This Wolves team is so fun, man. By far and away, the most wonderful gift they’ve given us recently has been the ability to absolutely beat the breaks off of bad teams. Since I have been old enough to really watch basketball, I don’t think that has ever been something this franchise has done. It is a truly wonderful skill that makes this so much fun. Minnesota won by 18 tonight, and the game was not nearly that close.
Timberwolves set to move to 9-1 against the bottom 6 teams in the West— jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) January 10, 2022
That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do
There are a lot of players to make note of tonight for the Wolves, but before we get there, we have to at least talk about the Rockets briefly. I understand they’re a rebuilding team who wants to lose, but good grief that was some of the worst defense I have ever seen on an NBA floor, and that’s saying something. I’ve been forced to watch a lot of bad defense over the years.
Anyways, let’s talk about how awesome the Wolves were, yeah?
We might as well just do all of the starters at once, because they were again absolutely dominant. D’Angelo Russell stayed hot, scoring an uber efficient xx on x for xx from the field with x boards and xx dimes. Anthony Edwards came alive in the second half to score 18 points and added 4 stocks as well. Houston had no shot of guarding Karl-Anthony Towns, so naturally he torched the hell out of them. He poured in 40 points to go along with 9 boards and 7 dimes. He was genuinely sensational.
And yet, the game ball has to go to Jarred Vanderbilt.
What else is there even left to say about this guy? He was legitimately dominant tonight. He was everywhere. In total, 21 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 stocks in 31 minutes. This guy is getting better with every game, and it is an absolute joy to watch. All he does is outwork every opposing team, and he’s learned how to take advantage of the lack of attention he gets on offense as a cutter as well as attacking the glass even more mercilessly. He’s an awesome player right now. I can’t imagine there are many role players more fun to watch in the league. All the guy does is star in his role every single night. Hats off to Vando for the best performance of his young career.
A few other quick shoutouts to Josh Okogie and Jaylen Nowell, both of whom were really impactful off the bench. Okogie mucked up the game as he always does, but it was Nowell who delivered a big highlight play.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse, and there will surely be tougher opponents sooner rather than later, but this team is just so much fun. They play the kind of basketball that fans can really behind, like dishing out 37 assists tonight. The way they have learned to share the ball with each other is intoxicating, and honestly a lot of that has to do with the way D’Angelo Russell has played of late. He’s striking the perfect balance between playmaker and scorer, and the past few games the shots have been falling too, which only makes this team even more dangerous.
Ultimately, if the Timberwolves play with the purpose they did on both ends tonight, especially in the first half, they’re going to win a lot of games.
The Wolves have now won four in a row, with an opportunity in New Orleans on Tuesday evening to extend that streak to five.
Have a great week, and Go Wolves!