Timberwolves Wrap: An ugly loss in Memphis
The Timberwolves followed up an easy win over the 76ers on Thursday night with a completely uninspiring performance in Memphis.
The roller coaster that has been the first dozen games of the Timberwolves’ season took another significant drop on Saturday night in a 93-71 road loss to the Grizzlies.
The Wolves backed up a frustrating home loss to Charlotte on Tuesday with a dominant win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Things felt back on track, even if it was against one of the worst two or three teams in the NBA.
But on Saturday, the Timberwolves faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies for the third time in the first 12 games of the season, and the second time on the road.
The Grizzlies continue to be a tough match-up for Minnesota. The Wolves can’t match-up with the likes of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph inside, and the size, strength, and length of Tony Allen, James Ennis, and Jamychal Green is consistently able to hold Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Shabazz Muhammad in check.
The game started with the officials blowing their whistle every time that players on both teams as much as breathed on one another. It set the tone for the Wolves allowing the Grizzlies to push them around and be physical both in the paint and on the perimeter, and the game was as good as lost for Minnesota.
The Grizzlies only led by four points after what was an exceedingly sloppy first half, but the Wolves third quarter blues returned. This time around, it included a four-plus minute stretch without scoring any points after having tied the game at 48-48.
That meant that Memphis was able to take a 13-point lead into the final frame, and the Wolves never managed to get the margin any closer.
Karl-Anthony Towns was in foul trouble and picked up his fourth personal foul in the first two minutes after halftime, forcing the reigning Rookie of the Year to sit for the remainder of the third quarter.
This game was a combination of a poor match-up, poor officiating, and a lack of true aggressiveness from the Wolves. Minnesota’s rebounding and interior defense was lacking as well, and only having Andrew Wiggins score seven points didn’t help, either.
At any rate, the Wolves’ record now stands at 4-8, and they return back home to face the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Tweets of the Night
Grizz up 43-39 after one. If you tend to enjoy good Wolves O, this game is awful. If you tend to lament their bad D, not as bad.
— Punch-Drunk Wolves (@PDWolves) November 20, 2016
Interesting: KAT sent word to silence shower-room noise/laughter as he dressed & met media. Entire locker room went quiet in an instant
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) November 20, 2016
Player of the Game
Zach Randolph: 18 points (7-11 FG, 1-2 3P, 3-4 FT), 7 rebounds, 21 minutes
Randolph came off the bench and dominated the Timberwolves in the paint to the tune of 18 points and seven rebounds in just 21 minutes. Gorgui Dieng, Nemanja Bjelica, and Shabazz Muhammad had no answer, and Randolph was the bully that he always is against the Wolves.
Notable Timberwolves Lines
- Zach LaVine: 22 points (9-16 FG, 4-8 3P), 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers
- Karl-Anthony Towns: 17 points (6-10 FG, 3-3 3P, 2-4 FT), 3 rebounds, one block, 2 turnovers
- Andrew Wiggins: 7 points (2-11 FG, 0-3 3P, 3-4 FT), 4 rebounds, one assist, one block, 5 turnovers
LaVine was good, but nobody else in a Wolves uniform was, for the most part. Towns only managed three rebounds but committed five personal fouls in 28 minutes. Wiggins shot just 2-of-11 from the field and turned the ball over five times in 32 minutes. And Ricky Rubio missed all five of his field goal attempts in 34 minutes.
Who’s Up Next?
The Wolves head back to Minneapolis to host the 7-6 Boston Celtics at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night. We’ll have a preview during the day and a recap following the tilt.