The Houston Rockets are one of the most potent offensive teams in the NBA. Though they haven’t been the picture of consistency this year, they’re a team that can come out any night and light it up. On Monday night, that left the hardly defensive-minded Minnesota Timberwolves with the tall task of getting in a shootout with Houston.
However, it was the Rockets that ultimately did all the shooting against Minnesota. Kevin Love put up a solid line with 31 points and 10 boards, but his 9-23 shooting from the floor and just 1-6 shooting from long-range was not ideal. Overall, the Wolves just didn’t have it offensively as they put up just 89 points on 35.6 percent shooting and just 6-25 shooting from three. Unsurprisingly with that type of offensive performance, Minnesota fell by a score of 107-89.
You can hardly blame the Wolves for struggling offensively as of right now, though. Their two biggest offensive options outside of Love, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic, are both currently out with injuries, which leaves this team with an inconsistent and a bit deficient offense. Ricky Rubio and Corey Brewer have had their offensive moments as of late, but they’re hardly reliable in the sense of putting points on the board.
Ronny Turiaf has been solid in relief of Pekovic over this stretch, but he’s not remotely close to being the offensive presence that Pek is. Moreover, the Wolves don’t have anyone on the roster that can really replace the perimeter threat that Martin brings to this team.
The 2012-13 season for Minnesota was derailed by a slew of injuries throughout their roster over the year. As the Wolves have been on the cusp of playoff position in the Western Conference for most of the year and are looking to make a push around the All-Star break, injuries could once again be their downfall. If they’re going to sniff the postseason, they need to get healthy to get their offense back to form.