The Timberwolves two most talented players right now are just 22 and 21 years old. That’s why when you see those two lead this team to victory down the stretch of an awfully close game is so special. Young, inexperienced players don’t know how to play basketball with a lead down to the wire. For a great example, go pick your bracket(s) and watch the NCAA Tournament. There will be a ample leads broken and likely strands of hair pulled out.
It’s frustrating to watch as a fan of the leading team but quite an exhilarating emotional roller coaster for the fans of the other team. Behind a sharpshooting Grevis Vazquez, the Hornets made their move on the Timberwolves mid-to-late in the fourth. A couple of deep threes from Vazquez changed to tone to the game and the Wolves had to make big plays at the end rather than coast out like in a blow out victory.
Now, as I write about my affection for both Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio, I must explain a disclaimer on this game. These two certainly had tremendous games. Williams a career-high 28 points on 9-16 shooting, and Rubio had a better shooting night of 7-11 that registered the Wolves 16 points. But they aren’t the reason the Wolves won this game down the stretch.
As explained earlier, from observations of all my years living on this earth, youth-filled squads can’t close games. They need a little bit of help, which is why the Timberwolves have sought after wily vets that can push the young guys to winning a couple. That being said, yesterday’s win is devoted to Andrei Kirilenko, who made that block on a driving Eric Gordon as the seconds ticked down. It was one of those awe moments that makes you step back and appreciate an old fart like him. AK47 understands how to win and he also possesses the tools and mind to make plays that can assure a win on most given nights. I don’t see Williams out there making that last-second block, or even Alexey Shved in to hit a big-time shot any time soon.
This was a fun game to watch, especially during crunch time. It’s entertaining to see Williams and Rubio grow up together within the context of just one game but it’s even better to see them walking out smiling after a win probably saying the same thing, Thank God for that damn Russian.”