Undermanned and coming off a tough loss to Cleveland two nights earlier, the Timberwolves rallied for a 112-105 victory over the Nets on Monday.
Playing a significant role in the outcome was center Gorgui Dieng, who had 11 points and 20 rebounds.
As the longest-tenured Wolves player, Dieng is often one to speak his mind. And on Monday, he had a message for some of his missing teammates.
“Hopefully, they can see how hard we play, and when they get back, they can just jump on the train,” Dieng said. “If you have your top players, they see how hard we play when we're limited, and when they come back, they should do even better, because they're talented. We don't have the talent they have. They're way talented, and they're better basketball players. So hopefully, when they get back, they can give us the same energy."
Dieng certainly had a lot of energy Monday. He made an eye-popping save under the basket to preserve a Wolves possession that ended in two free throws for Jarrett Culver.
Perhaps it was a coincidence or perhaps not that Dieng delivered his quotes the same day a report surfaced from The Athletic saying opposing executives are keeping an eye on Karl-Anthony Towns and his happiness in Minnesota amid another potentially losing season.
The Wolves have been down their two top players in Towns and Andrew Wiggins, Towns for the last seven because of left knee sprain, Wiggins the last three because of an illness. Jake Layman has been out since November 18 while Treveon Graham and Noah Vonleh joined them on the injury report Monday.