Whoa, whoa, whoa , , , Three wins in a row?!? After back to back road wins against the Utah Jazz, the best team in the NBA, it would make Minnesota Timberwolves fans curse if they lost to the worst. But the foul talk would be of disappointment, not shock. Wolves fans, after all, are a masochistic flock.
However, folks not paying close attention went so far as to mention that the Rockets would roll over like Rover.
The Rockets players played with will & skill, and an obvious desire to establish themselves as legitimate NBA players. Late into the 4th quarter, the game hung in the balance. With two and a half minutes to play, emerging star forward Christian Wood battled Karl-Anthony Towns in the post, hitting the game tying basket. On the next play, Karl barged and charged over Jae’sean Tate, fouling out of the game. Losing your best player is obviously deflating, and it seemed like the Wolves would fall flat without the Big KAT.
But one man came to the game with the ferocious mentality to thrill his friends and family! Returning to his hometown of Houston, Jarred Vanderbilt, the one they call “Vando,” came home to put on a show! Showcasing fire and desire reminiscent of Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett, V8 was absolutely great down the stretch, leading the Wolves to victory.
With 1:53 to go, Vanderbilt battled Tate for a loose ball, forcing Tate to knock the ball out of bounds. At 1:37, V8 bounded and astounded, soaring for a tip in basket. At 1:21, Jarred stripped Wood and hit DLo in a fastbreak flow for an and-1. And to cap it all off, with 35 seconds to go, Danagelo Russell returned the favor, breaking the press to reward a hustling Vanderbilt with a easy dunk. Instead of taking his foot off the gas, V8 relentlessly stole the ball on the very next play to set up more slamming and jamming from Anthony Edwards.
Many Wolves contributed to the team’s victory on Tuesday night, but they could not have prevailed without Jarred Vanderbilt’s unyielding will to fight with all his might for what is right! After the game, Chris Finch called V8’s play inspirational, and I would add that it was also sensational!
Scrapping & Yapping
Jarred Vanderbilt got under Avery Bradley’s skin with his all-out effort to win:
Teams need players to lead with hustle & muscle and fire & desire, especially on night like Tuesday, which was the second of a back-to-back for the Wolves. If Vanderbilt can consistently supply intensity like Kevin Garnett and Draymond Green, the Timberwolves will have some necessary Minnesota Mean!
Go, go, Juancho!
Juancho Hernangomez was hot, hitting 8-12 shots, including 3 three pointers. Ironically, he struggled from the free throw line, but with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, Juancho’s performance was better than fine! Let’s go, Juancho!
Posting & Toasting
Karl Anthony Towns was unstoppable in the post, easily scoring 31 points in only 31 minutes. Hopefully KAT’s composure and control will improve, as the Wolves need him to master those qualities if they hope to contend for championships.
Ants can survive underwater!
For 14 days, apparently! Because they don’t have lungs! Dave Benz’s hilarious Ant fact bit continues to amuse. As for Anthony Edwards himself, even though his jumper was clanky and janky, he abetted himself well and helped the Wolves win with his driving and thriving and intense defense. Ant stuffed his portfolio with a whopping 5 stocks!
Trust the prosas, Canis Hoopers!