Heading into Monday night’s matchup against the Utah Jazz, the Wolves were 15-58, so by the laws of Loserville, USA, they subsequently fell to 15-59. The game was uncompetitive from the get-go and provided little value to Timberwolves fans, other than being another opportunity to watch rising star Andrew Wiggins. The injury report included Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Gorgui Dieng, Nikola Pekovic (out for season), Kevin Garnett, and Gary Neal.
The only thing that kept me captivated this game was listening for “Play like clowns for Towns” chants to make their way through Target Center. To start out the first quarter the Wolves brought out Zach Lavine, Wiggins, Adrein Payne, Lorenzo Brown, and some excuse for an NBA player in a guy named Justin Hamilton. That lineup was the most disappointing one I’ve seen since watching the roast of Justin Beiber. The Jazz countered with Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, Trevor Booker, Dante Exum, and Rodney Hood.
The first quarter mimicked what we have previously seen over the past few weeks, consisting of a young, injured team in desperate need of their injury-riddled teammates on the floor in order to function properly. The Target Center was treated to a boring opening twelve minutes that did little more than fueling a mini Gobert vs. Wiggins rivalry that would prove to be a somewhat intriguing matchup. The Wolves trailed 18-25 at the end of 1.
The second quarter was the only part of the game that I’ll value beyond tonight, as Wiggins threw in a few highlight-reel plays that juiced the crowd. In a game of two teams not going anywhere, Andrew Wiggins did the seemingly impossible by posterizing the 7’1″ Gobert (7’8.5″ wingspan), but the French center returned the favor on a following possession by promptly rejecting Wiggins. It was a series that demonstrated the bright futures of each player, and rejuvenated a lifeless crowd for a brief moment. The first half ended with the score 50-40 in favor of Utah.
The start of the third quarter was where the game got seriously depressing, as the Jazz went on a 14-0 run to put their lead at 24. This is the point in the game where most teams would bench their starters in favor of their scrubs, but given that the Wolves started the game with scrubs, they simply had to battle through it like they have most of the season where most teams put in scrubs, and try to rest starters. LaVine used the third quarter to practice his ill-advised early shot clock long-two pointers, while the Jazz piled on the fast break points. Ubiquitous dysfunction from Minnesota helped their quest for more ping pong balls come draft time. The game ultimately ended in a 104-84 loss.
News & Notes
- Minnesota used their 27th starting lineup this year, a franchise record.
- Zach LaVine led the team with 21 points, despite not impressing me at all.
- With Pekovic out for the season it will be interesting to see if we have seen the last of him in a Wolves jersey.
- Andrew Wiggins yet again showed he will be a superstar with his poster dunk of Rudy Golbert.
- Gobert scored 15 points and had 11 boards leading the Jazz to the win.
What’s next: The Wolves will host the Raptors at 7 p.m. Wednesday night helping this nightmarish season come to a close. The Raptors will be coming in looking to help their playoff position, so don’t be surprise if the Wednesday’s results aren’t too different from Monday’s.