Notes Before Tipoff — Pups at Toronto Raptors

Monday – Unable to overcome CSKA Moscow’s red hot start, despite rallying back from almost 20-points down in the first half, the Pups were defeated in overtime — 108-106.

Ricky Rubio scooped up the tip and passed it to the wing; From there Martin then made a hesitation move, beat his man off-the-dribble and proceeded with a running jumper in the lane — the ball deflected off backboard, clanked off the rim and into the hands of CSKA’s Alexander Kaun. This about sums up how the starting offense went about their business trying to score on Monday night. Nearly four-minutes went by before the Wolves first bucket from the field, a 15-foot jumper by our beloved Spanish PG.

Positives

  • Corey Brewer made three-breakaway layups after gambling, getting behind the defense and corralling long outlet passes from Love and Rubio. He also hit a corner-three, where he’s at his best — he was 1-3 from 3pt range.
  • Nikola Pekovic, introduced as ‘The Godfather’, looked as powerful and healthy as we’ve seen him in the past — scoring 8-points on 4 of 8 shooting and grabbing 7-boards.
  • Kevin Love displayed the passing ability Rick Adelman wants to see more of this season — tallying 5-assists.
  • Though Kevin Martin was inefficient from the field (5 of 15 FG, 1 of 4 3PT) he gave fans a look at what a shooting guard is supposed to play like, he scored 15-points by being aggressive and drawing contact  — getting to the line. “K-Mart” converted 5 of 8 from the charity stripe.
  • Derrick Williams scored 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting and 7 of 12 from the charity stripe. He was the Wolves’ superstar in the fourth quarter, though he tried to make the highlight reel on a few occasions in which just making the right play would have meant points rather than a lost possession.

 

 

Will we see more from these two Rookies? (Photo Credit: Minnesota Timberwolves)

Will we see more from these two Rookies? (Photo Credit: Minnesota Timberwolves)

 

Things to know for tonight.

  • Toronto defeated the Celtics in their preseason opener, 97-89 Monday in Boston.
  • It’s expected Steve Novak will make his Raptor debut, he’s a three-point specialist coming over from the New York Knicks during the offseason.
  • Dwane Casey is head coach of the Raptors, he replaced Kevin McHale  as the Timberwolves head from 05-07 and was fired with an overall record of 53-69

The Raptors Jonas Valanciunas is a beast

  • Member of the All NBA Rookie 2nd team last season.
  • Averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds during the Las Vegas Summer League — also named MVP of LVSL
  • Led Lithuania to a Silver Medal at this summer’s Eurobasket
  • Scored 10 points and 10 rebounds in Monday’s win over the Celtics
  • Will matchup against Pek, rumor has it Raptor fans think he’s up to the task.

 

The game starts in a few minutes, though there is no local TV or Radio Broadcast.

Because we didn’t see Dante Cunningham or J.J. Barea – I expect to see them get time tonight.

Also, training camp invites A.J. Price and Othyus Jeffers played most of the fourth quarter on Monday, maybe Rick Adelman will choose to see more of Gorgui Dieng and Chris Johnson — going from guards to bigs with the playing time. Just a thought.

Follow @timberpupsblog as I’ll either be RT’ing updates or finding a stream to keep you in the know.

 

-ZB