Nov. 30—The dedicated segment of the fan base that had been clamoring to see Leandro Bolmaro play meaningful minutes finally got their moment Saturday in Philadelphia, as the Argentinian rookie guard subbed into the game in the first quarter of the Timberwolves' victory.
Bolmaro played 17 minutes, tallying three points, three rebounds and an assist.
"I'm really happy for that, for the work that I am doing every day," Bolmaro said. "I wait 20 games to be in the rotation, so this is, for me, amazing because I never expected that. To have this opportunity is really nice for me. I'm just thankful for the work I do every day, and I want to keep going."
This has been a process for Bolmaro, whom the Wolves selected in the first round of the 2020 draft. He spent the next year playing overseas before coming over. He made multiple trips to Iowa this fall to play with the G-League team, something Bolmaro said helped "a lot."
"I practiced every day like crazy," Bolmaro said. "Sometimes I went to play and see how it worked and what is working."
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch credited the Iowa staff with helping Bolmaro get ready to contribute at the NBA level. He said what Bolmaro did in Philadelphia is exactly what players should do with a fresh opportunity.
"Go in, be solid, don't make mistakes," Finch said. "Can't be going backwards when you're out there on the floor."
Bolmaro did enough to stay in the rotation. He checked into Monday's game against the Indiana Pacers in the first quarter, as well. Finch said Bolmaro can provide some of the same things for the Wolves that Patrick Beverley was doing before he went down with a groin injury.
"Screening, cutting. Spacing on the floor. Creating opportunities for other people. He does that naturally anyway," Finch said. "So just we want him to do all that stuff. But just, kinda, a little bit more ... with more regularity."
Karl-Anthony Towns said Bolmaro can bring many of the same intangibles that Shaun Livingston brought to the Warriors' dynasty. He can step into a game and control it.
"He's one of those guys who has no flaws in his game. He's good at everything," Towns said. "He may not be a superstar at anything, but he's very good or even good at everything. He has no flaws. He's a very, very, very well-rounded player. He can give you anything you need."
And might be able to give the Wolves more in time. For now, the 21-year-old is continuing to acclimate, both to the NBA, life in America and this team.
"I try to help the team. I try to give my best every day. It doesn't matter what I have to do," Bolmaro said. "I will do what the coach say, what the team say. I just want to help and be ready for this opportunity."