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Road Trip Thoughts: On Towns being a monster, Wiggins not being one, Tyus’ thievery, and Okogie’s speed

Matthew Coller and former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels dive into what went right, what went wrong for the Minnesota Vikings in a win over the Detroit Lions. What did we make of Kevin Stefanski's second game as a play caller? How do you practice Hail Marys? Why using Kyle Rudolph more often is the right idea and how Stefanski is protecting against Cousins' weaknesses.

Karl-Anthony Towns is a monster, and that probably doesn’t get mentioned enough.

There have been many layers to the season for the Wolves as the calendar is getting ready to turn from 2018 to 2019, but Towns has been the most consistent part of the Wolves this year. He’s repeated the All-Star caliber of play that he had last season for much of this season.

Sunday night in Miami he was dominant, and there’s no other way to put it. The Wolves knocked off the Heat 113-104 mostly because Towns was a downright beast.

Towns is a monster when he wants to be. The Wolves don’t always do the best job of putting him in position to be successful, but when they do, look out. Sunday night was one of the best games in Towns’ career. His final stat line of 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and six blocks puts him in elite company.

Ready for the other players in NBA history that have scored 34 or more points, 18 or more rebounds, seven or more assists, and six blocks or more in a single game?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

That’s it. That’s the entire list.

Towns keeps getting better for the Wolves. Not every night is going to be the same performance as this one, but there are going to be plenty of them moving forward. Towns is only going to continue to get better for Minnesota. That alone should have Wolves fans thrilled through the roof.

Andrew Wiggins’ tough night

Once again, things weren’t great for Wiggins. After he said that the Wolves had some “sh— fans” after the loss to Atlanta on Friday night, he didn’t exactly follow up those words with a good performance.

Wiggins finished with a pedestrian 13 points on an inefficient 5-of-16 shooting and added in a measly two rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes on the floor. For as much excitement as there is surrounding Towns, the equal amount of pessimism is around Wiggins.

It’s feasible to doubt whether he ever will start to climb anywhere near his potential as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. With each day that passes, the max contract extension he was given last summer looks worse and worse. There are very few nights when he looks anywhere near deserving of a deal like the one he was given, and it’s a definite hindrance to the Wolves now and in the future.

Tyus Jones, thief

As mentioned above, Towns was the obvious story against the Heat, but Jones made his impact felt as well.

Jones was in the starting lineup in place of Derrick Rose, who previously was in the starting lineup in place of Jeff Teague. Both Rose and Teague were inactive due to ankle injuries. So, yeah, the Wolves are thin at point guard right now.

During his fill-in duties, Jones stepped up not only offensive as he scored 12 points and dished five assists, but defensively as well. The point guard racked up a season-high five steals in the win.

This one may have been Jones’ best defensive play of the night. He realized that Dwyane Wade lost track of him as he was guarding Tyler Johnson. Jones swoops in and rips the ball from Wade in a masterful way. He’s getting really good at this type of play.

High-energy Josh Okogie

It’s no secret that Okogie’s key to being in the rotation is playing with more energy than everyone else. He’s still raw in terms of basketball ability. Despite having crazy potential, he’s a rookie and certainly looks it at times.

As it’s been said a few times here before, the best way to describe Okogie is that he just “does things” when he’s on the floor. Not all of them are good, not all of them are bad, some of them are neither, but they’re always things.

One thing recently noticed by yours truly is the speed at which Okogie operates with the ball in his hands. He’s not a great ball handler, and shouldn’t be relied upon to do things like this often, but it’s kind of fun to see Okogie on the break.

Okogie grabbed the rebound before this clip started, and essentially outraced everyone on Miami down the floor. Sure, he’s a little out of control, but that’s who he is.

Okogie is constantly on the border of in control and out of control. That’s why he’s still good for the Wolves while still developing his NBA talents.

The Wolves are back in action again on Monday night in New Orleans for the final time in 2018. I, however, will not be. I will be on vacation and out of action until Sunday when the Los Angeles Lakers visit Target Center. Talk to you in a week.





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