On Wednesday night the Minnesota Timberwolves used 9 players. In that same game, the San Antonio Spurs used 12 players. That fact served as yet another reminder of just how shorthanded the 'Wolves are these days. The Spurs were without two of their best players, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, emptied their bench, and still won by 10 points on the road. It is hard to imagine any scenario where Minnesota would have had enough firepower to win this game. Even with the 'Wolves hanging around to start the 4th quarter, the Spurs eventually won 104-94.
Delusions of a playoff run are dead. The lottery is in sight. The trade deadline looms. The front office ponders the pending free agency of Nikola Pekovic and the unhappiness of their superstar Kevin Love. Not even Greg "the Steamer" Stiemsma can rescue the Timberwolves from another season that ends in disappointment.
Like many teams in the NBA, the Timberwolves simply could not stay in front of Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Tasked with carrying the load for the Spurs, Parker posted a dazzling 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists. Danny Green handled the role of sidekick, pitching in 28 points and leading the game with a +17 mark. Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams led the way in the losing effort for the 'Wolves, each posting a double-double. Point guard Ricky Rubio put up 9 points and 11 assists but struggled mightily from the field, shooting a woeful 3-13. Making an appearance in the starting lineup, Mickael Gelabale chipped in 10 points.
The road does not get any easier for the Timberwolves, as the New York Knicks are next up on this treacherous homestand.