Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders was expecting some “rust” on guard Jeff Teague in his first night back from a four-game absence.
After the Wolves’ 129-114 victory, Saunders took back that prediction.
“Big credit to him for being ready,” Saunders said. “I was wrong in terms of four games and having to see rust. Huge credit to him."
Teague looked perfectly fine, especially in the second half. He finished with 18 points and six assists in 23 minutes.
Teague was especially effective in the third quarter when he had eight points and five assists. He seemed to have a connection with Jake Layman, who was 4-for-4 as they helped the Wolves extend their lead to 11 by the end of the quarter.
“My teammates made it a lot easier for me to get some open looks and some layups,” Teague said. “We’re just playing good as a team. Andrew Wiggins made it a lot easier for all of us. [Karl-Anthony Towns] does what he does. I think as a group our whole team is playing with a nice rhythm.”
Teague’s rhythm didn’t seem too disrupted from the absence. While he was out, he said he was impressed with how Wiggins has bene playing, since Wiggins was handling a lot of point-guard duties in his absence.
“He’s making passes to get other guys involved and taking his shots when can,” Teague said. “He’s making ‘em, but his playmaking ability has really grown.”
The Wolves have made a lot about bonding with each off the court in the offseason, something that didn’t happen before the season with last year’s team under the Tom Thibodeau-Jimmy Butler regime.
Teague is never one to shy away from voicing his opinion, and he said the bond the team is forming is real.
"We’re like an underdog group,” Teague said. “But we all came together and just connect, on and off the court. I think the off-the-court stuff is going affecting us on the court."
Crashing the boards
The Wolves outrebounded the Spurs 50-44. The Wolves are now 7-0 when they outrebound their opponents. Towns led the way with 11 while Josh Okogie grabbed a season-high 10. Okogie’s career high was 11, which he grabbed in his third game last season.