Skip to main content

5 reasons to still be optimistic even after the Wolves' woeful opener against the Spurs

Even though the opener was tough to watch, we saw some bright spots.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Stay up late to watch the Wolves frustrate en route to a 107-99 loss to the Spurs? If you did, you likely saw the Spurs make things seem easy, while the Wolves looked like a team made up of you and four people you've never met before at open gym. 

It was ugly. But there were plenty of bright spots. Here are five reasons to stay optimistic for this season. 

1. Teague-Jones might be a nice 1-2 punch

Thibs went with Tyus Jones over Jeff Teague late in the game, which shouldn't be an indictment on Teague. Sure, he wasn't great (11 points, 6 assists), but he's a proven point guard in a league of point guards. 

And the fact that Jones looked good (he finished +9 with 3 points, a couple boards and an assist) should increase confidence about the position, not decrease it. 

2. Butler wreaked havoc on defense

My coworker Shaymus said this to me: "Butler on defense is ALWAYS doing something. He's always leaning into passing lanes, sticking his arms out to give a little help to whoever is defending the ballhandler."

There were a number of times he interrupted a San Antonio breakout simply by sticking on defense a split second longer, or tipped an outlet pass. The dude has chops on that end of the floor. 

3. Crawford is a nice option off the bench

17 years in and Crawford looked as spry as ever. He drew a foul on a 3-point attempt (he holds the NBA record for most and-1 3s), got to the line on an and-1 runner, and distributed the ball really well. 

It went unnoticed last night, but the veteran guard finished with 5 assists. 

He's also the third true scoring option off the bench, giving Minnesota a better chance every night to get production from at least one bench piece – the other two are Shabazz Muhammad and Nemanja Bjelica (who looked solid with the ball in his hands). 

4. Wiggins looks bigger and more potent on offense

Wiggins is still a lean 6-foot-8', 202 pounds, but he looks more muscular, and smoother with the ball in his hands. 

He scored almost every possible way: deep 3s (4-of-6 for the game), slashing to the rim, dunking, pull-up jumpers, and one sweet finger roll. Not only that, but he actually looked energized compared to a lot of his teammates.

5. It was never going to be a quick adjustment

Everybody knows that it takes time for guys to gel. Teague, Butler, Taj Gibson, and Crawford have never played with KAT, Wiggins, Jones, Bjelica and Muhammad. Shoot, last year's Warriors got rolled by the Spurs by 29 points in their first game with Kevin Durant. 

Plus, the Wolves hadn't played another team in 10 days since leaving China. Rust was being shaken off every player last night. 

I bet we see a completely different team Friday night at home against the Jazz. 

Next Up

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.

monkeypox

Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Related

Wolves blow away Spurs in record-setting fashion

Minnesota was up by 45 points in the fourth quarter.

Butler, Wolves throw up a dud in highly anticipated season opener

Jimmy Butler did close to nothing after the first quarter.

Wolves lose opener to Spurs, Butler vows to keep playing hard

Butler hit the game-tying 3 with 42 seconds remaining.

5 things to see before the Wolves open the season

The excitement level for the Wolves might be at an all-time high.

5 things to see before the Wolves open the season

The excitement level for the Wolves might be at an all-time high.