The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon by a score of 100-85 behind strong performances from Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng.
Time and time again, we’ve seen Ricky Rubio prove that he is the most valuable player on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, despite his lack of scoring. However, on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets, that brilliance was on display for an entire game.
And it was really fun.
Rubio had complete control of the game when he was on the floor, running Minnesota’s offense smoothly while throwing in some flare with a few no-look passes mixed in. In just 28 minutes, Rubio recorded 8 points (1/6 FG, 6/7 FT), 2 rebounds, 15 assists (11 in the first half), and 4 steals.
While 15 assists is certainly a lot, it felt like he had more than that. He made a number of other sweet, no-look dimes that didn’t go down as assists because his teammates weren’t ready for the pass and didn’t catch it cleanly.
So, basically, Rubio knows where his teammates are before they do.
Rubio’s play helped the Wolves gain a comfortable double-digit lead early and maintain that lead throughout the game, something Minnesota has struggled to do this season. Comfortable wins against inferior teams have been hard to come by this season.
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The two players who benefitted the most from Rubio’s dime-dropping were big men Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng, who each recorded their own 20-point, 10-rebound performances. Towns’ final stat line included 24 points (10/19 FG, 4/4 FT), 10 rebounds and 2 blocks while Dieng tallied 20 points (9/12 FG, 2/2 FT), 10 rebounds and 3 assists.
Andrew Wiggins wasn’t bad, either, scoring 16 points (6/11 FG, 4/6 FT) and grabbing 3 rebounds two nights after exploding for a 32-10-6 line Friday night.
Kevin Martin (16 points – 5/9 FG, 3/4 3pt FG, 3/3 FT) and Zach LaVine (10 points – 4/10 FG, 2/2 FT) each chipped in solid scoring contributions off the bench for Minnesota.
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Brooklyn was led by Brook Lopez with 20 points (8/11 FG, 4/5 FT), 12 rebounds and 5 assists. He had his way in the post a number of times once he got the ball, but the Wolves did a pretty good job of denying him the ball initially on most possessions.
Thaddeus Young netted 12 points (4/11 FG, 4/4 FT) against his former team, while Wiggins shut down the Nets’ top scoring threat in Joe Johnson, holding him to just 6 points on 2/10 shooting.
It’s been far too long since the Wolves have played a complete game and beaten an inferior opponent throughout the entire game, and they did so today. Fans should have no complaints towards Mitchell about anything that happened today.
- It’s worth mentioning again because it was that spectacular. The way Rubio controlled the game when he was on the floor was uncanny, and it was on both ends of the floor. Those of you who want Rubio traded – SHAME ON YOU.
- Gorgui Dieng is becoming a pretty darn good player. He deserves some more credit for the improvements he’s made, because he and Towns could become a pretty solid 1-2 punch for the Minnesota frontcourt.
- Kevin Martin was not terrible today, which is terrific because that only increases the chances that some team will actually try to trade for him.
- The overall chemistry of this team is getting better with each game. Guys are anticipating where their teammates will be and the help on the defensive side is making major strides as well.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ next action will be tomorrow night when Kevin Garnett returns to Boston for his first action against the Celtics since he was traded back to Minnesota last season.
As always, continue to check with Sporting Sota for news and analysis on the Minnesota Timberwolves and all of your favorite Minnesota teams.