GameDay Blog: Wolves vs. Mavericks - March 10, 2013
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Final: That's the ballgame here at Target Center. The Wolves dropped a 100-77 game to the Mavs, who evened up the season series 2-2 for the 2012-13 campaign. The Wolves got 18 points and nine boards from Derrick Williams, 16 points from J.J. Barea and 13 from Mickael Gelabale. Ricky had seven points and four assists. For the Mavs, Vince Carter had 22 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 16. For more from tonight's game check Timberwolves.com throughout the night. Final: DAL 100, MIN 77
Q4 7:14: It's been a tough game so far but one nice little play moments ago came from Mickael Gelabale, who wrestled an offensive board away from Dirk Nowitzki and put home the layup. It's a small victory as the Wolves are down by 18 right now, but it's they've got 7:14 left and if they keep working a basket at a time like that we'll see if they can cut it to 10 and go from there. Need some buckets and some stops quick, though. DAL 86, MIN 68
End Q3: The Wolves bench excluding Barea is a combined 0-for-5 w/ one point tonight, partially a product of very few minutes. The Wolves' starting five plus Barea have played all but 19 minutes tonight, and Adelman's short bench hasn't helped on this night yet as the Wolves trail by 17 with 12 minutes to play. He's digging into his bench to start the fourth with Barea, Shved and DC joining Gelabale and D-Will on the floor. DAL 78, MIN 61
Q3 4:40: The Wolves are hovering around their halftime deficit here with 4:40 left in the third, and that's something that will have to change quickly if the Wolves hope to make a run at this game. I've been impressed with how the veterans on the Mavs have stepped up tonight. Dirk is still a pleasure to watch even though he's having a down year and has battled injuries, and he's got 14 on a quiet 6-for-11. And Vince Carter has completely transformed his game from a high-flier to a sharp shooter, and he's got 17 on 6-of-8 here. The Wolves need to get Rubio going--he's got 7 points and 4 assists. Ridnour also having an off game with five points on 2-of-6 shooting. DAL 70, MIN 57
Halftime: The Wolves are trailing 56-44 at the half as the Mavs rebuilt their once 18-point lead back to 16 before Gelabale's buzzer-beater. D-Will continues to lead the team with 14 points and seven boards, while Stimsma has eight and six. Rubio has five points and four assists. For the Mavs, Dirk has 12 and Vince has 15. DAL 56, MIN 44
Q2 6:33: The Mavs continue to shine here in the second at the midway point. They had a 20-3 run before the Wolves just came back with a pair of baskets. Minnesota has gone cold as they're shooting 11-of-33 for the game right now. Need to get into an offensive rhythm here, because this game is slipping away quickly. Dallas is 11 games under .500 on the road and averages 98 points per game away from American Airlines Center, but they're on pace to go well over 100 tonight if they continue this offensive productivity. DAL 45, MIN 27
Q2 9:27: Vince Carter is just doing his thing right now for the Mavs. He's got 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, including a perfect 3-of-3 from the 3-point line. Not bad for a guy who left UNC in 1997-98. The rest of the Mavs are shooting 9-of-22. The Mavs are currently on a 12-0 run to start the second. DAL 33, MIN 20
End Q1: Nice end to the quarter by the Wolves, pulling to within 21-20 after Barea aggressively took the ball up court and drew a foul with less than 10 seconds left in the frame. He hit both field goals to pull within one. Derrick Williams leads the way with nine points and five boards after 1, whiel Greg Stiemsma has four points and four assists. The team is still shooting 8-for-22 and are 0-for-1 from deep, but they're hanging with the Mavs who are shooting 8-for-20. Vince Carter, who was at UNC when I was in sixth grade, leads the way with five points on 2-of-2 shooting. DAL 21, MIN 20
Q1 4:01: Slow start offensively for both teams right now as the Wolves and Mavs are shooting a combined 9-for-30 from the field. Derrick Williams is already sititng with five points and four rebounds just over midway through the first, and he's been pretty aggressive from the start. He even got involved in a pretty fast break, taking a full-court outlet from Rubio and sending a no-look to Mickael Gelabale for the layup. Rubio has two points, two assists and two rebounds tonight. For the Mavs, Kaman leads the tway with four points. MIN 13, DAL 11
Mavericks: PG-Mike James, SG-O.J. Mayo, SF-Jae Crowder, PF-Dirk Nowitzki, C-Chris Kaman
Wolves: PG-Ricky Rubio, SG-Luke Ridnour, SF-Mickael Gelabale, PF-Derrick Williams, C-Greg Stiemsma
Pregame 5:30 PM: The Mavericks will be without Shawn Marion again tonight as he attempts to rest his bruised left calf muscle, meaning Jae Crowder will likely again get the start for the Mavs at small forward. That's a tough blow to this Dallas team, as coach Rick Carlisle mentioned when the Mavericks won their lone game against Minnesota in three tries last season they did so with Marion moving out to guard Rubio at the point. And when it comes to Rubio, he's playing his most consistent ball of the season of the season right now for the Wolves (although he did have a breakout return game (8 points, 9 assists, 3 steals) in his season debut against Dallas on Dec. 15.
Still, Carlisle admitted he can't complain too much.
"To not have [Marion's] ability, it's a hit for us," he said. "But look, these guys down the hall don't want to hear about it. They've got four of their best players out, five or whatever it is. Injuries are a part of every day life in this league, and we've all got to cope with it. We're going to have to get it done without him."
The other aspect of this situation is the Wolves played a late 8 p.m. game in Denver last night, made the 45-minute drive to the airport postgame, had their flight delayed because of ice and were welcomed back into the Central Time Zone by Daylight Savings Time. They got in around 4:30 a.m. this morning.
"But it wasn't light out yet, so that was good," Rick Adelman joked.
It's not ideal, and Adelman admitted when he looked at the schedule in the preseason he didn't realize this particular weekend was Daylight Savings Time. But the Wolves need to bear down and try to pull out this win at home against a very winnable road opponent.
Carlisle said it will be key to try and run against the Wolves tonight, but that's no different than their gameplan any night.
"We're aware of their situation, but it's no guarantee of anything," Carlisle said. "I've talked to our team about that. We have to play a very determined game. This is a very skilled team, and they'll be playing with an edge as much as anything probably because of the situation they're in."
Pregame 4:00 PM: Welcome to Target Center, where the Timberwolves will be taking on the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 6 p.m. on My29 and 830 WCCO-AM. It’s the final meeting of the year with the Mavs, and the Wolves hope to secure the season series 3-1 with a victory tonight. They won the first two meetings in November and December but dropped their January meeting in Dallas.
The Wolves have essentially looked like a different team each time the two teams have played this year. Their first meeting in Dallas on Nov. 12 was by far the Wolves’ healthiest lineup, although they lost Nikola Pekovic in that one during the second half. Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger each went down in consecutive games leading up to that contest. Ricky Rubio made his debut on Dec. 15, a 114-106 overtime victory, but with injuries and the absence of Rick Adelman the team dropped their last meeting on Jan. 14. This time around, the Wolves will be without their entire projected front court as Pek, Andrei Kirilenko and Kevin Love will all be out.
Dallas surged past Minnesota in January, but it was at home where the Mavs have been a successful squad this year. They are 17-12 at home compared to 11-21 on the road, and away from the American Airlines Center the Mavs are scoring 6.4 fewer points per game. The key tonight will be slowing down O.J. Mayo, who leads the team in scoring, as well as having an answer for Elton Brand off the bench. Brand was a impressive off the bench in that one, scoring 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Another handful is Darren Collison, who is shifty and speedy when he gets minutes and has had success against the Wolves this year.
Minnesota is coming off a tough 111-88 loss in Denver last night, so they’re hoping to get a little bounce back energy here at home. After tonight, the Wolves will play five of their next seven on the road, so taking advantage of games here at Target Center is pretty important. Ricky Rubio will again be important tonight, as he has produced eight or more assists in eight of his last nine games—grabbing double-doubles in three of those contests. He also is looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic game last night in which he did not product a steal.
Derrick Williams also had a down night by recent standers in Denver, ending with 13 points and six boards in 29 minutes. That’s the first time he hasn’t played 37 minutes or more in the last seven games. He is still averaging 19.3 points and 8.0 rebounds a night this month, by far his best month as a pro. He’ll be key as the Mavs certainly have a bevy of talent at the power forward position, led by Dirk Nowitzki.
Here are tonight's pregame notes as we get set for tipoff:
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.