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Wolves 119, Heat 111: Bench Leads Minnesota to Win

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“The other guys” came up huge for Minnesota in a win

Miami Heat v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

Well that’s certainly a nice way to head into the weekend, right?

Minnesota went toe-to-toe with the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat, and it was surprisingly the bench guys who really won the game for the Wolves.

The Wolves got a massive boost from Naz Reid and Jarred Vanderbilt tonight, especially on the offensive glass. The two big men combined for nine offensive rebounds, which was a big reason that Minnesota was able to outpace the Heat. The two were great in general, as Reid stepped up while Karl-Anthony Towns was in foul trouble to give the Wolves 16 & 7 while Vando heckled Jimmy Butler aggressively while he was on the floor, and contributed 9 points and 14 (!!) rebounds in just 22 minutes. Vanderbilt’s value to this team will always be defense and rebounding, and while he made a few bone-headed plays tonight, he largely filled his role admirably.

As mentioned before, Towns was in foul trouble, and while Miami had a solid game plan for him, there’s just only so much you can do against a player of KAT’s caliber. He was only able to play 26 minutes, but he still poured in an efficient 24 points largely behind his 4-for-4 night from beyond the arc. We are really lucky to have a player and person as awesome as KAT represent our favorite team.

Lastly, it would be hard to talk about this game without mentioning the work Josh Okogie did. He made Jimmy Butler’s life difficult for most of the night, and was just good enough on offense to make himself a winning player. One of my favorite things over the past few weeks has been watching JO pull himself out of the dumps and start playing like the player we’ve seen in the past. I still believe that Okogie can be apart of the long-term future of this team, especially given how starved they are for defensive players. He has a role here if he can just be passable on offense.

For Miami, Jimmy Butler was truly incredible, finishing with 30/10/8/3/1. He’s a superstar, and he played like one. For whatever reason, Minnesota just has Miami’s number, winning five in a row now against the Heat. Maybe Butler needs to recruit some third stringers in order to beat the Timberwolves in his new home.