The Minnesota Timberwolves went 1-3 last week and saw their overall record fall to 5-14, currently at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Still, there were some good moments of basketball for the Wolves, including the continued emergence of one of their offseason re-acquisitions.
Starting the week losing two to the Warriors was a tough pill to swallow, and a big part of that was the ongoing conversation about the winner of the Andrew Wiggins-D’Angelo Russell trade. It’s safe to say that not many people are on the Wolves’ side at this point in time.
Then, a Joel Embiid free-throw-filled game that finished in a blowout and a good team win against the Cavaliers to cap off the week.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Wolf of the Week, Part Six
Steph Curry leads Warriors over the Timberwolves
Golden State Warriors 130, Minnesota Timberwolves 108
The Wolves began this game in a 19-4 hole, and it really never got that close after that point.
Malik Beasley continues to prove he’s worth every penny of what the Wolves are paying him, finishing with 30 points, seven rebounds, and a steal. The viral moment from this one was Anthony Edwards throwing down a monster dunk over the No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman.
Other than Beasley’s performance and Edwards’s big jam, there wasn’t much to write home about. Naz Reid finally eclipsed the 10-rebound mark while adding 11 points and two blocks.
Put simply, Steph Curry was just better than anyone on the court during this one and reminded everyone why he is a two-time league MVP.
Timberwolves drop another to Warriors in showcase of top two picks
Golden State Warriors 123, Minnesota Timberwolves 111
In Part Two of the two-game road series against Golden State, the Wolves hung with the Warriors in the first half, but Steph Curry took over once again.
Naz Reid had one of his best games of the season with 19 points, seven rebounds, five blocks, three steals, and an assist. The clash of the top two picks was also a great one. Edwards finished with 25 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. For his part, Wiseman had a career-high 25 points.
Josh Okogie has struggled offensively this season and it was quite apparent in this game. Josh missed four threes in a row on four consecutive possessions which ultimately led to Saunders pulling him from the game. He is easily the Wolves’ best defender and will stay in the starting lineup for the time being because of it. However, the Wolves need him to knock down a couple of those threes going forward.
76ers beat Timberwolves by 24 as Joel Embiid scores 37
Philadelphia 76ers 118, Minnesota Timberwolves 94
Last Friday, the Wolves took on the best team in the East. A tall task was made even taller in the continued absence of Karl-Anthony Towns.
The story in this one was rookie Anthony Edwards’ first career start. He played well, and Beasley continued his strong stretch of games, scoring 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting with five rebounds and two assists.
Joel Embiid showcased the Timberwolves’ inability to defend big men, sans Towns. Embiid finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists in just 27 minutes. Ed Davis did his best to slow him down, but it seemed like Embiid shot as many free throws as the whole Timberwolves team. Oh wait — he did. Embiid went 16-for-18 from the line while the Wolves went 14-for-18.
The Wolves were only down five at halftime, but their second-half woes continue as they lost by 24.
Anthony Edwards has best game of young career to lead Wolves over Cavs
Minnesota Timberwolves 109, Cleveland Cavaliers 104
The Wolves brought the energy in this one and it was apparent that they wanted this win badly.
Anthony Edwards was the star, finishing with 23 points on 9-of-15 shootings with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and a block. Edwards has regained his confidence and it showed throughout the week as he shot 52 percent on 3-point attempts.
It’s impossible to overstate the season Malik Beasley is having as well, as he is put up 20-plus points in his fourth straight game. Beasley had 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. If these two are able to keep up their scoring when Towns returns they will present big matchup problems for opposing teams.
Ed Davis was also assigned the monumental task of guarding Andre Drummond, and although Davis didn’t score, he had five rebounds, three blocks, three steals, and one assist and finished with a team-best plus-minus of +16.
The Wolves looked like they were playing as a cohesive unit, and it was nice to see them get in the win column this week.
Wolf of the Week: Malik Beasley
This week, Beasley averaged 25 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.8 steals per game. He shot 48 percent from the field, 42 percent from beyond the arc, and 82 percent from the line.
Beasley has been one of the few bright spots for the Timberwolves in an otherwise disappointing season to this point. Night-in and night-out, Beasley consistently brings energy to the team regardless of the score.
Coming into the season, Malik made it known that he wanted to be the league’s Most Improved Player and put up a 50/40/90 shooting line. As of now, he sits at 45/38/87. When Towns returns, we can expect those numbers to increase as he sees even more open looks.
Even if he doesn’t hit the historical slash-line numbers, Beasley deserves more recognition for his play so far this season. If there is an All-Star Game, Beasley should be in front of the line for the Timberwolves’ representatives.