Welcome to the Tuesday edition of The Cooler, where there’s a surprise around every corner. Let’s get to it:
*One of Andrew Wiggins’ greatest assets in his four-plus years in the NBA has been his durability. He’s missed just one game — early in his second season — and regularly logs among the most minutes in the league.
It was a little stunning, then, to see him exit Monday’s win over the Pacers with what is being termed a right quad contusion. It doesn’t sound serious and Wiggins could even be back by Wednesday in Toronto (a hometown game he surely doesn’t want to miss), but it limited him to just eight minutes Monday.
What that meant was an increased role for a second game in a row for rookie wing Josh Okogie. He played 28 minutes Saturday in Dallas with Jimmy Butler resting and was in for 24 minutes Monday in the 101-91 win over Indiana.
Small sample sizes being what they are, I don’t want to draw any hard conclusions from what happened at Target Center on Monday, but this much is a fact: It was easily Minnesota’s best defensive game of the season, helping vault the Wolves from No. 27 to No. 21 in NBA defensive rating with just 48 minutes of work.
And Okogie’s impact within the context of a complete team effort was undeniable. He finished with three steals and four rebounds while playing with the sort of pestering energy that can be contagious on that end of the floor.
Anyone who has ever played against someone like Okogie knows how annoying it can be. Anyone who has ever had someone like Okogie on his or her team knows that it can impact the effort level of everyone involved.
Tom Thibodeau has said he likes a nine-man rotation, so it remains to be seen what Okogie’s role will be once Wiggins is healthy. But I’d sure like to see him, even in small bursts, in every game. He kind of plays like a more under control — but just as energized — Corey Brewer.
Here’s one of Okogie’s highlights from Monday — a deflection that led to his fast break dunk:
*A Timberwolves fan account from France tweeted an image of a possible Wolves jersey that’s an homage to Prince. I have no idea if it’s real — I’ll work to find out — but even if it isn’t I’ll take two.
*Get ready for a long World Series. The Red Sox and Dodgers tied for the longest average game time in MLB this season at 3 hours, 13 minutes. The Dodgers were No. 1 in pitches seen per plate appearance (4.05) while on the other end the Red Sox threw the second-most pitches per plate appearance (3.98).
For reference, by the way, the last time these teams met in the World Series was 1916. The clinching Game 5 Boston victory was played in 1 hour, 43 minutes.
*LeBron James forced overtime with a three-pointer at the end of regulation … but he missed two free throws and a potential game-winning shot in the extra session as the Lakers lost 143-142 to the Spurs. The Lakers are now 0-3 — hardly what would have been predicted after adding LeBron in the offseason.