clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Playoff Game Preview #3: Wolves vs Nuggets

All eyes are fixated on Karl-Anthony Towns to see if he can offer enough support to help guide Minnesota back into the win column as the Wolves host the Nuggets Friday night.

New Orleans Pelicans v Minnesota Timberwolves

Game Info

  • Who: #1 Denver Nuggets (2-0) at #8 Minnesota Timberwolves (0-2)
  • When: 8:30 PM CT
  • Where: Target Center (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Local TV: Bally Sports North Extra (Michael Grady, Jim Petersen and Lea B. Olsen)
  • National TV: ESPN (Ryan Ruocco, JJ Redick, Jorge Sedano)
  • Radio: 102.9 FM The Wolf
  • Line: Wolves +2 | Total: 222.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)

Injury Reports



  • Rudy Gobert — Back Spasms
  • Jaylen Nowell — Left Knee Tendinopathy
  • Josh Minott — Left Ankle Sprain


  • Jaden McDaniels — Right Hand Fracture
  • Naz Reid — Left Scaphoid Fracture



  • Nikola Jokić — Right Wrist Sprain

What To Watch For

2023 NBA Playoffs - Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

What Can or KAT Do?

All eyes are on Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s been in crosshairs of national and local media criticism, and for good reason. KAT has struggled mightily in the playoffs to the tune of 10.5 PTS, 2.0 AST, 4.5 TOV on .296/.250/.500 shooting splits. Woof.

Compare that to his career averages against Denver of 24.1 PTS, 3.7 AST, 2.5 TOV on .540/.405/.850 splits (22 games), there’s bound to be a progression back to the mean. Playoff basketball is certainly different than the regular season, but if the Wolves want to have any chance, they’re going to need KAT back. Will KAT continue to play wild offense with little defensive impact, or will we get the “Best Shooting Center of All-Time” version? Our Mike O’Hagan dug deeper about how Towns can get more involved.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Two Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Ant’s Encore

Ya’ll have seen the graphics, headlines, and tweets flying around. Anthony Edwards added to his already impressive resume of accomplishments on Wednesday when he exploded for 41 jaw-dropping points. If he was taking steps towards getting back into the All-Star version of Ant that we were treated to all season, then he took a leap in that direction during game two. I had predicted that the Nuggets would struggle guarding Edwards in our staff predictions piece and that has come to fruition. Hopefully fans will get treated to a similar “Jamal Murray vs. Donovan Mitchell” type duel for the rest of the series.

Defending the Blue Arrow

In two games, Jamal Murray has posted 64 points, 11 rebounds & 13 assists on .500/.500/.909 shooting splits. That is as much a compliment to Murray as it is an indictment on the Wolves defense. Chris Finch has tried to challenge the 26-year-old guard to beat them with his jumper and, well, he has. 15 of his 22 makes have come from outside the paint. Will Finch continue to employ deep drop? Andy Larsen, who covers the Utah Jazz, doesn’t think that’s such a wise idea.


  • KAT dominates the game with his offensive skills, popping off for an efficient 37 point, 8 rebound, 9 assist night. He will continue to draw sneers from fans & observers, asking the timeless “Why doesn’t he just do this every night?” question.
  • (My prediction from Sunday) KAT earns the postgame on-court interview after a victory in Minnesota and The Internet continues to demonstrate that they have no understanding of what code-switching is.
  • Wolves back: 117-103.