After the Minnesota Timberwolves moved to 2-1 following a 116-106 win in a late afternoon run against the OKC Thunder, Wolves Coach Chris Finch was asked to evaluate the team and admitted that the first unit is getting better, but they’re “still a work in progress.”
“The first unit, it’s still a work in progress, but it’s better. I thought it was really good tonight. It’s just kind of — as we go through, like, these different units and guys playing with Rudy, it’s all a learning curve for us right now.”
The first unit had plenty of heroes; Anthony Edwards had 30 points on 13/19 shooting from the field and even found the time to kick in 11 boards. Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 15 recounts. Karl-Anthony Towns had 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Their superior size advantage helped them outrebound the Thunder 54-42.
The Wolves’ twin towers pairing was the initial allure of Minnesota’s off-season acquisitions. Their starting lineup figures to be on the level of anyone’s this season but Naz Reid off the bench was the final spark to secure the win for the Timberwolves.
Reid finished with 14 points on 5-7 shooting, all in the fourth quarter. He was a big part of finally putting away the Thunder, playing well enough that FInch decided to keep him on the floor instead of re-inserting KAT and the stifle Tower
“I was going to try to bring Kat (Towns) and Rudy back at the same time and then try to finish the game there in the middle of the fourth,” Finch said. “And Nas was great, so we didn’t have to do that.”
Despite the win, the Timberwolves shot poorly from three, but the way they dominated the paint set the table for the win. The Wolves will have plenty of time to try and mesh their uncommon frontcourt pairing over the next 79 regular season games, but Sunday, the learning process wasn’t enough to distract from getting the win.