Timberwolves Summer League Rewind

Shabazz Muhammad at Timberwolves Summer League

“Here’s what we need you to do Shabazz…”
(Photo credit: Chase Stevens / Las Vegas Review Journal)

While the Summer League rolls on tonight and tomorrow, the Timberwolves’ participation in the tournament ended this past Friday.  After falling to the D-League Select team for the second time on Thursday, the Wolves were bounced out of the tournament, wrapping up with a consolation game on Friday – their fifth game in as many nights.

The Pups finished the tournament with a 3-3 record.  Their wins came against the Heat, Kings, and Blazers, while they lost to the D-League team twice and lost at the buzzer to the Suns.  What did we learn from the Timberwolves Summer League session?  I think there are a few takeaways from the week.

  1. Shabazz Muhammad is going to work his tail off to get meaningful minutes.
  2. As Flip alluded to during one of the broadcasts, Gorgui Dieng is ready to play in the NBA from a defensive standpoint, but has a good amount of work to do on the other end of the floor.
  3. Beyond Muhammad and Dieng, there is likely only to be one open roster spot and a few guys from this team made a decent case for that spot.

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Timberwolves Summer League Game 5 Recap

Timberwolves Summer League, Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson’s looking good in Summer League
(Photo credit: NBA.com)

The Timberwolves played their fourth game in as many nights in Las Vegas Thursday.  The second round of the Summer League tournament was a rematch from the team’s first loss in the preliminary round and against the D-League Select team.

Identical to Wednesday’s game, Coach Adelman sent out the following starters to begin the game: Kee Kee Clark, Othyus Jeffers, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, and Chris Johnson.  If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it?  In case you missed it, I was actually live-tweeting the game over on our resurrected, official Twitter feed.  We’ll be doing that a lot more in the future I imagine.

As for the game itself, the Wolves got off to a slow start.  Kee Kee Clark was the only player that looked to have his legs with him in the opening few minutes, keeping the team close.  Towards the end of the first quarter, the Wolves got sloppy with the ball and allowed the D-League Select to go on a mini-run, closing the quarter with a 25-17 lead.

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Timberwolves Summer League Game 4 Recap

Shabazz Muhammad, Timberwolves

Shabazz had not been lighting up the Summer League
(Photo credit: LA Times)

In the preliminary play, the Timberwolves went 1-2 in Las Vegas, good enough for the 13 seed in the tournament that commenced Wednesday.  Their opening round opponent tonight was the Sacramento Kings, which affords me the opportunity to hone in on Ben McLemore’s play (the guy I was really hoping the Wolves would land coming out of last month’s draft).

David Adelman sent out the following starting lineup for Wednesday’s game: Kee Kee Clark, Othyus Jeffers, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, and Chris Johnson.  The starting frontcourt has been relatively consistent thus far in the tournament, while the backcourt continues to shift around.

With half of the first quarter in the books, both teams remained in single digits on the scoreboard.  Maybe they were too tense for the start of the game due to the new bracket format?  Maybe it was the three games in three days?  Perhaps it is just too much time in Las Vegas.  We’ll never know, but what I do know is that the first quarter wasn’t too enjoyable.

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Timberwolves Summer League Game 3 Recap

(Younger) Coach Adelman coaches the Timberwolves to a 1-2 start in Summer League

(Younger) Coach Adelman coaches the Timberwolves to a 1-2 start in Summer League

After a heartbreaking tough loss on Monday to the Suns, the Timberwolves turned right back around Tuesday to face the Miami Heat.  As should be expected for Summer League, David Adelman threw out a new starting lineup for the game, going with John Holland, Demetri McCamey, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, and Chris Johnson.

We have a new broadcast booth for today’s game and I wasn’t too excited about it.  While I enjoy Joel Meyers, he was partnering with someone that I loathe.  The analyst for today’s broadcast is none other than Isiah Thomas; one of the more despicable men in the world.  Sorry, but I’m not holding back here.  I have no idea why NBA TV hired Thomas, or why anyone else would across the league … for ANY position.  Please go away for good!  (Steps off pedestal)

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Timberwolves Summer League Game 2 Recap

Have at it Robbie! (Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US PRESSWIRE)

Have at it Robbie!
(Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US PRESSWIRE)

Game 2 from Las Vegas had the Timberwolves facing the Phoenix Suns.  Unfortunately, the game was not covered live on NBA TV and we are relying on the Summer League app and the Nexus for this recap.

The Wolves opened up with a different lineup this evening, with Lorenzo Brown, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Mychel Thompson, and Chris Johnson.  The Suns opened up with a pretty intriguing Summer League starting five with the Morris twins, Kendall Marshall, Archie Goodwin, and PJ Tucker.

The Wolves started the game hot from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of their first 8 attempts, and opening up a 23-10 lead that forced the Suns to take a timeout.  This included one from Shabazz, and two apiece from Hummel and Demetri McCamey.  The good times kept rolling through the first quarter and shots kept dropping for the Timberwolves, who took a 32-14 lead into the second quarter.

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