Everything was sunshine and rainbows for the Minnesota Timberwolves in Saturday’s home opener as Naz Reid dropped 25 points en route to a 16-point victory over the shorthanded Miami Heat. With the reigning NBA champions coming to the Target Center on Wednesday, Minnesota cannot overlook the Atlanta Hawks in a Monday night road matchup. This contest will be the second game of a road/home back-to-back for Head Coach Quin Snyder’s group, who is playing against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
- Who: Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks
- When: 6:30 PM CT
- Where: State Farm Arena (Atlanta, Georgia)
- TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Jim Petersen and Katie Storm)
- Radio: Wolves Radio App, KFAN FM 100.3
- Line: Timberwolves -1.5, Total: 235 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Updated as of 5:15 PM Monday
- Jaden McDaniels (left calf strain)
- Shake Milton (left foot soreness)
- Jaylen Clark ((right achilles tendon rupture rehab)
- Leonard Miller (G-League Assignment)
- Wendell Moore Jr. (G-League Assignment)
- Seth Lundy (two-way contract)
- Wesley Matthews (right calf strain)
- Miles Norris (two-way contract)
What to Watch For
Updated Rotation If Jaden McDaniels Plays
Jaden McDaniels in the latest injury report was upgraded to questionable after missing the first two games of the season with a left calf strain suffered in Abu Dhabi. The Wolves have (rightly) decided to take a cautionary approach after McDaniels signed a five-year, $136 million dollar extension last week. If he is to play, Head Coach Chris Finch will have a few extra choices to make in regards to how the rotation shakes out. I would guess Troy Brown Jr. is the odd man out in this case and will get bumped from the rotation as Slim rejoins the starting lineup, sending Nickeil Alexander-Walker back to the bench.
Getting McDaniels back will be a wonderful welcome to this starting lineup, especially when tasked with guarding the dynamic Atlanta backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.
Who Guards Trae Young?
Whether or not McDaniels plays, it will be interesting to see who guards Young and if they decide to deploy a platoon in attempt to slow him down. If McDaniels plays, he will most likely be on the Hawks point guard to start the game; that is, if they feel confident enough in his health to be able to do so effectively. However, we know that a big part the young star’s game is drawing fouls. Whether or not you agree with his methods, he is very adept at getting those calls.
Knowing this fact about Young and how he plays, I do think that Alexander-Walker gets a crack at guarding him to limit foul trouble for both players. I have confidence in this as well considering the Canadian guard is very adept at guarding players that play like Young does (see: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in last years play-in game). While SGA is not as good of a three point shooter, I still believe in NAW’s ability to shut Young down as much as possible with an offensive force like the former University of Oklahoma star is. Alexander-Walker is physical without fouling and Young is in for a trip tomorrow night having to go against (hopefully) McDaniels and Alexander-Walker for the entirety of his minutes on Monday. Having multiple guys matchup well against Atlanta’s best player and who they run the majority of their offense through will be key in this matchup and the Timberwolves coming back home with a win.
An Anthony Edwards Homecoming
When Anthony Edwards released his adidas signature shoe this summer, the company hosted a huge event in his hometown of Atlanta. It was a special moment for the kid from Oakland City, who always talks about how much he loves the city. He is always excited to play in his hometown and wants to put on a show for his close supporters that always make him feel loved when he returns to Atlanta.
Last season when the Timberwolves played in Atlanta, the young phenom scored 32 points and paired that with eight rebounds and five assists. We know that when the lights come on, he performs at a high level.
Check out your Timberwolves back in action tomorrow night as Anthony Edwards looks to put on a big performance in front of his home crowd.