By: Dan Slaubaugh
It all started on the date of August 23, 2014. Kevin Love was going to Cleveland. Andrew Wiggins was coming to Minnesota.
That was the beginning of a rebuilding phase of a Timberwolves organization that was in desperate need of another star player, more specifically, a star player that wanted to be here.
Fast forward to today, and it is all but certain that the Minnesota has not one, but two budding stars that should pair up to be one of the most dominate duo's the league has seen in awhile.
Last night's victory against the Philadelphia 76ers signaled a beginning of a new era. One that ought to be full of posterizers, swats, and most importantly, wins, led by Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
One of the reasons it is a joy to watch these two compete on the court, is because of their ability to put the team on their back and carry them down the stretch. Besides just being a joy to watch, clutch play from Wiggins and Towns at an early part of their careers is HUGE for development sake. The experience they are gaining is invaluable.
For example, last night's win over Philadelphia manifested how much Andrew Wiggins has grown since the beginning of his career. He was an assassin during crunch time, fully displaying all the tools he has developed over the past season. He simply took over the basketball game.
Countless times this season we have seen at least one, if not both of them shine in the clutch.
Here, Minnesota, down two points with a little under 5 seconds to go against Orlando, turns to Wiggins to send the game into overtime.
Wiggins delivers with under 3 seconds to spare. The Magic would have one final shot at ending the game. Towns was not going to let that happen.
This is just one example of Wiggins and Towns shining in the clutch this season. In fact, if you look at the schedule, 6 out of the 14 games, Wiggins or Towns have excelled during crunch time play.
"Crunch time" is defined as less than five minutes remaining in the 4th quarter or overtime with neither team ahead by more than five points. Like I said, these two have excelled during crunch time. Wiggins is 6th in the league in scoring during crunch time scoring with 4.2 points. Towns is 2nd in the league averaging 0.7 blocks in crunch time play.
In conclusion, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns are setting this team up to be a powerhouse in the Western Conference for years to come. They may not make the playoffs this year, or next year (not ruling out the possibilities), but from what I have seen this year; These two are ready, and hungry to make an impact in this league. They hate losing. Hate it; and because of that, they are going to dominate this league. Keep in mind, they are only 20 years old.
Look out NBA, and enjoy your time while you can, because Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns are about to take over this league, and it may happen sooner rather than later.