Phew. What an emotional roller coaster. The Wolves took on an Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks on the road. It was easy to overlook the young puppies if you are a veteran Hawks team.
The Wolves came out hitting the gas pedal and never looked back in the first half. The lead got up to 34 points for the Wolves with everything clicking for Wiggins, Martin, Towns, Rubio, and LaVine. All the shots were falling and the defense was very tough. But you had to think a young Wolves team on the road would lose some of that lead.
But it got out of hand. The Wolves would score 42 points in the 2nd quarter and then give up 42 in the 3rd quarter. The momentum was gone by the time the Hawks pulled within 20, then 15, then 9 by the end of the 3rd. As a Wolves fan, it was clear, it was going down the drain quickly.
Behind a couple timely threes from Bjelica, the Wolves would keep their head above water. After the Hawks took the lead and the Wolves looked doomed, Andrew Wiggins showed some Kobe-Level nastiness and took the game over offensively. Wiggins would hit a few impressive And 1s from inside and outside. He sealed the deal by scoring 8 of the final 12 points for the Wolves. Defensively, Karl-Anthony Towns ended up anchoring the team and stopped the flood of Hawks points.
Wiggins ended the game with 33 points, tying a career-high. It was the first time he would score more than 30 points in back to back games in his young career. Karl-Anthony Towns had another double-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The young duo again carried the Wolves to victory with help from LaVine, Martin, and Bjelica off the bench.
If the Wolves lost, this post would be completely different. The feeling would be completely different. But the Timberwolves completely collapsed in the 3rd quarter. They couldn’t complete a pass. They couldn’t get the ball across half court. This game also proved that Andre Miller probably shouldn’t be playing after blowing a breakaway layup. I continue to not understand Sam Mitchell’s logic. The Wolves were falling apart in the 3rd quarter and he refused to call a timeout. After the Hawks came within 10, he decided to start Andre Miller in the 4th. That further dissolved the lead. The Wolves needed Rubio and Towns out there as soon as possible. It is as clear as day the Wolves play better with those two playing alongside Andrew Wiggins.
The Wolves played great in the first half. Everything went in. It also helped that the Hawks couldn’t make a shot. The game should’ve been lost but there was a heroic effort from Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and a lucky start. Mitchell again proved he struggles in managing a game. It got out of hand and the flood gates never slowed down. Although the Wolves move to 4-2 and are undefeated on the road, Sam Mitchell dodged a major bullet here. He would’ve had to ask a lot of questions. Thankfully, we rejoice.
Overall good win for the Wolves. We can pretend nothing happened here for now.