When I saw “7” in the assists column next to Nemanja Bjelica’s name, I didn’t know what to expect. I did have a hunch, though: that all of his assists would be lame perimeter passes to Karl-Anthony Towns for jumpers. That’s what happens with these non-assisting tweener forwards. They get a bunch of assists, and you go and look at them, and they are all uninspiring.
Good news! Only two of his assists were lame perimeter passes to Karl-Anthony Towns for jumpers. Some of the others were actually pretty good! Not like, Jokic level or anything, but pretty decent. Taj Gibson was feasting due to his passing, and it marks the first time in the history of the universe that any player has feasted any amount because of Bjelica’s ability to get them the ball.
And he scored 17 points, including a nice run in the fourth quarter to give the Timberwolves the lead for good! He’s gone from not playing all that much to being a 40-minute per game kind of guy, and this is the reason why. This and also because Thibs is a mental asylum escapee masquerading as the coach of an NBA basketball team.