April 3, 2017, 6:55 pm
Monday was supposed to be an evening devoid of NBA action, as the basketball world turned its collective attention to the NCAA championship. After a slippery floor in the Target Center cost us the Wolves hosting the Blazers several weeks ago, however, we did end up with one rescheduled match on the docket. Damian Lillard struggled with his shot and Karl-Anthony Towns came through in the clutch to seal the 110-109 win for Minnesota. With that, here’s Tuesday’s Daily Dish.
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For the Wolves…
As one might expect Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins carried the team offensively, although neither player contributed any defensive counters. Wiggins had 17 points at the half and finished the night with 29 points and three 3-pointers. Towns, meanwhile, scored 34 points on 15-of-25 from the field and sealed the win as the team’s go-to option in the final four minutes. At just 21-years-old his combination of across the board contributions and elite efficiency have placed him squarely in the conversation for the first overall pick in drafts next season.
Ricky Rubio continued his absolutely stellar second half of the season, dropping 11 points with 16 assists and seven boards. He’s playing the best basketball of his career and it will be interesting to see how the Wolves plan to balance his playing time with that of Kris Dunn (who saw just six minutes of action in this one) moving forward.
Gorgui Dieng cooled off after putting together one of his better stretches of the season last week, hitting just three of his eight attempts from the floor on Monday. Still, he chipped in eight boards, three assists and two blocks to salvage his line. He’s been frustrating to own this season but has still managed to live up to his mid round price tag.
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For the Blazers…
As previously mentioned, the two Blazers stars struggled to generate efficient looks. Damian Lillard went 7-of-21 from the floor, and C.J. McCollum didn’t fair much better. They combined for 42 points from the floor, and McCollum chipped in enough defensively to keep from hurting owners too badly, but a lot of daily lineups built around one or both of these studs came up empty.
As the Blazers attempt to deal with the loss of Jusuf Nurkic (fractured fibula) keep on eye on how Al Farouq Aminu is deployed. Against the Wolves he saw 35 minutes off the bench, spending most of his time as the nominal four for Rip City. He turned in a pretty line, and with three games left this week he looks like a guy worth streaming for owners in need of money counters.
Popular waiver wire pickup Meyers Leonard flopped in this one, playing just 12 minutes and missing all four of his shots. He’s a borderline player at best for owners looking for answers in the final week of the season.
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That’ll do it for this Tuesday’s dish. Follow @HoopBallTweets for up to the minute updates or hit me up on Twitter (@AbyssAlsoGazes) if you have any questions. See you all next week.