Wolves vs Warriors
NBA TV & FS North
Following a close loss in Milwaukee last night, the Wolves will play host to the Golden State Warriors. Both teams have been ravaged by injury this season, although Minnesota’s injury issues hope to be much more short-term than Golden State’s figure to be. Here’s a look at the injury report for tonight on Minnesota’s side.
Timberwolves Status Report for Jan. 2 vs. GS:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) January 2, 2020
Okogie – Right Elbow Bursitis
Graham – Flu-like symptoms
Towns – Left Knee Sprain
Vonleh – Left Gluteal Contusion
Wiggins – Flu-like symptoms
Teague – Right Knee Sprain
Layman – Left Toe Sprain
All I’m taking from this is that I don’t really expect anyone listed to play, other than Josh Okogie. It’s odd how long Andrew Wiggins has remained out with an illness, hopefully he’s able to play again soon.
All of those players listed Questionable or worse sitting would give Minnesota the same look they had last night, and let me just tell you, I’m very here for it.
Is it going to be pretty? Nope, not even a little bit, but this group plays their tails off, specifically on the defensive end. That’s all you can really ask. It sure would be nice if the intensity level on that end of the floor remained consistent when the likes of Wiggs and Karl-Anthony Towns get back.
Anyways, this one could be a surprisingly fun game. The Wolves bench/G-League squad is scrappy, and so is the Golden State team they’ll face off with tonight. Things looked really ugly in the Bay earlier in the season, and this group won’t contend for anything, but they’ve improved of late and have become more watchable.
Particularly, Golden State’s two-way guys have played really well. Damion Lee and Ky Bowman both have picked it up as of late and have made the Warriors a much improved team around D’Angelo Russell (out tonight) and Draymond Green. Both two-way players are running out of NBA service time already, and I’d expect one or both of them to be converted to full-time NBA contracts after some maneuvering by the front office.
On a more individual level, it’s really got to come down to Jarrett Culver for the Timberwolves. He’s really the most important guy that’ll be on the floor for this franchise moving forward. Last night was a good sign, and if he’s able to play with that aggression again we should be pleased.
Many parts of his game are starting to resemble what we were looking for when the Wolves traded up and took him with the 6th overall pick. The jumper is still noticeably bad, but we’re taking baby steps.
He doesn’t necessarily figure to be part of this franchise long-term, but I’m going to continue to enjoy Gorgui Dieng being out on the floor. He’s a leader on this team and his presence seems to have really helped on the defensive end. I’ll appreciate that for as long as he’s here.
As for a veteran who may be playing themselves into at least the short-term future, Shabazz Napier will look to keep his strong play going this evening. He’s been a steady hand for this team, and his shooting has been a godsend. Particularly, his willingness to shoot off the dribble has been a sight for sore eyes compared to other point guards on the roster. He should remain in the starting lineup once everyone is healthy again.
Ultimately, this one is absent a lot of star-power, but still presents a potentially fun viewing experience. It may not be pleasant in the sense of beautiful, perfect basketball being played, but moreso in the way a VCU game was fun in the Shaka Smart era. This could be chaotic and a bit wild, which is enough for me on this dreary Thursday evening. Even without Wiggs and KAT, this is a very winnable game at home. Let’s get it.
Glenn Robinson III