We finish the weekend with what can only be described as an ugly game, but a win is a win and the Timberwolves are starting to show signs of looking more like the team Chris Finch envisions.
It still was pretty ugly, though, at least until the fourth quarter. Both teams spent much of the first half looking like they’d spent their morning and early afternoon at bottomless mimosas.
Aside from just general sloppiness, there were just several really weird things happening tonight, such as Damian Lillard going scoreless in the second quarter but ending up with 38 points anyways or Karl-Anthony Towns missing both free throws on two different occasions.
On top of that, Minnesota had a few injury scares between KAT falling on his left wrist again and Anthony Edwards missing a portion of the fourth quarter after colliding with Enes Kanter in mid-air.
Thankfully, both players seem to be ok. Towns never left the game, and Edwards missed a few minutes of action to get looked at and then re-entered around the 7-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
And, of course, better than all of that is that Minnesota won. I know that keeping the 2021 pick is important, but I can’t help but feel good about a win in which Anthony Edwards shoots the ball well and smiles while doing it. When the shots go in for ANT like they did tonight, holy freaking smokes. He was legitimately unconscious in the fourth quarter to the point that Portland sent a double at half-court. That level of shot-making has not been seen here in a while. The kid rules. Edwards finished with 34 points on 12-24 from the field, including 6-14 from three.
Lord have mercy ANT is out for blood pic.twitter.com/2R4wxo7RR3— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) March 15, 2021
BREAKING NEWS FROM MINNEAPOLIS — ANT-MAN EDWARDS IS BECOMING A CLOSER. pic.twitter.com/MzGwyaYqKi— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) March 15, 2021
I know Towns has spoken about being more aggressive, but he was effective passing out of the double-team tonight. Portland was not going to let him beat them one-on-one, so Towns beat them with his passing. Minnesota probably would’ve liked to get Towns more than 9 shots, but his 8 assists were pretty nice, too.
As for the “other guys,” the Wolves got nice performances from Jarred Vanderbilt and Josh Okogie. Vanderbilt put up 12 & 9 with 5 stocks, and Okogie made all ten of his eleven free throws while playing some stellar defense on Lillard. Dame still ended up with a nice stat line, but boy oh boy did Okogie make him work for it, and that’s all you can do against players of Lillard’s status.
All in all, this was an awesome, albeit weird, night for the Timberwolves. They can and should feel great about the way they played tonight. Nights like this one let you see what the good looks like under Chris Finch. They tried their damndest to give this one away at the end, but nonetheless, a win is a win.