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Preseason Game Preview #2: Wolves at Lakers

The undefeated, exhibition Wolves take on the Lakers in the Entertainment Capital of the World Thursday evening. How fitting!

Game Info

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) at Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)

When: 9:00 PM CT


Radio: Audacy App (WCCO-2)

Line: Wolves -7 (via DraftKings Sportsbook)

The Lede

Get a pot of coffee going.

Despite the Victor Wembanyama craziness that hit the internet this afternoon (he’s pretty good, by the way), the Wolves are out west for a neutral site game in Las Vegas taking on the Lakers. It’ll be a return to the Vegas courts for Wendell Moore and Josh Minott, who played for Minnesota in NBA Summer League shortly after the draft.

Also, tonight would mark about a third of the nationally-televised games the Wolves received last year. What a difference a year of winning basketball makes.

What To Watch For

For a preseason game, there are a couple genuinely interesting storylines to carry into this one.

The Russell/Edwards - Gobert offensive combo will officially make its debut against a Lakers team that got throttled by the Sacramento Kings in its last outing, and Rudy Gobert will wear a Wolves uniform for the first time in a game capacity. Both Gobert and Russell have spoken highly of each other so far in camp, and seem to have good chemistry. Thursday will be the first opportunity for fans to be able to see it in action.

In addition to the potential soft launch of the Wolves refurbished pick and roll game, Patrick Beverley will informally be facing his former team for the first time. After the Gobert move, the logical thought was Beverley would be making a return trip to Target Center in a Utah Jazz uniform early in the season. Not the case, and we find him in a situation of initiating some jawing with Ant and D-Lo for a 9 P.M. preseason game.

Never change, Pat Bev.

For My Fellow Degenerates

Normally in this section I would highlight player props I like for the night. If I actually did this for a preseason game, I would expect one of you to call 1-800-GAMBLER for me.

Instead, I like Wolves -7 tonight. All of the major players for the Lakers won’t be seeing the floor for more than 15 minutes, as they did against the Kings, and roughly 30% of public money is on Minnesota.

Additionally, the Lakers depth looks pretty similar to the depth we’ve been familiar with in the past, circa the early 2010s rosters. There’s not much that jumps off the page.

Conversely, the Wolves’ bench impressed the other night, with Jaylen Nowell and Jordan McLaughlin effectively initiating offense around them and finding shooters (Bryn Forbes curtain call).

Pretty fitting, the buzz in Vegas this afternoon was about a French phenom wowing the crowd. Does it end in a similar fashion?