The Minnesota Timberwolves were routed by the Houston Rockets in game two of their playoff series and are now down 0-2, but there are positives to be taken.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are searching for answers and positives after the drubbing they took from Houston in game two of their playoff series. Luckily, there are a few things for Tom Thibodeau and company to build on after the first two games.
First, the defense hasn’t been all that bad. The Wolves have held Houston to 102 and 104 points, which is 10 and 8 points below their season average. The Rockets are also shooting just 29% from three during this series, which is well below their regular season average of 36%. Sure, some of it can be blamed on cold shooting alone, but the Wolves have done well rotating and closing out on shooters over the past two games and should get some of the credit.
Arguably the biggest question mark on this entire roster during the regular season was the performance of Andrew Wiggins. Would he play well or disappear? So far this series, Wiggins has seemed engaged and involved, finishing with 18 points and six rebounds in game one and 13 points and eight rebounds in game two.
Although the game was decided early on, as a result of the lopsided score, a number of Wolves starters got some much needed rest, including Jimmy Butler, who only played 21 minutes. Jeff Teague, who had been vocal to the media about playing time, logged just 19 minutes on Wednesday.
We have seen glimpses during the regular season of how good this team can be when they are firing on all cylinders and their shots are falling. Unfortunately, Jimmy Butler got hurt and in his absence the team was forced to hash out a new pecking order. Now that Butler is back and things are settling into a new version of normal, it is possible the Wolves could string together a couple impressive performances and even this series.