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Timberwolves Update: Preseason Game One

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(credit: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

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One game down and so far so good.  Sure, it’s only preseason and yes it’s just a glorified scrimmage.  But everyone sure liked what they saw in the new look Timberwolves Saturday night.  A fan-base so starved for excitement that a behind-the-back pass from Rubio sends them into a frenzy can be forgiven for being thrilled with a preseason win.

What did we learn?  For starters, this is a team that should be much more fun to watch than the last few teams.  They can spread the floor with a trio of power forwards that will be a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams.  They have three point guards that all have plenty of talent.  Rubio and Barea looked good playing together and don’t forget that Luke Ridnour is solid NBA player and hit several shots during the Wolves big second quarter burst.

Michael Beasley and Kevin Love showed they can dominate games on the offensive end.  Rookie Derrick Williams looks like he’ll fit in right away with his athletic ability and outside shooting.  No question this is a team that can score points.

Alan Horton Talks To Kevin Love Following Saturday’s Game

Milwaukee Coach Scott Skiles Talks About Playing Two Point Guards Together

And then there’s Rubio.  It seemed as if fans held their breath with every pass, every crossover dribble and every time he took off on the fast-break.  Rubio delivered, never looking out of place, making plays without forcing it and doing what he probably does best, make his teammates better.  He found open shooters almost every time down the floor.  He finished with 7 assists and could have easily been in double digits if they hadn’t missed some wide-open shots.  He’s not a guy that’s going to score 20 a night but with what he can do, he may not have to do that to still be a great point guard.

Rubio Alley-Oop Pass to Derrick Williams

The newest Timberwolf, J.J. Barea, mentioned after the game that the Wolves are going to surprise some people if they can continue to defend and rebound like they did Saturday night.  He’s right.  Defense is going to be the key to the Timberwolves season.  If they can even be average on defense, continue to dominate on the glass (out-rebounded Milwaukee 52-40 Saturday) and eliminate the turnovers, this is a team that will win some games.

So far, so good!

Programming Note:

The Timberwolves will hold an open scrimmage Monday at noon.

The event is free and open to the public. Fans are invited down to Target Center to catch a glimpse of the Rick Adelman-led Wolves, featuring 2011 NBA All-Star Kevin Love and rookies Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio.

The matinee session is part of the Timberwolves “12 Days to Tipoff,” a broad slate of events over the next two weeks leading up to the regular season opener on Monday, Dec. 26 vs. Oklahoma City at Target Center.

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