‘NAW & Order' a new nickname for Timberwolves?

Jaden McDaniels (3) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (9) of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter at Ball Arena in Denver on Monday, May 6, 2024.  ((Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post))

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a 2-0 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Westen Conference Semifinals, with Game 3 Friday night at Target Center.

A new nickname is floating around the team as it relates to Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaden McDaniels, and it just might take off: "NAW & Order." It’s a spoof of the NBC show where suspects, by the end of each episode, typically end up in prison.

In the words of X user "Up Top MVP" @blaccbeckham, "They calling them NAW & ORDER because everybody gets locked up."

That’s a reference to the Timberwolves’ defense in two games thus far against the Nuggets, and their overall defensive effort in a four-game sweep of the Pheonix Suns. In Game 2, the Timberwolves had 11 steals, blocked 12 shots and forced 16 Denver turnovers, and held them to just 80 points. McDaniels had two steals and a block, made just two shots and finished the game a +26. Alexander-Walker had three blocks off the bench, and even started laughing as he was picking up Jamal Murray full-court.

Anthony Edwards has repeatedly called McDaniels one of the most important players on the team with his ability to defend, and his length. Alexander-Walker was essentially a throw-in player in the trade for Mike Conley Jr., and has developed into one of Minnesota’s key bench pieces with his defense and three-point shooting.

Without their top defensive player in Game 2, Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves had their most dominant defensive effort of the season. With a 2-0 lead and Game 3 at home on Friday, Timberwolves’ fans are already starting to think about the Western Conference Finals.