The Minnesota Timberwolves just finished their fourth consecutive week with a 1-3 record, and it’s once again time to crown a Wolf of the Week.
Karl-Anthony Towns finally came back, but Wolves fans are still waiting for D’Angelo Russell and Towns to play together after the Wolves star guard went down with a leg injury.
The Wolves started the week with a game against the Dallas Mavericks that never seemed close — until Malik Beasley took over the fourth quarter, that is.
Next, they took on the Clippers at home in a game that got away from them in the second half. The Wolves then traveled to Charlotte for a showdown between Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball. Terry Rozier got the best of the Wolves in this one, however, as they couldn’t hold on to the Hornets in the fourth quarter.
Finally, the Wolves traveled to Tampa to take on the Toronto Raptors. The Wolves played a good game that came down to the wire but eventually squeaked out their first win of the week.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Wolf of the Week, Part Seven
Let’s take a look at the Timberwolves week in a bit more detail and crown the Wolf of the Week.
Timberwolves can’t complete comeback, lose to the Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks 127, Minnesota Timberwolves 122
There wasn’t much good for the Timberwolves in the first half of this one.
A particularly bad problem for the Wolves of late is their inability to slow down teams in the first quarter. The Wolves gave up 43 points in the first quarter only a game after allowing 43 points to the Thunder. Starting in a double-digit hole is not an efficient way to win games, but it sure makes for the possibility of a fun comeback.
The Wolves went into the fourth quarter trailing by a score of 95-76. The game was all but over, but then Malik Beasley came to the party. Beasley scored 21 fourth-quarter points, going 7-for-8 from the field and 6-of-7 from 3-point territory.
Anthony Edwards continued his strong play of late and finished with 22 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Jaylen Nowell also continued his good string of games with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting with five rebounds, one assist, and a steal. If the Wolves can figure out their first-quarter woes, it will certainly help them win more games going forward.
Clippers beat Timberwolves in Karl-Anthony Towns’ return
LA Clippers 119, Minnesota Timberwolves 112
At last, Karl-Anthony Towns made his return to the Timberwolves.
Towns was out for almost a month, but it felt like more like an eternity for Wolves faithful. He is the leader of this team both on and off the court and following a devastating offseason and a bout with COVID-19 over the last few weeks, it’s nice to see him back playing for an organization and fan base that backs him through thick and thin.
In Towns’ 31 minutes of play on Wednesday, you could tell he was the best player on the court for the Wolves. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and a steal. That being said, the other center on this team, Naz Reid, had a great game in his own right, finishing with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting with three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal.
After a rough stretch of games, Josh Okogie had a solid performance in this one. Josh finished with 14 shot attempts, converting on four of them. Okogie is the Wolves’ best defender and the Wolves need him to find his shots going forward or players like Jaylen Nowell will begin to cut into his minutes even more.
Timberwolves fall in first-ever clash between Edwards and Ball
Charlotte Hornets 120, Minnesota Timberwolves 114
This one felt like a big one for Wolves faithful because it was the first time we got to see Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball duke it out. It is way too early to judge whether the Wolves chose correctly with the No. 1 pick in the draft, but it was fun to see these two go at it.
Anthony Edwards finished with 21 points, six rebounds, three assists, and zero turnovers in 34 minutes of play. LaMelo Ball put up 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four turnovers in 37 minutes.
Towns also played well in his second game back as he ended with 25 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention the MVP of the Wolves season so far in Malik Beasley. He finished with 31 points, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Ultimately, however, the Wolves couldn’t get stops late in the game and lost late to the Hornets.
Timberwolves beat Raptors in an all-around team win
Minnesota Timberwolves 116, Toronto Raptors 112
The Wolves lost their first two games with Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup but rose to the occasion in this one.
It was a back-and-forth game that seemed like it would end in typical Timberwolves fashion. Ricky Rubio had one of his best games of the year, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Rubio has been struggling with his shot recently, so it was nice to see them start falling.
Then there’s Edwards, who handled the ball a lot for the Wolves in this one and with mostly great results. Edwards had 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal. He ran the two-man game with Towns late in the game, leading to a double-team that allowed him to kick it back to Towns for a big three down the stretch.
Towns didn’t have his best showing overall, committing seven turnovers and fouling out in the final minute, but he still ended up with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Pascal Siakam missed a layup late in the game which would have tied it, but Jordan McLaughlin hit two big free throws late to put the Wolves up four and seal the game.
Wolf of the Week: Malik Beasley
Malik Beasley finished the week averaging 25.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and a steal per game. He shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 84 percent from the free throw line.
This is Beasley’s third Wolf of the Week award over the eight weeks, and it’s safe to say that Beasley continues to be the best all-around player of the Wolves season thus far.
While Towns has played quite well since his return three games ago, Beasley’s efforts against the Mavericks and Hornets made it hard to look past him. He has been the Wolves MVP up to this point and there is no one else really close.
To this point, Beasley has proven that he is worth every penny of the four-year,$60 million extension he signed this offseason and appears to be teetering on superstardom as he enters his prime years.