In a week dominated by a D’Lo debut, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost their two games before the All-Star break, but how did the team play “statistically speaking?”
The much-anticipated D’Angelo Russell debut headlined the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ trip to Toronto that ended in a 137-126 loss against the Raptors. The Timberwolves put on an impressive offensive display as a team shooting 45 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point land.
Combine that hot shooting with 24 team assists and 38 rebounds, 10 offensive and 28 defensive, the Timberwolves’ offense was only let down by their ability to hold onto the ball as they ended up with 23 turnovers.
From an individual point of view, it was the debut of D’Lo that stole the show. In his first appearance in a Wolves uniform, he totaled 31 minutes on the court shooting 58.3 percent from the field while putting up 23 points.
This would end up being Russell’s 18th consecutive double-digit scoring game of the season as he shot 80 percent from three-point range in Toronto. He also managed 5 assists in what was the third-highest scoring half for a Timberwolves player making their team debut with 16 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns was another standout performer against the Raptors as he was the Timberwolves’ leading scoring with 23 points in 36 minutes. Getting his 24th double-double of the season, KAT managed 10 rebounds alongside an impressive 3-of-6 shooting from three-point range.
Malik Beasley was another standout performer in Toronto as he managed 15 points in 31 minutes on the court. His 41.7 percent shooting from the field alongside 2-of-6 shooting from three-point range makes him become a dangerous asset going forward for Minnesota.
The defeat in Toronto sent the Timberwolves back to Target Center looking to immediately improve against the Charlotte Hornets. It was not to be, however, as they fell 108-115 in a game which Towns was forced to miss due to injury.
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A packed Target Center got to see their first D’Angelo Russell home game, and he did not disappoint as he racked up 26 points during his 35 minutes on the court. D’Lo managed to secure a double-double with 11 assists to his name, as well as contributing 6 rebounds.
His shooting statistics were not as good as the trip to Toronto as he went 39.1 percent from the field and only managed to make 4-of-12 from three-point range. He was clearly the go-to guy on this shorthanded Wolves squad as Russell accounted for 83.3 percent of the Timberwolves’ third quarter points and 63.6 percent of their fourth quarter points.
Russell’s impressive night was not the highest-scoring performance from the Timberwolves’ roster as Malik Beasley once again proved his worth. The shooting guard managed to live up to his positional name as he scored 28 points in 37 minutes, shooting 44 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three-point range.
In the absence of Towns, Naz Reid was a player who looked to take advantage of extra minutes on the court and he definitely made the most of it. Managing 12 points in 22 minutes, Reid was able to shoot 57.1 percent from the field while grabbing 6 rebounds in the matchup against the Hornets.
Looking beyond the All-Star break, the return of Jake Layman seems imminent for the Timberwolves and that will be a huge bonus for Minnesota’s roster and their three-point shooting. With assessments still to be made on the injury of KAT and Omari Spellman with the Iowa Wolves in the G League, the next outing against the Celtics may see the Timberwolves in a better position “statistically speaking” next week.