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Nuggets at Wolves: A Division Rival Comes to Town

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The Wolves get their first look at a division foe when the Nuggets visit Target Center this afternoon

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Nuggets at Wolves
2:30 pm CST
FS North

The Wolves host the nuggets this afternoon at Target Center, with a unusual 2:30 start time, which I assume is because the Purple are playing in the evening.

At any rate, this is the first intra-division game of the season for the Wolves, who have had a heavy dose of the Eastern Conference thus far. The Nuggets were widely expected to be a serious contender this season, and so far their start, while not perfect, suggests they will be. They stand at 6-2, behind only the Lakers in the West, and are coming in off three straight wins, including a big one against the 76ers on Friday.

They have done it mostly with their defense, which is sixth best in the NBA while their offense has gotten off to to a slow start, mostly due to poor shooting, especially inside the arc.

This is a game between the teams with the fastest (Wolves) and slowest (Nuggets) paces in the league, so seeing if the Wolves can speed the game up and get out in transition will be something to watch for. The Nuggets will use the clock, so it’s going to be up to the Wolves to push off misses whenever the opportunity arises.

Another intriguing aspect of any Wolves-Nuggets tilt is the match up between Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Jokic, two of the best bigs in the NBA. Last year, thanks to his passing chops and team success, the perception was that Jokic had passed Towns, and indeed Jokic was first team All-NBA, while Towns was left off. Towns is trying to reassert his greatness this season, and battles between these two are always fun.

Meanwhile, it’s been a resurgent Andrew Wiggins who has been rolling the last few games for the Wolves. Will he be able to keep it going against a terrific defense with plenty of perimeter athleticism?

Lots to look out for in this game, which is a nice early measuring stick for the Wolves.

Expected Lineups

Nuggets

Jamal Murray
Gary Harris
Will Barton
Paul Millsap
Nikola Jokic

Wolves

Jeff Teague
Treveon Graham
Andrew Wiggins
Robert Covington
Karl-Anthony Towns

Our friends over at Denver Stiffs have the Nuggets coverage.