GameDay Live Blog: Wolves vs. Raptors | Oct. 12, 2013

GameDay Live Blog: Wolves vs. Raptors | Oct. 12, 2013

 

Timberwolves vs. Raptors | 7 PM

Where to Watch: No TV

Where to Listen: 830 WCCO-AM


Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

Email / Twitter

Final: The Wolves had a chance in this one but they couldn't hold on at the end as the Raptors hit a couple clutch 3s and won this one, 104-97 at Target Center. Love finished with 28 points and 11 boards, while Pek had 13, Brewer had 12 and D-Will had 11. For the Raptors, Daye had 12 and Hansbrough had 11. More to come tonight on Timberwolves.com, so stay tuned. TOR 104, MIN 97

Q4 3:13: This one is slipping away from the Wolves. They just turned the ball over on an errant pass already down 96-88. We've go just over 3 minutes to play, but the Wolves need a couple stops and a couple strong possessions here. Stay tuned.... TOR 96, MIN 88

Q4 5:57: Minnesota climbed back into this one in the last four minutes led by a D-Will 3-pointer from the wing. When he catches and shoots, he's pretty darn effective. When he clutches or thinks about what he's going to do, that's when he misses. Adelman is going with Price, Jeffers, Shabazz, D-Will and DC here with six minutes to play. TOR 89, MIN 88

Q4 8:48: Wolves are trailing by two here early in the fourth, and Minnesota is trying to put something together here with its reserves on the floor. As we come out of the timeout, we've got Shabazz getting his first minutes of the game along with Barea, Jeffers, D-Will and DC. They're going small here. TOR 85, MIN 83

End Q3: The Wolves are up two heading into the fourth, which is a good position to be in but one could argue it should be more. Minnesota had its starters in much of the third, while the Raptors with more with their bench players. The key stats right now are the Wolves have missed 13 free throws (29-of-42) and are 4-of-16 from 3-point range. Love with 28 and 11, Pek with 13 and Brewer with 12. Wolves opening up the fourth with Barea, Jeffers, Williams, DC and Turiaf. MIN 81, TOR 79

Q3 2:46: Nikola Pekovic just drew a Flagrant-I on Quincy Acy, who bit on a pump fake and pretty much landed on Pek on the way down. Pek hit one of his free throws and the Wolves now lead 76-71 with 2:46 to play. This half has been pretty much all starters with the exception of Barea getting a little time. He's subbed in for Shved for part of this quarter. Now, as we come out of this timeout, Turiaf is in for Pekovic but Love, Rubio and Brewer are still in. MIN 76, TOR 71

Q3 5:41: Kevin Love is starting to heat up here in the third quarter. He's got 25 points and 11 boards on the night, and since the half he's 3-of-5 from the field. He had a great jab step on the perimeter that created enough separation for him to facilitate the ball inside to Pek for two, and he had a fantastic 3/4 court outlet pass to Brewer in transition. He's also 7-of-9 from the line, which is an encouraging sign. Meanwhile, the only Raptors starter who has played in the second half so far is Valanciunas--he started the 3rd with Buycks, Augustin, Fields and Hansbrough. MIN 70, TOR 66

Halftime: The Wolves and Raptors are tied at 52-52 at the half. Kevin Love is leading the way with 16 points and eight boards (5-of-12). Corey Brewer has seven points but is really playing aggressive on the defensive end. He's creating some havoc for the Raptors in their offensive sets, and he's also helping the Wolves get out and run in transition. Rubio has five assists and four boards to go along with two points. The Raptors are led by Gay and DeRozan with nine points each. They're shooting 48.6 percent as a team. As we get set for the second half, keep in mind that Adelman said he planned to work more in a regular season rotation form tonight to see if he can get some of his guys more minutes to develop chemistry. He said he might just play around 10-11 guys tonight. He's played 10 guys so far tonight (D-Will, Turiaf, Jeffers, Barea and DC off the bench). Who else might get a shot on the bench tonight? MIN 52, TOR 52

Q2 2:36: Kevin Love just had a nice alley-oop lay-in finish from Rubio as the Wolves pulled to within 50-47. They had trailed 47-41 moments earlier. Rubio has four assists and three boards to go along with two points--both coming on free throws moments ago. He is 0-for-6 from the field but getting good looks. This is the next phase in Rubio's development as a shooter. He can hit these shots in practice, but it's not translating into games just yet. Once he is able to make that transition, it will make things much more complicated for opponents. TOR 50, MIN 47

Q2 5:39: The Wolves had a 35-34 lead, but the Raptors just went on a bit of a run (9-2, to be exact) and took a 43-37 lead in the under-6 minute timeout. The Wolves' bench continues to add a punch. Tonight, 17 of the Wolves' 37 points are from reserves in limited minutes. They're 5-of-11 from the field, and the team is 11-of-33 overall. TOR 43, MIN 37

Q2 8:40: The Wolves had two nice aggressive finishes to their last two possessions. First, Ronny Turiaf squeezed into position in the lane and tipped in a missed free throw to give the Wolves their first lead of the night. Then, after a Landry Fields make on the other end, Derrick Williams drove baseline and had a nice reverse jam that put the Wolves up 35-34, where we currently sit. The Raptors have led by as many as seven tonight, but Minnesota is starting to hit from the field (4-of-7 this quarter) and now has the lead. MIN 35, TOR 34

End Q1: The Wolves are trailing by three, which is a pretty good feat considering they're shooting 6-of-23 from the field and Toronto is shooting 10-of-19. Love has 11 points and five boards to lead the team in both categories. Brewer has five points, and Rubio has three assists. Rudy Gay has nine points so far to lead the Raptors, while DeRozan and Valanciunas each have six. The Wolves are very much in this game, but their shooting needs to improve before Toronto goes on a run. The Wolves open up the quarter with Barea, Jeffers, D-Will, DC and Turiaf on the floor. TOR 28, MIN 25

Q1 2:34: The Wolves are down two but have a chance to tie the game as Derrick Williams heads to the line after this timeout. Minnesota just got a put-back basket from Love following a Shved miss on the fast break, and on the next trip down the floor Shved hit 1-of-2 sandwiching a Kevin Love technical foul shot make (off a Kyle Lowry tech call) that tied the game at 18-18. DeRozan gave the Raptors a 20-18 lead heading into this D-Will trip to the foul line. TOR 20, MIN 18

Q1 5:52: The Wolves started out 1-of-9 from the field, a similar start to their 0-for-6 showing to start the game in Sioux Falls, but even though they're still shooting 26.7 percent they're trailing just 11-10. Part of the reason for the sluggish offensive start is aggressive defense from Toronto, but the Wolves have made their own mark. Kevin Love just forced a turnover, which Rubio took and found Brewer in transition for the lay-up. Love is 2-of-6 but has six points and three boards already. Gay has five for the Raptors, who have already made it to the line six times. TOR 11, MIN 10

Starting Lineups:

Wolves:
PG-Ricky Rubio, SG-Alexey Shved, SF-Corey Brewer, PF-Kevin Love, C-Nikola Pekovic

Raptors: PG-Kyle Lowry, SG-DeMar DeRozan, SF-Rudy Gay, PF-Amir Johnson, C-Jonas Valanciunas

PREGAME 6:45 PM: Tonight is the first time former assistant Bill Bayno is back in Minnesota. He spent two years with the Wolves during Adelman's first two seasons in town, and as the fourth assistant on the roster he was well-liked by his peers and players alike for his help on the defensive end as well as his hands-on approach in practice. After many workouts he was seen using his big Pop-eye forearm pads working with Pek or D-Will to help them get better at drawing contact in the pain. He left this offseason to go to Toronto, and Adelman talked a little bit pregame about what Bayno brought to the team.

"He really helped us, and he's got a good opportunity to be the No. 1 assistant, and I'm happy he got that opportunity," Adelman said. "But you know, he added a lot to our staff. But sometimes, some situations are better for people. He really wanted to be a No. 1 assistant."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said Bayno is a great teacher on the court with the guys, and he noted how he's always willing to have that hard-work, sweating approach when trying to help the players improve. Bayno is now the first assistant in Toronto, and he said Bayno has a passion for working with the players on a daily basis.

"That's one of the reasons I hired all the guys I did was because of their ability to teach and grow," Casey said. "We have so many young guys. Even though DeMar DeRozan has been in the league four or five years, he’s still a young player age-wise. He still has a lot of room to grow. Of course Jonas [Valanciunas] has a lot of room to grow. Even Kyle [Lowry] and Rudy [Gay] have a ceiling to get to. They’re not at their peak yet. We have a lot of developing to do with our players."

PREGAME 6:20 PM: Wolves coach Rick Adelman confirms that Kevin Martin will not play tonight to continue resting his sore Achilles. He only played six minutes in Wednesday's game in Toronto and didn't play at all against the Bucks in Sioux Falls. With eight days off until Minnesota's next game, it will give Martin a little extra time to rest up for the regular season. Adelman said Alexey Shved will start at the 2 just like he did in Sioux Falls. Adelman also said you might see extended minutes from the starters tonight, because they haven't had a lot of time to get acquainted with each other this preseason and they'll need to work out a few things on both ends of the floor. So far this preseason the Wolves have used a lot of their reserves, and they've brought a lot of energy. Adelman will be looking to see if the starters can continue getting used to one another. You'll probably see about 10-11 guys play tonight to make sure they get into a little bit of a rotation. Adelman said the team has a long ways to go as far as getting things to come together. One last note: Adelman said he planned to play Chris Johnson on Thursday but decided to stay with the unit that played in the fourth. Johnson has yet to play this preseason, but you might see him tonight.

PREGAME 4:00 PM: Welcome to Target Center, as the Wolves get set to face the Raptors tonight in their final preseason game in Minneapolis before the regular season starts. The Wolves have three more preseason tilts on the schedule before their regular season opener on Oct. 30 against the Magic. After tonight, Minnesota has eight days off before playing the Celtics in Montreal as part of the 2013 NBA Canada Series on Oct. 20 followed by games in Philadelphia (Oct. 23) and Detroit (Oct. 24).

Tonight’s tipoff is at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on 830 WCCO-AM. It will not be televised. Minnesota got its first off day since Sept. 30 yesterday when they rested coming off back-to-backs in Toronto and Milwaukee (in Sioux Falls). The Wolves beat the Raptors 101-89 on Wednesday and are hoping to do the same again tonight. The Raptors are playing in the tail-end of back-to-backs—they hosted New York last night. Neither team held a shootaround this morning.

On the injury front, the Raptors are fully healthy. The Wolves are obviously without swingman Chase Budinger and could again be without shooting guard Kevin Martin. Martin played just six minutes in Toronto on Wednesday and sat out Thursday’s game with a sore Achilles. Coach Rick Adelman said it’s a precautionary measure for the 10-year veteran, and given his history with Adelman he doesn’t need the playing time to learn the system. He’s officially listed as questionable tonight, but with eight days off before Montreal it might be a situation where the Wolves sit Martin to give him extra rest.

If that happens, Adelman put Alexey Shved into the starting shooting guard role on Thursday. But it is preseason, and Adelman could change things up again tonight.

Keep an eye out for how much Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love play tonight. They only played 10:52 in Sioux Falls on Thursday, so they might end up playing in the 20-30 minute range tonight. Again, hard to say since it’s preseason.

Tonight is the return of former Wolves assistant coach Bill Bayno, who left this offseason to take a promoted assistant coaching role with the Raptors. Bayno was a big part of the Timberwolves’ defensive preparation the past two seasons.

More news and notes to come as we get closer to tipoff. Follow along all night right here on Timberwolves.com.


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