The Timberwolves defeated Utah on Dec. 26 to put their record at 2-0. Four months later, they had played 60 games and were still in search of another two-game winning streak.
Then, starting last Saturday, the Wolves swept a home-and-home series with Utah (best record in NBA; minus Donovan Mitchell), won at Houston and pounded extra-small Golden State 57-34 on the boards for a 126-114 win Thursday night at Target Center.
Four straight … a winning streak not experienced by the Wolves since Nov. 23-28, 2018. Shawn Fury, Fulda, Minn-connected, and I were in attendance as spectators for the first of those, in Brooklyn on the day after Thanksgiving.
Fury, author of "Rise and Fire,'' a book on the history and origins of jump shot, had no idea he was witnessing the origins of Wolves history … a winning streak that would not be equaled for 29 months.
Still, there's something over which to complain with our Woofies.
The ridicule faced while going 58 games without winning two in a row has been replaced by complaints that these victories are ill-timed. That's because the Warriors will get the Wolves' first-round choice if the lottery doesn't place Minnesota within the protected top three picks.
The benefit of tanking for the draft has been reduced substantially, but large numbers of sports fans in these parts are not actual followers of the NBA – just trained critics of the Wolves.
This followed the motto I adopted for this franchise a few years back: "Even when the Timberwolves do the right thing, it's the wrong thing.''
Generally, that's reflected the standings, and always that becomes the majority reaction of the regional sporting public (RSP).
Another recent example of this came last month, when it announced that billionaire Marc Lore and partner Alex Rodriguez had a 30-day period to complete an agreement to purchase the Timberwolves from owner Glen Taylor.
(Note: Taylor is also the owner of the Star Tribune, and a fine one at that if you remain a print subscriber and have noted the size of our sports sections lately.)
Primarily, there has been futility in the 17 seasons since the Wolves reached the Western Conference finals in 2004, and "Taylor should sell'' has been a popular refrain within the RSP.
And now that Taylor appears set to do that, I've run across numerous opinions that he should not be selling to an ownership that contains A-Rod, an admitted PED cheater in baseball, as well as quite the pompous panelist on "Shark Tank,'' according to my bride, a faithful watcher.
Multiple messages received have gone so far to state: "Taylor should have sold to K.G.''
That would be Kevin Garnett, who complained bitterly about being eliminated from the bidding and aimed his usual vulgarities at Taylor. What Garnett did fail to mention in his screed was that he wasn't part of a group that actually had contacted Taylor about making a bid.
A-Rod has a guy in Lore who can handle the astounding price for an NBA franchise, estimated to be near $1.5 billion for the Wolves. Garnett doesn't have such a person. All he has is a short temper and a foul mouth.
Of course, the other popular notion is that A-Rod and Lore plan to move the Wolves to Las Vegas or Seattle. If relocation in their goal, they will need different sites, since the NBA is focused on those cities for expansion – franchises Nos. 31 and 32 – and at $2 billion apiece, minimum.
As Rick Spielman captured Purple Hearts by once again outsmarting the rest of the NFL in his opening draft salvo, I chose Target Center on Thursday night. The main motivation was to watch Steph Curry wind up his historic month of three-point magic for the Warriors.
The Wolves started off with rookie Jaden McDaniels chasing around Curry and it was an energetic effort. Other defenders tracked Curry and, with two minutes gone in the second half, Ricky Rubio had 20 points and four threes for the Wolves and Curry had 13 points and two threes for the visitors.
This caused a couple of reporters to speculate as to whether the Wolves' David Kahn might have been right all along when he selected Rubio two places ahead of Curry in the 2009 draft.
Curry still had 13 with 3 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. And when the quarter ended, he had 29. He wound up with 37, but only 6-for-17 on threes. He was frustrated with some open misses, and also when he wound up being banged around on two or three drives with no call from Ken Mauer and his whistle-blowing compadres.
It was 91-89 for the Warriors entering the fourth, even though Steve Kerr's mini-mites would get thrashed on the boards by Minnehaha Academy, and then Wolves rookie Anthony Edwards went insane … in a good way.
Edwards ripped three 3-pointers, and three dynamic drives (one dunk) in the first five minutes of the fourth. That added to 15 points, to go with a rebound and a block. He did this while Karl Anthony-Towns was taking the traditional sit-down to open the fourth.
Edwards is real. KAT is playing with a fire not seen since his playoff run. You don't have to ask which one – there's only been 2018. D'Angelo Russell doesn't guard, but he can shoot. Naz Reid is nasty and versatile as the backup big man.
The bumbling start of the Gersson Rosas operation, with the choice of Jarrett Culver as a bust at No. 6 in the 2019 draft, has been halted. Edwards is becoming what the No. 1 choice in a draft is supposed to be, and McDaniels at No. 28 has turned the 2020 draft into a bonanza.
Add it up and A-Rod and his moneyed partner, Lore, could be getting an unexpected bonus for their billion and a half: