The Timberwolves lose a heartbreaker. They get a new jersey. Nunnally goes home.
The Timberwolves are now 0-2 against the Kings this season, who have been surprising many critics thus far. The Kings fast-pace style of play is one of the biggest factors to their wins, and the improvement of the Kings backcourt (De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield) have definitely not gone unnoticed.
With players such as the aforementioned Fox and Hield, along with rising stars Marvin Bagley III, Willie Cauley-Stein and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Kings form one of the youngest teams in the league, which could be a factor into their pace. Despite this talented young core, the Kings’ best player last night was former Timberwolves forward, Nemanja Bjelica.
Bjelica scored 25 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. He made a couple of deep threes and went off in his “revenge game” against his former team. While on the Timberwolves, Bjelica had a couple of good games here and there, but never received consistent playing time as he came off the bench for Coach Thibs. After becoming a free agent last offseason, he originally accepted an offer to go play for the 76ers, but eventually backed out as he wanted to play for his home country. He then surprised the league by accepting an offer from the Kings, where he still starts for them at the PF position.
The Timberwolves were led by Wiggins, Rose and KAT. Wiggins scored 25 points on efficient shooting, Rose scored 20 points in just 22 minutes, and KAT recorded a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. RoCo and Saric scored 17 and 18 points, respectively, while Teague recorded 13 assists. Ultimately, the Timberwolves player poor defense throughout the game. Although the Timberwolves definitely could have won this game, they were not able to complete the comeback and ended up losing.
The Timberwolves continue their struggles, losing their past 3 games. They now sit 13th in the Western Conference with a 13-15 record. They will look to bounce back against the Suns, who currently have the worst record in the league and are without star Devin Booker.
New “Earned” Jersey
The Minnesota Timberwolves, along with the 15 other teams that made the playoffs last season, have been given the “Earned” jerseys. This marks the sixth Timberwolves jersey so far, with the Icon, Association and Statement jerseys, being followed by the Classic, City Edition and then these ones.
This jersey is basically an inverted color scheme of the City Edition “Purple Reign” jerseys which were inspired by Prince. Below are a few photos of this gorgeous jersey.
James Nunnally’s Jersey Retirement
Nunnally recently visited his old high school as he was honored with getting his jersey retired. Along with Nunnally, fellow Timberwolves such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Anthony Tolliver, Luol Deng and Jeff Teague decided to show their support to their teammate. It meant a lot for Nunnally to receive that kind of love from his teammates. Nunnally himself stated that:
“It was great to have their support. I was really appreciative of all the guys who came out and even the guys who couldn’t come out and that wanted to make it. It’s a great feeling.”
He averaged 22 ppg and 8 rpg in high school, but was not heavily scouted. He went undrafted in the NBA Draft and ended up bouncing around the league before settling in Europe. Playing in the Euroleague, Nunnally was praised for his elite scoring ability and good defense, which made the Timberwolves take notice. Now, despite not getting too much playing time, Nunnally remains happy on the team, especially with teammate chemistry at a high. Timberwolves Center Karl-Anthony Towns said:
“We’re just honored and blessed to have this opportunity to play with James and learn all the expertise he’s garnered over his years of playing professional basketball.”