It’s not who you play, it’s when. Though the season it mostly over, the Wolves have not faced the Raptors yet this season. Earlier this year, the Raptors were the talk of the league. Lately, they’ve cooled off. #Opportunity
The Raptors and their fans were excited to finally host the Wolves. It is a homecoming for Wiggins and Bennett. Though Bennett was out, he and Wiggins were celebrated tonight #CanadaPride
For the Wolves who have been very short-handed lately, they received great news. Ricky is back! It makes all the difference. #RickyMatters
K-Mart was open in Toronto tonight. The first quarter was unbelievable. Martin was a great first quarter, especially from long distance! It was oddly contagious as even Buddinger nailed a 3 in the first quarter. #NeedDeepMakes
The Wolves played a great first half. Rubio and Brown both played guard well and you can see that Brown was a great pickup in a team needed a boost.
The Wolves were down, but battled back repeatedly. At halftime, it was tied with Martin chipping in 22 of the team’s 54 points.
Budinger scored the last bucket of the half by running in from out of bounds and catching an off-guard defense off their game.
At half, there was much to like. The game was tied, Wiggins was playing decently, and the rest of the Wolves could easily make the difference.
The third quarter was truly an opportunity. The Wolves missed open threes and had great down-low shots that didn’t drop. It was sloppy at times. The Wolves kept close, but the Raptors crept ahead and created a gap that Minnesota couldn’t close. When the quarter ended, the Wolves were up 7 (after an offensive turnover on LaVine’s carry followed by a close miss by Toronto).
The 4th was a great battle. Toronto extended the lead to 10 and the Wolves countered cutting the deficit to 4. A big 3 made it 7 and the Wolves responded with 2 buckets to make it 3. I’m pretty sure Wolves fans felt it wasn’t meant to be when Rubio leads the fast break and gives Budinger the ball on the left only to travel. I’m sure cursing and hair-pulling ensued.
Overall, the Wolves had opportunities, but are not able to translate those chances into buckets. In a close loss, those missed opportunities are key.
This game featured fouls which did not help Minnesota. The Wolves shot 67% making 10 of only 15 while the Raptors shot 85% making 23 of 27 from the free throw line. #GottaMakeTheFreebies
Highlights of the night? There were plenty.
- Many great shots by Martin #HighlightReel
- LaVine’s double-pump dunk with about 5 minutes left in the 3rd #SlamDunkChamp
- Budinger was a contributor and had a couple nice drives to the hoop #NeedGingerProduction
I’m still lost by the lack of rebounding #NoDoubleDoubles. The Wolves are not an offensive rebounding team. Heck, they are not a good rebounding team at all. Tonight Wiggins led the Wolves with 3. Yes, 3.
That actually isn’t bad, but in the League it is not good. The leading rebounders were Rubio and Budinger. Yes, Rubio, who had 7 defensive rebounds. #TakeThatIn
Unfortunately, newest Wolf Hamilton was missing tonight due to illness. The game I watched really looked like it needed some of his presence. At the last home Wolves game, I sat next to a fan who was excited about Hamilton’s impact. This game needed his presence. Paul called it saying that Hamilton IS getting a double-double, but we’ll have to wait and see when. I’ll hold onto the hashtag #PaulisCorrect for a future game report.
Congrats to Dwayne Casey
I have to say congrats to Raptors coach Dwayne Casey. The ex-Wolves Coach #Underappreciated is leading the Raptors to the #2 seed in the East. Though the East isn’t the West (the Raptors’ record would put them in the 8 spot in the West), the Raptors are still a nice surprise this season.