By: Nathan Brinkman
The Timberwolves continue their so far unbeaten road trip as they travel up the west coast to square off against the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland is a team projected to make the playoffs in the Western conference and they are led by all-star guard Damian Lillard. The Timberwolves are on a 2-game win streak despite being short-handed in those contests not having Jimmy Butler or Jamal Crawford available to play.
What to watch for:
Andrew Wiggins: It's hard to call Andrew Wiggins a breakout player considering how consistent he has been throughout his career but with Butler sidelined the last couple games, Wiggins has been leading the Wolves to victory while scoring 34.5 points per game. Look for Wiggins to come out firing offensively again tonight.
Karl-Anthony Towns: For "Big KAT", the last couple games have went just the opposite as they have for Wiggins as he has averaged just 16.5 points per game in those contests. Towns has been getting himself into foul trouble early on in games and has been drawing a ton of attention from defenses. In Portland though, the Trailblazers will have no answer for KAT as he is too large and strong to be defended by Al-Faruoq Aminu and too fast to be defended by Jusuf Nurkic. Expect Towns to have a big game tonight.
Young Core: If the Wolves win tonight, they will have won three straight games without Jimmy Butler. This will say a lot about how far this core has come since last season and even since earlier this season. If the young players can keep up this level of play and Jimmy Butler is added to the mix, the Wolves will truly be a scary team to play come playoff time.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Nemanja Bjelica, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
Portland: PG Damian Lillard, SG CJ McCollum, SF Evan Turner, PF Al-Farouq Aminu, C Jusuf Nurkic
102-97 Wolves, I believe in the streak we are on right now and I think the Wolves will be the better team tonight.