The Minnesota Timberwolves have trouble scoring from the perimeter. But please, don’t tell Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell that they cannot sink three-pointers. After all, he’s been ignoring that part of the script. You see, he’d been rather quiet in the Timberwolves’ latest contest, a rematch with the Utah Jazz. Quiet for thee quarters, that is. In the fourth quarter, he wasn’t quiet in the least.
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell burst into flames in the final quarter for the second game in a row. He went on a scoring tear, sinking six of six three-pointers in the fourth quarter, to help the Timberwolves end the game with a 36-29 scoring advantage over the Utah Jazz. That sudden offensive salvo was very much a difference-maker and propelled the Wolves to a second win in a row.
Huh? D’Angelo Russell didn’t fade away? That doesn’t sound right. So what has changed? What is the revelation that has unlocked the D’Lo dominance in the last quarter of games recently?
Does that mean that the Minnesota Timberwolves are embracing a philosophy of every man for himself? Not at all. It simply means that the Timberwolves will, in order to amplify the overall effectiveness of this team, will seek new avenues of distributing the basketball to open shooters.
There are times when a player needs to be prodded. Other times, it’s simply a matter of patience. The trouble with patience is that it gives no tangible evidence that anything positive is happening to an anxious and worried NBA team fanbase that has watched their team trade significant value away in the hopes of becoming a better team, only to watch a 25 percent of the season go by with little noticeable difference. The Minnesota Timberwolves may not be a better team after all.
Or is this team merely sorting out the various roles of each player?
And so, the evidence is mounting that the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that has quite a few changes to adapt to quickly this season, and no preseason opportunity, may finally be turning the corner. The Timberwolves have won three of their last four, and eight of their last 12 games. Has it been consistent play? Well, not yet. But the truth is that the Timberwolves’ three healthy veteran starters: Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards, and now D’Angelo Russell, have all stepped up their game.
The Timberwolves are winning without Karl-Anthony Towns and Taurean Prince right now. When they return, the team may fulfill even the loftiest expectations.