The Minnesota Timberwolves were blown out in a 108-91 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, which isn't good considering Chicago was missing starting center Joakim Noah and the Wolves had Kevin Love returning from a three-game absence.
"For whatever reason, it wasn't there tonight," Wolves coach Kurt Rambis told the media after the game. "We didn't bring the effort and intensity and focus for the vast majority of the ballgame."
Aside from a lack of effort and intensity and focus, however, not everything that happened on Wednesday night at the Target Center was a negative for the home team.
For instance, Love returned from injury to contribute a near-double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds in less than 27 minutes of action despite the recent groin injury. Well, Love actually only scored 14 points, but was the closest man to the basket when Bulls forward TaJ Gibson tipped the ball into the wrong basket on accident. Since Love was the closest Wolves player, however, he was credited with the basket. Way to be close to the basket while tricking the other team into scoring baskets for you, Mr. Love.
Another positive is that coach Kurt Rambis allowed all of the starters plenty of rest for the upcoming
playoff run drawn-out, lockout-laden offseason. In fact, no starter played more than 28 minutes and all of them sat on the bench during the fourth quarter while watching the Wolves' bench outscore the Bulls' bench -- and Kurt Thomas -- 25-22. This obviously means the Wolves bench is deep.
The Timberwolves' stingy defense also held NBA MVP candidate Derrick Rose to his worst scoring performance over Chicago's last five games as Rose with just 23 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field. Rose also finished with 10 assists, just one turnover, shot 4-of-9 from beyond the arc and sat out the entire fourth quarter, but the Wolves can still hang their hat on holding him to a mere 23 points after he scored 31 against the Philadelphia 76ers last game.
Lazar Hayward played for the 37th time this season and even scored three points!