Wolves take Madison Square Garden by storm
At the end of the game, it seemed as though the Timberwolves overshot the mark and emerged a winner in a very competitive preseason game. But don’t be fooled by the fact that this was a preseason game. This was very much a regular season level of play, and it showed time and time again as passions soared and tempers flared throughout the game.
Curiously, it was the physicality of the New York Knicks that set the stage, and the Timberwolves were a bit surprised by that level of play. So surprised, in fact, that the Timberwolves wing Nickeil Alexander-Walker had committed three shooting fouls in less than four minutes of regulation play in the game.
Knicks get knocked back
The Knicks did not just drive to the basket. Rather, they seemed to relish driving through a Timberwolves defender along the way, a pattern that Naz Reid was having none of when Knicks guard R.J. Barrett attempted to do so as he defended:
Some fans wondered why Reid was angered by the play, so much so that he finished with a shove to the back of Barrett. But if you watch in replay, Barrett drove too close into Naz Reid, entangling the two players, and nearly knocking Reid backward onto the basketball court. Reid reacted with a warning shove to Barrett, letting him know that he was not thrilled with that style of offense that could end up injuring someone.
At the time of that play, the Knicks were able to tie the score as the game entered the fourth quarter. But Naz Reid had done more than stop the Knicks from scoring on that play. He awoke a slumbering Timberwolves team that jumped out to a three-point lead from his 25-foot jumper and never looked back.