Well, this one went pretty much to interim coach Sam Mitchell’s blueprint.
After going through training camp and seeing what he had, Mitchell decided to go with a starting lineup that includes veterans Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince, thinking the two vets would help calm rookie Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins at the start of games. Then he can go with a second unit that includes scorers like Kevin Martin and Shabazz Muhammad.
That 10-man rotation worked pretty well in Friday’s preseason finale in which the bench scored 53 points in a 112-108 victory at Target Center.
With five days until the opener, here are some thoughts on tonight’s game:
--It was important for Kevin Martin to bounce back from Tuesday’s 0-for-10 effort. Tonight he had 20 on 8-for-15 shooting with three assists. Afterward Martin said the way Mitchell limited his minutes early in the preseason has allowed him to stay fresh. “This is probably the best I’ve felt going into a season in a long time,’’ he said.
--It was another strong night for Shabazz Muhammad, who scored 19 points for the second straight game. Ten of those points came in the fourth quarter, when the Wolves sealed the deal.
--Perhaps the only downside to the victory was that Nemanja Bjelica struggled. He was held scoreless and he fouled out in just 13:36 of playing time.
--What a night for Karl-Anthony Towns. He had 18 points and 12 rebounds. He had dropstep moves, spin moves, he dunked on the fast break and he had the prettiest pass of the night when he sent a no-look behind-the-back pass to Prince for a wide-open three pointer in the third quarter.
--Andrew Wiggins’ three-point shot is looking very good. He hit on three of four three-pointers tonight on the way to 24 points.
--Ricky Rubio said he’s not totally back into the flow of things yet. But he played pretty well in his most extensive time in the preseason. Playing nearly 30 minutes, Rubio went 4-for-7, scored 13 points, had six assists and three steals.
That’s about it for now. Have a good weekend.