By: Jonah Sprinkel
Timberwolves basketball is fun! Andrew Wiggins is Mr. Clutch! Most importantly, the Minnesota Timberwolves are winning important basketball games!
The Wolves should continue their winning ways Tuesday night as the Indiana Pacers come to town in the middle of a three-game road trip. With Myles Turner out, and the Pacers in seemingly in limbo, the Wolves are favored by 11 points.
Victor Oladipo was traded “home” (he played his college ball for Indiana University) where he was First-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Oladipo was the focal point of the trade that sent Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s currently averaging 22.3 points through three games for the Pacers, though the shooting numbers leave much to be desired.
The Pacers last played on Saturday in Miami where they dropped to 1-2 with a 112-108 loss to the Heat. Oladipo led the way with 28 points, four rebounds and five assists while Domantas Sabonis filled in for the injured Turner with an admirable 18 points and 12 boards.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you saw Andrew Wiggins steal a game out from under the nose of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In a game that last year’s Wolves would’ve lost, the team pulled together in the final minutes to clutch out a win. Hopefully, that’s not the case against Indiana.
What: Pacers @ Wolves
When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Getting KAT going: Yes, KAT is averaging 21.7 points and 11.7 boards on 59.1 percent shooting from the field. But the eye test tells another story. KAT has continually looked disorientated and uninterested on the defensive end. On the offensive end he is shooting well, inside the arc. Outside the arc he's a combined two of nine on the season, including two of seven against OKC. He has three total assists to go along with seven turnovers. With Myles Turnover in street clothes, no one should be able to stop KAT from getting yarn.
Getting Jimmy going: Jimmy G. Buckets has not been himself on the offensive end of the ball. Through three games his points per game is down over 10 points from last year. His true shooting percentage is down over 13 percentage points. He’s also turned the ball over more while not rebounding or assisting quite as well as he’s used to. All that is fine. Do not press the panic button Wolves fans. He’s on a brand-new team surrounded by two rising stars. He’s never been in a situation like this in his 6 previous NBA seasons.
Team building: The Wolves did win in OKC and they did win against the Jazz at home. They did not look like a picture of perfection in either win. The defensive communication has left a lot to be desired. The ball comes to a halt far too frequently on the offensive end. These are things that come with time. In a game against a team with far less talent then the Wolves this should prove to be very opportunity to gain confidence and comfort in both areas.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Indiana: PG Darren Collison, SG Victor Oladipo, SF Bojan Bogdanovic, PF Thaddeus Young, Domantas Sabonis
Minnesota: Justin Patton (foot)
Indiana: Glenn Robinson III, Edmond Sumner, Myles Turner
Wolves win 112- 102. The Wolves talent (and health) proves too much for the Pacers. Towns goes for 30 and 15 while Jimmy Butler begins to find his footing with his first 20-point outing in a Wolves uniform. Nemanja “Professor Big Shots” Bjelica continues to make shots and vie for increased minutes with excellent play.