By The Numbers: Wolves Wrap Up 2012-13 Season

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By The Numbers: Wolves Wrap Up 2012-13 Season



Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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There are a lot of things that differentiate this year’s Timberwolves team from those in years past. At the top of the list is the aura about this group that believed in each other until the end, knowing things didn’t go their way in many regards this season but never giving up on one another. This was supposed to be the franchise’s return to the postseason for the first time in nine years. Injuries derailed that. But the team’s belief and support in one another never waned—even when the wins weren’t coming—and there was a ‘fight till the end’ mentality that followed the Wolves to San Antonio for last night’s season finale.

And for all the difficulties this team faced since October, Minnesota was rewarded for its efforts down the stretch.

The Wolves knocked off the Spurs 108-95 on Wednesday night at AT&T Center, beating the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a strong second half flurry that put the game away. Minnesota allowed just 34 points in the second half, including a 24-15 spurt in the third that created separation. The end result was San Antonio—a 58-win team—losing for the sixth time at home this season.

It was Minnesota’s fourth win in seven games against the Spurs over the past two seasons, but it was the Wolves’ first win in San Antonio since Jan. 14, 2004—a span of 17 games.

But perhaps more than that, what the Wolves did leading up to this game was more indicative of this team’s fight despite adversity throughout the year. Minnesota finished 8-8 in their final 16 games, including 5-5 in April. They went 4-30 over their previous four seasons in the month of April, including back-to-back 0-7 seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

This team was poised for better results throughout, and it just didn’t happen due to circumstance. But essentially without their projected starting front court—Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic—for a portion of this final month, the Wolves responded and showed glimpses of why forward Dante Cunningham said this team could be “unbelievable” if healthy and together for an entire year.

“You have to give a lot of credit to our guys,” coach Rick Adelman said. “They continued to play all year long. The other night against Utah was one of the few times we didn’t [play], but tonight we did. These guys will finish n a positive note. A lot of guys contributed tonight. We had our struggles this year, but I think these guys learned a lot, too.”

Wolves guard Ricky Rubio said a win like this could springboard some momentum into the upcoming season. Minnesota certainly hopes that’s the case. Guard J.J. Barea said it was a character victory.

“It tells a lot about this team,” Barea said. “We know what we can be, but some guys need to get healthy and some need to get their heads on straight. If we stay healthy next year, everything will be different.”

By the numbers, here are a few notes to take with you as we head into the offseason:

  • After last night’s win, the Wolves earned the No. 9 position in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery. They hold a 1.7 percent chance of attaining the No. 1 overall pick. The Wolves also own Memphis’ first round pick this year (via Houston), and that pick will either be No. 25 or 26. A coin flip to determine the positioning will happen today.


  • Rubio fell one steal short of leading the NBA in steals per game this season. He picked up two steals last night in San Antonio, and he finished with 2.40 steals per game in 2012-13. Clippers guard Chris Paul led the league with 2.41 steals per game.


  • Rubio also finished 10th in the NBA in assists per game at 7.3. Rajon Rondo led the league with 11.1 assists per game before his season-ending ACL injury, and Chris Paul finished second with 9.7 assists per game.


  • The Wolves 8-8 finish over their last 16 games is their best record in the final 16 games of a season since going 11-5 to finish the 2004-05 campaign.


  • Andrei Kirilenko became the sixth starting forward in Wolves history to shoot over 50 percent for a full season.


  • Rubio finished with seven 4x5 games (points, assists, steals, rebounds), tying LeBron James in 2004-05 and Chris Paul in 2008-09 for the most in a single season in the last 15 years.


  • The Wolves had 19 players on their active roster this season, including Will Conroy, Lou Amundson, Lazar Hayward and Josh Howard who were not present to end the year. Minnesota’s players underwent six surgeries or procedures this year, five of which were knee-related.


  • Luke Ridnour was the lone player to appear in all 82 games this season, and he started all 82. Dante Cunningham was second with 80 appearances, and Derrick Williams was third at 78. Six players played in 18 games or fewer this year.


  • Minnesota started 16 different starting lineups this season, the most frequent being PG-Ricky Rubio, SG-Luke Ridnour, SF-Andrei Kirilenko, PF-Derrick Williams and C-Nikola Pekovic (23 games, 9-14 record).


  • The Wolves lost 341 man games to injury this season (Roy-76, Love, 64, Lee-63, Budinger-59, Rubio-24, Pekovic-19, Kirilenko-18, Barea-7, Shved-5, Howard-4, Cunningham-1, Hayward-1).


  • Rookie guard Alexey Shved finished the season 10th in the NBA among rookies with 8.6 points per game. he was second among rookies with 3.7 assists per game (trailing Damian Lillard’s 6.5 assists—Lillard also led all rookies with 19.0 points per game).


  • Pekovic led the team 22 times in points and 24 times in rebounding. Pekovic had 20 20-point games and 26 10-rebound games, both team-leading figures, and he also led the team with 26 point-rebound double-doubles. Rubio led the team 42 times in assists, and he had 12 point/assist double doubles to go along with two point-rebound double-doubles (including a triple-double against San Antonio on March 12.


  • Kirilenko led the team with 78 dunks, followed by Williams’ 68 and Cunningham’s 38.



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