Wolves’ Towns matches NBA greats with big week

Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t exactly Timberpups anymore. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins are well into their NBA careers at this point, while the Wolves’ lineup features seven players with 5-plus years of experience.

Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of the Young Wolves Tracker, formerly the Timberpups Tracker.

Each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the Iowa Wolves players who might be of help to the Timberwolves in the future, or a current member of Minnesota’s roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.

This is the 9th edition of the 2018-19 Young Wolves Tracker.

SPOTLIGHT ON …

Center Karl-Anthony Towns

After struggling out the gate this season, Towns is heating up.

The 23-year-old was held under 20 points in six of the Wolves’ first 10 games, and didn’t log his first double-double until their fourth, possibly due to the ongoing Jimmy Butler saga.

Since then, however, he’s managed to right the ship, pushing his averages to 21.9 points on 49.1 percent shooting, 12.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.8 made 3s through 38 games.

He’s taken things up a notch over the past week.

Towns is averaging 28.2 points and 1.8 3s on 53.1 percent shooting over his last five games, as well as 17.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.0 blocks.

He’s matched a couple all-time greats in the process.

First: Towns scored 31 points with 19 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in a three-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

He dropped 34 points in a win over the Miami Heat on Sunday, adding 18 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and three steals on Sunday, duplicating one of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s feats and getting Kevin Garnett involved as well.

Towns followed that up with 28 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, and five blocks in a loss to the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, and found himself, once again, in the company of Kareem.

WOLF TRACKS

— Wiggins continues to be … well, Wiggins. He had just 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting against Miami, then 20 on 8-of-21 shooting against New Orleans. Naturally, he then scored 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting against the Boston Celtics. He reached 7,000 career points in that game, becoming the seventh-youngest player to do so.

Tyus Jones is getting some run as the Wolves’ starting point guard with Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose ailing. He’s started their last three games, and racked up 13 assists and 15 points in that loss to New Orleans.

Josh Okogie got his first start since Nov. 9 with Robert Covington out against Boston. He struggled on the offensive end, going 0-for-4 from the field.