The Minnesota Timberwolves take the floor again after the insane brawl (%) that occurred at Target Center just 48 hours ago. Adam Silver was so appalled that he suspended Austin Rivers for defending himself. Rumor has it that Mo Bamba is still lurking around the tunnels looking for playing time Rivers, but I’m sure that Glen Taylor has personally assigned Pierre Frelix to resolve the situation.
Anyway, there is basketball to be played today!
- Who: Denver Nuggets (37-16; 1st) at Minnesota Timberwolves (28-27; 8th)
- When: 6:00 PM CST
- Local TV: Bally Sports North (Michael Grady, Jim Petersen, Katie Storm)
- Line: Wolves -8.0 | Total: 226.0 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Minnesota @Timberwolves Status Report in advance of tomorrow’s game vs. Denver:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) February 4, 2023
Anderson - Back Spasms
Gobert - Right Groin Soreness
McLaughlin - Left Calf Strain
Towns - Right Calf Strain
Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are all doubtful tonight at Timberwolves. Nuggets likely without four starters on the second night of their back-to-back.— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 5, 2023
DEFRTG: 113.2 (14th)
NETRTG: 4.6 (3rd)
eFG%: 58.0 (1st)
FTr: .263 (18th)
TOV%: 15.0 (23rd)
OREB%: 28.9 (13th)
Pace: 99.11 (20th)
FBPS: 16.8 (4th)
2nd PTS: 13.1 (19th)
PITP: 54.3 (7th)
DEFRTG: 112.5 (11th)
NETRTG: 0.3 (16th)
eFG%: 55.8 (8th)
FTr: .275 (14th)
TOV%: 15.5 (28th)
OREB%: 25.8 (25th)
Pace: 101.76 (6th)
FBPS: 14.6 (11th)
2nd PTS: 11.9 (25th)
PITP: 53.6 (8th)
What To Watch
- It’s clear that the Nuggets are a completely different team without two-time reigning league MVP, Nikola Jokić, on the floor. Though they hold a surprising 3-4 record in games he has been inactive this season, at least two of their usual starters were active. Tonight may be the first time they roll out a full skeleton crew, thus it’s hard to glean anything from their numbers above. I’m expecting Denver to play a much faster game and take advantage of Minnesota’s suspect transition defense. The Wolves will need to refrain from shooting themselves in the foot as the heavily favorited team.
- Will Bones Hyland play tonight and what will it mean? The second year guard has been DNP-CD’d for the past two Nuggets game - both double-digit victories. Coach Mike Malone may call on his services tonight, but will that be more out of necessity, or more as a showcase to the Tim Connelly? Hyland has surfaced in multiple trade rumors lately and it’s no surprise that the GM who originally drafted him may be interested. All to say, I will be watching the 6-foot 3-inch guard very closely to see what we may be in store for.
Most negative defenders in the NBA this season*— NBA University (@NBA_University) February 5, 2023
What stands out? pic.twitter.com/274rTyJAMD
- What Minnesota Timberwolves team are we going to get tonight? They have impressively played up to their competition all season while disappointingly played down to the bottom feeders. This game is weird though. The Nuggets are sitting pretty atop the Western Conference standings, but will the undisciplined Wolves team take a look at the injury report and consider that the visitors are at the end of a back-to-back, and completely fall apart again?
- We’ve all been waiting for this moment. It’s been nearly two whole months since our very own G-League Jordan went down with a calf injury. Is today going to be the return of the Mac? Jordan McLaughlin’s return couldn’t have come at a better time, as Rivers will be serving his first game of a three-game suspension.
- Bones jaws with the Wolves bench (As he’s done his entire career) on his way to a 30-point effort. Luka Garza eventually mutters something about high school to Hyland, prompting him to walk up on the bench during a timeout. Pierre Frelix takes flight.
- During a fastbreak opportunity, JMac hits Big Mac with an alley-oop and Michael Grady shouts out, “MACK DADDY!!!” on the broadcast. GOAT behavior.
- Anthony Edwards is asked about being a potential All-Star injury replacement after news of the Steph Curry injury broke. Ant says he wouldn’t want to be a replacement and that he’d rather eat 21 bags of Chesters Flamin’ Hot Fries. The national media continues to lose their minds over it.
- Wolves win easily for the first time in forever, 128-105.