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Pacers 141, Wolves 137: Slow Start Dooms Wolves

The shorthanded Pacers jumped all over the Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

This team, man. There’s truly nothing like it.

Indiana was down Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Malcolm Brogdon, their three best players, so common sense for a “normal” team would tell you the opposition was in good shape. For us? Whether we wanted to admit it or not, we knew how this would go.

Sure enough, the Timberwolves came out sleepwalking and trailed big, including by 18 at halftime. It was too much to ask of this team to simply close out to Justin Holiday or to contain T.J. McConnell or Aaron Holiday. That would be a ridiculous ask, of course.

In all seriousness, this was a brutal performance, and an embarrassing loss. They gave up 141 points to a team without their three best players, which owns a mediocre offense even at full-strength. You can’t allow a team this short-handed, on the second night of a back-to-back, just completely run you out of the gym to start the game.

I generally like to be a positive person, so to put a positive spin on things, Karl-Anthony Towns had yet another great game. He finished with 32/12/6 on 12-17 shooting, and believe it or not, the defense completely cratered when he sat. It’s not as if the defense was good with him on the floor, but the team was absolutely helpless without him. Towns was a +9 in his 35 minutes.

Additionally, Anthony Edwards kicked it into gear on the offensive end of the floor in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 straight at one point, and 17 for the quarter. He finished with 27 points on 11-21 shooting, and it was once again clear that Ant with a spread floor is just about unstoppable. He is so fast and athletic, and is starting to show some better touch around the rim.

The flip side, of course, is that Edwards was giving a lot of his points back on the other end. During his outburst of 11 straight points, he also gave up back-to-back-to-back threes when he fell asleep on the wing. He was still a positive, but his defensive stance (can you even call it that?) was pretty embarrassing. Hopefully that comes along the rest of the way.

While the Wolves were abysmal defensively, Indiana deserves some credit as well. The Wolves may have made it easier on them than it should’ve been, but the Pacers still had to put the ball through the hoop, and T.J. McConnell and the Holiday Brothers did just that. McConnell did his best prime-Jason Kidd impression with 19 points and 15 assists on 9-12 from the field.

The Holiday Brothers combined for 43 points on 14-21 shooting, including 9-12 from beyond the arc. They literally made everything tonight, and the Wolves suffered as a result.

Some day, this team will realize where they sit in the hierarchy of the league and not take any opponent lightly, but today was not that day. On that note, we mix an old fashioned.