An NFL Fan’s Guide to the 2015-16 Timberwolves

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Feb 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center

Nikola Pekovic

(14) shoots the ball over Golden State Warriors center

Andrew Bogut

(12) in the second half at Target Center. The Warriors won 94-91. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Pekovic = Houston Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork

The comparisons on the surface here are obvious: they are both massive human beings and are some of the best at doing what they are paid to do. For Wilfork, that means stopping the run; for Nikola Pekovic, that means scoring in the post.

The best part of this comparison is past the obvious stuff. Both Wilfork and Pek are giant dudes that don’t make much look easy on the field/court. They will not often be described with words like smooth, quick, and effortless.

However, when they are both in their respective comfort zones (the block on offense for Pek and the interior of the line for Wilfork), they show exquisite footwork and surprising quickness. Bill Belichick has raved about Wilfork’s quickness more than once, and teammates call him twinkle-toes.

Pekovic will labor up and down the court, but once he gets the ball on the block, he shows off a similar quickness. His footwork will help him open up space, which is a must for someone who is ground-bound. He can’t explode up to the rim, but he makes up for it by working his way past defenders and getting enough space to get off a shot.

Karl-Anthony Towns has already called Kevin Garnett his mentor, but Pek could teach him some good lessons about footwork. If Pek can get healthy and then stay that way, he could put up another productive year.

Next: Young, Exciting, and Humble