The Minnesota Timberwolves have proven to be one of the most potent offensive teams in the NBA this season when they are clicking. For the year, they have the eighth best offense in the league in terms of efficiency, averaging 105.6 points per 100 possessions. With the additions from this offseason and with them staying healthy, their offense has been their greatest weapon.
Heading into Friday night’s matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats, you had to expect the Wolves to be on the verge of a big night offensively. Sure, the Bobcats have been a top-10 defensive team this season, but with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor out, their defense has slipped a bit.
When they took the floor, things played out exactly as you would have thought. The first quarter was relatively close, but the Wolves outscored the Bobcats 39-20 in the second quarter and never let go on their way to a massive 119-92 victory on Friday night.
The Bobcats didn’t necessarily help their cause with scoring of their own as much of their production came when the game was already out of reach. Overall it was okay at 44 percent shooting from the floor and 8-19 shooting from three on the night for Charlotte, but it appeared much worse throughout.
Even worse, though, was Charlotte’s defense that couldn’t prevent anything that the Wolves were doing. Nikola Pekovic was bullying Al Jefferson in the post, Kevin Love was doing Kevin Love things, and Kevin Martin was getting a plethora of open looks on the perimeter. On the night, Love finished with 19 points on 6-10 shooting, Pekovic finished with 26 points and 10-14 shooting and Martin also put up 19 on 9-12 shooting. Overall the Wolves shot 54.5 percent from the floor and 47.4 percent as a team on the night.
This game was really a testament to both the Wolves’ offensive presence and how the Bobcats are ailing right now. If Minnesota can play at this level consistently, particularly with an easier schedule on the horizon, they’ll be right in the playoff picture. Likewise, if the Bobcats can’t get healthy and back in-rhythm, this could be another long season in Charlotte.