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The Timberwolves pulled off one hell of a comeback in Milwaukee tonight to steal their second preseason victory over the Bucks, 85-84.
The game started off awfully slow; both teams weren’t hitting shots, rather racking up the turnovers. Once everything settled in, the Timberwolves hung around the Bucks all night long, not allowing them to pull ahead, thanks to solid defense. But it was a 12-0 run at the end of the game that pulled the Wolves in front, ultimately grabbing the win.
I know what you’re thinking: it’s preseason, not a big deal. But it was. Kevin Love, who led the comeback with big hustle plays on both ends and free throws down the stretch, said it best at the end of the game by saying that this is the type of culture the new Wolves are trying to establish; one that prides itself off effort and plays hard to the final whistle. Despite shooting themselves in the foot all night long, they were able to muster up enough in the end to pull out the win, a very different result to what we would’ve seen just last season.
Love’s leadership is clearly paving a way for the Wolves to install that new culture within the franchise. He took charge in huddles and let his game do the talking. The team as a whole started off slow and sluggish, but not Love; he had 5 rebounds in the first quarter. Love finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds on the night, and I have to mention that his defense was looked much improved.
Here are just a few other points on tonight’s game:
- With JJ Barea and Ricky Rubio out, Malcolm Lee had to step up and play backup to Luke Ridnour, and he did really well. Lee has a special quickness that allows him to go two drastic speeds on offense when he needs to. And his size and strength are tough for smaller guards to counter when he’s on defense. I can safely say that just tonight’s effort may have notched him above Wayne Ellington in the battle for minutes.
- Sorry, Bonzi. It was nice knowing ya.
- Watching Wes Johnson play the 3-spot tonight was like day and night. He definitely looks more comfortable at the 3 than the 2, but it’s just unfortunate our roster doesn’t allow him that opportunity enough.
- Michael Beasley went 4-13 tonight. Yuck.
- Anthony Randolph is trying soo hard. He hustles on both sides of the ball but it’s the little things that burn him the most. He misses easy transitions on defense and he’s cancerous to the offense’s chance at getting quality shots off. But, again, he’s trying.
Again, Love’s play is leading the Wolves into a very difficult start to the season; they’ll meet the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday and also host the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks later in the week. Look for Love and the Wolves to clean up their mistakes and harness this momentous win to start up the regular season.