Since I know most of you Central Time Zoners might have missed the game, I’ll keep it nice and compact for ya’ll. I’ll sum up each quarter in just 1 sentence accompanied by some Twitter highlights. Sound good? Well, I can’t hear you either way.
Suns commit 10 turnovers, Wolves unable to takeover.
hit the brakes and they fly right by pic.twitter.com/EDyfF0VPyi— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
KAT steps back for a three, cue the Twitter freakout pic.twitter.com/G7lRbQTGzC— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
The bandwagon of Anthony Edwards, now known as Army Ants™, has entered.
ANT SKILL CHECK ☑️ pic.twitter.com/7EV3ZqWdcN— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
ANTHONY EDWARDS— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
THIS KID IS FREAKING FUN pic.twitter.com/WsPMLUiR4I— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
Wolves somehow survive the 3rd, ready for a 4th that’s absurd.
fundamental footwork pic.twitter.com/BnWkwA8Erf— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
Stop Edwards Phoenix Shan’t; It’s winning time for Ant.
FORTY PIECE FOR THE ROOKIE pic.twitter.com/yWffAn0RzG— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
JUANCHOOOOOOOO— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
JUST LIKE FINCHY DREW IT UP pic.twitter.com/1MkHpeB78i
To be honest, despite being proud of the 2-1 start after the all-star break, I still fully expected us to go 0-3 vs the Lakers and Suns (x2) this week. We were (mostly) competitive against the Lakers and early tonight in our first match-up against the Suns. Ant was hittin’ a big stride highlighted by some insane “Wow” moments. KAT seemed to be rounding back to form. Most importantly, we hadn’t surrendered nor jeopardized the best odds at keeping our 1st round pick! That’s all I was asking for as we neared the final 1⁄3 of the season.
It appeared we were in for our typically 2nd half squishing. Devin Booker was getting whatever he wanted in the 3rd quarter as he pushed the lead to 15, but the Wolves were able to keep pace on the backs of KAT and Ant. AKAT attack - or KAnt attack. Even early in the 4th, the putrid Suns bench was able to get the Suns back up double-digits, but I say once again: AKAT ATTACK. The 2 franchise cornerstones were able to will the Wolves ahead for the final 2:36. They played beautifully off of each other, setting each other up for 14 straight points during a point in that stretch. This is surely not an overreaction: It reminded me of when LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each went off for 41 in game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
With just 1:15 remaining, Harvey Finchman cross-examined the court. DeAndre Ayton had 5 fouls. KAT was having a strong offensive game. Top of the key: ISO. As KAT was beginning to dribble through his legs and stare Ayton down, DeAndre got his hands caught in the cookie jar and fouled out. 2 free throws good. 3 point lead. About 45 seconds later with 30 seconds left, up 3 with the ball, Ant had CP3 staring him down. KAT ran up to offer a screen, but Ant quickly waved him away. Rumor has it, Ant muttered:
“Move. I got this sh*t.”
Ant would blow right by the future Hall of Famer, cradle the ball into his buff muscles, and force the help defender (Jae Crowder) to completely rake him across the arms for a foul. Although he’d split the freebies (Hi Wigs!), the 3-point lead he’d help create would be just enough to put it away. Our old friend, Dario Saric (Hi Culver!), would do us a solid by also splitting a pair of his own free throws to only get the lead down to 2. To put even more optimism in our sails, Coach Finch would draw up a beautiful inbounds play that got Juancho (!) a wide open dunk which he would finish.
Take that, old man CP3!
"We're happy. We've been winning lately, we're happy."@MarneyGellner catches up with Anthony Edwards he scored a career-high 42 points in the #Timberwolves win over Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/MZiHSUGVCH— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) March 19, 2021
The Highlights You Need
- Ricky Rubio, who just had one of his best games of the season versus the Lakers, was almost invisible in his first game back in Phoenix since being traded. He had just 6 points (20% FG) and 5 assists, but he also continues to have a lasting impact on our prized rookie.
Anthony Edwards on ROY: "Whoever's pickin the rookie of the year, it'll go however it go. I'm not worried about that. There's still a lot of stuff I don't know that I'll know. Ricky's gon teach me. As long as I know how good I am, I can keep puttin in the work."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
- Ant, just 4 days removed from netting a career-high 34 points against the Blazers, set another new record. He had 42 points on 30 shots, but most importantly displayed beautiful synergy with KAT. This may very well be the most important development of this franchise moving forward. He also continues to be a well of tasty quotes every day.
Anthony Edwards on playing with KAT: "We startin' to figure out what each other like. How he like to catch the ball, how I like to catch it. We just like to play each other. One guy goin, feedin' him. Not gonna lie, it's extremely fun playin with KAT."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
"Tonight, he had 2 big 3s tonight. And I was like that's what you do my n****. That's why you get paid."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
- Speaking of the devil; We got positive Juancho Hernangomez minutes! He hit some BIG TIME shots tonight and Coach Finch was candid about his feelings on Juancho. Finch might not like this, but is it fair to ponder if Juancho could land us Bradley Beal?
Coach Finch on Juancho: "I'm glad you brought him up (@brittrobson). He made some big shots on the heels of them making big shots. I can't really speak to how he was used before I got here. I'm really familiar with him and I love him. I had him his rookie year in Denver."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
- KAT was amazing. This was the first game where it felt like he was truly playing like himself. He finished with 41 points on 24 shots (lmaooo), 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Most importantly, we witnessed these moments after the game:
YOU’VE GOT TO LOVE THESE TWO pic.twitter.com/XoATrYKP4N— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 19, 2021
Winning games = Happy KAT.— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
He opened up the Zoom presser by reacting to his and Anthony Edwards' combined shot attempts. It just warms my heart to see @KarlTowns smile and look happy, if not for just a few minutes pic.twitter.com/g0AWUZT3sV
- We’re going to run it back again tomorrow night and it’s unlikely Devin Booker is only going to score 35 points. Consider this: Book had just 2 shot attempts in the 4th quarter and scored his lone point on a free throw. A lot of that had to do with our scheme, but the majority of the credit has to go to Josh Okogie who was strongly recognized by his coach and teammates.
Coach Finch on limiting Book late: "A lot of it was Josh. He came in and made the adjustment late. We should've gone with it a little earlier. He did a heck of a job and we locked in. We did a good job showing him bodies and challenging shots."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021
"We gotta execute the way we did, like tonight. I think the real MVP is Josh Okogie holding Devin Booker to 1 point in the 4th qtr. He excelled with flying colors. We gotta give him a lotta credit."— Ricky Rude-Leo (@Y0Leo) March 19, 2021