With Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns out, the Timberwolves needed somebody to step up and fill the scoring void. Luckily for them they have a cadre of veterans to rely on. Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague answered the call in Sunday’s 103-92 victory over the Knicks.
Gibson had a season-high 25 points and Teague had 20 points and 10 assists.
For Gibson, assuming a large chunk of the offensive responsibility was no problem.
“I’m a professional, I’ve been in this position a long time,” Gibson said. “It’s no change. See the game. Everybody in this actual locker room is talented and can do the same thing. You got to be ready, get great looks.”
Gibson made the start for Towns at center, and he used his expert footwork to get the better of his matchup inside against DeAndre Jordan. Gibson was an efficient 11 of 15. At one point in the first quarter when Gibson made a move around Jordan for a reverse layup, Jordan paused and nodded his head in appreciation. Jordan was just 1 of 8 for two points.
Also helping the Wolves in the scoring column was Teague, who had one of his most productive games in a while. Teague shook off a 2 for 14 shooting performance from Saturday with 20 points and 10 assists. The Wolves are 8-2 when Teague gets a double-double in points and assists.
“I think I have to be,” Teague said when asked if he was more aggressive with Towns and Wiggins out. “They take a lot of scoring, I just try to get them the ball in positions where they can be successful.”
Added interim coach Ryan Saunders: “You see that Jeff has to be aggressive and he definitely took that to heart.”
Another reason why they had to be aggressive was because Derrick Rose was limited on the second game of a back to back situation. Rose played 30 minutes in leading the Wolves to a win Saturday, but he played just eight minutes Sunday. Saunders said Rose was battling some soreness but didn’t expect that to affect Rose’s availability going forward.