After the Milwaukee Bucks embarrassed the Minnesota Timberwolves in the preseason, they got their first chance to meet in the regular season, and it turned into more of the same with the Bucks dominating the lifeless Wolves, 125-95.
Minnesota was without Andrew Wiggins again. A quad contusion sidelined the 23-year-old for the second straight game.
Minnesota opened the game by missing their first 11 field goals. The whole team struggled to get going in an ugly 16-point first quarter. It was a theme that set the tone for the entire game. In fact, the Josh Okogie facial on Ersan Ilyasova was the only possession that fans could get excited about.
Okogie certainly has been a bright spot for the Wolves so far this season. pic.twitter.com/gdY37L7VTd— Kyle Ratke (@Kyle_Ratke) October 27, 2018
The opening half of action finished with a healthy serving of boos for the home team, who headed into the locker room down by 25 points. All of that in spite of holding megastar Giannis Antetokounmpo to only five points on 1-5 shooting over the first 24 minutes.
But the Greek Freak worked his way into the game in the second half, finishing with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists in just 23 minutes. Another notch on what is shaping up to be an MVP-sized belt.
The Bucks’ stroke was sizzling from downtown, with Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova combining for 43 points and 9-19 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. While the shooting was at times unbelievable, the fact that Minnesota’s perimeter defense was non-existent didn’t make life any tougher for the Bucks’ shooters.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Wolves allowed their opponents to get whatever they want at the rim, too. The abysmal defense led to Milwaukee nailing 53.3 percent of their shots for the night.
On the other end, Minnesota couldn’t buy a bucket from deep. They attempted an encouraging 43 triples, but made just 10 of those tries. Overall the Wolves shot a disastrous 36-112 (32.1%) from the field. Just another reason the Timberwolves were ran out of the gym.
After a start to the season that has seen Karl-Anthony Towns fail to deliver any sort of offensive consistency, the 22-year-old was horrendous to start the game. He did come out smoking hot in the third quarter though, nailing 14 points in the term before sitting for the rest of the blowout.
This was as miserable a night as we’ve seen around Target Center in quite a while. The Wolves failed to put up any resistance to a good Bucks team, and it really looked like they had no interest in the game whatsoever. Perhaps this isn’t a surprise given all of the drama hanging over the organization, but it’s more fuel to the argument that things must change sooner rather than later.
The lowly effort did provide Timberwolves debut’s for Luol Deng, James Nunnally and second-round draft pick Keita Bates-Diop, albeit in a less-than-desirable circumstance. Perhaps they enjoyed their time out on the floor, but it was truly a night to forget for most of the Wolves that were involved. It could only be described as a Bucking disaster.
Minnesota fall to 2-4 on the young season, and will look to turn their fortunes around on Monday night when LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers come to town.