The Minnesota Timberwolves were trailing the Indiana Pacers midway through the second quarter on Thursday night. However, that did not stop the upstart squad from generating the play of the night in the NBA, one that happened because four players worked in unison.
The sequence began with an errant shot from Indiana and a (very) long rebound that was corralled by Zach LaVine. For a change, the reigning Slam Dunk champion did not actually finish the play with a highlight-reel worthy explosion in the air, but he did keep it going, saving the ball from caroming out of bounds. LaVine’s athletic play kept the ball alive for Nemanja Bjelica, who streaked into the picture and flipped the ball back to rookie point guard Kris Dunn.
All of that lead-up set the stage for the actual connection, as Dunn immediately uncorked a 50-foot alley-oop pass in the direction of forward Shabazz Muhammed. The former UCLA star did the rest, catching the ball in midair before sweeping to the rim and finishing the dunk with two hands. Was it the most explosive dunk in the world? Probably not, but the set-up was utterly exquisite and, most importantly, the pass from Dunn was picture-perfect.
It isn’t every day that you can see an alley-oop made possible by four players at once, but the Wolves did a very impressive thing on Thursday. Maybe the most impressive part was that they didn’t need Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins to complete it.