There were some really great games played in the NBA last night, but none of them were as interesting and as momentous as the clash between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden. The teams themselves are not really heavy-hitters this season, but both these teams feature a rookie superstar. The Knicks have Kristaps Porzingis and the Wolves have Karl-Anthony Towns. So, how did it go down?
The Knicks came out running and gunning and it did not take them too long to take control of the game. Kristaps was active on the defensive end early, blocking last year’s Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins twice in less than two minutes. He added four more blocks in the first half and then wrapped up a great defensive performance by blocking fellow rookie Karl-Anthony Towns as he was shooting a three towards the end of the game.
Porzingis had a total of seven blocks during the game. This is the third time this year that he has blocked six or more shots in a game, meaning that he has had more 6+ blocks games in a season than any other Knick in the last 30 years apart from Patrick Ewing. And he’s only played 26 games. In short, it seems that the experts who worried that Kristaps might struggle on the defensive end were worrying for nothing. Besides elite offensive game for someone of his size and age, Porzingis is more than capable on defense too.
Karl-Anthony Towns also had a great game last night. He scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds. He went 11 for 21 from the field and 2 for 4 from the three point line. He has once again shown that he might be the best rookie of the 2016 Draft. However, it was not all about the rookies last night. Arron Aflalo had a fantastic game for the Knicks, scoring 29 points on stellar shooting. Carmelo Anthony almost posted a triple-double with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists.
For the Wolves, Wiggins scored 23 but perhaps the best overall player on the court for them was Ricky Rubio. He almost had a quadruple-double with 9 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and 8 steals! Still, it was not enough to win this game. The Knicks prevailed in the end, 107-102.