Remember when the Wolves began the season with a couple wins while playing some pretty darned good defense?
Wow, have things changed.
It’s one thing to have the Golden State Warriors shoot the heck out of the ball on you. But the Memphis Grizzlies? Memphis entered Sunday’s game shooting a league-worst 40.1 percent from the field. Sunday they shot 56.3 percent overall, 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) on three-pointers and made 25 of 27 free throws (92.6 percent).
That’s why in a game where the Wolves shot 50 percent, had the advantage in points in the paint (44-40), on the break (24-11) and on second-chance points (14-4), they still lost their fourth straight home game.
After the game was over interim coach Sam Mitchell again talked about his team’s lax defense to start the game. It allowed the Grizzlies – and, in particular, Mike Conley, who entered the game in a horrible shooting slump – to get comfortable. And this was the result.
Here are some more thoughts on the game:
--Kevin Garnett became the fifth player to log 50,000 career minutes. He did it while playing a season high 23:54, making all four of his shots, scoring eight points with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
--Zach LaVine, again starting for the injured Ricky Rubio, scored 25 points despite being limited to 17:29 minutes by foul trouble. It was his fourth 20-plus-point performance in his last five games.
--I thought rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns held his own with Memphis center Marc Gasol. Gasol finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Towns finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and a block.
--Andre Miller managed to play 33½ minutes tonight and handed out a season-high eight assists off the bench.
--Garnett, Towns, Andrew Wiggins and LaVine were the only Wolves players who didn’t have a minus rating tonight.
Have a good night and I’ll get back to you after Monday’s practice.