Saturday felt like opening night for the Minnesota Timberwolves, with five players making their debut at Target Center. But how did the new-look Wolves look, statistically speaking?
With a point to prove and a 13-game losing streak to shake, the Minnesota Timberwolves were out to impress the Target Center faithful and the entire NBA.
Without the newly acquired D’Angelo Russell, who missed the game with a right quad contusion, the Timberwolves were not expected to be in for an easy night.
The doubts were quickly erased after a 40-31 first quarter lead kick-started the Timberwolves into winning each of the four quarters individually. Especially impressive was the two 40+ point quarters that the Timberwolves had in the first half, going into half time with a comfortable 81-59 lead.
The Timberwolves totaled 26 made 3-point shots on the night, a franchise record. Their 81 first-half points was also a franchise-best for any half. To truly demonstrate how impressive this display was, consider that the Wolves were just one short of tying the NBA’s record of 27 made 3-point shots in a single game.
As if the shooting display wasn’t impressive enough, the Timberwolves shot 54.7 percent from the field and 59.1 percent from 3-point range. Added to the team totals of 39 assists, 46 rebounds (9 offensive and 37 defensive) and 8 steals while limiting their turnovers to just 12 displayed how the new roster in Minnesota has already had an instant impact.
From an individual point of view, the Timberwolves’ leading scorer was Jordan McLaughlin. The 6-foot point guard was the man to stop against the Clippers as he went for 24 points in 35 minutes on the court.
With a point to prove, the rookie also managed an incredible 11 assists to give the guard his first NBA double double. His shooting was incredible, making 11 of his 15 shots, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Karl-Anthony Towns was a man who was without a win since late November, and the addition of his best friend D’Angelo Russell inspired life into him and the whole of the Timberwolves organization. KAT spent 34 minutes on the court, in which he managed to total 22 points and 13 rebounds alongside an impressive nine assists.
The 7-footer was another man who thrived on deadeye shooting in this outing, with 69.2 percent shooting from the field including 9-of-13 overall and 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
New addition Malik Beasley was a joy to watch and is most certainly an underrated asset gained from the trade dealings over the past week and is a promising sign for the roster going forward. Starting at shooting guard and totaling 28 minutes on the court, Beasley was another Wolf to get a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds alongside four assists.
The guard from Florida State also had incredible shooting figures, making 42.1 percent from the field on 8-of-19 shooting, with even deadlier accuracy from 3-point range as he finished 7-fo-13 from deep.
Johnson had a 15 points in his 20 minutes on the court, with 66.7 percent shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Reid almost secured himself a double-double in 13 minutes on the court as he put up 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds with 4-of-6 makes from beyond the arc.
Next up for the Timberwolves is a trip to Toronto to face the Raptors on Monday night, and it is yet to be seen if it was be the first outing for D’Angelo Russell in a Wolves uniform.