By: Jonah Sprinkel
Last night, Jimmy Butler notched his first 30 point game in a Wolves uniform and scored 20 of final 24 points. This perform earned the Wolves a win over the injury crippled LA Clippers. It was a quintessential Butler performance. That was the player Thibs traded for. However, after the game, Jimmy Butler was quoted as saying, "sadly we just outscored them once again, our defense wasn't where it was suppose to be. A win is a win but I want us to play some defense one of these days."
At 14-10 the Wolves currently hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference. They have a half game lead on the Portland Trailblazers and a one and a half game lead on both the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans.
Those three teams sit at a respective second, sixth and 20th in defensive rating. The Wolves sit at 26th. The only teams lower than them are the Orlando Magic, LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.
When: Monday, 12/4, 7 PM
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for
Taking advantage: The Grizzlies rank in the bottom third of the league in offense and the bottom of the half of the league on defense. Their net rating is - 3.5. At 7-15, and having recently fired their head coach, this team is stumbling to say the least. At the beginning of a quick two game road trip this is the perfect opportunity for the Wolves to grab a win from a sub par team and move on.
Once again, defense anyone? Over the the last two games opposing starting centers have gone 19-19 from the field for 44 points. KAT has usually struggled against centers who make their living on being stronger and bigger than their opponents. This is a new low for him, and for the other big men on the team. I've said this countless times, at some point this team has to play defense. Especially with the match up against Marc Gasol.
Andrew Wiggins on B2B's: NBA players struggle on the second night of a back to back. This is due to fatigue, lack of recovery time and travel. Andrew Wiggins isn't like most NBA players. In fact, in the four games the Wolves have played the day after a game Wiggins is averaging 20 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 53.6 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Memphis: PG Ben McLemore, SG Tyreke Evans, SF Dillon Brooks, PF JaMychal Green, C Marc Gasol
Wolves win 105-97. Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler capitalize on the Grizzlies lack of depth and lead the Wolves to their 15th win. Last season, this team didn't win their 15th game until January 19th.