I just got back from the game. The whole night was pretty much a disaster. It’s hard to get too upset about the loss, considering we were without three (CP3, Caron, Mo) of our five best offensive weapons in crunch time. I will try to write a full recap tomorrow when I’ve had some time to digest everything. For now, here are my quick takes:
-I know the T-Wolves are 7-8 and have some quality wins, but I was unimpressed. They basically consist of Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and spare parts. There’s nobody on that team who can create a good shot for himself. Kevin Love is a nice little spot up shooter, and he gets lots of putback buckets, but they just don’t have the scorers to win close games (yes, I realize how stupid that sounds after they just beat the Clippers on a buzzer-beater). I predict a final W-L record of something like 24-42.
-Chauncey Billups had one assist and four turnovers. He is strictly a shooting guard at this point. He’s incapable of turning the corner off the pick and roll, and I don’t think he could beat Zydrunas Ilgauskas off the dribble. I was hoping he might be able to take advantage of the diminutive Luke Ridnour in the post tonight, but instead he was content to hoist up long jumpers. He made 6 of13 from the field tonight, which is nothing to complain about, but he did not generate any offense for the rest of the team. He also opened the door for the Wolves to steal the game by not only missing a potential game-winner, but leaving too much time on the clock. You HAVE to end up with the last shot when you have the ball with 20 seconds left in a tie game.
-I don’t even want to talk about Darko Milicic scoring 22 points. Or Ricky Rubio’s annoying cult of followers, who go freaking apeshit every time he makes an unnecessary behind-the-back pass.
-33 made field goals; 12 assists; 18 turnovers. Chris Paul, we need you. I promise I’ll stop making fat jokes if you come back soon. PS – nice crib.
-The turning point in my opinion was the second technical foul on Mo Williams. At the 6:20 mark, the refs mistakenly called a personal foul on Mo after Ricky Rubio slipped and fell. I didn’t even see Mo’s reaction, so I’m not sure if he deserved to get Tee’d up, but I started to feel the game slip away at that moment. Up until then, the Clippers simply had more firepower than the Wolves. I wasn’t worried at all, because it felt like we could just step on the gas and pull away whenever we needed to. Mo in particular was lighting it up, with 25 points on 10-15 shooting. Sans Mo, however, the Clippers were forced to resort to a predictable two-man game with Chauncey and Blake. Suddenly every possession was a desperate, grind-it-out affair, usually resulting in a contested jumpshot.
-I may or may not have seen a dead guy on the sidewalk at 8th & Hope after the game. At first I thought it was your everyday sleeping homeless guy and I walked on by. After a double-take, I realized he was a relatively well-dressed young guy. He was breathing, but was completely unresponsive to our questions and pokes. A security guard from the office building across the street called 911, and Marie and I left just as the ambulances were pulling up. I hope he was just a passed out drunk kid. The experience helped shake me out of my post-game funk; I guess it hammered home that there are worse things in life than losing on a buzzer-beater.