3/28/17: Timberwolves at Pacers
On the final game of their 3 game road trip, Andrew Wiggins looked liked he wanted to go home. By about 6 minutes into the first quarter, Wiggins looked too gassed to guard Paul George, who went 12 of 21 for 37 points. On many occasions, Wiggins was able to guard George through one or two moves, but then would get blown by or jump early on pump fakes or hesitations.
Wiggins, on the flip side of that coin, went 6 of 17, with his point total of 17 only being bolstered by the two open threes he hit in the second half.
He attempted to go at the rim, but was met with solid defense from Paul George and good transition defense from the entire Indiana team. Additionally, his out of control euro step, which he uses far too often to little avail, was on display from the opening possession.
Towns was incredible at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. 37 points on 22 shots, 3/6 from distance, and 12 bounds. Towns didn’t have to face someone significantly stronger than him in the post, so he was able to score in the paint and close to the hoop, mostly at will.
That being said, Towns still needs to add strength to his post game on both sides of the court.
Looking at the shot chart for Towns beyond the arc, of the three makes he had, two were high set, down hill screens, creating pick and pops with Rubio driving to basket and kicking out to Towns.
Rubio is still the center of how this team functions on both sides of the ball. When Dunn and Rubio are on the floor together, the perimeter and pick-and-roll defense for the Wolves is outrageous. There were plethora of plays on defense, showing Rubio’s on and off ball presence.
Offensively, he only shot 4/12 from the field, but got to the line 13 times and hit all of them. His 10 assists led the game and some showed incredible court vision and awareness.
Dunn and Dieng
Kris Dunn and Gorgui Dieng both had solid games. Dieng played for 44+ minutes in this game, and didn’t appear tired, save a couple run outs by Indiana after missed shots by the Wolves. He only grabbed 6 rebounds, but logged 19 points on 66.7% shooting, with 2 blocks and a steal.
Kris Dunn is officially my favorite defender to watch right now. While Kawhi, Beverley, Roberson, Bradley, Draymond, etc., are all better defenders than Dunn, Dunn is only a rookie and shows incredible promise. His PnR defense is ridiculous considering this is his first year in the Association. Dunn showcased lightning quick hands and impeccable foot work on most defensive possessions, tallying 4 steals in the game and one volleyball spike (3 blocks total).
- The Timberwolves gave up a 9 point lead in the 3rd quarter. The end of this game looked like the Wolves were going to implode in the second half…again. Instead, the Pack managed to pull together a 9-2 run at the end of the game to come away with a 115 – 114 win in Indianapolis.
- Shabazz Muhammad continued his trend downward, playing only 9 minutes, going 1-3 from the field, 0-2 from three and missing both of his free throws.
- Towns and Rubio were perfect on free throws, combining for 23 of 23 at the charity stripe.
- Lets talk some more about Kris Dunn: Dunn played 7 more minutes than Rush, ended up with the highest plus/minus in the game (+6) and had 4 steals and 3 blocks. Oh, and he was a perfect 3 of 3 from the field.
- Minnesota handily won the 3 point battle shooting 45% from the great beyond (9 of 20), while holding Indiana to only 28% shooting from 3 (5 of 18).
- This marks the first time all season the Pacers have taken a lead into the fourth quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and failed to pull out the W.