Did the Timberolves win? Naz Reid, not the Butler, did it tonight

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves needed a win to avoid sliding into an 0-2 start to a new and promising season. While the NBA regular season is a full 82 games in length, the mood of the fans and the overall momentum of the team is far more chaotic and impulsive than that. Two losses to start the season trigger pessimistic tones in write-ups about the team, which feeds even more pessimism about the team, which starts the downward vicious cycle.

The Miami Heat (1-1) faced the Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1) in the second game of a back-to-back that had come off a defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics (2-0). Meanwhile, the Timberwolves were rested after a season-opening loss at the hands and in the home of the Toronto Raptors, a place where the Timberwolves have not won in 19 consecutive attempts.

But this was not about the Celtics, the Raptors, or about the weather.  This was the second game of the season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, a game that this team very much needed to win.

Did the Timberwolves win?

The game did not start off well for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as the team fell behind by eight points after the first four minutes had elapsed. But that changed late in the first quarter, as the Timberwolves and Heat began to make substitutions.

The Timberwolves bench, led by NBA 6th-Man of the Year candidate Naz Reid, came in to lead the Timberwolves to rally back. By halftime, the Timberwolves had taken a two-point lead, relinquishing it just once before Naz Reid tramped on the accelerator to get the win. Naz Reid is playing in just his second NBA game after signing a three-year, $42 million contract to return in a backup role for the Minnesota Timberwolves

"“Each and every year, I’ve gotten better so there was definitely no reason for me to leave, you know? I appreciate all the love.” per Naz Reid in a post game interview by AP as cited by ESPN"

Naz Reid led all scorers in this one.

Even though the team is not ‘there,’ just yet, this win was impressive all the same. As awkward and unprepared as the Timberwolves appeared in the season opener, the team appeared much more prepared and disciplined for this one. The Timberwolves had better ball movement, a much better perimeter presence, and the overall sense that the players understood their roles and responsibilities.

Beating the Heat is always a big deal. Demolishing the Heat by a score of 106-90 is something to feel very good about.

90. 110. 106. 86. Final

The Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1) must now prepare to travel and face the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, October 30, 2023,  at 6:30 pm CT. The Miami Heat (1-2) must travel to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, October 30, 2023, at 8:00 pm ET.

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