Ant has been absolutely balling the past few weeks. He is making it pretty clear who is the best player on this team and who should be leading the squad going forward. Ant is the captain now.Ant has been taking that leap right in front of our eyes. Growing as a playmaker at a very fast rate. Unfortunately most of this has come with Kat and Rudy out and its quite a small sample size. It begs the question though, how do they sustain this Ant going forward?
One of the easiest ways I think the Wolves can keep this playmaking-Ant going forward is by allowing him to be a ball handler a lot more often. When he plays off ball and stands in the corner there is just no way he can take that playmaking leap. Here are a few plays that show a great example of the leap he has already made. Specifically the cross court passes in the corner to Jaden and Austin.Ant just isn’t making those passes last year. To see him evolve as a passer in a handful of games is beautiful. He needs to keep doing this if he wants to flourish when both Kat and Rudy are back and if they want to maximize every drop of potential.
Clear the Lane
One thing that has been super evident too is how much harder it is for Ant to get to the rim with Gobert. In those games without Gobert, Ant was attacking so hard and was almost unstoppable. The main reason being Gobert’s man wasn’t down there clogging the lane. They need to figure out how to co-exist and be on the same page when Ant is in attack mode. It is one game, but Gobert’s first game back against Dallas you could immediately see the difference. Its sad, but Ant looks less happy and the vibe just isn’t as good as it was. Does this matter to winning? I’m not sure but keeping our 21 year old face of the franchise should be pretty important. Here is a weird and cool stat to show how effective we have been when it is Ant with Gobert vs Kat vs Naz.It isn’t a massive sample size with Naz besides those last handful of games where Ant was amazing so the numbers may be skewed a bit, but this is pretty telling. It will be super interesting and important to see how we navigate maximizing Ant once we are healthy.
Ant is the Captain Now
If you have been watching, you have seen Ant be better than ever before. The joy he is playing with and just how he is dominating the game in every aspect. It is so critical they figure out how to make this work when we are fully healthy. It is how he can become a superstar and how we can become a contending team. If they don’t, I believe things could get very ugly. Lets pray that isn’t the case and Ant shows us all why he is indeed a superstar. Ant you are the captain now.
10K sports writer that specializes in Timberwolves content. Lover of pizza, disc golf and having the Timberwolves forever make me sad.