Archives For Minnesota Timberwolves

The Hawks erased a 34 point deficit to take a 107-106 lead over the Timberwolves with 3:33 to play on a Paul Millsap driving layup, but failed to score again in Monday night’s 117-107 loss at Philips Arena. Andrew Wiggins scored seven straight (on a career-high tying 33 point night) and Minnesota ended the game on an 11-0 run, dashing Atlanta’s hopes of pulling off the third-largest comeback in NBA history. The Hawks dropped to 7-2 and fell to second in the Eastern Conference behind the 6-1 Cavaliers, while Minnesota improved to 4-2.

The first half was about as ugly as it gets, with Tiago Splitter’s minus-3 a team best. Minnesota absolutely dismantled Atlanta’s defense, shooting 64% from the field (50% on 3-pointers) and doubling the Hawks’ 11 boards. The Timberwolves outscored Atlanta in the paint 36-20, 10-0 on second chance points and 21-2 on fast break points and the Hawks went to the locker room down 72-42.

Coach Mike Budenholzer let the starters begin the third quarter in hopes of chipping away at the 30 point deficit. Asked if he gave a big speech at halftime, Coach Bud said he simply made the decision to give the starting unit an opportunity to make a game of it in the third quarter.

“I told the guys lets give it five or eight minutes,” said Budenholzer. “Let’s see what happens. Different things happen in our league.” Continue Reading…

According to Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, the Atlanta Hawks have traded the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Adreian Payne, to Minnesota for a first-round pick:

Payne, who played four seasons at Michigan State, only got on the floor for 19 total minutes this season in three games. He averaged 1.7 points while on the floor for the Hawks, and spent most of this season in the D-League. In the D-League, he averaged 13 points, eight rebounds, and two assists per game playing with Austin and Fort Worth.

With Paul Millsap, Mike Scott, and Elton Brand on the roster, there was really no chance for Payne to get meaningful playing time. He is a versatile power forward that fit the system, but Atlanta felt getting a future pick for him was the best option.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the first-round pick will come in 2017:

The Hawks now have an open roster spot, and according to Woj it could be used on Ray Allen or Gary Neal if Neal is bought out in Minnesota. Stay tuned as more details start to emerge.

This game could have definitely been billed as a trap game for the Hawks.

While the Timberwolves haven’t been good all year, they finally have gotten some of their injured pieces healthy. Ricky Rubio is back, Kevin Martin is back, and Nikola Pekovic and Shabazz Muhammad were both healthy for this game. With the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back coming off of a loss against Memphis where Jeff Teague was hobbled with a slight ankle injury at the end, it would not have been too surprising if Atlanta got caught napping by a Minnesota team that still hopes to prove something this year.

Of course, this Hawks team is still proving that it is not one that is going to get caught napping very often.

Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 26 points to pave the way for Atlanta in a 117-105 win over the Wolves in confines of the Target Center in Minnesota. The win kept the Hawks from losing consecutive games for the first time since mid-November, when the team dropped games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It definitely looked early on like that streak could end, as Minnesota was aggressively attacking the boards and getting second chances on offense. The Wolves had 23 offensive rebounds in the game and turned them into 27 second chance points, constantly extending possessions where the Hawks had to reset after playing 15 or 20 second of good defense. The rebounds were a big reason why Minnesota was hanging even with the Hawks at halftime with a score of 57-53 in favor of Atlanta.

But the Hawks turned it around in the third quarter, led by Carroll’s 11 points in the period. Overall, the Hawks committed more to running in transition, scoring a whopping 14 fast break points in the quarter. To their credit, the Wolves kept grinding on the glass and getting second chance opportunities, but the Hawks were mostly able to shut them down and forced the Wolves into 7-for-21 shooting in the period for just 19 points. Continue Reading…

Despite a spirited effort from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Hawks walked off the court of Philips Arena with their 16th straight win by a score of 112-100.

The Hawks shot 61% in the first quarter, but Minnesota slowed the game down from the start and was creating good shots on offense. Despite the Atlanta’s shooting and only three turnovers, the Hawks led just 25-24 at the end of the first quarter.

“They executed,” said Mike Budenholzer on his opponents. “They were very good tonight… They are cutting off the ball and slashing and getting to the basket, and guys are finding them.”

The Hawks’ defense started to clamp down in the second quarter, however, as the Hawks used their activity and quickness to continuously deny the Timberwolves’ chances at getting open looks. The offense in the period was a group effort led by the frontcourt, where seven of the Hawks’ nine assists in the quarter came from a member of the frontcourt.

The 36-23 advantage that the Hawks had in the second quarter essentially sustained them for the rest of the game. The Wolves, led by Thaddeus Young and Mo Williams, were working the Hawks well enough to keep Minnesota hanging around for most of the second half. Young had 20 of his 26 points in the second half and finished the game with a filled box scored that included six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal. Continue Reading…

According to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, Kyle Korver did not travel with the team to Minnesota and will not play Wednesday against the Timberwolves. It is currently unknown if Korver will be able to play for Thursday’s night home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a huge blow to the Hawks, who have lost three straight games and are shooting just 21-for-71 (30%) from three-point range. That isn’t necessarily from lack of open looks either; the Hawks just haven’t been able to connect from deep like they usually do and the absence of Korver is a big part of that.

According to Vivlamore, Coach Bud will go with Mike Scott in the starting lineup instead of Shelvin Mack. Scott will play small forward, pushing DeMarre Carroll into the two-spot. Expect to see a lot of Lou Williams as well, who played great in Monday’s night loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks will also need Pero Antic to play well, as he is a big component with the team’s spacing.

RECAP: Hawks 120, Wolves 113

Bo Churney —  February 2, 2014

FINAL

MIN(23-24) 113 – 120 (25-21)ATL

Key Performers:
K. Korver (ATL): 24 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
K. Love (MIN): 43 pts, 19 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Before the game, Rick Adelman informed the media that Kevin Love was a game-time decision due to the ankle he injured the night before. Well, Kevin Love decided to play and he played like a monster, getting to the line 18 times and putting up 43 points. However, Love and the T-Wolves could have used some defense, as the Hawks were able to score 120+ points for a second consecutive game, largely led by Kyle Korver in the third quarter. The Hawks move back to a season-high four games over .500 with the victory.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap set a strong tone early, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the game. He fell off after that, though, finishing the game with 20 points on 18 shots before fouling out with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Millsap was also rather sloppy handling the ball, resulting in five turnovers. 6.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Budenholzer again had strong compliments for DeMarre after the game, stating that DeMarre is the guy who sets the defensive tone for the team. 113 points is a lot to give up, but it probably would have been more if it hadn’t been for DeMarre’s effort in the third quarter. He also had a weird offensive night, taking 15 shots, but scoring 19 points. 8/10

Kyle Korver: For what DeMarre was on defense in the third quarter, Korver was that on offense. Korver hit a trio of threes in the period and the Hawks scored 38 points to Minnesota’s 21. Korver also had a key play at the end of the first half, where he was fouled by Corey Brewer on a 30′ three-point attempt with 0.1 seconds left. Korver sank all three of the free throws, which moved the Hawks from down nine to only down six. 9/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff’s ankle didn’t seem to be bothered by the back-to-back at all, and he had a good night despite the tough matchup with Ricky Rubio. Teague had eight assists and only one turnover for the second straight game, plus three steals. 8/10

Gustavo Ayon: #NeverForget: Gustavo Ayon hitting a running layup off the glass late in the game to help seal the game for the Hawks. Didn’t know Goose could do that. 7/10

Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 31-51 (12th in West) z-Minnesota

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Nikola Pekovic (re-signed), Kevin Martin (trade), Corey Brewer (free agent), Shabazz Muhammad (draft), Gorgui Dieng (draft)

Key Losses: Luke Ridnour (trade), Andrei Kirilenko (free agent), Mickael Gelabale (He was important, I swear!)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 45-37 (7th in West)*

What to Expect: I think we can expect the end of Kevin Love doing knuckle push ups, right? The Timberwolves again have playoff aspirations that they hope won’t be derailed by the injury bug that they’ve been plagued with over the past couple of seasons. First it was Ricky Rubio, then it was Kevin Love, then it was… well, everybody.

However, the additions of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer creating a rather interesting starting lineup with Rubio, Love, and Pekovic. Behind all of that, they will still have Shved, Dieng, Muhammad, Budinger, and Derrick Williams to come off the bench. With a coach as good as Rick Adelman, the only reason the Timberwolves SHOULDN’T make the playoffs is if devastating injuries pop up again. They were 25th in offensive efficiency, but that should vastly improve with Love returning from injury and with the über-efficient Martin joining the team. The only concern could be the defense taking a step back with the departure of AK-47 and the aforementioned addition of K-Mart. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 104, Wolves 96

Bo Churney —  January 21, 2013

FINAL

MIN (17-21) 96 – 104 (23-18)ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 28 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 3 blk
J. Barea (MIN): 14 pts, 3 reb, 7 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Who needs a guaranteed contract? Freshly signed off his 10-day contract, Jannero Pargo lit up the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, sparking a Hawks comeback behind his 14 points in the final frame. Al Horford also got some shots up, finishing with 28 points and 10 rebounds. When asked about his newest teammate, Horford said, “It’s a relief to be able to have a guy like that… He was a great teammate last year, and I’m happy to have him back.” This win improves the Hawks to 14-7 at home, and 23-18 overall. The Wolves, meanwhile, have dropped six of seven, and are dealing with even worse injury issues than the Hawks.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smoove struggled in the first half, but was extremely helpful in the 2nd. He keyed the team’s improved defensive effort, and help force Kirilenko into six turnovers. On offense, he played Horford’s complement, dishing several great passes to Al late in the game, and focused on taking good shots. Five turnovers is no bueno, though. 7.5/10

Al Horford: With Pekovic out of the lineup, Horford absolutely dominated. Stiemsma was able to frustrate him a bit in the first half, but Al kept taking the best looks, and was extremely aggressive on his post moves. His 21st double-double on the year ties him for sixth in the NBA. 10/10

Jannero Pargo: Pargosanity!! Signed only hours before the game, Jannero delivered in the absence of Devin and Lou, scoring 16 points, and shooting 4-5 from behind the arc. Jannero seemed extremely happy to be back in a Hawks uniform, and it looks like his teammates had the same sentiment. Besides his 16 points and four assists, Pargo also committed zero turnovers, sparking the quip, “I want to come in and not hurt my team.” Well, Jannero, you did that… and then some. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Korver was to the third quarter as what Pargo was to the fourth. He scored 14 points in the third, six of which were back-to-back threes early in the period that got the Hawks back to within four after being down 14 at halftime. He did have a hard time defensively at time, as he was guarding Barea and Ridnour a lot, which doesn’t play into his strength as an off-ball defender. 8/10

Jeff Teague: JT didn’t take a shot in the 2nd half, which was probably for the best; he was 2-7 in the first, and really was having trouble finishing in the lane. However, he did hit some great passes, and finished the game with 10 assists to lead the team. Like Josh though, he also had five turnovers. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIN(16-15) 108 – 103 (20-13)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 21 pts, 13 reb, 7 ast, 2 blk
N. Pekovic (MIN): 25 pts, 18 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

While this may have been a fun game near the end, the Hawks wasted a solid opportunity to rebound against a .500 team missing it’s franchise player. The Hawks offense may have worked great, but they turned the ball over too much, and were unable to effectively contain Kirilenko and Pekovic on the other end. After being down big at half, Horford and Josh Smith keyed the Hawks’ comeback, but the two combined for the penultimate miscue with 15 seconds left in the game: Smith threw a bad inbounds pass, and Horford allowed Cunningham to easily get around him for the steal. After two Ridnour free throws, the game was essentially over. The Hawks have now lost three in a row for the first time this season, and only have a marginal lead over Indiana for third place in the East.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh played really well in this one, despite a couple of miscues in the fourth quarter. (a goaltend and the aforementioned inbound pass) His hustle was better in this game than the last few, as he appeared to argue less with the officials, and made some focus to get back in transition. 8/10

Al Horford: Al got the short end of the stick in this one, which mostly showed in the fourth quarter when he was on the floor, but not guarding Pekovic. Yes, Pek did do a lot of damage against Al, but that was not a fair matchup, and Horford should have never been started at the center position in this game. Despite all of that, Al still made some good contributions in this one, including 13 points and six rebounds in the 2nd half, most of which came when he was not on Pekovic. (sensing a theme here?) 7.5/10

Lou Williams: I think “Lou took some pretty stupid shots, but…” should just become my permanent intro line for Lou in these. Despite the shot selection, he was very aggressive late, and played point guard extremely well for the Hawks in the 2nd half when Jeff Teague decided not to be. If he continues to get into the lane like that, there is no reason he shouldn’t be the Hawks’ finisher in the fourth, even if that sounds a bit absurd. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Look back up at Horford’s grade, replace “Pekovic” with “Kirilenko”, and you essentially have the same thing for Kyle. Korver shouldn’t have been on AK47 so much, which was clear when Andrei kept getting open off the ball in the 1st half. Otherwise, Kyle made most of his threes, but still, he should never been dribbling the ball. Ever. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff was bad this game, as his stat-line doesn’t even convey how bad he was defensively. He constantly let Minny’s guards get around him, which game guys like Rubio and Shved all kinds of passing lanes. 2/10 Continue Reading…