The Wolves entered Monday night's game hoping to win two straight for the first time in weeks. They left their game in Memphis not with the win they were hoping for, but with a disappointing and unforgivable loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, losers of 11 straight.
1. Where to begin, where to begin. Well that's start with shooting from beyond the arc again. The Wolves were 4-17 from three, or 23.5%. That's horrendous. Butler was 2-7, Teague didn't take a three (he should take at least three per game), Towns was 1-2, Wiggins was 0-2 and Gibson was 0-1. As for the bench, the long player to take a three was Jamal Crawford would was 1-5 from three point land. The Wolves are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in basketball and without Nemanja Bjelica off the bench that shooting is even worse. The Wolves need to bring in shooting and fast.
2. Andrew Wiggins started off the season wonderfully scoring 15 or more in 10 of their first 12 games, and 20 or more in eight of their first 12. Since then however he has been incredibly inconsistent. He scored 11 two-straight games against Utah and San Antonio on November 13th and 15th, then scored 24, then 11, then 20, then 18, then 21, then 13. he then ended November and Started December with back-to back 20 plus point games, but he followed that with two straight 12 point games, while hitting only 10 of 32 shots, and going 0-7 from three. The Wolves gave Wiggins a max contract extension, expecting him to take the positives from last season and officially take the leap offensively as a shooter, and become a top notch defender this year. He hasn't and while the Wolves lack of three-point shooting becomes more and more evident, and the lack of effort defensively continues to negatively shine through, Wiggins could end up being the fall guy in a trade (pure speculation) for defensive minded players later this season.
3. Karl-Anthony Towns was nonexistent in this game offensively while Marc Gasol had a 20-plus point game. Towns grabbed 11 boards but only scored seven points going 2-6 from the field. Gasol meanwhile scored 21 points, and had seven rebounds and give assists with a block.
1. Three of five starters had positive plus/minus numbers as Towns was a +5, Jeff Teague was a +2, and Jimmy Butler had a +3. The team also had only nine turnovers.
2. Butler lead all scorers with 30 points, his second 30 point game in a row, but that came on 21 shots, going 11-21 from the field and 2-7 from beyond the arc, which including failing to hit the potential game-tying three in the waning seconds of the game. However he did hit 6-7 free throws. He also had five assists, and four steals with only two turnovers.
3. Gorgui Dieng once again gave solid contributions off the bench, scoring 10 points and hauling in seven boards with a steal and a block.