Remember the Michael Jordan flu game? Jaden McDaniels basically just did that, except much more impressive. Just a couple of minutes into the Minnesota Timberwolves’ third Summer League game, we saw this series of tweets.
McDaniels is checking back into the game— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) August 13, 2021
Jaden McDaniels ended up with 17 points, 3 assists, and 5 rebounds on 7/12 shooting as the Wolves took their third straight Summer League win, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 91-64. The Timberwolves always find a way to make Summer League basketball entertaining despite even the most die hard fans being able to look on the court at any moment and think “who the hell is that?” at any given moment. This is due in large part to the Wolves Summer League big three of McDaniels, Nowell, and Knight.
Nowell ➡️ Knight ➡️ McDaniels— Cooper (@CoopCarlson) August 13, 2021
Better than Durant, Curry and Klay? pic.twitter.com/omxOzDyQ53
Staying on McDaniels for just a bit longer, he looks more and more confident every game as the Wolves continue to “let him loose.” Almost every aspect of his game looks great, whether it’s driving end to end for a bucket, shooting from the corner, passing the ball or defending anywhere on the court. His confidence is obvious and the experiment of just letting him do whatever he wants is so much fun to watch.
I also said almost everything looks great because there is one noticeable flaw. His ball handling needs work as there have been a couple times he goes iso and has the ball knocked away fairly easily. It’s easy to find one flaw when everything else is going great.
Jaden McDaniels just casually showing off his body control on these impressive drives.— Wolves Talk (@twolvestalk32) August 13, 2021
The more you watch him in Summer League, the more you realize he’s a level above the current comp.
So excited to see him start for the full year. pic.twitter.com/6QK5efIUxc
On to Jaylen Nowell, I think this was his best game of the three so far. He looked much more confident with his drives, shots, and passes throughout the entire game. Nowell is playing for the backup point guard role and today was certainly a step towards securing that role. There were a couple turnovers you’d like to see him clean up but overall the way he pushed the tempo and led the offense was exactly what we needed to see from him.
He finished with a game high 26 points, 3 assists, and 6 rebounds on 11/22 shooting. That’s a lot of shots and exactly what you want to see from him in these games. He also finished with a game high +/- at +18 to really show his impact on the floor.
Jaylen Nowell jumps the passing lane and finishes the two-handed windmill! pic.twitter.com/7niRcqFEWG— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) August 13, 2021
We can’t go through a Summer League recap without mentioning one of the greatest power forwards in Wolves history, Nathan Knight. Knight had a less impressive game two after his initial breakout performance and today he got off to another slow start. Overall he had just 7 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds but I don’t think the box score shows it all. His defense was very nice in both the post and at the perimeter while facilitating some nice passes, such as the one in the first tweet of this recap.
Just a personal observation, but it seems like they want Knight to “let it loose” a bit like McDaniels. Every game he seems to have three or four iso plays where he’ll pull up for a three and miss pretty much every time. For someone who averaged just 4.3 3PA per 36 minutes last season, he sure is taking a good amount of pull up shots. Good for him! He also had this nasty crossover and score.
Oh damn, Nathan Knight pic.twitter.com/buzAllPDQq— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 13, 2021
The Timberwolves are once again one of the best Summer League teams in the league and if you ask me, that’s better than being a good regular season team. I wouldn’t actually know what a good regular season team feels like so my opinion is invalid.
Anyways, the 3-0 Timberwolves will now prepare for Sunday night when they’ll take on the 76ers. I’ll leave you with this amazing dunk from Isaiah Miller!