"After he watched for the season's opening month, he has become a valuable, contributing member of coach Kevin McHale's rotation, playing as many as 35 minutes Friday against New York when his team had about seven healthy bodies."
As evident from this quote, one of Cardinal's strengths is his attitude:
"It's tough to just sit over there and watch, but I knew at some point in time something was going to happen because that's just how this league is," Cardinal said. "It's crazy: Some days, you play. Some days, you don't. Sometimes, your number is called. Sometimes, it's not. You have to be ready at all times. I'm just lucky Mac has had some faith in me."
According to the Star-Tribute article, when they traded for him, "the Wolves... received a veteran who didn't complain when he didn't play and who has contributed with his defense, his ability to make the right play and even with his three-point shooting, whether he plays five minutes or 35. He has made seven three-pointers in the past three games."
"The last game, he had three steals, and he took three charges," [Coach] McHale said. "That's six possessions. That's huge."
Cardinal is one of those rare NBA role players who, as Dr. J said here, understands his role and is happy to be in the league. Cardinal is first to acknowledge that he's "heavy on will and seemingly light on skill."
"I'm not the greatest of athletes, the greatest of jumpers," he said. "The list of things I'm not very good at goes on and on. I try to make up for that with hard work and just knowing the game. I try to make people somewhat uncomfortable. Anytime you're in your comfort zone, you're at your best. So I try to make the other guy uncomfortable."