Something crazy happened on Wednesday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves played the defending champions in the Denver Nuggets. Sure, the Timberwolves got the win, but that’s not even what this conversation or dramatic start to this story is about. No, instead, they did something they couldn’t do in their last game.
The Timberwolves got up big, and they didn’t blow their lead. It’s absolutely unbelievable. This team has all the talent in the world and a ton of role players that complement the team nicely. However, there is something about this team that has folded under pressure.
Against the Atlanta Hawks, they blew a 20-point lead in the second half. Against a better team on Wednesday night, one that just won the championship and has a two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic, the Timberwolves did everything but fold. They are showing improvements in that area and maturity as well.
But they aren’t done. One win in situations like this doesn’t mean the issue is fixed.
“I mean, the maturity comes when you stack performances like this on top of each other,” head coach Chris Finch said after the game. “So, that remains to be seen. But this was a great focused effort, executed everything that we talked about really well at a high level, defensively, I thought Rudy [Gobert] and Jaden McDaniels were outstanding and kind of set the tone there and, you know, offensively, we did what we had to do when we had to do it to take advantage of what we thought we could take advantage of.”
Now, you’d rather the Timberwolves just beat every team by 20 plus every night, but things don’t work that way. There will be times when they will play much worse teams and will have to be the team that is coming back from 20 points, showing determination and not wavering one bit. They can do that, but they have to show us that.
Now, they have to start stacking these wins. Finch has done an excellent job so far as putting his guys in the right positions to succeed. Now we will see if they will play down to their opponent on Friday, or will the same team that just beat the defending champions show up?