While Minnesota was going for it and playing their top guys, that clearly wasn’t the strategy for the Blazers, who sat all of their starters for the game (McCollum, Barton, Claver, Robinson or Leonard). So no CJ McCollum for the small army of you who wanted him in a Timberwolves uniform coming out of the draft. Sorry. One final note for the final game for the Wolves: we had a special analyst calling the game with Matt Devlin, as former Pup Sam Mitchell was in the booth!
The Timberwolves played their fourth game in as many nights in Las Vegas Thursday. The second round of the Summer League tournament was a rematch from the team’s first loss in the preliminary round and against the D-League Select team.
Identical to Wednesday’s game, Coach Adelman sent out the following starters to begin the game: Kee Kee Clark, Othyus Jeffers, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, and Chris Johnson. If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it? In case you missed it, I was actually live-tweeting the game over on our resurrected, official Twitter feed. We’ll be doing that a lot more in the future I imagine.
As for the game itself, the Wolves got off to a slow start. Kee Kee Clark was the only player that looked to have his legs with him in the opening few minutes, keeping the team close. Towards the end of the first quarter, the Wolves got sloppy with the ball and allowed the D-League Select to go on a mini-run, closing the quarter with a 25-17 lead.
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.
Robbie Hummel was the Minnesota Timberwolves’ second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. His career has always been tagged with injuries, but, if Hummel can stay healthy it’s easy to envision him as a fan-favorite to fans at Target Center. Hummel graduated from Purdue and is the only Boilermaker to reach 1,700 points, 850 steals, 250 assists, 125 steals and 100 blocks in his career. He left campus in West Layafette, Indiana with a graduate of Business Management and as a three-time Academic All Big Ten honoree. Hummel also volunteered locally in efforts that promoted and emphasized the importance of literacy in elementary schools. Fans in Minnesota seemingly love their ‘high character,’ smart and charismatic athletes who remain active away from the game and with the community and Robbie Hummel fits that bill.
Hummel is an experienced player and a scholar of the game. His coordination and understanding of floor-spacing are two valuable facets of his game. Hummel stays active on offense, setting screens and finding position on the perimeter. The skill that has the best chance at making him a household name is shooting and through the first two Las Vegas Summer League games, Hummel was the Wolves’ sniper. He accumulated 30 points, shooting 65% from the field and 60% from behind the arc. He’s also grabbed 11 rebounds and two steals. Saturday against the D-League Selects, he scored 12 points, tallied six boards and swiped three steals in addition to shooting 55% from the field but Monday’s meeting with the Phoenix Suns was an even better showing. Hummel scored 18 on six of eight shooting from the field, a perfect two for two from distance and four for five from the free-throw line.
The Wolves defeated the Miami Heat Tuesday, 80-71, their first win in Vegas. Hummel’s performance was dismal. Despite grabbing seven-boards, he only scored three-points after hitting one of five from the field and only one of his two free-throws. Clearly the Heat coaching staff had done their scouting and placed heavy emphasis on limiting Hummel’s looks and making the shots he was able to shoot, difficult.
Hummel is 6’8”-215lbs and has a stocky build allowing him to set successful screens. Because of his lack of speed, these are the type of plays are things Hummel must do to further his development as an NBA Player.
“I think he’s probably going to be more of a small-forward than a power-forward but I think he can play the power-forward because of how smart he is.” – Flip Saunders.
Hummel has now started his campaign to join the Wolves’ 15-man roster and he has my, among many others, votes to do so.
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 Wolves opened up with a different lineup this evening, with Lorenzo Brown, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Mychel Thompson, and Chris Johnson. The Suns opened up with a pretty intriguing Summer League starting five with the Morris twins, Kendall Marshall, Archie Goodwin, and PJ Tucker.
The Wolves started the game hot from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of their first 8 attempts, and opening up a 23-10 lead that forced the Suns to take a timeout. This included one from Shabazz, and two apiece from Hummel and Demetri McCamey. The good times kept rolling through the first quarter and shots kept dropping for the Timberwolves, who took a 32-14 lead into the second quarter.
Steve Smith was the commentator for the game, thereby saving me a handful of whiny, complaining tweets about Reggie Miller. Thankfully. The Timberwolves starting five consisted of Kee Kee Clark, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Chris Johnson, and Gorgui Dieng. The production team must be ironing out the wrinkles as well, as they had Gorgui Dieng playing shooting guard when listing out the starting lineups. [Read more...]