The fire! The desire! The refusal to tire, even when things seemed dire! The Minnesota Timberwolves set the tone from wire-to-wire, and I ain’t no liar, sire!
Ol’ Clyde’s so pumped that he could write all night about the fight, bite and might the Wolves showed tonight, but let’s get to the highlights:
Karl-Anthony Towns, the phattest KAT, was dominant off the bat, leading the Timberwolves charge out of the gate, leaving nothing to fate, neither early or late! He played every minute of the first quarter, scoring 13 of his team-leading 20 points. With a determination to drive and thrive, Karl went four for five, hitting 4 frees and a three, to go along with a pair of “rees.” He punished the Mavs with both slams and jams!
Foul trouble threatened to burst Karl’s bubble, and he began to howl after picking up a foul attempting to cut off Luka Doncic on a baseline drive. Karl’s determination allowed him to overcome the frustration, however, and he returned in the fourth to help seal the deal.
Luka Doncic was his normal, phenomenal self. A true maestro at running the show, he constantly pressured the Wolves’ defense with penetration and creation. Luka had a fairly efficient 24 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, hitting 5 of 11 threes. In terms of +/- though, Luka was -22, as the Timberwolves harassed and sassed him into more than one errant pass.
I was worried about the Wolves missing Jaden McDaniels, as he has been a major source of frustration and consternation for Luka Doncic in the past, but all the Wolves were intensive and defensive, holding the Mavs to 38.9% shooting for the game. Our Canine cagers did hound Dallas into a woeful percentage from downtown. Golly-gee, only 23.3! In the 3rd quarter the Timberwolves cranked it up to 11 and fans of intense, swarming defense were in heaven, as the Wolves held the Mavs to a one and a seven! 17 points, that is.
This Timberwolves team seems to be hitting its prime, all at the same time. After a bleak week, the Wolves fought through the strife and roared back to life! Karl Towns expressed a belief that the Timberwolves are the best team in the league, and when I asked about motivation for tonight’s triumph, he said, “We lost to Phoenix, we lost to this team, in their house . . . it shouldn’t have played out that way, so . . . leave no doubt.” No doubt was left! This Timberwolves team seems vastly superior to the Mavericks in terms of depth of talent.
When asked when the Timberwolves began to believe that they were the best team in the NBA, Towns responded, “I think it started before the All-Star break . . . we just had a confidence that was brewing and growing bigger and bigger every day, seeing the results we worked so far for. It came through us trusting each other and seeing that we really could do this.”
Speaking on the week’s losses, Karl said, “The game humbled us. It gave us adversity as a team. We had a fiery film session and practice before this game. Shoutout to Finch, making the right call. That film session drew a lot of great dialogue, a lot of great energy to say the least, and it made us closer. A great coach is supposed to bring the locker room even closer in times of adversity and make us believe even more in each other. That’s why Finch is special for our team. That’s why he’s probably the most important. You think it’s the players . . . it’s the coach.”
Both Jordan McLaughlin, who was a spectacular spark off the bench, and Taurean Prince who played some mighty intense defense like a mensch, also spoke about the leadership and competitive fire and desire that Coach Finch and Patrick Beverly have instilled in the team. Prince noted that Beverly had taught him “more than I ever could have imagined” about defense.
Canis hoopers, the excitement of Clyde cannot be denied! I’m all set to make a futures bet! I do surmise this team shall surprise! I’m a true believer in the achievement fever! I haven’t felt this way since ‘04, but these Wolves are running good teams off the floor! I’m looking forward to more and more!
Until next time,
(with assistance from Clyde’s little helper in Minnesota, Chris Riazi)