clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game Preview #74: Wolves vs. Hawks

Karl-Anthony Towns is back and the world will be watching. Will the sweetest shooting big man in NBA history drop 56-points against Atlanta again?

Minnesota Timberwolves v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Info

Injury Report



  • Edwards - Right Ankle Sprain
  • McLaughlin - Non-covid Illness
  • Garza - G League Assignment
  • Ryan - G League Assignment



  • Murray - Non-COVID Illness
  • Johnson - Left Hamstring and Groin; Mild Strain
  • Martin - G League Assignment

The Numbers


(Since acquiring Mike Conley Jr.)
OFFRTG: 112.8 (23rd)
DEFRTG: 115.7 (20th)
NETRTG: -2.9 (22nd)

eFG%: 55.8 (12th)
FTr: .263 (16th)
TOV%: 14.4 (20th)
OREB%: 25.5 (24th)

Pace: 100.83 (10th)
FBPS: 15.0 (8th)
2nd PTS: 12.1 (24th)
PITP: 54.7 (5th)


OFFRTG: 114.9 (10th)
DEFRTG: 115.0 (22nd)
NETRTG: -0.1 (20th)

eFG%: 53.9 (18th)
FTr: .239 (28th)
TOV%: 12.5 (2nd)
OREB%: 28.5 (12th)

Pace: 101.49 (7th)
FBPS: 13.2 (18th)
2nd PTS: 14.0 (12th)
PITP: 53.5 (10th)

What To Watch

Karl. Anthony. Towns.

It’s finally time. Many of us never thought it would come this season, but it’s here. Karl-Anthony Towns, the two-time All-NBA & three-time All-Star, the sweetest shooting big man in the league, is back. Our Jack Borman discussed about what his return means earlier today, so check that out if you haven’t already. Will there be a “KAT Cam” ala the unforgettable “KG Cam”? Will he turn back the clock to 2018, when he set a then franchise-record 56 points in a single game against the Hawks? How much PUBG did KAT play last night? These are all burning questions that we will hopefully get the answers to tonight.

Trae Young: Foul Merchant Extraordinaire

  • 7th in free throws attempted per game (8.6).
  • 8th in fouls drawn per game (6.3).
  • 5th in percentage of points from the free throws (28.3%).

Somewhere out there, Joel Embiid is lining up at the charity stripe. Even his teammate, James Harden, is one of the biggest referee manipulators out there. But make no mistake about it: Trae Young’s foul hunting expertise has literally changed the NBA. About two years ago, the league made a few tweaks to the rules which many felt was directly correlated with Young’s play. However, he had since learned how to adapt to his new normal. After seeing a significant dip in his free throw numbers last season, they are back up this year. It was evident when Atlanta hosted Minnesota just over a week ago, as his 10 freebies helped him to a 41-point outburst. The Wolves were still able to devour the Hawks in one of their only convincing victories of the season, thanks to each starter efficiently scoring over 14 points or more. On the tail-end of a back-to-back, Trae will be looking for revenge. He did just shoot 15 free throws last night.

ESPN NBA standings as of March 22, 2023.

As you take a look at the current standings heading into Wednesday’s set of games, things remain as tight as ever. Two of the three teams above the Wolves are in action, as well as three of the four teams below them.

  • Dallas hosts Golden State
  • Utah hosts Portland
  • Lakers visit Phoenix

Depending on how you view it, If things break perfectly, Minnesota could end the night 7th in the standings, just 1.0 GB of the the 6th seed. Inversely, the Wolves could also find themselves all the way down to the 11th seed, just 1.0 GB above the 12th seed. The Wolves getting Towns back couldn’t have come at a better time.


  • KAT gets retribution for that insane “technical foul turned flagrant” last season. He dunks so hard on Onyeka Okongwu in the second quarter that the officials send Okongwu to the showers early.
  • Wolves are back, 127-110.