clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preseason Game Preview #5: Wolves at Bulls

The Timberwolves will look to finish the preseason unbeaten as they travel to Chicago for a Thursday-night matchup with the Bulls.

Maccabi Ra’anana v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA preseason schedule rolls on for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will close out their five-game exhibition with a trip to the Windy City to face off with old friend Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls.

Game Info

Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (4-0) vs. Chicago Bulls (1-3)

When: Thursday, October 19th at 7:00 PM CT

Where: United Center

TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Kevin Lynch, Katie Storm)

Radio: Wolves Radio App

Line: Wolves +1.5 | Total: 224.5

Injury Report

As of 6:30 p.m. CT on Thursday



  • Jaylen Clark (right achilles tendon rupture rehab)
  • Mike Conley (illness)
  • Jaden McDaniels (left calf strain)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (right patella tendinopathy)


  • Nothing to report at this time

What to Watch For

Maccabi Ra’anana v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Return of the Main Crew

After an atypical starting lineup of Wendell Moore Jr.-Matt Ryan-Josh Minott-Troy Brown Jr.-Luka Garza took the floor on Tuesday night, it expected the Timberwolves core pieces will play on Thursday at United Center.

The final preseason game can act as a tune up for the typical starting five to complete any fine-tuning before the regular season tips off next Wednesday against the Raptors.

As always, the pairing of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert will have our eyes, as will Shake Milton after impressing earlier this month.

The Front-Court

Naz Reid put up 22 points in Minnesota’s preseason game with the New York Knicks on Oct. 14, placing ear-to-ear grins for all Timberwolves fans tuning in. In the same game, Karl-Anthony Towns shot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, forming a high-octane offensive attack at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Watching those two play — specifically Reid at power forward seeing Towns space the floor — will have our attention all night long.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by David L. Nemec/NBAE via Getty Images

Those Fighting for a Rotation Spot

Luka Garza and Troy Brown Jr. showed out on Tuesday night against Maccabi Ra’anana, with Garza finishing with 30 points and Brown Jr. adding 13 points. Stacking together another good performance on Thursday would add to the idea that these two could be contributors in 2023-24.

Head Coach Chris Finch applauded Garza’s efforts to get in “elite shape,” and also cemented the idea that he’s an NBA player.

The former National Player of the Year with the Iowa Hawkeyes has repeatedly flexed his scoring chops, and now seems to be forcing Minnesota’s staff to give him additional opportunity.

The Young Wolves Making a Push for Opportunity

Other than those two making their argument for a fringe-rotation spot, the Young Wolves saw plenty of run on Tuesday night.

Finch was likely seeing what the end of his bench could do with their minutes on an NBA floor, as Leonard Miller, Josh Minott, Matt Ryan, Wendell Moore Jr. and others played no less than 25 minutes on Tuesday night. They could very well see more heavy minutes against the Bulls, although it’s unknown how Finch will structure the rotation in the final preseason game.

Minott saw potentially his most game action at Target Center, playing 32 minutes and scoring 23 points. The Timberwolves staff has talked openly about getting Minott more involved in his second season, and his performance on Tuesday backs up his desire to find minutes in year two.

Miller also flashed scoring ability, scoring 22 points in his extended run.

With a few standout performances, it will be interesting to see if Finch and Co. feel like they’ve seen enough of what Miller and Minott can do or if they’ll again give them extended play on Thursday night.

Daishen Nix, Tyrese Martin and Trevor Keels should continue to see heavy minutes in an effort to get additional film for roster-finalizing.

Wendell Moore Jr. Finding His Offense

The Duke University standout will have another chance to show some level of offense on Thursday, perhaps one of only a handful of opportunities left for the No. 26 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on the Timberwolves. He scored seven points on 3-for-8 shooting on Tuesday, missing his two attempts from beyond the arc.

His defense remains good, as it’s consistently been, but his offensive struggles have limited his opportunities in Minneapolis. The preseason finale against Chicago should give Moore Jr. another chance to develop some kind of scoring rhythm and prove he can keep the team’s offense flowing with him on the court.