11/4 Timberwolves @ Blazers Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Blazers: 111, Timberwolves: 81

In what was a gloomy night with General Soreness, Jeff Teague, and Derrick Rose out, the Wolves showed little life. Tonight’s Rapid Reactions will be a little different. The reactions will be mostly from the fans, getting their thoughts on the game. Let’s dive in!

My Thoughts:

Your Thoughts:

As you can tell, all is good in Wolves land. Sleep well Wolves nation.

And as always, ice up, you don’t want general soreness.

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11/2 Timberwolves @ Warriors Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Warriors: 116, Timberwolves: 99

Timberwolves:

  • Minnesota held with the Warriors for most of the game, but the Warriors made their typical fourth quarter run to put Minnesota away. However, the Timberwolves’ play up until the halfway mark in the fourth was encouraging.
  • Minnesota was not shy from the three-point line. The Wolves attempted 45 threes in the game, but they connected on just 13 of the tries. In contrast, the Warriors made just as many threes, but it took Golden State 11 less attempts.
  • Jimmy Butler was ice cold from three. After a great display of three-point shooting in the win over the Lakers on Monday, Butler was 0-8 from three tonight. Butler forced a number of shots throughout the game, especially in the fourth quarter when Minnesota needed a bucket.
  • The Timberwolves move the ball with Tyus Jones. The Wolves’ ball movement with and without Jones in the game is a completely different story. Jones recorded eight assists tonight, and when he was on the bench, the Wolves lost all ball movement.
  • The Timberwolves only turned the ball over five times, yet they still lost by double-digits. Against the Warriors, Minnesota needed to play a perfect game to come out with the victory, and in terms of turnovers, they did just that.

Warriors:

  • When Golden State gets DeMarcus Cousins healthy, this team will quite literally be unbeatable. Teams currently have a chance to play a perfect game to beat Golden State. However, when the Warriors add another all-star into their lineup, teams might as well not even show up to the arena.
  • Steph Curry makes basketball look so easy. Curry barely broke a sweat tonight, yet he managed 28 points on 11-24 shooting from the field. In what seemed like a “quiet” performance for Curry, games like this could help boost Curry into another MVP-type season.
  • Golden State dominated the glass. The Warriors controlled the boards on both sides of the ball, gathering 61 total rebounds, compared to Minnesota’s 39 rebounds. The Warriors kept Minnesota off the offensive glass, something the Timberwolves have been very good at this season.
  • No matter how much you like or dislike the Warriors, they are super fun to watch. The Warriors move the ball like no other team in the NBA. When the Warriors are having fun and flying the ball around the court, there isn’t quite anything that compares in terms of pure ball movement.

10/29 Lakers @ Timberwolves Rapid Reactions

Timberwolves and Lakers

Final Score: Timberwolves: 124, Lakers: 120

Timberwolves:

  • It was a much better night for the Timberwolves after a putrid showing last Friday night against the Bucks. Minnesota’s offense was firing on all cylinders. The defense was a different story, but the offense was enough against the Lakers.
  • Butler was on fire in the four quarter. Butler paved the way for Minnesota in the fourth, including his ridiculous, clutch three to seal the win. Overall, Jimmy recorded 32 points on 12-20 shooting from the field, including 6-7 from three. While it’s clear the Wolves need to trade Butler, it would be nice if Butler continues to help Minnesota get wins until then.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns plays his most active game of the season. KAT put up 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Towns was active on both ends of the floor, which included Towns grabbing nine offensive rebounds.
  • I continue to not understand Derrick Rose. Unfortunately, Thibs still thinks Rose is the former MVP, so when Rose struggles, Thibs leaves him in the game. Rose shot 4-16 from the field tonight in 29 minutes. Rose continues to be an up-and-down player for the Wolves, but he continues to get heavy minutes.
  • The Timberwolves dominated points at the charity stripe. Minnesota recorded 26 points at the line, compared to Los Angeles’ 10. For the Lakers, it’s hard to win games with that big of a disparity at the free-throw line.

Lakers:

  • The Lakers continue to play fast, really fast. Coming into the night, the Lakers played with the fourth fastest pace in the league. Contrary to LeBron’s normal pace of play, the Lakers continue to run with the ball. If the Lakers can tighten up on defense, their offense can lead them to great heights.
  • JaVale McGee is turning into a valuable player for Los Angeles. McGee has been great at running the floor and protecting the paint this season, and that continued tonight. McGee put up 13 points and blocked three shots in tonight’s game. If McGee continues to do the small things to help the Lakers win, he will continue to see more and more minutes.
  • Lonzo Ball had a rough night. Ball was a team worst -11 tonight, and he shot 0-4 from three. Ball has improved this season, but his four points and one assist tonight was not one of his best games.
  • The Lakers can’t afford to drop too many more games in a row to start the season. Los Angeles is off to a 2-5 start to the season, and in a brutally tough Western Conference, there isn’t a lot of breathing room. The Lakers will look to get back on track against the Dallas Mavericks on Halloween night.

 

10/28 Wizards @ Clippers Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Wizards 104, Clippers 136

Washington Wizards:

What in the world is going on with this Wizards team?

  • Hey! The rebounding wasn’t an issue! You wan’t to know why? Because there practically weren’t any to grab! The Clippers shot a blistering 54% from the field and 55% from beyond the arc. Washington had one defensive lapse on top of another, and there was a lacksidasical effort all across the board tonight. This season (so far) was perfectly summed up in a John Wall mishandled ball in which he lost and then simply stood next to the grapple for the ball, watching his teammates wreslte to grab his own error.
  • Otto Porter has caught his share of criticism from head coach Scott Brooks throughout past games, and didn’t do much tonight to change his stance on Porter’s play. In thirty minutes, the forward made six shots on 33% shooting, along with a few boards and assists. The poor effort, along with the early exit of Markieff Morris, spelled early disaster for this team. HOWEVER, that does not excuse the accompanying white flag that came from the remaining starters in the game.
  • Although it is very early in the season, there seems to be the possibility of some possible locker-room dysfunction already. Accountability was an issue last season, and in a year where it has already gone not-so-according to plan, this could be an problem that tears a team apart. In what feels like a make-or-break year for the head coach, and even some players on the team, this is not a good look for what was figured to be a promising year for this group.

Play of the Game: This feels like a game not-so-deserving of one. In fact, I am incredibly tempted to put a “Not Play of the Game”. In a bad performance, usually there is still a bright spot, but today there isn’t a whole lot of positives surrounding this team currently.

 

Los Angeles Clippers:

  • This was a performance that should get Clippers fans excited for the outlook of their team. The feelings surrounding this franchise coming into the season were mixed, with some thinking this was a bridge season until the team could find its next star, and others intrigued by the possibilities and potential this cast presents. This performance, and especially the success of shooting from deep, shows the ability of this team even without a true “superstar”.
  • The Clippers got great production off the bench, especially from fan favorite Boban Marjanovic tonight. That bench stumped both the starting and reserve units of the Washington team this evening. Combined with a great defensive efforts from their starters, this is a recipe for the type of team LA will have to be if they want to be a serious threat in the West come late in the year.
  • A great point was brought up during the Clippers broadcast late in the third quarter- “This team doesn’t have a superstar caliber player, and that may not be the worst thing in the world”. Doc Rivers through these few games has shown tremendous coaching in the lineups and skill he has brought out of his players. This team will need to embody the old fashioned “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” style, and they have the potential to do so.

Play of the Game: With 2:40 left in the first quarter, Bradley Beal grabbed a rebound and attempted a layup to make it a one score game. Avery Bradley flew in to swat the ball away, setting the defensive tone early and keeping the Wizards behind.

10/28 Jazz @ Mavericks Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Jazz 113, Mavericks 104

Utah Jazz:

  • Georges Niang. Have you heard that name before? If not, remember it, because he’s been ballin’ for the Utah Jazz and will only be getting more minutes as the season progresses if he continues to play at the level that he is. Niang’s basketball IQ is high, as he makes great reads and takes good shots consistently. He finished the night with 13 points on 4-5 shooting in 13 minutes.
  • Early on Mavs players could not stay in front of Jazz players on defense. Utah had easy access to the basket in the first half, although in the latter part of the game Dallas did improve on that front.
  • Six consecutive double-doubles for Rudy Gobert to start the season. First time that’s been done for Utah since Carlos Boozer back in the day. Gobert finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
  • The confusing season of Ricky Rubio continues. After posting 28 points and 12 assists in New Orleans, Rubio had just 6 points on 2-9 shooting. He did have 8 assists, however.
  • Grayson Allen has taken advantage of the minutes he’s received early on this season. He had the best +/- of any Jazz player with a +17 on a perfect 3/3 shooting night with 11 points. With all the pieces the Jazz have, it’ll be interesting to see how minutes are distributed to the rookie as we move along.

Dallas Mavericks:

  • The Jazz were cruising early on in this one but started to lose their way some in the 2nd quarter due partly to Dallas’ increased defense and advantage in the turnover margin. At halftime the Mavs forced 13 turnovers, but had nine of their own.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is a legit young talent in this league. The Mavs building around Smith and Doncic is as good of a plan during a rebuild that you can have for a team. Smith caught fire in the 3rd quarter, scoring a total of 27 points on the night.
  • Smith had a good night, but also made some costly mistakes down the stretch. In a game which the Mavs remained in striking distance, Smith missed two layups as the Mavs were going on a run and committed a couple of late fouls. For Smith to take the next step he has to start sinking those layups and playing a full game of consistent basketball.
  • Overall tonight Dallas played well and gave Utah a good fight. This is the best Mavs team I think I’ve seen in a few years, and should play solid basketball moving forward.

10/26 Bucks @ Timberwolves Rapid Reactions

Bucks and Timberwolves

Final Score: Bucks: 125, Timberwolves: 95

Timberwolves:

  • What a brutal showing. This isn’t the way Minnesota wanted to play in front of a solid Target Center showing on a Friday night. There is so much going on around the team, that everyone is starting to wonder how long the drama can go on. While the players are expected to be professionals, there is little doubt the drama is bothering the team and carrying over into their performances.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns had a brutal first half, performed better in the third quarter. Towns finished the first half with two points. Yes, you heard that right. The All-NBA Center had just two points at half. He was getting shots, but not hitting them. Fortunately, Towns had a terrific third quarter. KAT recorded 14 points in the third quarter, on 6-8 shooting in that frame. With tonight’s 16-point showing, Towns is now averaging just 16.3 points per game. That number is a cause for concern. Maybe it’s a matter of time before he heats up, or maybe the Butler situation is taking a toll on the big man, but things need to change.
  • Timberwolves go cold from three. After shooting 50% from three in Toronto on Wednesday, the Timberwolves were 10-43 (23.3%) from three tonight. It’s good to see Minnesota taking more threes, but they were not hitting the shots tonight, so it would’ve been nice to see Minnesota attack the basket more.
  • Minnesota has a big night on the offensive boards. One slight positive from tonight’s game was Minnesota’s effort on the offensive glass. Minnesota grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in the game, turning those rebounds into second chance points. While Minnesota has struggled grabbing defensive rebounds at times this season, the Wolves have been terrific crashing the offensive glass.
  • How long can the Jimmy Butler saga continue? Tonight’s effort was pathetic, and it won’t be getting any easier for Minnesota. Sitting at 2-4 with their next six games against the Lakers, Jazz, Warriors, Blazers, Clippers, and Lakers again, the Timberwolves have no easy upcoming contests.

Bucks:

  • Milwaukee was about as hot as a team can get from three. The Bucks shot 19-46 (41.3%) from deep. Middleton led the way making four threes with Henson and Lopez each connecting on three shots from deep.
  • Mike Budenholzer is the right coach for this group. The Bucks have started the season 5-0 and look primed for success this year. In a game where Giannis was held under 20 points, the Bucks handled Minnesota easily. If the Bucks continue to get support around Giannis, they will be in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
  • Donte DiVincenzo knows how to play. DiVincenzo won’t always make his presence felt in the box score, but the rookie understands the game. DiVincenzo made a number of hustle plays tonight and recorded nine points. For DiVincenzo, he has the chance to develop into a great role player for Milwaukee this season.
  • The Bucks shared and moved the basketball. Milwaukee recorded 32 assists on their 49 made field goals. Compared to the Wolves’ 19 assists on their 36 made field goals, Milwaukee moved the ball and found the open shooter in Minnesota.

10/26 Mavericks vs Raptors Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Dallas 107, Toronto 116

Toronto Raptors

  • Pascal Siakam is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. The big man can take you outside and knock it down as well as put it on the floor. Siakam relentlessly runs the floor and is a quality passer for a big.
  • Danny Green is just a good basketball player. He is exactly what you want in a wing for today’s brand of basketball. Perfect fit next to Lowry.
  • When Jonas Valančiūnas took off for that sky hook in the 2nd quarter and put it in I stood up and yelled. I love that man so much.
  • I didn’t like the all-bench lineups for the extended amount of time they played. Nurse might be able to get away with it in short stretches but shouldn’t look to it often.
  • Kyle Lowry is the BEST Point Guard in the East right now. This man is playing incredible basketball. The command he has of the offense and the leadership that is clearly on display is second to none in the conference right now at the position.
  • Lowry had two passes in the first quarter that were just stellar. The bounce pass to Siakam and then the touch pass to Valančiūnas.
  • This Raptors team does everything well. They shot 48% from the field, 40% from three and hit 85% of their free throws. They don’t have a weakness offensively.

Who’s Up: Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam

Who’s Down: Serge Ibaka

Next Up: Monday @ Bucks

Dallas Mavericks

  • You can never count out a Rick Carlisle led basketball team. They always play with great energy on both ends, are fundamentally sound, and don’t beat themselves. Whenever Toronto would pull ahead Dallas would grit their teeth and get back in it.
  • Luka doesn’t have elite quickness or athleticism, but this guy has poise beyond his years and his patience with the ball in his hands is already elite.
  • Harrison Barnes made his season debut tonight. He definitely looked a bit rusty shooting just 5-17, but he will provide a much-needed scoring presence for this team.
  • Wes Matthews looked like an actual all-around player again in this game. Until tonight, I wasn’t sure if he could do anything inside the three-point line anymore.
  • Jalen Brunson is definitely a guy. He didn’t shoot well tonight, but make no mistake about it, this 2nd round pick can play in this league.
  • Deandre Jordan is the ever consistent 7-foot monster. You know exactly what you are going to get from him. Tonight, he gave 18 and 15 on 50% shooting.
  • Dallas really played a decent game, but just could never overcome the slow start. Dennis Smith didn’t play tonight, might have been a different outcome with his electric game in the Dallas backcourt.

Who’s Up: Wesley Matthews, Maximillian Kleber

Who’s Down: Harrison Barnes(rusty)

Next Up: Sunday vs Jazz

(I had to put this. I loved this play so much)