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It’s only one game but the new-look Timberwolves showed one of the NBA’s best teams that it looks like they are not to be taken lightly this year.
With a home crowd of over 19,000 cheering every move, the Wolves took Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder to the limit falling 104-100 in the season opener. Michael Beasley had a chance to tie the game late but a block by Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and two free throws iced the game. Even though it was a loss, fans left a Timberwolves game full of hope for the first time in over 4 years.
Ricky Rubio Talks About The Wolves Fans
Of course none of that seemed to match the anticipation of seeing rookie point guard Ricky Rubio’s NBA debut. And the young Spanish star didn’t disappoint. Entering the game in the 2nd quarter, Rubio dazzled fans with no-look passes and his unique court vision. He found wide-open players all over the court, notching 6 assists in his first NBA game and looking very comfortable running the Timberwolves offense. Especially on the fast break where it seemed as if Rubio could do no wrong.
Coach Rick Adelman Talks About Rubio’s First NBA Game
The other Timberwolves rookie, Derrick Williams, also was impressive in his first NBA game. He scored 13 points and along with Rubio, played the entire 4th quarter. Michael Beasley and Kevin Love picked up right where they left off last year with Beasley leading the team in scoring and of course another double-double for Love. New guard J.J. Barea also played big minutes and made huge plays on both ends of the floor. There is certainly a different feeling with this year’s team.
Michael Beasley Postgame Press Conference
But in the end, it was Oklahoma City winning. The Thunder are arguably the class of the West this year and there are very few teams (outside of Miami who come calling this Friday) who boast a twosome like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant scored 33 and Westbrook added 28 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City is a very good team. A team that on Sunday ran the Orlando Magic out of the building. Monday night, they got all they could handle from the Wolves.
Thunder Coach Scott Brooks Talks About Kevin Durant’s Strong Game
Now, in a season in need of short memories and quick responses, the Timberwolves are in Milwaukee to battle the Bucks, a team they beat twice in the preseason. With an effort like they gave in Monday’s opener, the Wolves would take another big step towards regaining NBA relevance. Of course that’s followed by a visit from Miami. Then Dallas. Then San Antonio. And Memphis. Did we mention they’d need short memories?
You can listen to the Wolves at Milwaukee Tuesday night on 830 WCCO or listen online here. Pregame at 7:00, tip-off at 7:30 with Alan Horton on the home for Timberwolves basketball, News Radio 830 WCCO.