By: Jonah Sprinkel
After a rough first outing in San Antonio, the Timberwolves will look to rebound as everyone’s favorite point guard, Ricky Rubio, comes to town with the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz opened their season on Wednesday with a win at home against the Denver Nuggets. Rudy Gobert led the way with 18 points and 10 boards.
Last season the Jazz were 12th in the league in offensive rating and 3rd in the league in defensive rating. With the loss of Gordon Hayward, many expect this team to continue to forge their identity on the defensive end of the floor. Granted, it’s only one game, but this proved true in their first game of the season against the Nuggets by holding them to 96 points. Last season, the Nuggets were 4th in the league in offensive rating and they added Paul Millsap over the summer. Expect a rough and tumble type of basketball game between the Puppies and the Jazz.
What: Jazz @ Wolves
When: 7:00 PM CT
Where: Target Center
Where to watch: Fox Sports North
Where to listen: 830 WCCO
What to watch for:
Karl Anthony Towns against Rudy Gobert: After a performance that left quite a bit to be desired, Towns now must go mano-a-mano against the runner for last year's Defensive Player of the Year award. With such a tough matchup, expect Thibs to rely heavily on Butler and Wiggins.
Minnesota's offense: After struggling to move the ball and put points on the board against the Spurs, last season's best defense, the Wolves once again have a tall task in front of them. The good news is that the Jazz aren't quite the defensive team the Spurs are, though it is close. The bad news is that Rudy Gobert will be waiting at the rim for every drive or post up.
Continuing to adapt: As everyone saw on Wednesday, the Wolves have a lot of growing to do before they’re ready for playoff basketball. The biggest thing is simply chemistry, hopefully that is something that comes with time. All new teams struggle, especially when they pair an All- Star with two potential All-Stars. Yes, the game against the Spurs was disheartening. But, this team needs time. Expecting them to blow the doors off any top tier team is simply irrational, even if I’m ready to finally see the Wolves win. Be patient, the wins will come Wolves fans.
Minnesota: PG Jeff Teague, SG Andrew Wiggins, SF Jimmy Butler, PF Taj Gibson, C Karl-Anthony Towns
San Antonio: PG Ricky Rubio, SG Donovan Mitchell, SF Joe Ingles, PF Derrick Favors, C Rudy Gobert
San Antonio: Raul Neto (sore leg), Dante Exum (separated left shoulder)
The Wolves will spoil Rubio’s “homecoming” with their first win of the season! 108-105. The defense finally looks passable but that might just be because the Jazz aren’t nearly the offensive system that the Spurs are.
KAT records 22 points and 10 rebounds while Jimmy Butler finds his footing with 26 points 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Wiggins continues to dial it up from downtown.