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Anthony Tolliver chose to take his talents to the tundra that is Minnesota and play for the Timberwolves this season. Well, after just a short, but entertaining, spurt of 19 games, Tolliver took his talents to the bench after being sidelined with a sprained right knee.
After a long, restless wait, Tolliver is set to make his return some time this weekend — Tolliver says it’s tomorrow; Coach Rambis believes Sunday is the target. Regardless the night, the Wolves should be a happy bunch to have him, and his talents, back out on the court.
The last couple losses to Boston and Charlotte were heartbreaking indeed. Lapses down the stretch on both offense and defense, as well as pure tensity and the desire to win, largely contributed to both losses. Well, Tolliver is the type of player that should bring all of those dynamics to the floor and, hopefully, help this team close out games down the stretch.
Some might think of Tolliver as no more than a mere role player on a team chocked full of them already. But that’s where you’re wrong because Tolliver is an integral piece to this team. Outside of Corey Brewer, Tolliver may be the team’s most athletic and skilled defender, and he’s for sure our best front court defender. A team like this couldn’t have enough defenders around, and so his return in that regard will be infinitely important.
Tolliver also brings a special dynamic to the offense. At times the Pups’ offense stalls and Rambis’ inability to pull his club out of it’s lull is seriously frustrating. Tolliver brings that extra option to go to in the clutch. He may not have the post moves to be a serious threat to any defense, but his mid-range to long-range shooting can stretch any defense, giving Love and/or Beasley more room to work with inside. It’s a rather underrated part of his game, but Tolliver is an above-average three-point shooter, who shot nearly 44% in his first 19 games. He just adds that extra option on offense the Wolves may need, especially in the clutch — You know, times where Darko shouldn’t be on the court when a three-pointer is completely necessary (Cough, last night against Charlotte in OT, cough!)
Some people have been wanting a change around these parts, but Tolliver’s presence might just be enough for the Wolves to climb over that hump. It’s no God-send in any form, but his energetic, defensive minded play may just be what the Wolves need. And Wolves’ fans just need to realize it’s about what you need, not want.