You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- With about three minutes left in the game, Dallas rediscovered that which had made them an offensive juggernaut the previous week: attacking the basket. Darren Collison (21 points, 11-12 FTs, 5 assists) is the engine behind the Dirkless offense and when he isn’t probing the lane and Dallas settles for long jumpers late in the shot clock, the offense is borderline unwatchable.
- Dallas started the game the same way they’ve finished the last two: giving up four offensive rebounds in the first 8 minutes of playing time. However, the next three plus quarters they only gave up three. Dallas is still -69 on the year in terms of rebounding margin, but tonight it was due to the poor shooting display (36.2%).
- A variety of Timberwolves played excellent. For the second straight game a point guard had a big game against Dallas; Luke Ridnour (15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals) helped control the game for Minnesota. Andrei Kirilenko (16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) set the tone early and abused Jae Crowder. Nikola Pekovic (20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) is such a massive man and to be that skilled offensively is such a rare trait in today’s NBA. Rookie Alexey Shved (16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 9-11 FTs) didn’t shoot the ball well, but as you can see by his stat line, he managed to affect the game in every other possible way. I recommend taking a look at A Wolf Among Wolves for their take on the game as well.