Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Shabazz Muhammad played his third D-League game with the Iowa Energy on Saturday night and he was, once again impressive.
The Energy were in Indiana facing the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and the result was a narrow defeat 121-124, moving their overall record to 12-6 and their record with Muhammad on the roster to 2-1.
Shabazz was a terror in the first quarter of play as he simply out-hustled and outmuscled his opponents for easy buckets in the lane and a number of offensive rebounds leading to putbacks. Muhammad finished the first quarter with 16 points and finished the night with 26 overall (his highest scoring game in the D-League, yet). Here's the rest of Saturday's stat line including his stats from the previous two games played at the Reno D-League Showcase.
Through three games in the D-League, Muhammad is averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds (6 offensive), 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.3 turnovers and 1.7 fouls in 26 minutes per game. He's shooting 56.8% from the field, 75% from deep and 76% from the free throw line.
The most impressive part of Shabazz's game has to be that rebounding, you'd expect a big guy like Nikola Peković (one of the NBA's best offensive rebounders and the NBA leader in second chance points) to be able to have double digit offensive rebounding games every once in a while, but to see a swingman hit the glass that hard is simply impressive.
I don't know if Shabazz will get much of a chance to play in the NBA this season (barring an injury to someone like Martin, Shved, Brewer or Budinger), but if he continues to put in the work and some of this success and confidence he's exuding can carry over to when he does get out on the floor for Minnesota, there won't be anyone calling him a bust, anymore. My best guess is that he'll get a chance next season to become one of Minnesota's role players and if he can show he can be a consistent contributor, Adelman (or whomever is the head coach) will have no choice but to give him more minutes.
The Iowa Energy play again on Sunday (1/12) vs. the defending D-League Champions, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. That game will be played in Iowa and tipoff at 4pmCST. We'll have yet another update following that game, which could reportedly be Muhammad's final game of this D-League stint (meaning he'd return to Minnesota to rejoin the Wolves as a part of the active roster). Stay tuned for that, but before I go, here's the full game on YouTube of Iowa vs. Fort Wayne (if nothing else I suggest watching the first quarter).
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