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Rockets Blast Wolves, 123-118

Threes and Frees, Baby!

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I guess we should say “yay?”

The Timberwolves finished their season super-weak with a 6 game losing streak, so I guess my main man, Dane Moore, and all the rest of you who were pro-tanking should be thanking the Rockets for inexplicably giving a damn in their regular season finale. Oh yeah, and instead of being slack, my Knicks had too much knack and beat the 76ers to realize this “best case scenario” Dane presented yesterday afternoon:

Best Case: If the Wolves lose and the Knicks win. (Tie for six and seven-slot)

1st: 5.3 percent

2nd: 6.0 percent

3rd: 7.0 percent

Top-3: 18.3 percent

6th: 22.0 percent

7th: 45.2 percent

8th: 13.6 percent

9th: 10 percent

I suppose we should all be good with this my fellow Wolves fan OGs, as long as it doesn’t result in Karl-Anthony Towns signing a qualifying offer to get the heck out of here ASAP. Who knows, maybe we’ll win the lotto, a saying that has become the Wolves fan motto. 5.3% ain’t bad odds. Ol’ Clyde always rolls at least one crit when he gets down with that Dungeons & Dragons shizznit.

But back to the Rockets. To quote dearly departed Denny Green:

The embodiment of basketball analytics, the runnin’, gunnin’ Rockets won with 3s and “frees,” shooting a filthy 56 shots from way downtown. Watch Ryan Anderson gun the Wolves down:

Anderson finished with 20 points on 6-15 shooting from behind the arch. Not to be outdone, The Bearded One racked up another triple-double and hit 5 threes of his own:

Though tied at halftime, the game was not as close as the final score would indicate. As winning, veteran teams are wont to do, the Rockets came out in the 3rd quarter and took control. They outscored the Wolves 35-21, forcing the Wolves into 7 turnovers while only turning it over twice themselves. Oh yeah . . . and the Rockets outshot the Wolves from 3, hitting 7 of 16 3s, as the Wolves hit a mere 1 of 3.

In the losing effort, The Big KAT once again produced phat stats. He finished with 28 points, 21 rebounds and 3 assists, with 0 turnovers. With all that ‘bounding and astounding, and by hitting 3-4 3-pointers, KAT became the 1st player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 100 3s.

Personally, my favorite highlight of Towns’ was this dish for a swish:

He is the game’s preeminent poster and toaster!

It’s easy to get desensitized to his excellence, especially in losses, but if Karl continues his exponential growth, he’ll be in the running for All-NBA First Team, and perhaps even MVP next year.

Karl seemed to take the disappointing season in stride after the game, focusing on his faith that the Wolves have what it takes to be successful, “We’ve got the talent, we’ve got the coaching, we just need to put it together this offseason and be ready to come back next year with the firepower and also the intelligence needed to go out there and win a lot more games.”

When asked about his statistical achievements, Towns predictably provided a tired cliché, “To me it doesn’t mean too much. I wish I could have made the playoffs and had none of those stats.”

But KAT followed that BS by giving credit to the Timberwolves training and strength conditioning staff, which should allay the alarm many Canis Hoopers felt when Arnie Kander departed.

Regarding his stellar statistics, Towns added, “It’s more of a compliment to our training staff and our strength and conditioning staff we have here at the Timberwolves who are keeping me healthy every single game and allowing me to play at a high level for 82 straight games. It’s because of them and our coaching that’s been fabulous that I’m able to fathom having those numbers.”

KAT hardly sounds like a man that has been ground down by Tom Thibodeau, and despite the Canis community’s continual clamoring for Thibs to heed research reinforcing benefits of the rest, after the game, Tommy T cited improved conditioning as a key to success next year.

Thibodeau seemed exceptionally positive for a coach finishing the season with six-straight losses. “This is an exciting time of the year, because it never ends and this is chance for us to improve our team,” he remarked.

When asked if he planned to take any time off, Thibs joked, “Yeah, the flight back to Minneapolis.”

At least he walks the walk. It is clear Thibodeau is willing to sacrifice his body for the team’s success:

Well, my canine compadres, we better hope those two do what they need to do this offseason. Thibs needs to put a team around KAT that can start to win before he becomes disillusioned. On the flip side, KAT needs to look in the mirror and realize he has to put the effort in to lead the team on both ends of the court. This season was disappointing, but Clyde is going out on a limb and predicting that next year, we’ll be anointing KAT to the All-NBA First Team. He’ll have more than enough clout as he helps the Wolves end their playoff drought.

Clyde’s Asides:

  • James Harden is my pick for MVP, but this stuff drives me crazy:

I don’t blame Harden, mind you. In fact, this is evidence of his genius on the offensive end. I blame NBA officiating. I can’t stand to see that brand of duping and hooping rewarded.

Another thing that ticked me off about the last video was that Jim Petersen and Dave Benz just talk right through the action while droning on about their talking points. I love Jim Pete, so I hope that changes when they are more competitive next year.

  • Thibs talked about being wise with the Wolves’ resources last summer, but I can’t believe they are stuck with Cole Aldrich for 2 more years. I mean, all we were counting on him for was post defense and rebounding. Watch Nene abuse Aldrich:
  • Finally, Houston is home to the NBA’s cutest couple. Check these two out:

These Rockets season-ticket-holders are such a part of the show that Lawanda got to dance with the cheerleaders during the Wolves game:

  • Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones put up some nice stats in a game where both sides played lackadaisical defense:

Well, peace for now, my canine comrades. Get those hopes back up because here comes the most exciting time to be a Wolves fan: the offseason!