Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ road loss to Mavericks

On Monday night in Dallas, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost their fifth consecutive game, this time falling to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks by 16.

Final
Minnesota Timberwolves
123
Dallas Mavericks
139

The Minnesota Timberwolves were largely held at arm’s length by one of the league’s most improved teams on Monday night, as the Wolves defense was simply no match for Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

It was yet another game that showcased the potential of what should be a high-octane, dynamic offense and a defense that has been the league’s worst since the trade deadline.

The Mavericks simply put Doncic in pick-and-roll situations consistently and reaped the benefits. The 20-year-old All-Star’s combination of size and athleticism was on full display en route to 20 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Josh Okogie drew the tough assignment early in the game and did okay, but Doncic’s physicality and length gave even the Wolves’ best defender fits.

Minnesota’s offense nearly went toe-to-toe with the Mavs early, although a late first-quarter push by the home team put Dallas up by a 41-27 margin at the end of the frame. Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell both got hot in the second quarter and allowed the Wolves to put up 38 points, but the gave up a 40-point quarter to Dallas.

The Wolves fought back to within 11 points in the third quarter after having trailed by as many as 21, but the Mavericks surged back ahead and kept things at a comfortable, double-digit margin the rest of the way.

Defense and rebounding were once again major issues for the Wolves, and while the offense was good, it won’t matter if the team gives up 140 points each night.

Player Grades

D'ANGELO RUSSELL

Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves

B+

D’Angelo Russell only had two first-quarter points but was fantastic the rest of the way. He finished with 29 points (10-20 FG, 3-8 3P, 6-6 FT), five assists, and three rebounds with one steal and only two turnovers. Russell and Beasley kept the Wolves in the game during the middle stages, and by the time D-Lo reentered the game in the fourth quarter, the deficit was already north of 20 and the game was essentially over.

MALIK BEASLEY

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

B

Malik Beasley had a monster second quarter but had a fairly poor game outside of that quarter. He finished with 21 points on 20 shots, making five of his 12 3-point attempts. Beasley had only four rebounds and one assist in a team-high 35 minutes. It turned into a bit more of a high-volume performance than is ideal, but the Wolves need him shooting double-digit 3-point attempts every night.

JUANCHO HERNANGOMEZ

Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves

C

Juancho Hernangomez had another extremely quiet game, putting up only eight points and four rebounds in 25 minutes. He only attempted five shots, making two and missing his only 3-point attempt. He was a team-worst -31 in the plus-minus column, and struggled mightily on the glass once again.

JOSH OKOGIE

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

B-

Josh Okogie had another quiet game as well, putting up six points and five rebounds. He also added two steals and a monster block of Doncic near the end of the shot clock in the third quarter. Overall, however, the Wolves simply need more from Okogie.

NAZ REID

Center, Minnesota Timberwolves

C

Naz Reid had a rough go of it, picking up two fouls in just over a minute in the first quarter. He didn’t score until well into the second half, and while he finished with six points, five rebounds, and four blocks, it mostly garbage time production. Reid shot only 2-of-10 from the floor but did not commit another personal foul after his rough start to the game.

JAMES JOHNSON

Forward, Minnesota Timberwolves

A-

James Johnson was arguably the best player on the floor for the Wolves in this one, almost single-handedly keeping them in the game in the first quarter. He put up 19 points (6-9 FG, 1-3 3P, 6-7 FT), five rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 24 minutes. Johnson scored several times on straight-line drives to the rim and while the Wolves could have used a few more rebounds from him, Johnson was hardly the only issue on the glass for Ryan Saunders’ crew.

KELAN MARTIN

Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves

A

Kelan Martin followed up his 21-point game on Sunday in Denver with an encore performance of 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in Dallas on Monday night. Martin also added six rebounds and four assists with zero turnovers in 15 minutes. He also put up a plus-minus of +3 in a game that the Wolves ultimately lost by 16.

Other Players

Jarrett Culver added 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting and six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. He missed a couple of makeable shots near the rim and struggled at the free throw line, per usual, making four of his seven attempts there as well.

Jake Layman made his return after missing 41 games with an injured toe and was solid, putting up five points on 2-of-7 shooting and grabbing three rebounds. He had an impressive dunk on a nice cut, receiving a dime from Russell. He did miss the free throw, however, and shot only 1-of-4 from 3-point range.

Jordan McLaughlin‘s minutes went all the way down to 13 in Russell’s return to the lineup. J-Mac scored five points and contributed one assist, one steal, and one rebound.

Jaylen Nowell played five minutes of garbage time, and Jacob Evans III played three minutes in his return from the G League.

Next: Malik Beasley has been a great fit for the Wolves so far

Next Up

The Timberwolves head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The game tips at 6:30 p.m. CT.