October 24, 2017, 8:25 pm
Coming off an energetic, last second win on Sunday, this game looked to be another high scoring affair, but a winnable one. There’s no such thing as a “must win” at this time of year, but this was a type of game teams like to secure. Playing at home, with a back-to-back looming on the road, against a team with one eye towards the future.
Then Jimmy Butler was a late scratch, and everything sort of unraveled from there. The Timberwolves’ defense never looked sharp, the offense fell back into more disjointed than flowing, and the overall intensity was just not there like it was on Sunday.
Not to discount the Indiana Pacers, they are a solid team with a top of the line offense. The Wolves’ allowed them to shoot 66.7 percent as a team, and gave up 130 points which actually isn’t their season-high (140 points). They were clearly the better team tonight.
This was a disappointing performance for the Wolves though. It’s not easy to recover after losing your best player, but to come out flat is not a good look for the guys still available to play. They’ll have to have a short memory and bounce back tomorrow night.
Karl Anthony-Towns had a mismatch in the post tonight, and he took advantage of it, leading the Wolves in scoring with 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting, with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. His double-double streak ended, but there were frankly not many rebounds for him to gather defensively.
Unfortunately, he was also taken advantage of defensively. Sabonis was a perfect 7-of-7 shooting for 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Andrew Wiggins followed up his career game with a forgettable one, scoring seven points, with four rebounds, two assists and one steal. His defense was also poor, though he had a tough matchup with Oladipo.
Teague was quiet with two points on 1-of-7 shooting, and seven assists. He was unable to slow down Darren Collison, who had a monster line of 15 points, 16 assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
Bjelica had a nice game off the bench, scoring 18 points with four threes. Not all of this was in garbage time, as he was a focal point in the Wolves’ mid-game comeback. Thibs is likely trying to find a way to get him more minutes.
Overall, this was a type of game where the tape gets thrown out the window. A bounce back win tomorrow on the road will do a lot to help ease the painful loss.