Karl-Anthony Towns' first two points in the NBA will probably be the easiest of his career.
At the University of Kentucky, Towns made a reputation as someone with a big basketball IQ and great hands. Both were on display, sort of, as the top pick in the NBA Draft found himself in the right place at the right time during Wednesday night's season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lakers big men Roy Hibbert and Julius Randle rather stupidly battled each other for a rebound, and the fumbled ball dropped nicely into the waiting hands of the Wolves' young KAT. Towns dutifully dunked: Two hands, quick backboard slap, and he's off and running.
"Hello NBA. My name's Karl-Anthony."
The Timberwolves edged LA, 112-111, an inauspicious start given how terrible the Lakers were last year. But Towns impressed, putting up 14 points and 12 rebounds in a controlled performance.
Maybe more impressive still was the rookie's reverence for Flip Saunders, the beloved Minnesota coach who died suddenly earlier this week. Lakers guard Lou Williams missed a short buzzer-beater that would've won the game for LA, and Towns, just 19, described it as a shot Williams makes "nine times out of 10," the Star Tribune reports.
"That one time, we had a sixth man on the floor," Towns said. "I don't know what it was. We just seemed to have Coach Saunders on our side."
Good awareness at the start of the game, and after it. Let's like this kid, Wolves fans.