Jaden McDaniels Knew Mikal Bridges Would Miss Clutch Free Throws

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Brooklyn Nets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves took care of the Brooklyn Nets, on the road Thursday night, but the win proved much more elusive than originally planned, vs a 17-win East bottom-feeder.

Mikal Bridges misses last-second free throws to tie game vs Timberwolves

How close are we talking? Nets guard Mikal Bridges was at the free throw line with 2 seconds remaining and a chance to tie. Fortunately, he missed the first and then purposely missed the 2nd. The Wolves got the rebound and limped out of Barclays Center with an ugly, but still official, 96-94 victory.

The free throws came after a tenacious Timberwolves defensive possession ended in an irresponsible Jaden McDaniels foul, which is how Bridges ended up at the line with a chance to tie the game, in the first place.

It was Minnesota’s defensive effort that kept them (mostly) in control all night. For the second game in a row, the Wolves were able to defeat a bad team, even though they weren’t running on all cylinders offensively.

Chris Finch talked after the game about how the Wolves must fix their many issues, before the playoff run, if they want to remain a top dog in the Western Conference. Still, not all contenders have the defensive capability to win games on nights where their offense doesn’t show up. It’s the main reason why the Timberwolves have a 32-13 record, one of the best in the entire NBA.

Related: Timberwolves are Targeting Monte Morris at Trade Deadline

Jaden McDaniels knew Bridges would miss?

After the game, Jade McDaniels was asked about how he was feeling when Bridges stepped to the line with the game on his shoulders. McDaniels — who committed the foul that put Mikal at the line — said he knew the 27-year-old former Villanova star would miss. Why was Jaden so sure? “I just knew he didn’t want to win the game…”

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Brooklyn Nets (the rematch)

The Brooklyn Nets will be at Target Center on February 24 for the one and only rematch between the two clubs this season. We’ll see if Mikal Bridges brings any extra juice after these comments from McDaniels. The Timberwolves are off until Saturday evening, when they will play the hapless (8-36) San Antonio Spurs.

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