Wolves vs. Hornets
7:00 pm CDT
TV Coverage Locally on Fox Sports North and Nationally on NBA TV
Tonight the Wolves will play their seventh and final game of the 2016-2017 pre-season at home against the Charlotte Hornets. This will be a rematch against a Hornets team that they faced earlier in the pre-season on October 10, a game in which the Wolves lost 86-98.
You may remember the matchup between these two teams, as that was the game where Zach LaVine went bananas and put up 30 points on 13-20 shooting (including 4 of 6 from deep). Other than LaVine’s offensive outburst, the game was generally pretty underwhelming and sloppy for the Wolves, who aside from Zach shot a cumulative 26 percent from the field, and only 15 percent on three pointers. Yikes.
But that’s all in the past. The Timberwolves are coming into tonight fresh off a 101-94 beatdown of the Grizzlies, with the final score doing injustice to how dominant the Wolves were until the game was out of hand, allowing Memphis only 57 points through the first three quarters. Karl Anthony Towns was the star of the show on Wednesday, putting up 31 points on 7-10 shooting and going 17-17 at the free throw line. He’s pretty good at basketball.
In Wednesday’s game, the starting five for the Timberwolves included Brandon Rush starting at SF in place of Andrew Wiggins, who sat out due to some kind of allergic reaction. It mattered not, as the starting unit all posted individual +/- numbers of +33 or better.
So, what can we expect tonight? I have no idea. It’s not clear whether coach Tom Thibodeau wants to use the final pre-season minutes to allow the starting and bench units to jell, or if he wants to get a look at the fringe bench talent before making a final decision regarding the currently open 15th roster spot. Personally, I would like to see the starters play no more than 25 minutes, and maybe see some experimental lineups. If the coaching staff wants to try out some oddball groupings with dual point guards, ultra big front courts with Towns and Aldrich, or some small ball stuff with Bazz at PF, this is the time to try it out.
Also, keep an eye out for the Wolves’ three point attempts. I’ll set tonight’s over/under at 25.
This will be the final game of the pre-season schedule, and the Wolves will kick off the regular season next Wednesday on the road @ Memphis.
This is an open game thread, so chat it up. Go Wolves! Nobody get hurt!