The Timberwolves are 5-2 this preseason, but both losses have come to a Pacers team that's missing its one standout player, forward Danny Granger. Tuesday, Minnesota took Indiana to overtime but couldn't finish off the win at Target Center. Kevin Love again led the Wolves with 28 points and 12 rebounds, and looks like he may be getting adjusted to his role as Minnesota's best player.
With Darko MIlicic out with a sore neck and shoulder, the Wolves had serious trouble defending inside. Indiana big man Roy Hibbert scored 27 and dished out six assists by passing out of double teams, which of course makes you wonder, "Why would anybody have to double-team Roy Hibbert?" Kosta Koufos started at center for the Wolves and scored ten points, but was an ugly -14 for the night. Nikola Pekovic continues to have trouble playing basketball instead of rugby; he fouled out in just 13 minutes. Without Milicic, the Wolves may be quite vulnerable in the paint this year.
Corey Brewer started at shooting guard, but he clanked five of his seven shots (and both of his three-pointers), and you have to wonder if his time as a regular part of Minnesota's rotation is coming to an end. Luke Ridnour also was second choice down the stretch to Sebastian Telfair, mostly because Ridnour couldn't guard anybody, which is also not a good sign.
Minnesota finishes its preseason slate Friday in Milwaukee, then opens the year at home next Wednesday against Sacramento. There's a week to go before the games start counting for real - and while there's certainly excitement at Target Center, there are certainly also cracks showing.