October 27, 2017, 8:57 am
It was only four days ago that the Timberwolves went into Oklahoma City and sealed a victory on the last shot of the game.
It feels like a whole season has passed since that night, like we we’re watching a new team. In two games since Sunday, the Wolves got blown out by the Pacers at home and by the Pistons on the road. Jimmy Butler sat both game because of an illness, but there was no excusing the effort the team put forth in both games.
The communication on the court was silent, help defense wasn’t arriving on time and it seemed most of the time guys were just rolling through the motions, only showing short bursts of life.
Perhaps they only need another team from the Western Conference to give them that competitive swagger they had only four days ago.
Butler’s status is still up in the air, and if he is unable to play the Wolves are going to have an extremely tough time containing the Thunder. Even last Sunday, the Wolves were able to do a nice job defensively versus the Thunder and still gave up 113 points. It looks like Butler will be in there tonight though.
After building up to that thrilling game last Sunday, it feels like this last week it all came crashing down. The key for the Wolves will be to not panic, pick up the pieces and get back to building. This team as constructed wasn’t going to be ready so soon anyway. These highs and lows will be a common theme, possibly all season.
As for the Thunder, they’ve only played one game since Sunday and it was versus the Pacers, who they wee able to take down 114-96. Westbrook has a 28 point triple-double, Anthony had a 28 point double-double, and Adams scored 17 with 11 rebounds. George scored only 10 points versus his former team, taking only eight shots. He played only 19 minutes before fouling out.
George hasn’t really found his rhythm yet with the Thunder, but you expect that he will at any moment.
Not much has changed since Sunday with the Thunder, they will continue to force the issue with their big three, let Adams clean up any messes and hope that teams continue to guard Andre Roberson. The Thunder are just difficult to contain and even when they don’t play their best game, they can out-talent almost any team in the league.
They’ll no doubt be out for blood after what Wiggins did to them on Sunday, which makes this game another one with firework potential. Expect no mercy from these guys with or without Butler out there to stop them.
– Towns vs. Adams
– Wiggins vs. George
Towns is going to have to do better on the defensive glass tonight than he was on Sunday. He was burned more than a few times by Adams, and when just about everything has to be perfect to beat these guys, you can’t be giving them extra possessions.
In their last matchup, Adams was giving Towns the three-pointer whenever he wanted it, and he was okay taking them (except on the second-to-last Wolves possession where Towns beat Adams off the dribble for a go-ahead floater). I would expect more of the same tonight if Butler is in there. If Butler sits, Towns might have to be more aggressive looking for his interior shot tonight.
Once again, these two will battle it out. Wiggins got the better of George on Sunday and I don’t think either forgot about it. I think we’re going to see both guys heavily involved in the offense, the Thunder trying to get George going and the Wolves out of pure necessity of Wiggins’ offense.
I’m thinking both guys go for 25 a piece, at least.
Jimmy Butler (illness) – PROBABLE
Justin Patton (foot) – OUT
Where to Watch:
8:00 ET/7:00 CT on Fox Sports North
February 18, 2019, 5:10 pmChandler Parsons - F - Memphis Grizzlies
Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he's open to giving Chandler Parsons (knee) some playing time going forward.
"I think it’ll be good that we’re coming out of the break and we’ll have a few days to practice just to get him on the court, get him back with the group, see where he is," Bickerstaff said. "It’s been a while since he’s played as well. So it’ll be good to have him on the floor, get up and down a little bit, see where he is physically and mentally and then we’ll go from there." This is softer than the Shams Charania reports about returning to the Grizzlies lineup, which were curious at best, and owners should take a wait and see approach to his playing time. He hasn't been playing for multiple reasons.
February 18, 2019, 5:08 pmMilos Teodosic - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Milos Teodosic will reportedly sit out the rest of the 2018-19 season.
Teodosic was never as good as the hype but he was fun to watch pass. Hopefully he can keep his career going overseas.
Source: Nikola Stojkovic on Twitter
February 18, 2019, 5:06 pmKevin Knox - F - New York Knicks
Knicks owner James Dolan is seriously considering selling the team according to The Ringer's Bill Simmons.
The team outright denied the report today but surely Knicks fans are rolling their eyes over that, and hoping that Dolan sells the squad with no haste.
February 17, 2019, 11:20 pmKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard (knee soreness) suited up for the All-Star Game on Sunday and scored 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 19 minutes of action in a Team LeBron win over Team Giannis.
He added five rebounds, five threes and two assists to the box score. Leonard has been in and out of the lineup for the Raptors quite a lot this season, but hopefully he can have a healthy second half of the season. If he can stay on the court, he should continue to hover around top-5 value in all formats. Expect Leonard to return for the Raptors' first game after the break ends.
February 17, 2019, 11:19 pmGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 17-of-23 shots on Sunday to score an All-Star game-high 38 points and 11 boards in the 164-178 loss to Team LeBron.
Steph Curry logged 29 minutes with 17 points but it wasn't enough as his teammates Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 51 points tonight. Giannis was second on his squad in minutes with 27 and everyone should be well rested coming out of the All-Star break.
February 17, 2019, 11:11 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) put up 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting with nine rebounds and six assists in a Team LeBron win over Team Giannis in Sunday’s All-Star Game.
He hit a 3-pointer and made some clutch plays down the stretch to help his team seal the win. Irving missed two games from this injury and should be good to go after the break for the Celtics and is a top-10 option for the remainder of the season.
February 17, 2019, 11:08 pmKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant added some hardware to the mantle at home by taking Sunday night’s All-Star game MVP trophy.
Durant scored 31 points with six triples in the come from behind victory for Team LeBron 178-164 over Team Giannis. Durant got into it with Joel Embiid a few times, while swatting two shots in their matchup.
February 17, 2019, 11:03 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis made an appearance in the All-Star game on Sunday, logged only four minutes.
Davis finished with five points in four minutes, all in the first half, while appearing disinterested in giving it his all. Now owners will have to wait and see if the Pelicans try to shut him down despite the NBA’s insistence that he’s on the court if he’s healthy.
February 17, 2019, 7:48 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis confirmed in a live TV interview that he’s playing in Sunday’s All-Star game.
Davis owns the All-Star record for most points and while he might not push himself too hard tonight, he might still be motivated to put on a show. Davis can cast plenty of shade at the Pelicans if he plays well, as it’s rumored to Pelicans want to shut him down after the All-Star break, and the NBA wants to keep their top players active.
February 17, 2019, 7:05 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) is "good to play" for Sunday's All-Star game, according to Marc Stein.
The Pelicans probably don't like this as they don't want him on the court for regular games. If you're playing DFS for the All-Star game, count on Davis playing, and we respect your dedication to the game.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter