The Minnesota Timberwolves lack size. They lack scoring punch. They lack a normal number of healthy players, with only 9 healthy and ready to play on Sunday night. And when the game started, they were without their head coach once again. The score stayed close for a while, but eventually the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away for an easy 105-88 victory.
Rick Adelman, who took a different flight to spend more time with his wife, arrived shortly after the game tipped off. The team was already without their veteran players, as J.J. Barea and Andrei Kirilenko both missed the game with injuries. That placed the sonus on guards Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour, and Alexey Shved. Those three also happened to be the only healthy guards on the roster for this game.
The Grizzlies were predictably too big for the Timberwolves. Size would have been a problem even if the 'Wolves had their full arsenal of forwards and centers. That disadvantage was even more glaring on this night as Greg Stiemsma, Dante Cunningham, and Nikola Pekovic were overwhelmed by the play of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Long and rangy new arrivals Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye also played their best games since arriving in Memphis, chipping in 18 and 16 points, respectively.
The Timberwolves scored only 37 points in the first half and turned the ball over 20 times. Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies outscored the 'Wolves 20-4 in fast-break points. The 'Wolves shot 4-16 from the outside, did not move the ball well, and lost their 4th straight game. They played bad offense and they played bad defense. They fell to 18-30 on the season.
The Timberwolves play the second game of a back-to-back set tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game tips in Cleveland at 6:00 P.M. CST.