Life on the road: Timberwolves 112 — Bucks 101
|Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -7
Thing I like: Middleton’s jump shot always looks the same. He can shoot it off the catch, or he can shoot it after a sidestep dribble or two. Doesn’t matter. It always looks low, straight and pure. Thing I didn’t like: Each of his turnovers was a backbreaker. One was a cross-court passing no-no that functioned as an outlet pass for Minnesota. Another was getting picked by Rubio in the backcourt.
|Zaza Pachulia, C Shot Chart 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -7
His 10 assists (10 assists!) helped get each of his fellow starters to double-digit scoring. He can do a lot more damage out toward the high post — where he can use his jump shot and decision making — than he can in the low post, where he’s starting to look like one of the league’s elder statesman.
|John Henson, C Shot Chart 32 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -5
His box score line was robust, as it often is. But let’s talk about the other stuff. When the Bucks were still basking in the afterglow of making their first dozen shots, Henson made two gaffes that helped keep the T-Wolves close: he shot an abysmal 20-footer that wasn’t close. Then on the next possession he offered up an easily-interecepted outlet pass. He also had trouble guarding Kevin Love in the second half. Lots of players have that issue. But Henson’s worst mistakes were the result of poor decision making in a zone defense — on consecutive possessions, no less. On the first, he came way too far to the middle on a play his teammate’s had contained.
Love ripped in the three-pointer. On the next trip down (see below), Henson lost Love in the zone defense AGAIN. Love lost. Lost love. Sounds like a romance novel.
|Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 2-5 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 21 PTS | -7
He started great, making his first five shots. But he wore down over the course of the game. It’s also bad that he had more turnovers than assists and that he has gone 2-15 on threes in the past two nights.
|Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 31 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -10
Wolters had a productive night back home in Minnesota, and he played more minutes than he has in a while. Both his floater and his three-point shot are becoming reliable staples and that bodes well for Wolters’ NBA career.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF Shot Chart 12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10
Ekpe Udoh is back.
|Jeff Adrien, PF Shot Chart 20 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -4
Adrien defends the rim well for a guy who stands 6′ 5.25″ tall without shoes on.
|Tony Mitchell, F Shot Chart 2 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +6
He threatens to make the irrelevant game endings relevant (see below).
|Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +4
Got into the game when the conclusion was foregone and streaked past everyone down the court for a layup. Perhaps he is fast but not quick? And should we extrapolate his point total to a 30-minute outing? Should we? SHOULD WE? No, we should not.
|Ramon Sessions, PG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -19
Sessions, Wolters, and Knight all took a shot at guarding J.J. Barea and no one did a good job of it.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 22 MIN | 0-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +4
He tried a spinning drive in the lane and a pair of Nate Wolters-esque floaters, but without any success. He posted up Chase Budinger to create a kick-out pass to Wolters for a three. Like the rest of the NBA, he found guarding Corey Brewer easier than guarding Kevin Martin.
|O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
If the pets of Larry Sanders ever need a roof over their heads, they can just follow Mayo home. He knows where the doghouse is.
Three Things We Saw:
1) Bad defense
2) Tony Mitchell’s dunk
3) The Bucks remain 2.5 games ahead of the 76ers.