Timberwolves Game Takeaways III – Timberwolves bite down hard on perimeter defense
We applauded the Minnesota Timberwolves for out-splashing the Splash Brothers in a key win against the Golden State Warriors. But that was only a warm-up to what the Timberwolves did to the Sacramento Kings. It’s obvious that with Conley in the lineup, the Timberwolves’ ability to defend has improved significantly.
The Timberwolves held the Sacramento Kings to a perimeter shooting of just 18.5 percent on 27 shots. Although the Timberwolves attempted fewer shots from three-point range (24 attempts vs. 27 attempts), the Timberwolves were far more effective (nine made vs five made). That’s a difference of 12 points, and a key contributing factor to the Timberwolves’ upset victory.
Timberwolves Game Takeaways II – Mike Conley proves to be huge in another key win
The Minnesota Timberwolves are now 9-9 since acquiring PG Mike Conley Jr. While that may not excite many fans, keep in mind that changing point guards at the NBA Trade Deadline is akin to dropping out a motor to a NASCAR racing car and reinstalling a more powerful engine during the race.
Better yet, the Timberwolves did so without getting lapped in the process.
We have a great deal more to discuss regarding the presence of Mike Conley Jr. on the Timberwolves roster, but the key to the team’s recent burst of success is the fact that the team is learning to trust and respect one another. That trust comes from locker room chemistry, and we know that was not happening with D’Angelo Russell in the locker room.
Conley is not quite the same scorer as D’Angelo Russell. But combined with the improvement of Rudy Gobert’s offensive output, you have not only replaced DLo’s offense, but you’ve actually improved upon it. When you factor in the stark improvement in the Timberwolves’ defensive resolve, the Timberwolves appear to be a far more competitive team right now.
Timberwolves Game Takeaways I – Timberwolves playing as ferociously as a pack of Wolves
The Timberwolves’ entire roster is contributing now. Let me restate that to ensure the importance is conveyed. The entire Minnesota Timberwolves roster is now stepping up. How ironic that earlier in the season, we had noted repeatedly that the team seemed to be listless, a team waiting for someone else to step up in key moments during the game.
Now, with a roster that is more and more friendly and jovial, with interpersonal relations rising to the level of friendship, the Timberwolves players appear to be forging ahead into a highly competitive team.
"“A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others.” – Norman Shidle"
Replacing D’Angelo Russell with Mike Conley Jr. has added a new dimension to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster: Teamwork.
If you don’t believe me, just as the players of the Sacramento Kings. Well, after they recover from the shock of losing at home to the Timberwolves, that is.