The Minnesota Timberwolves got their first win of the 2014 season in their first game of the year against the Orlando Magic. The Wolves jumped out to an early 38-27 first quarter lead, but it took overtime for them to earn the 120-115 victory. Kevin Love tied the game up late with a three pointer to send the game to overtime, and the fifth-year player out of UCLA finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds.
Love once again showed his rebound prowess recording his first of many double-doubles this season as he was the Timberwolves’ x-factor in Wednesday night’s game. Aside from Love, only eight other Wolves players stepped on the court, and the most notable to be benched was former second overall pick, Derrick Williams. Williams slimmed down in the offseason to be able to play the small forward position, but it was newcomer Corey Brewer who started at the three for the Wolves and ended the game with a surprising 16 points.
The Magic started their comeback in the second quarter as they outscored the Wolves in the last three quarters of the game, but were outscored 17-12 in overtime. Victor Oladipo was one of many Magic players to shine, but the rookie stood out in his slashing and fast-break ability, and should be playing an even bigger role as the season goes on. Aside from Oladipo, it was Arron Afflalo who stood out the most for the Magic as the veteran scored a team high 28 points and played just over 41 minutes.
Both teams looked good Wednesday night, and the Timberwolves showed once again that the first quarter will be their strongest, just as it was last year. The Magic looked better than many expected, and although they weren’t facing one of the best team’s in the league, the Wolves are a team on the rise who should be making the playoffs, and the Magic looked as if they could compete sooner than expected based on their comeback efforts.
The Timberwolves will have to work on finishing games, but once head coach Rick Adelman works in more players they should have more energy late in games, thus making it more likely they play better. The Wolves however did live up to preseason expectations by winning their first game, but it is just the beginning for a team expecting to make a postseason appearance.