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Knicks 103, Wolves 99: Randle and KAT Go Tit For Tat

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Clyde Frazier was percolating late Sunday night as he watched two Kentucky big men post and toast each other in Madison Square Garden.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Editor’s Note: our latest game recap was conducted by none other than our good friend Clyde Frazier himself, who sliced and diced his way through another Minnesota Timberwolves loss to give you his fresh and original thoughts on everything that went down at the Mecca late Sunday night. Thanks Clyde!

Hey there, Canis Hoopers! It was a thrill to see my two favorite teams throw down in my town! And what a throw down it was! You have to believe both teams were energized and galvanized heading into a game that had to be personal for many of the players and coaches. Plus, I couldn’t wait for my first chance to see my mate from my home state, Anthony Edwards, in person!

At first, the fired-up Wolves started with a burst, but things quickly took a turn for the worse. Karl and Ricky led the Wolves to an 8-3 lead, including back to back threes, as the wolves pounced on the Knicks with a flurry of dishing and swishing.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Knicks countered with driving and thriving of their own, as Elfrid Payton forayed into the paint a ton, and Julius Randle rumbled and rattled in baskets. All the Knicks had the knack, as they shot nearly 60% in the first quarter.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

In the second quarter, as a team, the Knicks cooled off a bit, but Randle continued to give the Wolves fits. Randle’s handles allowed him to spin & win with a swoop & hoop against Vanderbilt’s best efforts. He scored 8 points without missing from the field or stripe.

Rubio also did not miss in the second, going 3-3. While Ricky rested, JMAC tagged in to lead the wolves attack with 5 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist in less than 6 minutes. Naz Reid contributed by drawing 6 free throw attempts.

The third quarter saw the Knicks continue their domination without hesitation, outscoring the Wolves 26-21 in the third, as RJ Barrett began to percolate and devastate, hitting 4 of 5 shots from the field. Naz and Juancho were the Wolves’ head honchos, combining for 13 points without missing. Unfortunately the rest of the Wolves were cold as hell, especially Jalen Nowell.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Wolves’ plight was dire, but Karl Anthony-Towns came out with intense fire and desire! The Big KAT displayed his full repertoire with grandeur & splendor, raining & draining threes, wheeling & dealing, posting & toasting, shocking blocking, and resounding & astounding rebounding. Devastating and frustrating the Knicks in the fourth quarter, Karl contributed 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 threes, 3 frees, 2 blocks and an assist without turning the ball over! Unfortunately, the rest of the Wolves couldn’t match Karl’s excellence, shooting only 4-14. But the now knackless Knicks were even colder, going 4-17 from the field in the fourth.

Alas, an NBA game is often like a roller coaster ride with a hike, a dip and a bend, then decided by crucial plays at the end. The Wolves took a 98-97 lead with 1 minute and 44 seconds to go, as Nerlens Noel couldn’t slow KAT down without hacking and whacking, fouling out late in the game with a particularly appalling mauling! Kat then gave Rose the woes, forcing a miss near the rim. With 32 seconds to go, the lead changed hands for the last time, as Julius Randle’s relentlessness was rewarded, perhaps dubiously by the referee. Down 98-99, KAT seemed poised to seize the game, but his excellent execution of posting & toasting went unrequited with an in-and-out that made him want to scream and shout. And with that, the Wolves were out of time.

It was a frustrating loss for the Wolves, with baffling lapses in offensive and defensive execution. The most inexplicable and despicable offensive example was a bizarre 5 second violation where no Wolves seemed to think they were the one that should hustle to get open. On defense, the Wolves’ miscommunications on rotations allowed unacceptably easy dunks and layups.

But for all the frustrations, this game was still a classic big man sensation. In Madison Square Garden tonight, like many heavyweights before them, Randle and KAT went tit for tat!

Further Thoughts:

  • Immediately after finishing the recap, I found out Suits got the boot. A sad moment in the Saunders saga, but hopefully the right move for the future of the Wolves.
  • I’d like to see Chris Finch stilt Towns and Edwards’ minutes so that Ant is always in when Towns is out. He must rightfully defer when they are together, but we shouldn’t waste Edwards’ chance to continue learning to drive and thrive.
  • Kenny Albert brought up some of my fondest memories as an All Star. I won a trophy and a car! The trophy was so enormous I bought it it’s own first class airplane ticket and flew it back home sitting next to me!