The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night in their second appearance of the preseason.
The Minnesota Timberwolves fell to 1-1 in the preseason after a 128-101 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
After virtually the entire team played a solid all-around game in the preseason opener on Saturday night in Golden State, the Wolves’ starting unit struggled mightily against the Clippers while the bench continued its impressive play.
Minnesota’s defense was lackadaisical for much of the night, but it was especially bad early in the first quarter, allowing the home team to jump out to an early double-digit lead. Karl-Anthony Towns was dominant throughout, posting 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in just 26 minutes of play.
The bench brought the Wolves all the way back to a tie game in the second quarter, led by Anthony Tolliver (10 points and three assists), Tyus Jones (12 points and two assists), and rookies Keita Bates-Diop (11 points and three rebounds) and Josh Okogie (eight points and three blocks).
The Timberwolves starters came back in midway through the second frame, however, and promptly handed a massive lead back to their hosts. At halftime, the Wolves trailed by a score of 69-53.
The second half played out in similar fashion, with the Wolves’ bench outplaying their starters. Nobody on the Wolves played more than Towns’ 26 minutes, and 15 players saw the floor.
Notably, Tom Thibodeau sat for long stretches in this game; I don’t believe he stood up at all in the first quarter until the first television timeout. One wonders if the steady stream of criticism regarding Thibodeau’s style eventually got to him, or if owner Glen Taylor asked him to dial back on the yelling and profanity.
Or, this could just be the new preseason Thibs, and come the regular season opener a switch may flip. It’s anyone’s guess, but it will be something to keep an eye on as we move through October.
Let’s take a look at three key takeaways from this one.