back to art of the shot chart and back to another horrible rookie shooting performance in minnesota’s 116-94 loss to the lakers in los angeles.

as much as injuries have set the lakers back this year, the timberwolves have been absolutely destroyed by them. already missing kevin love, chase budinger, andrei kirilenko, and brandon roy, the team suffered another setback as big man nikola pekovic left in the first quarter with an abdominal strain (after getting dunked on by kobe [again] but before meeting zach galifianakis so he was probably feeling a lot of strange emotions last night). from there, despite nice offensive efforts from luke ridnour and j.j. barea, the lakers cruised to a pretty complete victory over the timberwolves as they continue their chase for the playoffs.

for minnestota, alexey shved struggled (to the surprise of no one), putting up 5 points on 8 shots, a rebound, an assist, and 2 steals in 20 minutes. he’s as inconsistent as any rookie, but he’s also been one of the more exciting and notable first year players this season. a big part of that is the extended opportunities he gets to work through his mistakes because of the team’s injuries, so there’s your silver lining.

although i pretty much see spider-man in every shot chart i look at, the connection today was undeniable. it was a bit of a stretch in terms of the lines, but i’m the boss of this column and so i say “here’s web in your eyes!” he also had a half court heave miss at the end of the first quarter that’s not accounted for up there so just pretend that’s like part of his costume or whatever; i don’t care. anyway, not unlike a young peter parker, alexey shved struggles with his identity and a lot of that has to do with expectations of those he surrounds himself with. everyone has different opinions of how peter parker should live his life, but most of them are totally oblivious to the daily challenges he faces. similarly, as a rookie, shved takes some heat from his teammates for his hair and even his face, having to conform to their perceptions of his best self as he tries to navigate unfamiliar territory. with his great basketball power (and massive amounts of injuries to his teammates) has come great on-court responsibility. his ability to look beyond his own failures and find ways to help his team win games will ultimately determine whether he is merely a man or an amazing spider-man. i hope no one drowns because of how deep this is.

until tomorrow, thanks for reading your friendly neighborhood art of the shot chart. excelsior!

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