D’Angelo Russell will not play tonight with that quad injury, Wolves say. Missed GSW game Monday with it. Wanted to give it a go against Brooklyn, his former team, Wednesday, and it was still bothering him. Wolves want him right before he debuts— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 8, 2020
When this happened last night, how many of you gave up on Saturday’s Timberwolves vs. Clippers game at Target Center? How many of you waited to buy tickets until you knew D-Lo would be playing, since they announced his status as “questionable” right after the trade?
I can’t say I’d blame you. Outside of a few guys with some talent and a little bit of promise, we weren’t supposed to be overly excited about the rest of the haul brought in this week, in a flurry of moves that completely flipped the Timberwolves roster.
Outside of D’Angelo Russell, we thought Gersson Rosas brought in a bunch of cheap young guys who can shoot a little bit and run the offense he dreams of, just a little bit better than what we had.
After just one game without D’Angelo Russell though, I’m now wondering whether or not Gersson Rosas just pulled the biggest robbery in NBA history…
Seriously, the Minnesota Timberwolves WENT OFF last night. Newly acquired Malik Beasley set Target Center on fire in the first half, when he hit (6) 3-pointers and helped the Wolves set a franchise record for points in a half, with 81.
Yes, that is not a typo… the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lost 13-straight games before last night, scored 81 points in the 1st half. Fuck, they had 100 points with 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.
They were absolutely unstoppable. KAT scored big, Beasley finished with 23 PTS and 10 REB… Jordan McGloughlin continues to blow my mind with his explosiveness. How did everyone miss him? He finished the night with 24 points and 11 assists.
James Johnson is apparently a 6-foot; 7-inch PF/SF/SG/PG, who will grab a defensive rebound, dribble the ball down the floor, cross you up, and drop a 3 in your face…. Then, he’ll beat the shit out of your toughest player, light up a blunt, and get a tattoo about the whole thing…
…so I need to hang out with James Johnson, clearly. He posted 12 PTS | 5 AST | 3 REB | 2 STL | 1 BLK …. off the bench.
It was a lot of fun to watch the Minnesota Timberwolves play basketball last night.
Alright…. I’m trying to come down off of this Timberwolves high because we all know they can’t play this well every night. They literally have, what was considered NBA recycling prior to last night, lining their entire roster.
They aren’t going to go off for (26) 3-pointers (franchise record) or 39 assists (most this season) every night. There will be growing pains… you’d think.
But this team does have one thing going for it, that can be replicated every night…. and actually might be.
Energy and Effort
All of these players feel like they have been shit on, since coming into the NBA. Whether they have been or not, is probably up for debate, but those players feel like they have the answer… and they certainly did last night.
It’s been a really long time since we watched that much effort out of a Timberwolves team, who shared the ball and played with movement, like what we saw last night.
Even if you pump the breaks on some of the shooting numbers, the Wolves still probably win. At worst, they are in a barn-burner with one of the top-3 teams in the NBA, with the LA Clippers.
If you play with energy and effort consistently, good things will happen in the NBA because a lot of teams don’t bring it consistently. These players are too good and the margin of error is too slim. If one team brings energy and effort and the other team doesn’t, that will probably be the deciding factor in that game.
That’s why playoff games look so much different… because when the energy and effort cranks up to 100% on both sides, NBA basketball becomes a man’s game where only the greats can stand out. Legends are made in the NBA Playoffs for that reason.
One negative to this whole thing, is tanking. This didn’t look like a team ready to tank last night. Even when they cool their jets… I don’t think this team will end up in the bottom 10 of this league.
I’m going to give it a few more games, but the tank could be over.
If they play like this though, especially when Russell returns to the lineup, then who the fuck cares. It’s about time we have some fun watching professional basketball in this market again.
Plus, we have another max deal ready and available, after all of the moves made last week…. so let’s just go and get the 3rd best friend and call it a franchise?
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan