Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from loss to Orlando Magic

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 7:Dario Saric #36 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 7:Dario Saric #36 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves were effectively blown-out by the Orlando Magic on Thursday night, dropping the Wolves even further out of the playoff race.

112. 86. 122. 38. Final

The Minnesota Timberwolves are running out of time.

After standing pat at Thursday’s trade deadline, the Wolves turned in an uninspired effort in the land of the Magic Kingdom, trailing by 13 points at halftime and 20 midway through the third quarter before ultimately falling by 10 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie were the only Timberwolves players who appeared to be ready to play in this one. Jeff Teague was upgraded to questionable before the game but ultimately did not play, and to make matters worse, the lone remaining point guard on the roster with a guaranteed contract injured his toe.

The Wolves played a solid first quarter and stayed close for most of the second before the Magic became red hot, riding a 3-point heater from Terrance Ross that surfaced again in the fourth quarter as Orlando put the game away.

Minnesota’s defense wasn’t all that bad early in the game and the initial double-digit lead was spurred on largely by some impressive shooting from the Magic. The second half, however, featured worsening defense and, outside of Towns, inconsistent offense.

It was another night that Towns was practically ignored by the officials on offense (he attempted just one free throw in 36 minutes despite attempting 16 field goals), and while he generally did an okay job keeping his emotions in check on the other side of the court, he was still called for three personal fouls and one technical.

Ryan Saunders waved the white flag with the Wolves down 12 points and just under two minutes left. With a game on Friday night in New Orleans, it was the right move.

After all, the Wolves are running out of time.

A. Karl-Anthony Towns was fantastic once again, putting up 27 points on an ultra-efficient 12-of-16 shooting, plus 11 rebounds and five assists. He was okay on defense, as it took <a rel=. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

B-. <a rel=. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANDREW WIGGINS

C. <a rel=. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JERRYD BAYLESS

A-. Josh Okogie had a great game, shooting 6-of-12 from the floor and tallying 13 points, four rebounds, three steals, and one assist in 29 minutes. He had a couple of impressive steals and buckets in the open floor and was active on both sides of the ball. This is the type of game that Okogie needs to bring the table on a nightly basis, and if he does that, he’ll be a legitimate starter in this league.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

C. Taj Gibson continued his string of underwhelming games, posting 10 points on six shots and pulling down four rebounds. He committed some bad fouls, missed a couple of easy shots in the paint, and played uncharacteristically poor defense. Is it safe to say that someone misses Thibs?. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. TAJ GIBSON

A-. <a rel=. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

ISAIAH CANAAN. B. Isaiah Canaan had what was easily his best game in a Timberwolves uniform. He put up 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-5 3P) and dished out six assists in 21 minutes. He did commit two turnovers and continued to struggle on defense, however, and it’s clear that he is not a long-term solution as a backup point guard. That said, it was a good game for Canaan and the Wolves will need another performance like that on Friday night in New Orleans if they want to come out of Louisiana with a win.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves

The rest of the players

Anthony Tolliver struggled once again, going scoreless in 18 minutes. Luol Deng struggled as well in 15 minutes, and Gorgui Dieng put up six points and three rebounds in just 12 minutes of play.

Keita Bates-Diop and two-way player C.J. Williams each played two minutes in garbage time.

Next. Timberwolves' franchise value grows by 19 percent. dark

What’s Next?

The Wolves turn around and play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday night. The game will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.