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Butler Is Looking At The Positives, And Ahead To Wednesday

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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They almost had it.

The Wolves fell to the Rockets 104-101 on Sunday night in their first playoff game in 14 years.

And while a 3-pointer in the final seconds would have tied the game and added another five minutes on the clock, Jimmy Butler missed a shot and here the Wolves are, down 0-1.

Butler was asked after the game if it was a “missed opportunity” for the Wolves to steal one from the best team, record-wise, in the NBA.

“Nah,” Butler said. “We got another great opportunity coming on Wednesday. Go back to the drawing boards, change some things up and figure it out.”

Butler, in just his fourth game back from a knee injury that kept him out the previous 17, wasn’t at his best. He finished with just 13 points, five rebounds, three assists while shooting 4-for-11 from the field. He did have two steals, though, which was right at his career-high season average of 2.0.

It’s Game 1 in a seven-game series, so there’s no reason to panic. Butler will contribute more offensively as the series moves along, but the main focus for Butler and the Wolves is slowing down James Harden after his 44-point performance.

“He’s a hell of a player, everybody knows that,” Butler said of the likely MVP. “But you don’t just guard him with one guy. It’s everybody out there. Everybody has to be in the correct position. Challenge shots. Contest them at the rim. More than anything, if there is a miss, we need to get the rebound and take off the other way. But we didn’t do any of that tonight. But we’ve got to be better on Wednesday.”

The Wolves didn’t have practice on Monday, presumably a film and shooting day. They’ll be back at it Tuesday in Houston for practice. We’ll have plenty of content, per usual, here.

Game 2 is set for 8:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center. The game will air on Fox Sports North, TNT and Buz’n 102.9.