Welcome to Wednesday. The Wolves outscored Miami 41-22 in the fourth to win their fifth road game of the season (5-1) in Rubio's return to the starting lineup last night.
Rubio didn't play particularly well, but true to the numbers, when he plays the Wolves are competent.
Zach LaVine finished a team-high +17 on the floor with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Andrew Wiggins added 24 points, though he struggled from the field until the last seven minutes of the game when he became incredibly aggressive and went to work.
It was Wiggins' fifth 20+ point game of the season. His 11 free throw attempts were a new season high and over the last six games he's averaging 25.7 points on 55.6 percent true shooting with a usage rate of 29.2 percent and an 8.6 TOV% (turnovers per 100 possessions).
The Bounce Brothers outscored Miami 23-22 in the final quarter. All of their points came in the last 7:26 of the game.
Shabazz Muhammad looked dialed in, scoring 16 points in 20+ minutes. Muhammad was 6-of-8 from the field, including 2-3 from three-point range, improving to 64.1% (25-of-39) from the floor over the last six games. He was +12 on the court. Then there's the BIG KAT, who posted 14 points and 14 rebounds. Just another day at the office for perhaps the league's brightest young star.
It was Towns' seventh double-double in 11 games. He's just the fourth player in the last 30 seasons (THIRTY) to record seven double-doubles in his first 11 games; joining Shaquille O'Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, and David Robinson.
Eric wrote the full recap here, in case you missed it. The bench really came through – led by LaVine, Muhammad, and ADREIAN PAYNE! – and those three in particular deserve credit. Without those performances the team likely doesn't come away victorious. Another positive: nobody played more than 33 minutes (Wiggins) and that helps a great deal entering the back end of their Florida back-to-back against Orlando tonight.
This is an open thread. What do people want to talk about? How about Joe Mande's kickstarter to become minority owner of the team? I also need 200 million dollars to buy a 20% stake of the Timberwolves from Glen Taylor.
Some other potential topics: Is Scott Skiles the right coach for the young Magic? I don't believe so. Who are some lesser known U25 players, at least nationally, across the league you have enjoyed thus far? I'm loving Clint Capela.
Speaking of Capela... WOJ BOMB!
The Houston Rockets fired coach Kevin McHale, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 18, 2015
J.B. Bickerstaff, will become interim head coach, league sources tell Yahoo. Assistant Chris Finch will become associate head coach.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 18, 2015
Houston has started slowly (4-7) and that has cost Kevin McHale his job. The Rockets have lost four straight and currently have the fourth worst point differential in the league (-7.7). Anyway, I've always thought J.B. Bickerstaff would make for a fine coach one day. His time is now.