Here's five things you should know about the Timberwolves' preseason opener in Fargo, a 84-70 win over Indiana:
Do not put much stock in how anybody played.
It's the first preseason game. Minnesota turned the ball over 19 times and still won the Safe Hands award, as the Pacers turned it over 25 times. Minnesota missed ten free throws. The Pacers shot 34%. Will Conroy played a lot. Let's not put a lot of stock in this. All of that said...
Brandon Roy's knees didn't leap out of his body and light out for the Canadian border.
Back on the floor, he played 24 minutes and scored 13 points, including the team's first six of the second half. In a way, it might have been a glimpse of what we'll see this year. Maybe he won't be the old Brandon Roy, the 100% game-changing All-Star Brandon Roy - but some percentage of that Brandon Roy is still going to fit in very nicely.
Alexey Shved has a little bit of Ricky Rubio in him.
Shved displayed a very Ricky Rubio-like fondness for the wild one-handed whipped-crosscourt pass. At some point Shved and Rubio are going to be on the floor at the same time this year, and presumably they will just start throwing ever-more exotic passes back and forth at the top of the key, the ball gaining speed all the time until it's a blur and the players are flashes and the opposing team, horrified and nauseated by this passing display, falls to the ground with motion-caused seizures and finally Shved or Rubio whips the ball to Kevin Love, who has been lurking under the basket and shielding his eyes, and Love will lay the ball in for two points.
Dante Cunningham may have a long season ahead.
Cunningham, who came over in the Wayne Ellington trade, is stuck in a logjam at forward, behind Love and Andrei Kirilenko and Derrick Williams and Chase Budinger. Cunningham did get to play eight minutes at the end of the game, but for a guy who played nearly 20 minutes a game for Memphis last year and actually started five games, eight garbage minutes may be a disappointment.
Until Rubio comes back, let us hope nobody else gets hurt.
Luke Ridnour missed Wednesday's game with a back injury, and when Ridnour's out, that leaves ball-handling duties to JJ Barea for much of the game and to Conroy otherwise. Not having Rubio is a handicap. Missing Ridnour or Barea long-term? That might be an insurmountable obstacle.