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Preseason Game Preview #2: Wolves at Nuggets

A battle of top 3 centers in preseason? What’s better than that?

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) at Denver Nuggets (0-2)
When: 8:00pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio

What to Watch For

The Minnesota Timberwolves continue their preseason slate by heading to the Mile-High City to face Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. That means Karl-Anthony Towns is likely going to show up with a fire under his (you know what) and try to outduel the Joker regardless of the meaningless-ness of this preseason game. Still, a matchup with two of the most gifted players in the NBA going head-to-head is worth watching.

Minnesota hopes to build off of their incredible defensive effort in their first contest against the Zion-less Pelicans, in which they manhandled Willie Green’s squad.

The biggest surprise was how synergistic and on point the entire Timberwolves’ likely rotation looked on the defensive side of the ball. They were calling out reads, rotating on time, jumping passing lanes, and swatting shots left and right. It was only preseason, and warts will surely pop up as the year goes on, but if the Timberwolves can replicate that performance again tonight, they may have just found a recipe for (relative) defensive success this season.

Anthony Edwards was the main attraction defensively as he was locked in both on and off the ball. If that aggressiveness, poise, and attention details continues through tonight’s scrum and future contests, you’re looking at a man with no ceiling.

To couple the encouraging performance from Edwards, D’Angelo Russell gave us a show on the other side of the ball. The point guard, now in his second full season with the team, put on a clinic with 19 points and 5 assists in just 16 minutes of action. Since his knee surgery midway through last season, Russell has looked like a brand new player. Here’s to hoping that sticks tonight and beyond.

Outside of the usual suspects, it’ll be interesting to see how Josh Okogie’s jumper continues to look, how comfortable Leandro Bolmaro is in his second NBA game, and if Jaden McDaniels can find a way to limit the fouls and stay on the floor.

From the sounds of it, fans will get to see an even healthier dose of the starters tonight than on Monday.

Let’s see if the intensity can keep up in a hostile road environment.

Injury Report

The Minnesota Timberwolves lone injury on yesterday’s report was Nathan Knight. Knight was listed as Questionable with a Left Great Toe Sprain. Other than that, it sounds like the Wolves will have a clean bill of health heading into their second contest of the preseason.

The Nuggets on the other hand have a few key contributors dealing with injury. Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. were listed as Questionable with a left ankle sprain and left knee soreness, respectively. Jamal Murray, who tore his ACL last season and had surgery to repair it, is out for tonight’s game and much of the regular season.

Quick author’s note: I’m excited to get into this season and provide in-depth and thorough coverage of this team. Thanks for sticking through the summer and gearing up for another Minnesota Timberwolves season!