Greetings. Youngblood here.
Well, it's not like you haven't seen this before. The Wolves improve in one area, but lack in another and the result is another loss.
Improvement? Everyone from coach Kurt Rambis on down was pleased with the season-low eight turnovers. And the Wolves also felt they got decent looks down the stretch (though they might have settled for too many jumpers down the stretch), even though they shot only 38.9 percent.
But the defense continued to be a problem. Denver shot 54.4 percent, the second straight Wolves opponent over 50 percent. At crunch time the Wolves just couldn't slow the Nuggets down. Denver had too many options. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 through three quarters. In the fourth he didn't score, but JR Smith scored 10 of his 14 in the fourth to help the Nuggets pull away. Weak helpside defense was the biggest reason Denver scored 50 points in the paint. Minnesota shot 95 shots to Denver's 79, and Minnesota still lost.
--Corey Brewer continues to play well. he was a big reason for the Wolves' third-quarter surge. He scored 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting, with 5 rebounds, five assists and a block.
--Center Darko Milicic had 10 points with five rebounds and three blocks. But he also had 2 turnovers.
--Michael Beasley played on that sore left ankle, proving his toughness again. But he needed 20 shots to reach 23 points. He was also 8-for-12 on free throws. But he had no turnovers, five assists and a steal.
--Wes Johnson was hot early, very cold late. He went 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter. Minnesota as a team shot 27.3 percent (6-for-22) while scoring just 16 fourth-quarter points.
--Finally, I thought Jonny Flynn had a pretty good performance. He is showing more explosiveness of late. Saturday he had 11 points, four assists and a turnover.
--Before the game the Wolves thought Luke Ridnour would be able to make it to the game. But he missed a third straight game tending to a family matter. His availability for the upcoming road trip will be known tomorrow.
That's about it for tonight. Have a good one. Jerry will pick up the team on the road.