At the beginning of the month, the Minnesota Timberwolves had just won their fifth straight game by defeating the Charlotte Hornets 112-94. They then lost two straight games but would rattle off three straight, to have a record of 10-5. Since then, the Wolves have taken a turn for the worse. They have now lost four of their last six games, with their 92-89 loss to the Washington Wizards at home Tuesday night bringing their record to 12-9 on the season.
1. Negatives abound in this game, but the biggest was the Timberwolves poor performance shooting the ball. The Wolves had 85 shots, but made only 35 of them shooting 41.2% from the field, and then shot only 33.3 percent from three, and 64.3 percent from the line. This included a horrendous performance from the Wolves' starting shooting guard and small forward, as Jimmy Butler went 5-17 from the field, and 3-9 from three, and Andrew Wiggins went 5-15 from the field and 1-5 from three.
2. Once again the Wolves defense allowed too much scoring by the opposing team's bench. The Wolves allowed three Wizards players to reach double figures, as Mike Scott scored 12, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 16 and Jodie Meeks also scored 12, not to mention Tomas Satoransky who scored 7 but had six assists and five rebounds.
3. Minutes for the starters was once again way too high. Yes Jeff Teague, and Nemanja Bjelica were out with injuries, but the Wolves' starters should not be playing so many minutes. Taj Gibson led the way with 41, Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones both played 40, and Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins played 38 and 37. The Wolves' bench is not their strong suit at all, but in order to make an impact down the road, they need to keep the starters fresh for when the games truly matter.
1. All the starters were in the positive in plus minus, with Butler despite his poor shooting leading the way with a +/- of 12. This of course compounds the poor performances of the bench.
2. Karl Anthony Towns dominated the glass in this one as he hauled in 17 rebounds, 14 defensive and three offensive to go along with his 20-point outing.
3. Tyus Jones continued his strong play in relief of the injured Jeff Teague, as he scored 12 points, on 4-9 shooting, going 2-6 from three and 2-3 from the line, while dishing out seven assists, and grabbing four rebounds and a steal.
The Wolves have to get things back on track quickly as they play once again Wednesday night, this time on the road in New Orleans, as they play at 7 p.m. against the Pelicans.