Greetings for a final time from Target Center, where the Wolves trailed from start to finish against an Orlando team that was very, very beatable tonight.
I must say, this was the most man-against-boys game I’ve covered in a while Nikola Vucevic destroyed the Wolves beat-up frontcourt, getting a career-high 37 points and 17 rebounds. He nearly had as many rebounds as the entire Wolves starting five.
The Wolves allowed the Magic 20 offensive rebounds and got just three themselves, matching a season low; Orlando got off 28 more shot attempts than the Wolves did, and yet this game was winnable until rather late in the fourth quarter.
Here are some final thoughts on the game:
--Kevin Martin struggled in his return from a hamstring injury. He missed his first seven shots. On the plus side, he rebounded to make three of his final five shots, get to the line seven times and finish with 12 points. He also had three assists and a rebound, just one fewer than both Andrew Wiggins and Adreian Payne
--Speaking of which, how can two starting forwards play a total of 60-plus minutes and combine for four rebounds?
--I will say this for Wiggins. He continues to get himself to the free throw line. He got there 13 times tonight, making 10. That’s what kept the Wolves in this game; they got 32 FT attempts to 17 for Orlando.
--Justin Hamilton did his best, but he’s just not ready for the likes of Vucevic yet. Hamilton had 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting and had nine rebounds. But he struggled to contain Orlando’s big man.
That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after the Wolves’ practice tomorrow.