The Minnesota Timberwolves are not a good basketball team. They are exciting, and all of their best players are liable to dunk on your head at any time, but they still look and feel more like a middling squad than a team sporting some of the best young talent the NBA has seen in a while. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are both the shit, but the rest of the roster is a mix of raw young players and slightly less raw young players. Tonight’s two-point home loss to the Knicks was emblematic of where they are as a team right now.
Towns had one of the best quarters of the NBA season, when he dropped 22 points on 8-for-8 shooting in the first. He ended up with a career-high 47 points, as well as 18 boards. As you can see in the highlight package below, he’s not a particularly smooth-looking player, but that belies his deft footwork and calm post game. He can hit the jumper, but he’s also fine in transition dunking on people.
And yet for all his heroics, the Wolves never led after the first quarter. The bumbling Wolves bench mustered just five points, and the non-Towns portion of the team shot 34.5 percent. Minnesota made a 20-3 run to tie the game up with less than a minute left, but Carmelo Anthony sank them with a tough game-winner right in Wiggins’s eye.
Losing on a big shot after a furious run is a shitty way to blow a game, but the Wolves can’t be too down on themselves because Karl-Anthony Towns is the man. He’s the fourth-youngest player to drop a 40-plus point, 15-plus rebound game in NBA history, and he’s plenty likely to go off and increase his career high before the season’s over.