Insert your own cliche about never giving up here. There a million to chose from. They all apply to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.
The Timberwolves were down three to the Los Angeles Clippers with less than 30 seconds left last night when the ball found its way into Ricky Rubio’s hands in the right corner. Rubio had missed all 10 of his shots at that point. He’s a rookie. He’s playing in Los Angeles. He’s got better options on the floor. What did he do?
No hesitation. No question.
“He is unflappable. He missed every shot, and then he makes a big 3 to tie it,” coach Rick Adelman said. “The thing I like about him is that he’s a competitor. He doesn’t back down from anybody, and he keeps an even keel. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He just plays. He’s been very good all year. He’s played in the fourth quarter of every game, even when he wasn’t starting.
This is what “Tebowing” should be known as. Forget the kneeling and praying thing. That’s been done by athletes forever. “Tebowing” should become known as sucking for the first 90% of whatever it is you’re doing, but the amazingly, and inconceivably, pulling through at the end. That’s what Rubio did to tie the game.
And then Rubio did it on the defensive end, challenging Chauncey Billups’ layup and forcing a miss with 1.5 second left on the clock. That set the stage for one Mr. Kevin Wesley Love.
Kevin Love was a good three feet behind the line, but it didn’t matter. He calmly found nothing but net, and a delivered a signature win for the Timbrerwolves franchise.
These TWolves are a different team. With Love and Rubio, there is a different buzz. There is a different feel. There’s the air of legitimacy that hasn’t existed in Minnesota for a while.
Of course, it’s more than just those two guys. And there’s still a lot more work to do in Minnesota. But you can’t use these guys as a punchline anymore. They’re not a joke, even if they hover around .500.
Now the question is, can the Wolves keep Kevin Love in Minnesota and keep this going?