February 24, 2018, 11:51 pm
In day one without Jimmy Butler, there was certainly some concern about how the Wolves would fare. They lost just before the break to this Chicago Bulls squad, they played last night on the road and had plane troubles that delayed their arrival this morning, and of course they lost their main man Butler.
Naturally the Wolves won comfortably 122-104.
They busted out of the gate with a 31-point first quarter, leading to a seven-point lead. Andrew Wiggins came out strong with 10 points in the first quarter and Jeff Teague chipped in across the board with five rebounds, three assists, two 3-pointers and one block.
The second quarter was dreadful as the defense collapsed, allowing the Bulls to score 38 points.
From there the defense tightened up, holding Chicago to just 42 second half points on 41 percent shooting. The Wolves used a 21-3 run that spanned the end of the third and fourth quarter to jump out to a 17-point lead. The Wolves got the lead up to as high as 22 points before winning by 18.
Wiggins finished with 23 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers on 10-of-18 shooting overall.
There’s not likely one guy who’s going to consistently see a big boost with the absence of Butler, it’s usually going to be a collective effort picking up the slack. Tonight it was Teague, who finished with 25 points, adding seven assists, seven rebounds, two steals, one block and three 3-pointers on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor.
Towns had a solid game as well, shaking off a really slow start to finish with 22 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one block. He shot 9-of-20 from the floor, 0-of-5 from 3-point range and 4-of-6 from the line. Towns made 37 free throws in a row before missing his final two of the game.
Taj Gibson scored 19 points with 10 rebounds, three assists and one steal on 7-of-11 shooting.
The Wolves’ offense was able to sustain course even with Butler out, and the defense, surprisingly, had a strong game. Outside of the aforementioned poor second quarter, the Wolves did a fine job holding down the two former T’Wolves.
Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine shot 10-of-20 combined in the first half. After halftime the Wolves held them to 1-of-9 shooting.
The Wolves shot 48.9 percent from the field, 31.4 percent from beyond the arc and 73.1 percent from the line. Minnesota took a season-high 35 3-pointers. Teague and Jamal Crawford took 16 between the two, making eight of them.
The Wolves typically outscore their opponents at the free throw line, making the most per-game in the NBA and taking the second most. Butler takes the most freebies on the team, by far, but the Wolves still took more free throws than the Bulls tonight (26-to-20) and were above their season average in attempts.
Outside of the second quarter this was a productive game for the Wolves, given the circumstances. The Bulls are a bad team, but it was at least nice to see the Wolves more or less land on their feet after the Butler news.
Every win down the stretch matters, and for the time-being the Wolves jumped the Spurs and currently sit third in the Western Conference standings. They’ll travel west for a three-game road trip that kicks off in Sacramento and look to hold their third spot on Monday.
February 27, 2020, 4:12 pmDe'Aaron FoxPG, Sacramento Kings
De'Aaron Fox (lower abdominal tightness) is officially questionable to play in Thursday's game vs. the Thunder.
Fox left Tuesday's game for a brief stint but was ultimately able to return. Cory Joesph, Buddy Hield and Kent Bazemore could all see additional minutes if Fox misses Thursday's game. Continue to monitor the wire as we learn more.
Source: Jason Jones on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 3:42 pmKelly Oubre Jr.SF, Phoenix Suns
Kelly Oubre Jr. will be out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
It was also reported that Oubre Jr. is going to get a second opinion. It is unlikely that the second opinion will reveal anything different but it could be worth holding onto him until we get confirmation. Unfortunately, it does appear that he will be out for the rest of the season. Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges and Dario Šarić will all see more opportunity with Oubre Jr. out.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 1:35 pmFrank NtilikinaPG, New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina (sore groin) is doubtful to play on Thursday.
Ntilikina was the starter in New York at the beginning of the season but has faded with the return of Elfrid Payton, and now it's possible that he's lost the backup gig to Dennis Smith Jr. Frankie Smokes is only an option in the deepest of leagues when healthy.
Source: NBA Injury Report
February 27, 2020, 1:34 pmTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young (illness) stayed away from practice on Thursday.
No big deal here as Young dropped 37 & 11 last night despite the ailment. Hopefully he's feeling better soon.
Source: Sarah K. Spencer on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 1:33 pmKevin HuerterSG, Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Hurter is dealing with a groin injury, per Lloyd Pierce.
No word on the severity of the injury but it's definitely not a great sign for Huerter, especially as Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter appear to be figuring things out. Huerter played just 28 minutes last night after topping 30 in each of the previous 15 contests, so his playing time will be something to watch going forward.
Source: Sarah K. Spencer on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 1:25 pmJarrod UthoffSF, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies will sign Jarrod Uthoff to a 10-day contract.
Uthoff last appeared in the NBA in 2017, making nine appearances with Dallas back then. He's since played in Russia and the G League and will give Memphis a little emergency depth in the next week and a half.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 1:24 pmMarc GasolC, Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol (left hamstring tightness) is making progress in his rehab but has no timetable for a return.
Last week Nick Nurse speculated that Gasol would need 8-12 games before the playoffs to get back into shape, and it looks like the Raptors might take it as slow as possible with the veteran big man as long as his playoff preparedness isn't in jeopardy. Serge Ibaka and Chris Boucher will continue to hold it down.
Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 1:10 pmLuke KornetPF-C, Chicago Bulls
Further testing has revealed a severely sprained left ankle and a fifth metatarsal fracture for Luke Kornet, who will miss 6-8 weeks.
This looks like the end of Kornet's season, and he can be safely dropped in all redraft formats. Daniel Gafford should assume Kornet's rotation role, while Wendell Carter Jr. will have less competition for minutes when he gets back on the court. Gafford's worth a look in deeper leagues for his upside as a rebounder and shot-blocker.
Source: Cody Westerlund on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 12:54 pmEdmond SumnerPG, Indiana Pacers
Edmond Sumner (sore left hip) will not play on Thursday against the Blazers.
Sumner's been out for a week now and there's no sign of when he'll return. He was in the rotation to begin the year and could find a few minutes available now that Jeremy Lamb is out, but Sumner is unlikely to reemerge as a fantasy option.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter
February 27, 2020, 12:52 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo (sore back) will be available to play on Thursday.
Oladipo has missed the last two games but is ready to go tonight, and he may return to a fuller workload with Jeremy Lamb now lost for the season with a torn ACL. That said, Oladipo has been far from a fantasy factor so far, shooting a putrid .333 and picking up just 0.5 steals through his first eight games back. Keep him on your benches for now.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter