Friday, February 22, 2013

Nikola Pekovic's Hot Streak Comes to an End Against the Thunder

The Minnesota Timberwolves' season has been derailed by a steady string of injuries. First Ricky Rubio went down, then Kevin Love, then Alexey Shved and finally Andrei Kirilenko. One after the other, they fell like dominos and Minnesota's once hopeful season fell apart.

However, if there has been one bright spot - particularly as of late - it's been the play of Nikola Pekovic. The 6-foot-11 center leads the team in scoring, and in February he's been the engine driving the team. In fact, in the T'Wolves' recent win over the 76ers, Pekovic dropped 27 points and hauled in a season-high 18 rebounds.

SnapCall Question
Granted, Pekovic did put up those monster numbers against a below-average Philadelphia unit that lacks any real down low presence due to Andrew Bynum's prolonged absence.

So the real question coming into tonight's game between Minnesota and Oklahoma City was, could Pekovic maintain his recent hot streak when up against stiff competition?

As the correct response indicates, Pekovic ran into Kendrick Perkins, OKC's defensive buzzsaw. Pekovic struggled to get anything going against the Thunder center.

Pekovic was unable to maintain position on the block, and after Ricky Rubio made a few unsuccessful attempts early on to get his center involved, Minnesota gave up trying to run its offense through the post.

For the rest of the night, Pekovic was either sitting on the bench or lost on the court. He played just 22 minutes - the fewest he had since January 5 - and scored only 5 points, his lowest total in over a month.

While the Montenegrin center was playing like a man possessed - at least by Minnesota's meager standards - it turns out that all good things must come to an end.

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