Timberwolves Fall to OKC in Final Game
The Wolves' season-ending game Wednesday seemed ironically appropriate, an accurate reflection of the year's challenges. Minnesota welcomed Oklahoma City to the Target Center, and the game quickly turned into the Russell Westbrook show. Westbrook scored 37 points en route to a win over the Wolves. Once again, Minnesota sports are ending up in the record book for all the wrong reasons:
Russell Westbrook's 23 points in the first quarter were the most he's scored in a quarter in any game in his career— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 16, 2015
The guard's performance gave him the edge over James Harden, and he was named the 2014-15 Scoring Champion, finishing the season averaging 28.1 points per game.
Although the Wolves scored 113 points themselves, it wasn't enough to stop the steam-rolling Thunder, who dropped 138 points on the night. Wednesday's game was one last, brutal reminder of the team's defensive struggles this season.
Reflections on the Season... But Mostly on Andrew Wiggins
I probably sound like a broken record, but despite the abysmal defensive play, I left the last game feeling only a little disappointed. That's partially because fans have had a copious amount of time to deal with the reality of this season, but it's also because we're legitimately left with some [very shiny] silver linings.
"Injury bug" -- it seems to be a common theme for the Wolves over the past three seasons. Had Minnesota not seen all the injuries it did, specifically Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, its record may have come out looking a lot different. I still feel confident saying the Wolves would have finished with 35-40 wins with a healthy roster, and I'm hoping we get an accurate look at the team for 2015-16.
Andrew Wiggins is the real deal. It's admittedly hard to know how a young top draft pick will turn out (just look at Anthony Bennett), but I think it's safe to say Wiggins exceeded all critics' expectations. It's hard to watch a losing team for an entire season, but Wiggins kept Timberwolves fans interested at the very least. The rookie certainly made an impression, and he got better with every game he played.
Wiggins' extreme talent and Zach LaVine's improvement and clear potential throughout the year offers a look into "what could be" for next season, and the future is bright.
Check out some of Wiggins' top highlights below:
The 2015 WNBA Draft took place in Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT) Thursday night. Although the Lynx were originally slated to have the No. 11 pick, they traded that pick along with picks No. 23 and No. 28 to the New York Liberty in exchange for guard Anna Cruz and New York's No. 16 and No. 35 picks. With those slots, the Lynx drafted forward Reshanda Gray (California) and forward Shae Kelley (Minnesota), respectively. Here's a look at the new additions:
- 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year
- Averaged 17.4 points, ranking No. 4 in the Pac-12
- Averaged 7.1 rebounds per game, ranking No. 10 in the Pac-12
- Finished her career as Cal's all-time field goal percentage leader and ranked fifth in points and rebounds
- Named to the 2015 All-Big Ten First Team
- Ranked No. 6 in the Big Ten in scoring, offensive rebounds and double-doubles
- Ranked No. 7 in the Big Ten in defensive rebounds
- Prior to MN, named 2014 All-Conference USA First Team with Old Dominion
- Surpassed 1,000 career points in just her second year at Old Dominion
Friday Flick Recommendation
In the spirit of the NHL Playoffs, I have to recommend an oldie but a goodie:
I love movies based on true stories, and I love sports films. Miracle combines the two, and it's an epic story of the U.S. Olympic team beating the Soviets at the 1980 winter Olympics and then going on to win the gold medal.
With roster members of the team being Minnesotans, it's a great flick for Midwest sports fans. Enjoy the trailer, and happy weekending!