The Timberwolves’ record has dropped to 1-5 after an extremely disappointing and deflating road loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
Article continues below ...
The Timberwolves opened the season with three tough losses after holding double-digit leads in each game. There was also a blowout win in the home opener against a depleted Memphis Grizzlies squad, and a blowout road loss to the one-loss Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Tuesday, Tom Thibodeau’s crew came off of of two straight off days to take on the 2-4 Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. It was a very winnable game that could have gotten Minnesota back on track before a road back-to-back on Wednesday and another set over the weekend, but alas, it was not to be.
The Timberwolves started sloppily, allowing the Nets to build a modest early lead. The defense, especially in the paint, was lax, and the Nets ran up 33 points in the opening frame.
While the Wolves’ offensive attack was solid from beyond the arc throughout the evening, they struggled to slow down the Nets’ outside shooting. Brooklyn shot 12-of-33 (36.4 percent) from three-point range, and the likes of Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic (three three-pointers each) capitalized on the inability of the Wolves’ big men to stick with them on the perimeter — especially early in the game.
As the contest wore on, the discrepency in the paint was even greater. The duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng struggled with foul trouble and the Wolves ultimately went small with Shabazz Muhammad at the four-spot for extended minutes.
The Wolves trailed by one point at halftime and four at the start of the fourth quarter. But foul trouble limited Towns late, and the Wolves simply had too many defensive lapses and missed shots at the rim down the stretch.
While Wiggins was a revelation, he had little help outside of Karl-Anthony Towns’ 21 points in 32 minutes of play.
And now, the 1-5 Timberwolves will head due south to take on the Orlando Magic in the second half of the Wolves’ first back-to-back set of the young season.
Andrew Wiggins: 36 points (13-29 FG, 6-7 3P, 4-8 FT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, 4 turnovers
Wiggins was deadly from deep in this one, and he also was active on the glass, pulling down either rebounds. He was obviously putting forth a concerted effort to be aggressive in that category, but the two assists were a bit low for as much as he handled the ball. Once again, there were also a couple of rough missed free throws in the latter stages of the fourth quarter that hurt his team.
Overall, however, Wiggins was easily the best player on the floor for the Wolves. It was the display of aggressiveness and outside shooting that Timberwolves fans long to see out of Wiggins on a regular basis.
The Wolves will be in Orlando on Wednesday night and face the 3-4 Magic. Minnesota will then have another two days off before taking on both teams from Los Angeles back at Target Center on on Saturday and Sunday.