Minnesota Timberwolves: 10 Best Plays of the Promising 2011-12 Season
Unfortunately, injuries finally caught up to the young, overachieving Wolves. The massive blow was on March 9th when Ricky Rubio tore his ACL. After that game, Minnesota was not the same and were 5-20 in their final 25 games.
Their 21-20 start to the season gives Minnesota fans a lot to hope for in the future, though. This was a fun year and this young team showed flashes of how explosive they can be in the future.
These are the 10 best plays of the shortened 2011-12 season for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Honorable Mentions: Timberwolves During All-Star Weekend
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Minnesota was represented very well during All-Star Weekend this season.
It started off with Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams' performances on Friday night during this year's Rising Stars Challenge.
Finally, on Sunday K-Love played in the NBA All-Star Game as a power forward for the Western Conference. He dropped 17 points to go along with seven boards.
10. Derrick Williams Dunks over 2 Indiana Pacers
Even though the Wolves were already down by 19 points in just the first quarter, Williams still excited the Minnesota crowd with this dunk.
J.J. Barea found D-Will on a nice back cut, and the young phenom finished the play with a thunderous dunk splitting two Pacers, Leandro Barbosa and Louis Amundson.
9. Anthony Randolph Fast-Break Dunk Against Toronto
In this January 9th loss to the Raptors, Minnesota had one of their many electrifying fast-break scores.
It started with a steal from Derrick Williams, who outlets the ball to J.J. Barea. He then pushes it up the floor and finds Anthony Randolph streaking down the left side of the court.
Randolph then finishes it with a nice left-handed slam over the Raptors' Ed Davis.
8. Derrick Williams Dunks on the Charlotte Bobcats
In a 102-90 victory against one of the worst teams in NBA history, the Charlotte Bobcats, the play of the game was this slam by D-Will.
Former University of Indiana standout D.J. White did not stand a chance against Williams on this one, as Williams rose up and slammed down one of the best dunks of the Wolves' 2011-12 season.
7. Ricky Rubio Splits the Oklahoma City Defense with This Assist
With the first game of the 2011-12 season, many Timberwolves fans were excited to see how the exciting rookies would fair.
This play from Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams was an early sign on how exciting of a team the Wolves can be when healthy. Rubio is unstoppable in the open court and Williams finishes off the play with a nice reverse dunk.
6. Ricky Rubio Steal and Between-the-Legs Pass to Nikola Pekovic
Ricky Rubio shows off his defensive and passing genius in this early February win over the Sacramento Kings.
Rubio starts the play off picking the pocket of Kings guard Tyreke Evans, then throws a flashy pass between his legs to Nikola Pekovic streaking down the court. Pek then throws down on Evans for two points.
5. Ricky Rubio Alley-Oop to Derrick Williams Against San Antonio
In this win over the future No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Rubio and D-Will hooked up in one of many alley-oops that they had this season.
It came on a great backdoor cut made by Williams. He faked the veteran Manu Ginobili into thinking he was flashing to the ball, then made a quick spin and was wide open going to the basket.
Rubio saw this in threw up a perfect lob and Derrick threw down a forceful reverse slam.
4. Wes Johnson Cleans Up the Mess on Botched Alley-Oop
This did not necessarily play out as planned, but Wes Johnson found himself in the right place at the right time for this throwdown.
This play was a total team effort, as it started out with Nikola Pekovic getting the steal, then leads to Rubio leading the fast break. He then lobs up the ball for Derrick Williams, but it is tipped into the air and is thrown down by Wes Johnson.
This is yet another exciting fast-break score for the Timberwolves, and it shows how exciting and electrifying of a team they can be.
3. Ricky Rubio Ties Up Game Against the Clippers
Coming into the fourth quarter down nine and not having been tied in the game since the score was 2-2, Minnesota's chances looked bleak in their first game on ESPN of the season.
Throughout the final quarter of the game, the Wolves chipped away at the lead and were within striking distance as time wound down.
Ridnour had the ball at the top and easily drove into the paint. This caused for the Clippers' help defense to have to rotate, leaving Williams open. Ridnour found him on the wing, and with the L.A. defense scrambling, Williams made the extra pass to a wide-open Rubio in the corner.
Rubio, who was 0-for-10 on the night, knocked down the game-tying shot with 20 seconds to go in the game.
There will be more from the Wolves-Clips game later in the countdown.
2. Luke Ridnour Beats the Buzzer for a Win Before the All-Star Break
This 100-98 nail-biter against the Utah Jazz brought the Wolves back to .500 going into the All-Star break for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Minnesota had to make a big fourth-quarter comeback for this win to be possible, and they did just that, outscoring Utah 36-21.
With the score tied at 98 with 7.0 seconds remaining, the T-Wolves was throwing the ball in from the right sideline.
The ball was inbounded to Barea, who was double-teamed and found Luke Ridnour at the top of the key.
Ridnour easily drives by Gordon Hayward and lofts up a high floater that barely goes over the outstretched arm of center Al Jefferson and drops in the basket as the buzzer sounds.
1. Kevin Love Drains a Triple at the Buzzer to Take Down the Clippers
Earlier on the list was the three-pointer that Rubio hit to tie this game at 98. The top play from the Wolves season was the game-winner to beat the Clippers, 101-98.
This great comeback was capped off by three-pointer hit by the T-Wolves superstar, Kevin Love. He came off a screen and was wide open at the top of the key.
He threw up the most important shot of his young career, and it was nothing but net.