Since their battle for play-in gold, Los Angeles has had October 9, 2022 circled on their calendars. With the rest of the world anxiously awaiting the rematch of the biggest game of last season, Minnesota and Los Angeles have worked hard to amass a mindboggling 2-0 preseason record (Only three other Western Conference teams have currently matched this feat).
Once again, the Clippers and Timberwolves sit atop the NBA world as they prepare for yet another all-time classic.
Chris Finch told reporters in Los Angeles before the game tonight that Karl-Anthony Towns will make his preseason debut tonight, the team said. Rudy Gobert won’t play.— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) October 10, 2022
What To Watch
- Playing against the other Los Angeles team’s bench warmers on Thursday made it difficult to really walk away with any real takeaways. That said, the defense looked real. Alan Horton points it out in his tweet below. I was excited to see just how real it is against one of the Western Conference favorites (According to Canis Pulsus), but with Rudy Gobert out, we’ll see how it holds up against a relatively injury-free Clippers team.
Rudy Gobert played 17 minutes in his debut vs. LAL.— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) October 8, 2022
MIN's defensive rating during that span was 67.
- The chemistry of D’Angelo Russell & Rudy Gobert was not quite there against the Lakers on Thursday. Getting that duo on the same page will be one of the more important keys to the Wolves offense this season. Unfortunately, we may have to wait until Wednesday to see any progress. Hopefully D’Lo & Karl-Anthony Towns can find their groove together.
- The “third big” position will continue to be interesting to monitor. Naz Reid had one miserable game and one formidable game as a fill-in starter in place of KAT. Meanwhile, Nathan Knight has been fairly productive off the bench, bullying opposing second and third-string bigs. Finch is creative enough to not have to just rely on just one of those two, as we’ve seen players like Kyle Anderson to Eric Paschall rotate in as the primary big on the floor at times.
- Rookie Wendell Moore Jr. has been productive in his first two games of action. He’s mostly garnered garbage time minutes in the fourth quarters, but he hasn’t looked completely out of place which is a good starting point for a rookie. I’ll be closely watching how he develops and if what type of role he might have in the future. Is he more of a Jaylen Nowell score-first, facilitate second guard? Will he be more of a Patrick Beverley defensive-minded ballhandler who can facilitate?
- Clips get out fast to an early 18-point first quarter lead. Kawhi and PG take a backseat as John Wall has a MPE.
- Ant drops 30 in the first half, keeping the Wolves somewhat afloat for the first half. He also bring Ant Jr. to the sidelines in the fourth quarter.
- The bench mob continues to show they’re one of the best second units in the league, as JMac & TP continue to have their way.
- Josh Minott dunks all over B.J. Boston Jr. He immediately joins the MVP race.
- Wolves 115, Clippers 110.