their opening round opponent tonight was the Sacramento Kings, which affords me the opportunity to hone in on Ben McLemore’s play (the guy I was really hoping the Wolves would land coming out of last month’s draft).
David Adelman sent out the following starting lineup for Wednesday’s game: Kee Kee Clark, Othyus Jeffers, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, and Chris Johnson. The starting frontcourt has been relatively consistent thus far in the tournament, while the backcourt continues to shift around.
With half of the first quarter in the books, both teams remained in single digits on the scoreboard. Maybe they were too tense for the start of the game due to the new bracket format? Maybe it was the three games in three days? Perhaps it is just too much time in Las Vegas. We’ll never know, but what I do know is that the first quarter wasn’t too enjoyable.
Demetri McCamey provided a lift off the bench towards the end of the quarter, including a second three pointer at the buzzer. After the opening frame, the Timberwolves held a 21-10 lead over the Kings. The Kings looked pretty awful, attempting only nine shots the entire quarter.
After the Kings hit double digit points, the Wolves went on an 18-4 run to increase its lead to 32-14, forcing Sacramento to take another timeout. Lorenzo Brown had his first good stint of basketball (in my opinion) during the second quarter, with a quick 4 points, 4 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. The remainder of the second quarter was largely dominated by the Wolves, as they went into the locker room with a 49-23 advantage.
The Wolves came out of the break and continued to roll over the Kings. However, Robbie Hummel rolled an ankle and had to check out of the game. While it didn’t look bad, you hate to see that to him given his history of injuries. In fact, the Wolves PR Twitter account was quick to put this to bed:
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) July 18, 2013
Coach Adelman called a timeout after the Kings went on a small run to cut the Wolves lead down to 25 points. Around the same time, Shabazz’s game took off, as he hit several shots from both inside and outside. Wednesday night was clearly his best performance of the Summer League thus far. Conversely, Ben McLemore had a night to forget: 0-7 from the field, 3 turnovers, and 4 fouls at the end of three quarters; he finished the game with one point, going 0-8 from the field. Speaking of the end of three, the Wolves held a 32 point lead, up 72-40.
Unfortunately, no one from the Timberwolves front office joined the broadcast in the second half / fourth quarter, so we will skip ahead and save some time. The Wolves continued to pour it on in the final frame and won their opening tournament game easily, 92-54. With the win, they will now face the D-League Select team again tomorrow, 7/18 at 7:30PM CT. (My assumption is that Thursday’s game will not be live on NBA TV, given the timeslot and playing at Thomas & Mack Arena.)
Tonight’s Timberwolves Summer League Three Stars of the Game are …
- Shabazz Muhammad
- Demetri McCamey
- Lorenzo Brown