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Grizzlies 70, Wolves 63: Basketball?

A grind of a game finished with the Grizzlies defeating the Wolves in Vegas

2022 NBA Summer League - Minnesota Timberwolves v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

So, this was a basketball game, I guess?

It’s Summer League, so expectations are for quality of play are low, but man oh man, this was something else. The Timberwolves and Grizzlies combined to shoot 7 for 64 from three, as well as combining for a hilarious 37 turnovers. It was just really bad basketball, there is really no other way to put it, regardless of the final outcome.

Clearly, nobody played super well, but there was still enough to note from a few guys likely to be relevant to the NBA club.

I was most interested to see Wendell Moore Jr. tonight, and he really just struck me as a guy who will probably look better around real NBA players. They moved him off of the ball to get Matteo Spagnolo more on-ball reps tonight, and by virtue made things tougher for Moore. He had several well-timed cuts in the half-court, but given the nature of this particular game, those largely went unrewarded. He finished with just six points on 3-11 shooting, but I still felt like he played an ok floor game.

It wasn’t really what we wanted to see from him, but there’s not a soul who walked off the floor tonight thrilled with their performance, I’d think. Moore’s not a guy who’s going to excel in an environment that lends itself to a team having just seven assists in a full game.

As for Spagnolo, he looked really raw. The Wolves put the ball in his hands more tonight, and it was a little rough. He’s remarkably young still, but he definitely looked like a player who will need another year or so overseas before he’d potentially be ready to contribute on an NBA floor. The team should continue to give him reps just to get him that experience, but the payoff will be in the long-term, not in Las Vegas.

Josh Minott came back down to earth offensively (2-9 from the field), but continued to use his athleticsm to cause mayhem on defense. He had five stocks in total, and his long arms and rabid activity made him a nuisance for Memphis throughout the game. This feels more likely to be a representation of what his NBA role would be, and that’s okay. He can help the Wolves long-term if he leans into being an awesome defender, especially once he puts on a bit of weight. The outline of an impactful player is there, but I personally think he’d be better off in Iowa this year than with the NBA squad.

Aside from the draft picks, Kevon Harris was the best player on the floor for the Wolves, finishing with 17 points on 7-14 shooting. He was the only player to shoot the ball more than four times, and finish with more points than field goal attempts. He’s an intriguing scorer who could be a really fun add to the Iowa Wolves. He’s impressed thus far, so it would be fun to see him rewarded for his performance.