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Game Preview #5: Wolves vs Spurs

*GTA-Ah-Shoot-Here-We-Go-Again.gif* Minnesota will try to redeem themselves to their home crowd after an embarrassing defeat on Monday.

San Antonio Spurs v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Oh, hello there! Right on time, just as I expected. Welcome back to Hotel Pain where your check-in time is always 30 minutes before every Minnesota Timberwolves game and checkout time is never. No matter big they win or how embarrassingly they lose, we’re always looking forward to your visit.

We have you booked for the Canis Hoopus Game Thread suite again, so our staff has gone ahead and prepared it for you just the way you like (Sorted by Oldest Comments first). Welcome and please enjoy your stay.

Game Info

Who: San Antonio Spurs (3-1) at Minnesota Timberwolves (2-2)
When: 7:00 pm CST
TV: Bally Sports North | NBA League Pass
Line: Wolves -9.5 | Total: 235 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Injury Report

What To Watch

  • There’s nowhere to go but up after Monday’s performance, right? (Don’t answer that) The defense that drew boo’s from the home crowd was the worst that we’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying something as Timberwolves fans. Coach Finch’s team was a mess whether they were in drop, switch, high wall, zone, Cold War, but most particularly in transition. Whether I want to or not, I’ll be tuning in to see if the Spurs can succeed by simply spamming the turbo button after a Wolves make or miss.
  • Things weren’t much better on the offensive end of the court. In John Meyer’s detailed Film Session piece, he did a great job breaking down the turnovers that the Wolves committed on Monday. The lack of purpose in some of these passes (and screens) will be something I am keeping my eye on. Minnesota is currently top/bottom six in turnovers per game (16.3). If they protect more of their own possessions, they will at least have a chance to shoot themselves out of their collective shooting slump, as evidenced by their 28.7% 3P%. That’s good for 27th in the league, just above the Thunder and Lakers. Yikes.
  • The biggest concern, out of a long list, was the lack of energy and sense of urgency. By my unofficial count, I’ve only seen the Wolves really “step on the gas” five times this season: Out of the blocks in each of the first three games, late in the Jazz game to send it to OT, and the fourth quarter of the second Thunder game. That’s way too low for a team that still has so much else to figure out. It’s understandable to have flubs with X’s and O’s on both ends of the court, but it’s not understandable to shrug your shoulders and lightly jog back on defense during the first five games of the season. Who’s going to step up in the PatBev/Vando way of hustling out on the court?
  • Is Jeremy Sochan really the next coming of Jarred Vanderbilt aka Dennis Rodman? His hustle and energy was fun to watch out there, if fun means tearing up over missing one of your favorite players from last season. It’s rare for a 19-year-old rookie to be effective for two games straight against the same opponent, so let’s see if he can keep it up for round two.


  • Rudy Gobert gets revenge on his European nemesis, Jakob Pöltl. Gobzilla puts Jakob into foul trouble early before finishing him off with a monster dunk. Rudy then shoots a plasma beam out of his mouth, ripping a hole into the roof of Target Center. That’s on your dime, Glen Taylor.
Bally Sports North did this, not me.
Bally Sports North
  • The points leader for the game will be D’Angelo Russell, who scores a season-high 32 points. There will be a 20-comment long thread debating the dollar amount and length of a potential D’Lo extension. Consensus will not happen.
  • Ant & KAT share a bucket of Popeyes chicken during their postgame presser.
  • Wolves 121, Spurs 105.