Wolves at Pacers
Well, well, well, we meet again, Indiana. The Pacers disposed of the Timberwolves down the stretch Wednesday night, leading to a 104-99 victory for the road team. This time, Minnesota is the road team.
Additionally, Karl-Anthony Towns is back tonight, how about that! It’s been so long since KAT took the floor with his teammates that I kind of forget what that’s like. I, for one, am eager to see him back out there.
Tonight will be a lot different, obviously, than the past several games, as Minnesota now has a dominant offensive force back in the lineup. As a result, one would expect the offense to improve from the horrendous place that it’s been at recently. I remember thinking last season that Myles Turner was, theoretically, a good defensive matchup to combat KAT, but then Towns busted him for a clean 42/17.
I think more eyes will be on how Towns’ return impacts the defense. The Wolves have been very good on that end of the floor without him, and a return to lackluster defense would speak volumes about the gap between Gorgui Dieng and Towns on that end of the floor.
On that note, I really, really hope we see the two of them play together tonight. I doubt Ryan Saunders will do it, but it makes some sense to start the two of them together against Sabonis & Turner.
On the Pacers end, they’ll almost assuredly look to play through Domantas Sabonis again. He was far too much for the Wolves in the first meeting, using his unique skill-set to attack the Minnesota defense.
I’ll also be keeping an eye on Aaron Holiday. He’s someone that Minnesota has loosely been linked to in trade talks, which is unsurprising given their need for young ball-handling talent. He struggled in the first meeting, but he still has intriguing measurables and is someone I’d be happy to acquire.
The other thing to pay attention to is the Minnesota debut of Allen Crabbe if that happens tonight. While an unspectacular move, it was a shrewd acquisition in the sense that Crabbe theoretically brings some much needed shooting to the Minnesota roster. If he’s able to give the Wolves even just one or (preferably) two-plus threes a night, that’ll make a massive difference for a squad so desperate for spacing and shooting.
Traditionally, teams usually split this home-and-home matchups, we’ll see if Minnesota can continue that trend this evening.
Enjoy your weekend, folks. Our friends at Indy Cornrows have the Pacers side of things covered.