The Miami Heat proved to the Timberwolves on Nov. 8, 2014 that a LeBron James-less team can thrive without much of a fall off. Dwyane Wade went nuts with a weak Minnesota perimeter defense.
Kevin Martin displayed his prolific shooting, but Chris Bosh was too much down the stretch. Wade had 25 points and eight assists in a game that proved without a question that Wade still has a lot left in the tank.
The big takeaway here is that if Wade can explode against the Timberwolves, then James Harden should have a field day working against the Wolves’ defenders. The Heat took advantage of slow rotations by the Timberwolves to get shooters in their sweet spots to knock down triples.
Bosh finished with 24 points and seven boards, and Norris Cole and Luol Deng contributed 25 points while both playing 32 minutes.
The only Timberwolf to have an impressive game was Nikola Pekovic who managed 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting (7-of-7 free throws) with 11 boards (four offensive).
Dwight Howard is one player capable of fully negating Pek’s dominance, but the 6’11” Yugoslavian will still push and claw his way to the glass. The interior play of Houston is more critical against Minnesota than against a number of more formidable opponents.
With Rubio out, it’s going to prove more difficult to get Pekovic his looks around the basket, but he’s fully capable of cleaning up the garbage and getting easy buckets.