By: Jonah Sprinkel
After coming off their first overtime appearance and win of the season against the Miami Heat, the Wolves are headed to New Orleans to square off against the Pelicans.
Pulling out a win inside American Airlines Arena took longer than it should have. The Wolves continue to look sloppy and disorganized. At the end of OT, they almost gifted Miami the win. Things like that will need to change quickly moving forward as more talented teams will be able to quickly capitalize on similar mistakes.
All that said, a win is a win. That’s all Wolves fans can hope for as this team still searches their footing.
The Pelicans are in a similar boat, though the expectations for their squad aren’t quite as high. Sitting at 3-4, the Pelicans are coming off a blowout loss to the red-hot Orlando Magic. That loss was despite Anthony Davis’ return to the roster after missing the two previous games due to injury. Surprisingly, the Pelicans beat both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings sans Davis.
What: Wolves @ Pelicans
When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Surprising play from Teague: I’m sure I’m not the first to say that Teague can be a frustrating player to watch. At times, it’s almost like he doesn’t have a plan when the ball is in his hands. His shot selection has been poor, and even aggravating at times. But, what if I told you he was averaging 14.3 points, 7.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 2 steals and 3.3 turnovers on a 56.4 true shooting percentage? Pretty nifty.
KAT on fire: In the last two wins Towns is averaging 26.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks. He’s shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 50 (!) percent from deep. Hopefully yarn gettin’ season continues be Towns has a much taller task in front of him in both Davis and Boogie. Here’s to you KAT, keep getting’ that yarn.
Will Jimmy finally get on track? Butler has been everything the Wolves could ask for in terms of leadership and simply bringing tenacity to the court. When he plays the Wolves do well. When he doesn’t, the team is almost unwatchable. But since donning a Wolves jersey, Butler’s box scores have not been that of an All-Star. Through five games Butler is putting up 16.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.8 steals on a 53.8 true shooting percent. Winning is winning and as a Wolves diehard I can’t complain about the outcome. However, I would like to see Butler be a little more involved.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
New Orleans: PG Jrue Holiday, SG E’Twaun Moore, SF Dante Cunningham, PF Anthony Davis, C DeMarcus Cousins
Wolves: Justin Patton
Pelicans: Alexis Ajinca (Right Knee Injury), Omer Asik (Illness), Solomon Hill (Left Hamstring Tear), Frank Jackson (Right Foot Fracture), Rajon Rondo (Left Core Muscle Injury)
If the defense doesn’t show up, ready to play this game could get out of hand quickly. Sadly, there’s not much Butler will be able to do against Boogie or Davis. A lot of the outcome will be dependent on Gibson, Dieng (oh boy) and Towns. The Wolves have the talent to beat anyone. However, with how poor the defense is right now that won’t be the case come 7 PM Wednesday night, 112-109.