Timberwolves vs. Thunder
6:00 PM CDT
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
No Television Broadcast
The Timberwolves are back in action again tonight after a hard-fought victory last night against the Miami Heat, a game that was played in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonight, the Wolves take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. They will be playing on short rest, less than 24 hours after wrapping up last night’s game.
The Thunder have struggled a bit so far in this pre-season, with a 1-3 record and their lone win by a slim 3 point margin over international squad FC Barcelona. The Thunder are certainly still a formidable team, but I think it’s going to take them a little while to find a rhythm that works on both ends of the floor after moving on from two of their core players - Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City has also been shorthanded in the last few games, with key players including starting center Enes Kanter, Kiwi mustache enthusiast Steven Adams, backup point guard Cam’Ron Payne, and wing defender Andre Roberson out of action. I’m not sure if we can expect to see floor time for any of those guys tonight.
On the Wolves side, the starters played heavy minutes last night, with each of the starting five playing 25 or more minutes (Wiggins led all with 31 minutes and played the entirety of the first and third quarters). Coach Thibodeau also decided to play with only a 10-man rotation, a repeat of what he did in the Timberwolves’ first pre-season game on October 8th. Kris Dunn, Cole Aldrich, Nemanja Bjelica, and Shabazz Muhammad also each logged over 20 minutes of playing time in the game.
I think it’s safe to assume that the starters will play significantly less minutes tonight, and some guys may even get the night off. This may be a game where we see significant minutes for the fringe rotation guys like Tyus Jones, Jordan Hill, and Adreian Payne (cue train whistle sound effect). I would certainly hope that Thibs isn’t going to ride the starters for 25+ minutes consecutive nights in the pre-season. I’ve been wrong before though.
Once again, the game will not be televised in any official capacity. On the bright side, the final two games of the pre-season will be played at Target Center and also have TV coverage on Fox Sports North.
This is an open game thread, so chat about your favorite box score page refresh highlights here. The Canis team will be back with a recap after the game. Go Wolves and please god nobody get hurt!