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Game Preview #37: Wolves at Pelicans

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Karl-Anthony Towns Instagram

We’re back! Nothing like the refreshing smell of a brand new start where nothing prior to today counts. That’s right, you’re Minnesota Timberwolves are tied atop the standings at 0-0! Wait... hold up, you’re telling me that’s not how it works?

Damn...


Game Info

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (7-29) at Toronto Raptors (15-21)
When: 7:00 pm CST
TV: Fox Sports North (streaming on the Fox Sports Go app)
Radio: 830 WCCO AM Radio


What To Watch For

  • All eyes will and rightfully should be on how the Timberwolves play today. With Coach Chris Finch boldly stating that things would change drastically after the all-star break, will it actually come true? Will the rotations be tighter? Will the offense look different? The defense? Although Finch has mentioned leading up to this game that the NBA has not allowed him the practice time he originally planned for (Of course, the NBA is only picking on the Wolves!), he has still stated that there will be changes. Offensively, the ball should run through KAT (and Naz!) a lot more. Defensively, the way they defend the paint should be tighter. The Wolves should lose their..... ok, too soon?
  • The Wolves are without D’Angelo Russell, Jordan McLaughlin, and likely Jarrett Culver tonight. The former on that list is somewhat expected back sooner than originally anticipated, but tonight should still be interesting considering Ricky Rubio will be the only active point guard on the roster. Will we get more point-Nowell? Point-Edwards?? Point-KAT???
  • The New Orleans Pelicans make up a whopping 14.3% of the Timberwolves total wins this season! So what if it’s just one game? In that contest, Naz Reid had a team-high 20 points en route to showing the world he’s the better than his former AAU teammate, Zion Williams, or whatever that guy is called. Ed Davis played 19 productive minutes and Jarred Vanderbilt had 16 & 11. Although Brandon Ingram went off to the tune of 30 points on just 20 shots, Eric Bledsoe took a team-high 23 attempts. Cheers to Bledsoe, tonight!
  • Will we get the battle of the Hernangomez brothers tonight? Guillermo Hernangomez (artist formerly known as “Willy”) filled in admirably while Steven Adams was out with a temporary injury a few weeks ago, but seems to be relegated back to scrap minutes. Hey, if this game is a blowout, that means his minutes will likely align with his brother, Juancho! Hopefully we will be able to see them duke it out tonight so that their respective team’s social media teams have something else to post once their team has been blown gowns out.
  • Did you know Brandon Ingram’s nicknames on BasketballReference are “Slenderman”, “Humble Beast,” and “Tiny Dog”??? I wonder if he’s related to Glenn Robinson III . Meanwhile Josh Hart is apparently “Josh Barkley.” Do with that information what you will.

Injury Report


Predictions

  • With the Wolves packing the paint, Lonzo Ball will drain 7 triples tonight which he has somehow down 2 times in his career already. That or Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have an MPE, scoring 25 or more.
  • KAT will barely get to a triple-double tonight, battling foul trouble because of Steven Adams, who is somehow still just 27-years old. I’m predicting 2 offensive fouls from failing to establish post position and 2 offensive fouls from Ball and/or Bledsoe launching themselves into KAT, who’s nearly does the splits when setting screens.
  • Zion and Ant will participate in a halftime dunk contest - Winner gets 20 extra points added to their team’s point total to start the 4th quarter, and the winning team will be the first team to score that point total multiplied by 1.24 with an 8-second shot clock.
  • Wolves defeat the Pelicans, hitting 131 points before the Pelicans do.
  • Josh Okogie gets DNP-CD because Gersson Rosas has traded him for Chuma Okeke.
  • Coach Chris Finch brings a suitcase to his postgame presser while wearing a Harvey Birdman mask.
  • Somewhere out there, Ted Leonsis pounds 4 Arby’s beef & cheddars.