Some in Las Vegas consider it Sin City.
The Wolves consider it Win City.
(You can delete me on all social networks after you read this.)
The Wolves moved to 6-0 in Summer League play and advanced to the 2019 Summer League championship with an 85-77 win over the Nets on Sunday night.
As it’s been throughout the entire tournament, this was a complete team effort. Minnesota was without guard Josh Okogie (shin/calf), but it was just next man up for the Wolves. That’s always something coaches say, but rarely does that come to fruition. For the Wolves on this night, it did.
Wolves center Naz Reid was simply incredible, again. Reid went head-to-head with third-year center Jarrett Allen and got the better of him, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds and three blocks in just 19 minutes.
“It’s a great experience going against a guy like that,” Reid said after the game. “He’s athletic and he can do things at the NBA level that a lot can’t do. But it was really fun to get a chance to go at him.”
Point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who has had such a strong Summer League as well, finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds. Mitch Creek added 11 points, nine coming from the 3-point line.
The Wolves had 15 assists in the game compared to the Nets’ 15. The Wolves have been playing team basketball all tournament long, which is rare for a Summer League team, as I’ve written about a few times.
“I think this team has tried to set the tone of a new organization,” Timberwolves Summer League head coach Pablo Prigioni said after the game. “The way we want to play, how hard we want to compete. Unselfish basketball we are playing offensively. A lot of things that we are trying to implement. It’s total credit to the players.”
While it’s easy to look at the offense, this has been about defense, too. To see a Summer League team that plays offense the right way and buys in defensively, well that’s a pretty rare thing. The Wolves held the Nets to 31.5 percent shooting from the field and just 10.5 percent from the 3-point line.
The Wolves will face off against the Grizzlies for the 2019 Summer League Championship. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN and Timberwolves.com.