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Game Preview #73: Wolves at Knicks

With just 10 games left in season, it’s time for Minnesota to face the music. The Knicks are 12-3 since adding Josh Hart. The Wolves are winless since losing their heart, Anthony Edwards.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Game Info

Injury Report



  • Karl-Anthony Towns — Right Calf Strain
  • Anthony Edwards — Right Ankle Sprain

New York


  • Trevor Keels — G League Two-Way
  • Duane Washington Jr. — G League Two-Way

The Numbers

New York

OFFRTG: 116.2 (5th)
DEFRTG: 113.5 (15th)
NETRTG: +2.7 (8th)

eFG%: 53.4 (21st)
FTr: .287 (9th)
TOV%: 13.0 (5th)
OREB%: 31.9 (2nd)

Pace: 97.43 (27th)
FBPS: 12.1 (24th)
2nd PTS: 16.6 (2nd)
PITP: 51.6 (15th)


(Since acquiring Mike Conley Jr.)
OFFRTG: 111.2 (24th)
DEFRTG: 114.7 (16th)
NETRTG: -3.5 (23rd)

eFG%: 54.9 (14th)
FTr: .255 (16th)
TOV%: 14.4 (20th)
OREB%: 25.5 (23rd)

Pace: 100.61 (10th)
FBPS: 15.2 (10th)
2nd PTS: 12.3 (23rd)
PITP: 56.4 (4th)

What To Watch

Life Without Scoring Stars

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls and the Anthony Edwards injury, there were only two players on the roster this season who averaged over 20 points per game. Edwards (25.0) and Karl-Anthony Towns (20.8). The Wolves will likely be without either of them tonight, though Shams Charania reported that Ant’s only day-to-day. Meanwhile KAT is channeling his inner Derrick Williams via Twitter. Regardless, Minnesota will still have to take on a very tough New York team. Where will the scoring punch come from for a team that’s just 24th in OFFRTG since the D’Lo trade? In the last two games, Jaden McDaniels has averaged 21.5 points while veteran Mike Conley Jr. has poured in a very respectable 20.0 points of his own, but it will likely have to be by committee.

Battle for the Boards

Though New York bludgeoned Minnesota from perimeter in November, it was their 19 second chance points that proved to be the big difference. They scored 7 of those in the first quarter alone, helping build a 9-point first quarter lead which they never relented. The Knicks are the 2nd best rebounding team in the NBA which should be a heavy point of emphasis for Chris Finch. The Wolves have struggled mightily all season in that department. The Wolves were without Rudy Gobert (Health & safety protocols) in their previous meeting so his availability tonight will theoretically help. However, just like the scoring, it’s going to have to be a group effort to clean the glass. Anyone who dresses has to be sharp.

Control Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson returned from a three-game absence on Saturday and was the reason the Knicks were able to overcome the Western Conference one-seed Denver Nuggets. He looked no worse for wear 48 hours ago and will likely be more loose today. Brunson has been key to New York’s offense, ranking first on the team in offensive box plus/minus (4.4) and offensive win shares (6.5). McDaniels will already be busy trying to help buoy the offense, but we will need the Slim Keeper more than ever on defense.

Minnesota is currently 9th in the conference which gives them just one life in the play-in tournament. Going into tonight’s slate of games, their record is mired in a three-way tie with the Lakers and Jazz. Need I remind you the connection to both of those teams. Also in action this evening are:

  • Golden State visiting Houston
  • Dallas visiting Memphis (No Ja Morant)
  • Utah hosting Sacramento

Here we go...


  • Naz Reid, who’s scored in double-digits in nine of his last 10 games, sets a new career-high by high-steppin’ his way to a cool 38 points. LeBron tweets, “Naz REED is a problem!
  • Wolves win, 107-105.