Wolves fans must be patient with fan-favorite forward this postseason

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves
Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

Naz Reid: two words sure to resonate with any Minnesota Timberwolves fan, but when will the beloved big man have one of his signature offensive games in the playoffs? 

This is not to say the 2024 Sixth Man of the Year hasn't contributed, as the Wolves have taken a 2-0 series lead against the Phoenix Suns. 

Reid had 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists in game one on 4-of-10 shooting from the field. Despite not having an eye-popping stat line, Reid had the second-highest plus/minus of any player who played more than two minutes, with plus-22. Game two was tougher for Reid, only scoring five points on 1-of-5 shooting with a zero plus/minus. 

Surely we’re due for a breakout playoff performance, but with the Wolves rolling through the initial two outings, how badly needed is Reid's scoring?  

One could say Naz’s impact will be limited in the playoffs with Karl-Anthony Towns back in the rotation, as Reid was more heavily relied on when Towns was unavailable. However, the Timberwolves were middle of the pack in offensive rating and points per game this year, with Towns playing most of this season's games. Even with a healthy Towns, head coach Chris Finch will need the spark plug to come alive at some point.

Next man up

Fortunately for Finch, he’s been able to muster significant production from other key role-players, namely, Jaden McDaniels and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. 

Alexander-Walker had a whale of a performance in game one with 18 points, four rebounds, four steals, and four triples on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor. The reserve guard has been in discussions for an All-Defensive team this season and has shown that IQ and flat-out effort early in the series, so an 18-point outing is just the cherry on top. 

You can't speak of the Wolves defense without McDaniels coming to mind. The young wing has played fantastic on that end in this series, helping Minnesota limit the Suns to under 96 points in both games. 

Now most would've been happy with this defensive production alone, but McDaniels looked like the offensive player many had hoped he'd become in game two. McDaniels had all playoff-career highs of 25 points, eight rebounds, and three assists while shooting an efficient 10-of-17 from the field. 

Adjusting to the bright lights

The undrafted Naz Reid has only played seven career playoff games to date. So far averaging 5.9 points and 2.6 rebounds on 38 percent shooting from the field, and 31 percent from three. However, in his new role with the team, it'd be surprising to see this trend continue.

So if the Wolves are this deep, do they need Reid? The short answer is yes. In games this year where their sixth man scores 20 or more the Wolves are a dominant 12-2. 

Just wait, because soon Timberwolves fans will be roaring chants of, you guessed it, Naz Reid.