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Jack McCallum
March 01, 2004
Kevin Garnett and his two new running mates have empowered the Timberwolves. Now anything seems possible, including an NBA title
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March 01, 2004

Three For All

Kevin Garnett and his two new running mates have empowered the Timberwolves. Now anything seems possible, including an NBA title

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"Kevin is the best player in this league by far" Cassell says. "He can guard any player, big or small, slow or quick. Before I came here, I thought he was in the top three. Now there's no question he's at the top."

"Spree and Sam have made the game easier for me, just knowing you have different weapons for combat," says Garnett. "When I think of slashers I think of [the Memphis Grizzlies'] James Posey and [the Toronto Raptors'] Vince Carter. 'Trell is right there with them."

"There is almost nobody left with a mid-range game except Sam," Sprewell says. "He almost never gets to the basket and almost never shoots a three but finds a way to get it done in that middle area."

"Spree and [reserve frontcourtman] Mark Madsen are the two most intense players I've ever witnessed," says Garnett. "They're energetic for all 48 minutes, and even after the game you still see it on their faces. You ask, Where does it come from? Because I know I'm pretty intense. It's like being at the Hoover Dam or something. I mean, it's a beautiful thing."

"I thought Spree was crazy like me, but it's a different kind of crazy with him," Cassell says. "He's not outgoing, not a rah-rah type. What he does is he makes it personal, man against man. Somebody scores on him, the man is upset, just fuming. You take Spree's emotion, my emotions, Big Ticket's emotions and stuff all that together? It's the atom bomb."

"At some point in almost every game, one of the three of us will carry the team for a while," Sprewell says. "And when all three of us get it going, we're really tough to stop. Each one of us commands a certain amount of attention, and we're willing to share the ball, so it's no mystery why we've helped each other."

"We are three players who wanted to learn each other's games," says Garnett. "When you're inspired like that, great things can happen. It's like a spreading fire. Something's on fire.... Oh, my God! It's over here! Now it's over there! That's the best way I can explain it."

"It's up to Kevin [he means Garnett, not McHale], but the way I see it, we'll be around for a long time together," Cassell says. "There's talk that me and Spree are getting old. Yeah? Well, we are kicking these young guys' asses!'

"This is the best chemistry I've seen on a team since my second year [1993-94], with Golden State," says Sprewell. "We had the same kind of camaraderie, guys who cared about each other. I wouldn't say I miss the Knicks, though I do miss New York City. But I am totally happy here. Winning means everything. I've never been on a team with a record this good at this stage of the season."

The T-Wolves are an isosceles triangle, Garnett its long base, Cassell and Sprewell the equal sides. After Hudson made his return in a Feb. 17 game against Phoenix, he dressed quietly by his locker as a throng of reporters waited to chat with Garnett. "See you tomorrow, everyone," Hudson said, then smiled to himself as he realized that no one was paying him any mind. Yes, things will be fine in Minnesota as long as everyone pays heed to the basic geometry.

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