This Wolves big froze the Heat and willed team to win off the bench

Chris Finch, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Chris Finch, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves could not afford to start their 2023-24 NBA season at 0-2. But that is exactly how it appeared to start out in Target Center, as the Timberwolves trailed the Miami Heat by as much as eight points right out of the gate.  With just four minutes off the game clock, the Miami Heat had come out hot (pun intended) as they had taken a 14-6 lead after the tip-off.

Field goals by Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley Jr. were not enough to keep pace with the likes of the Heat’s Nikola Jokic, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo’s hot-handed shooting in this one.

But there was one player who could. With 3:44 remaining in the first quarter, and the Minnesota Timberwolves trailing by seven points, Timberwolves backup center Naz Reid entered the game.

Naz Reid is not fooling around anymore

Reid put in just 28 minutes in this game, but those 28 minutes catapulted the Timberwolves into a completely different type of game. 28 minutes that resulted in a (+/-) factor of +30. Not one player, either for the Timberwolves or for the Heat, would come close to that in the game, no matter how many minutes they played. For that matter, no other Timberwolves or Heat player could match or exceed his 25 points.

Only Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro came close, putting up 22 points, but it took him 40 minutes to do so.

Some NBA analysts questioned the logic of investing in a solid extension for Naz Reid for a team that has Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. There can be no question why after his performance in Game 2 of the Timberwolves’ 2023-24 NBA season. Without starting small forward Jaden McDaniels and against a determined NBA opponent, Naz Reid was not fooling around anymore.