Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ home loss to the Atlanta Hawks

The Minnesota Timberwolves fell once again, losing by 18 points to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves

After playing competitive games the last two times out, the Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t manage to even make it close against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

The Wolves have now lost 11 of their past 12 games, and things aren’t close to getting back on track. Despite the return of Ricky Rubio, Juancho Hernangomez and Karl-Anthony Towns remained out and Ryan Saunders’ squad simply didn’t put forth enough effort in this one.

The Atlanta Hawks were able to get what they wanted, when they wanted it on offense, with Trae Young reaching the 40-point plateau before the end of the third quarter. Clint Capela put up a triple-double, with 13 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocks, controlling the paint from the opening tap to his exit with the game well in-hand in the fourth quarter.

To make matters worse, the Wolves’ offense sans-Towns was entirely punchless. Minnesota failed to score 100 points for the fourth time in the last five games. When your defense is also a bottom-five unit, that isn’t exactly a recipe to earn any wins.

The Wolves trailed by six points at the end of the first quarter but were entirely dominated in the second frame. They were down by 19 at halftime never got closer than 13 points in the second half; garbage time began before the third quarter was even over.

Let’s take a look at some individual player grades from the game.

Minnesota Timberwolves Player Grades


Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves


D’Angelo Russell struggled, save for a brief hot period in the second quarter. He finished with just nine points and four assists and played only 21 minutes, shooting 2-of-9 from the field and 1-of-5 from 3-point range. He couldn’t get his teammates involved and was clearly focused on finding his own shot in this one. When that didn’t fall, it was a recipe for a disaster of a night for the Wolves.


Wing, Minnesota Timberwolves


Malik Beasley was the best player on the floor for the Wolves offensively, and it wasn’t close. He led the team with 17 points (7-11 FG, 2-5 3P, 1-1 FT) and chipped in four assists, two steals and a rebound. Beasley was bad defensively, neglecting to pick up the proper man in transition and exhibiting a clear lack of urgency, but he was the only Wolves player to show any real life or efficiency on offense.


Center, Minnesota Timberwolves


Naz Reid was the Wolves’ best player this side of Beasley, putting up 13 points and eight rebounds — practically a Moses Malone-eque game out of him given his aversion to hitting the glass over the past few games. Reid shot 6-of-7 from the field and racked up four blocks, but ultimately only played 25 minutes and simply couldn’t do enough to combat Clint Capela and Co.
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Big, Minnesota Timberwolves


Jarred Vanderbilt was his typically active self and played okay overall, although he had some defensive lapses and bad misses at the rim. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block and shot 5-of-10 from the floor. He continues to show that he’s worthy of rotation minutes at the NBA level, but simply can’t make enough of a difference for a Wolves team that is devoid of true star talent at the moment.