First half awards for the Wolves

NBA All-Star voting is in full swing presently and a couple of Wolves have a chance to make the game. Derrick Rose is second among Western Conference guards in the fan voting, and it’s logical to think that Karl-Anthony Towns will be selected as a reserve thanks to his play on the court.

The first half of the season for the Wolves has been one of the most tumultuous in team history. There was the Jimmy Butler saga, the firing of Tom Thibodeau, the hiring of Ryan Saunders, and so much more. To say the least, it’s been an interested few months inside Target Center, both on and off the court.

Best Andrew Wiggins performance

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The game Wiggins played against Oklahoma City in early January was arguably the best game of his career. The 40-point, 10-rebound effort he gave in Saunders’ first game as interim coach of the team is was made for Hollywood.

Wiggins was engaged in a way that hadn’t often been shown under Thibodeau. He looked the part of the player that the Wolves continue to hope he can become and what many in the league thought he would be when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him No. 1 overall in the summer of 2014.

More of this would be better for the Wolves, but as Minnesotans know, it’s only happened a few times per season on average.

Best off-the-court story

During the height of the Butler drama, he chartered a plane for Tyus Jones to go watch his younger brother, Tre, play in his first collegiate game. In the middle of all of the dysfunction that Butler was at the center of, he did a pretty damn good deed.

If you missed it, I had plenty of questions about the actual flight, because chartered planes fascinate me.

The interview that Jones gave on tv at the Duke game was just another event in the ever-so-interesting Butler era.

Best fictional Revolutionary War Era military leader

Reporting for duty (sometimes)!

Best move by the game operations staff

So, as far as I know the Wolves were the first one to play the laugh Kawhi Leonard broke out at Toronto Raptors’ media day this year when the opposition made a mistake. That was certainly one of the clever things done by a game operations staff across the league, and a few places, including Milwaukee, have copied that move.

The first runner up is definitely having to play music as fast as possible at an absurdly loud level the exact moment the words ‘Tom Thibodeau’ were done being said to drown out the boos prior to each game.

Best gift

If we’re not calling the plane ride Jones took to see his brother play basketball a gift, then this award goes to the jackets Towns got newcomers Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless when they arrived from Philadelphia.

He attached a note with them telling them Minneapolis was ‘cold as HELL!” Which, truthfully hasn’t been the case so far this winter. And isn’t hell supposed to be hot?

Worst loss

All of the losses out west to start the season and subsequently trade Butler were bad, but there’s no way any of them compare to the embarrassment Philadelphia handed the Wolves in the reunion with Butler in mid-January.

That was supposed to not only be a night the Wolves could send a message to Butler that they can in fact win without him and don’t bleeping need him, but also a measuring stick game for Towns against Joel Embiid. Nothing that night went right for the Wolves. It’s a game most Minnesota fans would like to forget relatively soon.

Best win

Believe it or not, there are certainly a number of games that could be awarded this, for different reasons. Rose’s 50-point night in the victory over Utah is in the conversation, a few of the wins from the honeymoon period after the trade was made could qualify, but it probably belongs to the win over the Thunder that Wiggins scored 40 points in.

OKC is one of the best teams in the West this season, Paul George is playing near an MVP-level, and it was time for the Wolves to make a statement. Aside from that, it was the first game that Saunders was at the helm for. That night was a special one and takes home the trophy for best win of the first half of the season.