Wolves' Luka Garza aims to continue his rise in production
MINNEAPOLIS -- Luka Garza has gotten significantly increased minutes over the Timberwolves' last three games. He's risen to the occasion, scoring the most points of his season, so far.
Along the way, the 6-foot, 10-inch center has helped the Wolves to a two-game win streak while showing signs of turning things around.
"Try to come in there and be myself. I think that's one of the toughest things about the league in general. Just finding a way to be yourself, especially around such great players," said Garza.
Garza was a two-time All-American at the University of Iowa. He's played in Iowa again this year, on a two-way deal with the Timberwolves and their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. But now, he's making a case to stay with the big club.
Garza went five for five, with 14 points in 13 minutes in Minnesota's last game, against the Portland Trailblazers.
"I make a couple in a row, and then they started looking for me and trusting me," said Garza. "You've got to earn everybody's trust and earn everybody's respect to get those opportunities. So I'm excited to continue to do that."
"I don't know what he can't do," said Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell. "Offensively, he's dominant. Defensively he still finds a way to be effective. He belongs in this league somewhere, wherever it's at."
Garza comes from a basketball family. His father played at the University of Idaho; his mother was a pro in Europe. Both have been integral in his hoops career, now with his second team after getting drafted by Detroit a season ago.
"Been a lot of noise around me as a player," said Garza. "People think I can't play at this level. It bothers you at some level. For me, I try to take that into positive energy. My dad does the same thing. We just put that into working harder to try to prove people wrong. I'm starting to do that and I'm gonna keep doing that for the rest of my career."