KEY I: How does Leonard Miller look in this game?
While his debut was eye-popping, the true test for rookie forward Leonard Miller will be this game. Why? Well, the challenge is following up a great performance with an even better performance. Can he deliver? I think so, yes.
After all, Miller has the presence of an NBA center at 6-foot-10, the ball-handling skill of an NBA point guard, the versatility of an NBA small forward, and the basketball IQ of an NBA head coach. In his NBA Summer League debut for the Timberwolves, he did it all. Was it the excitement of competing in basketball play once more?
He was all over the basketball court, creating turnovers, hauling in rebounds, shooting effectively from anywhere on the basketball court, and never committing a foul during the entire game. That shows a lot of discipline for a summer league game that is fraught with undisciplined play.
The truth is that there is already a great deal to love about this young man. And the feeling that I have from seeing him play in just one game is that we are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg. Imagine if he has an entire NBA starting 5 surrounding him. He can create fast breaks, get rebounds in the paint, sink corner threes, and even drive to the basket and then distribute the basketball to an open shooter.
I believe that Miller has the potential to be a significant contributor to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster in the 2023-24 NBA season. While he may need a few games to get his range on three-point shots, he has such an awesome array of versatile uses on the basketball court, that I expect he will get his chance to compete early and often.
The Timberwolves versus the Jazz is a rivalry that will not go away anytime soon. And I’m here for it. Unlike so many superficial NBA analysts, I continue to witness more and more evidence that confirms that the Timberwolves made a savvy move to get Gobert while the getting was good.
There will be many more years to assess, but for now, it continues to feel like the Timberwolves are further ahead of the curve than the Jazz.