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Celtics 127, Wolves 117: Clarity

Even without Karl-Anthony Towns, this team is starting to take shape

NBA: Boston Celtics at Minnesota Timberwolves Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s important not to take too much from any small sample size, especially just one game. With that being said, there are a few themes that are starting to consistently pop up.

Tonight, even without the franchises best player, it felt like the new-look Wolves sort of came into focus a bit. They ultimately didn’t play good enough defense to win the game, and that will no doubt be a common occurrence moving forward, but there was a lot of good to take from tonight, in my opinion.

For one, it feels like a leadership hierarchy is forming. I could be reading too much into a short span of time, but it really feels like Malik Beasley will end up being the leader of this team. He’s passionate. He’s a hard-worker. He always seems to be playing hard, which is something that is an easy way to win over a fan-base. Other than maybe Robert Covington, I can’t remember a Wolves player endearing himself to the fans so much, so quickly. I look forward to having him around for a long time.

He isn’t afraid to be vocal, but he seems to do so in a way that will be beneficial for the team. Maybe I’m wrong, but he feels like the natural guy to grab that role. It would obviously be ideal if Karl-Anthony Towns would be that guy, but it doesn’t really matter as long as someone takes the reigns.

Man, Josh Okogie looks good. This current set-up is perfect for him, and he’s making the most of it. The shooting around him has made it much easier for him to be a passable player on the offensive end of the floor, and he has managed to find the perfect balance between scheme and psycho on the defensive end lately. This is the best stretch of his career to date.

I think most of us thought the best part of D’Angelo Russell’s addition would be the added scoring threat, and he has been solid in that aspect, but I really underestimated how good of a passer he is. He takes a lot of chances, and that’ll surely lead to some turnovers, but I think you can live with that given how many phenomenal passes he makes. I’m impressed.

For Boston, I didn’t feel like I learned anything new tonight, but it was definitely reinforcing of just how good Jayson Tatum is. He may not be a superstar quite yet, but that’s simply a matter of when, not if, at this point. With some guys, you can just tell. He’s one of those guys who will be a perennial All-NBA player before long.

Of course, Gordon Hayward torched the Wolves again. For whatever reason, he just goes supernova every time he plays the T-Wolves. In my opinion, the Wolves should try to NOT let that happen next time.

With Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker, and others, Boston is a legit threat to make the Eastern Conference Finals. I’m not sure they’ve got the horses to get past Milwaukee, but they’re a damn good team, and the Wolves shouldn’t be ashamed of dropping this one.