After a few well deserved days off to deal with the tryptophan hangover, the Minnesota Timberwolves are back in action today as they host the struggling (yet extremely exciting) Memphis Grizzlies. This will mark the second meeting between Memphis and Minnesota this season, with the first contest resulting in a disappointing blowout for the Wolves in the Volunteer State.
One of the key story lines coming into today’s matchup will be the return of Apple Valley’s own Tyus Jones, who returns to Target Center for the first time since he signed a 3-year/$26 million dollar contract with Memphis this past summer. Jones’ role with his new team thus far has mirrored that of the role with his former team — playing as the primary backup PG — and his numbers so far this season have been extremely similar to his time in Minnesota (5.9 points and 4.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per game).
While those numbers may not pop off the screen, the one statistic this season that does raise some eyebrows is Tyus’s 3P%, with the Duke alum entering Sunday shooting a frigid 18% from beyond the arc. It should also be noted that Jones has taken only 28 3PA’s so far this season; however, that number is certainly to sky rocket after the latest Shams Grenade:
Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant will be listed week-to-week due to aggravated back spasms, with a period of "short-term off-loading" needed.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 30, 2019
So not only will Tyus be returning to the Target Center for the first time as a visitor, but he will also be doing so as the starting point guard for his new team. Let the fun begin!
As for the home team, the Wolves enter Sunday with a slough of exciting story lines — Point Culver, Wiggins resurgence, KAT’s All-NBA push, Teague’s selflessness, etc. Currently sitting at 10-8 in the West, the Wolves find themselves (somewhat) comfortably in the playoff hunt, as numerous teams such as New Orleans, Golden State, Oklahoma City, Memphis, and San Antonio start to slowly accept their fate as bottom dwellers this season.
Nevertheless, if the Wolves want to continue their push for playoff basketball, they will need to improve their home record (3-6) and take care of business against some of these struggling Western Conference opponents, and that stars today with the Grizzlies.
Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Jarrett Culver
SG: Andrew Wiggins
SF: Treveon Graham
PF: Robert Covington
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
PG: Tyus Jones
SG: Dillon Brooks
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Jaren Jackson, Jr.
C: Jonas Valanciunas
As for the Wolves injury report:
Timberwolves Status Report in Advance of Dec. 1 vs. Memphis:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) November 30, 2019
Treveon Graham - Left Forearm Contusion
Josh Okogie - Left Knee Soreness
Shabazz Napier - Right Hamstring Strain
Jake Layman - Left Toe Sprain