The Minnesota Timberwolves just completed their first week with a winning record since late December.
The Wolves returned from a much-needed All-Star break with a trip to New Orleans to face off with Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. After trailing by 16 in the first quarter, the Timberwolves fought back and eventually won the game by 30.
They then traveled back home to take on the Trail Blazers in a back-to-back set at Target Center. Both games were impacted by whistle-happy officiating as the Wolves split with the Blazers.
It was certainly fulfilling to see Chris Finch’s new system start to mold into something post-All-Star break.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Wolf of the Week, Part 11
Let’s take a look at the Timberwolves week in a bit more detail and then crown this week’s Wolf of the Week.
Timberwolves win big against Pelicans to snap losing streak
Minnesota Timberwolves 135, New Orleans Pelicans 105
The Wolves got down big against the Pelicans and it looked like they were in for another long night, but the Pelicans were no match for the Wolves bench unit.
Jaylen Nowell had the best game of his young NBA career, finishing with 28 points, six assists, five rebounds, a steal, and a block. Jaden McDaniels also had the best game of his short career, finishing with 20 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and an assist.
Naz Reid rounded out the bench unit with 15 points, four rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and an assist. What’s more impressive is that the three combined for 61 points on 26-of-31 shooting and 11-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Anthony Edwards was hot in the second quarter and fueled the Wolves’ comeback, ultimately finishing with 27 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists.
Overall, the Wolves’ second unit lead the charge for the Wolves in a much-needed bounce-back win to snap their eight-game losing streak.
Timberwolves lose late to Anthony-led Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers 125, Minnesota Timberwolves 121
Believe it or not, the leading scorer for Portland in this one was Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 26 points.
The Wolves hung with the Blazers all night and actually had a 101-98 lead with nine minutes left, absolutely dominating Enes Kanter in the second half finishing with 34 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal.
Anthony Edwards also helped keep the Wolves in this one as he continued his streak of good games with 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
This game was certainly a game the Wolves would’ve liked to come away with, but it’s apparent that Chris Finch’s new system is now helping the Wolves remain competitive for the entirety of games.
Timberwolves hold on in the fourth quarter to beat Trail Blazers
Minnesota Timberwolves 114, Portland Trail Blazers 112
Anthony Edwards was the story in this game.
Late in the third quarter, the dynamic rookie went down after going up for a layup and crashing into Enes Kanter. He left for several minutes but returned in the fourth quarter and absolutely took over.
Edwards scored 13 in the final quarter and finished the game with a career-high 34 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He also was 12-of-24 from the field and 6-of-14 from deep. The six made threes were also a career-high.
Towns finished this game with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, but he also added eight rebounds, eight assists, a block and an assist. Jaylen Nowell continued his good stretch of games with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Nowell has proved that he belongs in the rotation for the Timberwolves and it looks like he isn’t going anywhere soon.
Wolf of the Week: Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards averaged 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals over the past week. He also shot 46 percent from the field, 42 percent from deep, and 78 percent from the free throw line.
It appears as though the All-Star break was beneficial for the rookie. In the game against the Pelicans, Edwards returned led the second unit in a comeback from a 16-point deficit and helped them achieve a seven-point lead in the to end the half.
Then, Edwards had the best game of his short career Sunday night against the Trail Blazers.
Suddenly, Edwards looked like a player that can finish games for the Timberwolves as a true closer and scoring threat from all levels. Is that something they haven’t had since they had, dare I say, Jimmy Butler?
D’Angelo Russell is someone that can also be that guy at the end of games, but the Wolves haven’t been able to see him as much as they would’ve liked.
Getting Russell and Malik Beasley back will certainly change some things, but Edwards has proven that he has the potential to be that player the Wolves can rely on to take over a game whether it be throwing down a thunderous dunk or hitting step-back threes.