By: Jonah Sprinkel
The Minnesota Timberwolves have won four straight games. I’m sorry, what was that? The professional basketball team that plays in Minneapolis, Minnesota has accomplished something positive? In this alternative universe the Wolves have defeated four teams that currently rank in the bottom half of the league in net rating. In the past, the Wolves would have blown leads against at least two of those teams and lost another out of sheer lack of effort. Thankfully, Robert Convington is a padlock on defense and Karl-Anthony Towns has rediscovered his ability on the court. With the struggling Boston Celtics in town, the Wolves have a chance to extend their winning streak.
What: Celtics @ Wolves
When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: Target Center
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 AM WCCO
What to watch for
Robert Covington & team defense: “RoCo” has played eight games for a total of 282 minutes in a Wolves uniform. During those minutes the team has allowed 93.5 points per 100 possessions. This beats out every team defense in the league by nearly 10 points per 100. In the 150 minutes he has spent on the bench, the team has allowed 108.1 points per 100 which would be eighth amongst the rest of the league. Not only does RoCo elevate the team when playing, he’s also inspired the team. Though, the absence of Jimmy Butler, and the shoddy opponents, may be a contributing factor.
Andrew Wiggins: The former Kansas star’s production has plummeted to the ocean floor. In the last nine games he’s averaging close to 13 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists on 32 percent from the floor and 30 percent from deep. Defensively, the Wolves have allowed 102 points per 100 when he’s on the floor and 90 points per 100 when he’s sitting on the pine. During this stretch Wiggins has made $310,576. Wow.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Robert Covington, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Memphis: PG Kyrie Irving, SG Marcus Smart, SF Jayson Tatum, PF Marcus Morris, C Al Horford
Minnesota: Jerryd Bayless – OUT (knee)
Boston: Jaylen Brown – OUT (back)
The Celtics have struggled this season. At 11-10 they’re not the dominate Eastern Conference team that most expected them to be. The Wolves have defied the post-Butler expectations. That being said, I expect these roles to flip tonight. Celtics 107-104.