By: Drew Mahowald
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Minnesota Timberwolves played a tough, hard-fought game on their home floor against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, only to come up just short in part because of some questionable calls by the officials in the final minutes.
It's a game the Timberwolves felt they had in their grasp. Alas, it slipped from their grasp in the final seconds.
Ricky Rubio, dejected after the loss, gave this quote to Jerry Zgoda of the StarTribune.
“Of course, when you look 20 years from now and see their record — whatever they end up, it’ll be a great season for them — having given them one of their losses would be great,” Rubio said. “But we have another chance, in Golden State [April 5]. We have to finish the season strong.”
I learned this thing in literature class called foreshadowing, which is defined as "a warning or indication of a future event".
That quote from Rubio couldn't be a better example of foreshadowing.
Minnesota was able to get redemption against Golden State on Tuesday night, defeating the defending champions on their home floor in overtime by a score of 124-117. In front of a national television audience, the Wolves handed the Warriors just their second home loss of the season, and everyone that saw the floor made significant contributions.
I'm not even going to mention the numbers and the individual performances from the Wolves, because that's not what this win is about. Also, you guys can look those up on Twitter or a different game recap.
This win is about a team full of kids that are 19, 20 and 21 years old that just took down the defending NBA champions with the entire country watching. And it was a complete team win, too. It wasn't just the starters playing well enough to win by double-digits while the bench brought margin more even. Nope. The bench's contributions were probably more important than what the starters did.
When your bench can keep you in a game against a team like the Warriors the way Minnesota's bench did Tuesday night, there's real growth happening.
And no, this game wasn't a fluke. Minnesota has shown up all season against top-tier teams. The Wolves now have road wins over the Clippers, Thunder and Warriors, showing they can beat any team in the NBA on any given night.
Tuesday night, however, NBA fans all over the country got to see it happen on a nationally-televised broadcast.
They got to see 21-year-old Andrew Wiggins take over a second half with his incredible athleticism and deadly spin move. They got to see 20-year-old, 7'0" center Karl-Anthony Towns shut down Steph Curry on the perimeter in a crucial late-game situation. They got to see 20-year-old Zach LaVine shine at something other than dunking. They got to see 19-year-old Tyus Jones bring the Wolves back into the game while Ricky Rubio battled foul trouble. They got to see 23-year-old Shabazz Muhammad drop 35 points on 12 field goal attempts against the best defense in the league.
They got to see one of the best, if not the best, young NBA team blossom before their eyes.
This whole foreshadowing concept is pretty cool. I mean, I enjoyed the results that it produced on Tuesday night. So, I'm going to try this foreshadowing thing.
You know how we refer to the Golden State Warriors as the "defending champions" or the "reigning champions" because, you know, they won the NBA Finals last season?
Let's just say that "the defending champion Minnesota Timberwolves" might be something you'll be hearing from your television set or reading on your screen in a few years.
Drew Mahowald is the lead writer for On The Prowl. When not contributing to OTP, Drew serves as an assistant editor for NFCNBarroom.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @DrewMahowald.
By: Dan Slaubaugh
Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine announced this morning at shootaround that he will be retiring from basketball, to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder.
LaVine says the announcement may be shocking news for the sports world to hear, but for himself, not at all.
"I knew all along I would make the transition from basketball to skateboarding, the question was when. Once I found out the XGames had open positions, I knew this was the time to make the transition."
LaVine has plenty of skateboarding experience. At the age of 8, he competed in his neighborhood skate-off, which was an annual tradition in his hometown. His signature move was a 90 McTwist.
"There is no greater feeling than gliding through the air like a majestic bird. A dunk from the free throw line? No. A game winning three pointer? No. There is nothing that compares with that feeling."
Lavine said he is not opposed to the idea of being a participant in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest.
"It'd be real cool to come back and throw some dunks off my skateboard."
LaVine will make his farewell to the NBA at the beginning of the Wolves-Mavs game Sunday night.
"It's most important that my farewell announcement is in front of the Target Center faithful," the sophomore guard said. "There may be some sour grapes out there, but I want to make sure everything is cleared up before I officially leave the team."
Lavine's retirement from basketball will leave Wolves fans saddened, but for him, it's a great opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of professional skateboarding.
"I'm excited that I will get to live my dream and ride the rails into the sunset."