Last night, Corey Brewer and Derrick Williams put on a defensive clinic, stopping Thunder superstar Kevin Durant at times, frustrating him at other times and making him work hard all night. They were the key to the T’Wolves’ 100-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Target Center. Kevin Love led all scorers with 24 points. Nikola Pekovic added 15 points and 10 rebounds while Ricky Rubio scored 14 points to go with his 10 assists and 5 steals.

The night belonged to Corey Brewer and Derrick Williams, though, with Brewer frustrating Durant into a sub-par 13 point performance. Brewer chased Durant through screen after screen, refusing to let Durant get clean looks at the hoop. The key to the matchup was Brewer’s height, athleticism and tenacity.

When Brewer wasn’t chasing Durant around, Derrick Williams played the role of Durant’s shadow. Williams isn’t as talented or tenacious defensively as Brewer but he’s as athletic as his teammate.

Telling, too, was the fact that the T’Wolves turned 21 Thunder turnovers into 25 points. Finally, the T’Wolves outscored the Thunder 19-2 on fast breaks.

The game wasn’t as close as the final score showed, which should frighten Scottie Brooks, the Thunder’s coach. The T’Wolves’ largest lead was 100-69. That meant Oak City scored the last 12 points to pull within 20 of the T’Wolves.

It’s much too soon to make predictions on where the T’Wolves will finish but it isn’t too early to say that this is the most talented team in franchise history other than the team that went to the Western Conference Finals. Love is healthy again. Nikola Pekovic just signed a new contract so he’ll be around for a few years. Ricky Rubio has played like an All-Star thus far, playing sterling defense while dazzling fans with his great passing skills. Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin round out the starting five, followed by subs J.J. Barea, Alexey Schved, Derrick Williams and Rony Turiaf.

Kevin Martin is a talented wingman offensively while Brewer is the defensive stopper and energy guy. They’re significant upgrades over last year’s players, partially because of their professionalism, partially because of their skill sets. They’re great additions to the T’Wolves’ big three of Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio.

How far they’ll go is still a mystery at this point in the season. What’s plenty knowable, though, is that this team is talented, talented enough to make the playoffs.

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One Response to “Brewer, D-Will stop Durant; T’Wolves trounce Thunder”

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    The key thing is will Love and Rubio remain healthy. they have a great coach that can get this team to play up to it’s potential. They can make the playoffs where hopefully magic will take place.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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