Minnesota Timberwolves (16-35) at Toronto Raptors (39-14)
6:30 pm CST
Fox Sports North
The new look Minnesota Timberwolves are back in action tonight, this time on the road against the defending champion Toronto Raptors. This will be the first road test for Timberwolves 2.0, and while the team’s scorching performance on Saturday is unlikely to continue north of the border, it will be interesting to see how Ryan Saunders and his staff approach tonight’s game after experiencing so much success in their first game as a new unit.
We are 1-0. pic.twitter.com/PHDAEF0jUp— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 9, 2020
While I won’t go as far as claiming the Wolves to be undefeated (those 35 previous losses I witnessed this season are fairly ingrained in my memory), I will say that the remodeled roster that Gersson Rosas put together is one that is FAR better suited for both their offensive philosophy as well as the viewer’s eyes. Replacing non-shooters with shooters has been a true renaissance that not only the team desperately needed, but the fan base as well.
At the time of this preview, the big prize from last week’s trade deadline (D’Angelo Russell) is still a true game-time decision, but I would guess that if he doesn’t suit up tonight, he will make his long-anticipated wolves debut at home Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets (again, just my hunch). UPDATE: D-LO IS PLAYING TORONTO. Regardless, tonight will provide another great opportunity for some of the other players acquired via trade last week, most notably Malik Beasley.
I was on record last week saying that despite D-Lo’s stardom, it would be Beasley that could/would quickly become a fan favorite in Minnesota. After years of watching a former Wolves shooting guard simply coast from end to end for stretches of the game, Beasley quickly energized the fan base with his desire to attack, take heat checks, and display something that Wolves fans were extremely unused to from their top players — pure emotion. After becoming a victim of the rotation in Denver, Beasley is finally getting a chance to star with his new team, and with restricted free agency right around the corner, I’d expect to see more performances like the one Saturday night as the Florida State product continues to make a case for a big pay day this summer.
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Malik Beasley
SF: Josh Okogie
PF: Juancho Hernangomez
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Fred VanVleet
SF: OG Anunoby
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Serge Ibaka
As for the Wolves injury report:
Timberwolves Status Report in advance of Feb. 10 at Toronto:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 10, 2020
D’Angelo Russell – Right Quad Contusion
Jake Layman – Left Toe Sprain
Jacob Evans III – G League Assignment
Evan Turner – Not with Team