D’Angelo Russell…Where Has This Been?

Basketball Timberwolves

D’Angelo Russell of the Twolves injecting Arby’s into his veins
D’Angelo Russell Shooting Arby’s Beef and Cheddars into his veins.

D’LO, The 4th Quarter Shining Star

When Karl-Anthony Towns went down with a leg strain that looked like his Achilles left the building and the season in the dust. The already frustrating Wolves season looked to take an even darker turn. Then suddenly from the grave like The Undertaker, the D’lo of old came back alive. On Friday night against the Utah Jazz (who are filled with former Timberwolves), D’lo rose up and ripped the soul out of that poor Utah fan base. Dagger 3 after dagger 3 killed the Jazz. Just when everyone had wrote D’Angelo off…he didn’t write back. Ripping off 6 three-pointers in the 4th quarter alone, he willed the Wolves to a victory they desperately needed.

The D’Angelo We Expected Vs What We Got

Largely, D’Angelo Russell has been disappointing since joining the Timberwolves. From a poor shooting season, to getting benched at the end of Game 6 against the Grizzlies in the playoffs last year. It’s been frustrating because he is a former All-Star on a max deal. You should expect games like this on the regular, it’s what he can do when he puts his mind to it. He can take over a game and lead a team to victory when others aren’t willing to. Games like Utah last Friday, the 76ers’ game last year, and even the play-in game we all remember so well. Truthfully, I may have been one of the only ones still hanging on after a bad ending last year. It wasn’t by much either. The talent is there, but sometimes his mind is what gets in his way. He said it himself.

Will This Hot Streak Last?

To say he’s a streaky player would be putting it lightly. When he’s on, he’s on and it lasts. But when the light bulb goes dim.. look out. Honestly, I’m optimistic about what’s to come out of D’lo in this next stretch with KAT still out of the lineup. An expanded role with leadership added to it might be what he needs to get himself back on track. If he wants another contract in Minnesota or a big deal anywhere around the NBA, he’ll need more nights like this. Command the offense, shoot consistently, and don’t wind up as a liability on defense. If the Wolves want anything to do with a quality playoff spot, it’s going to come on the back of him, Rudy and Ant.

“D’Angelo Russell’s first 13 games of the season versus his last 12 games of the season…

First 13 (5-8) / Last 12 (8-4)

Minutes: 29.7 / 33.5
Points: 13.2 / 19.2
Assists: 5.8 / 7.0
Rebounds: 3.5 / 2.8
Turnovers: 3.1 / 2.4
2P%: 44.7% / 66.7%
3P%: 29.9% / 39.2%

Originally tweeted by Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) on December 10, 2022.”

Are We Worried About Ant?

I’ll try to make this short, this whole article should be about Anthony Edwards and how he is single-handedly leading the Wolves on a winning streak. But he isn’t and the Wolves aren’t winning as they should be. The 3rd year leap we’ve been waiting for was right there for the taking. Your true superstar in Karl Anthony Towns is out and we’ve been looking for someone to take this team over. I’ve heard it from just about everyone that this is Anthony Edwards’s team, he’s going to be the leader, and he’s the best player on the team. Well, we’re two weeks into Towns being out and I’ve watched multiple games where nobody has come to play. The leader who hates to lose, calls teammates out when they are acting like they don’t want to be here and doesn’t let this happen. He watched as Pat Bev did it last year and loved to jump on it with him.

I still believe in Ant and think this is just a bump in the road. I’m just saying, let’s not crown his ass as the savior of Minnesota Basketball just yet. Inconsistent shooting and more calling for calls have been what we’ve seen out of Edwards in the last couple of weeks. There’s time to reset as Christmas approaches for the Wolves. Get back on track and back into the win column and all will be right.