Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 takeaways from loss at Boston Celtics

The Minnesota Timberwolves are making major adjustments in an effort to improve their defense this year. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Timberwolves are making major adjustments in an effort to improve their defense this year. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost in overtime to an Eastern Conference heavyweight tonight, giving up 53 points to Jayson Tatum, who only took 25 shots.

Final/OT. 136. 86. 145. 18

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their 12-point first quarter lead throughout the game, eventually falling in overtime to a Boston Celtics team that has underperformed this season.

The Timberwolves allowed 21 points in overtime to the Celtics, which is nothing short of a remarkable (in a bad way) defensive display late game. That said, their ability to keep pace with Boston throughout the game was also impressive and losing quite honestly might be the best result given how poor the Timberwolves have been this year considering their draft pick situation.

Takeaway #1 – D’Angelo Russell is back.

D’Angelo Russell hit a shot to send the Timberwolves/Celtics game into overtime on Friday night, and while he is still coming off of the bench to return to form, he has been impressive as of late.

Tonight, Russell was 10-18 from the field, including three 3-pointers, while also dishing eight assists (only two turnovers). The Timberwolves have needed another guard presence with Ricky Rubio’s inconsistency and Jordan McLaughlin in and out of the lineup.

Additionally, DLO scored 19 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime tonight. While it didn’t result in the win, it is nice to see some potential of what the duo of KAT/Russell could become.

Takeaway #2 – Anthony Edwards has the ability to impact games.

Anthony Edwards was downright electric over the course of the game Friday night, scoring 25 points on 12 shots along with five rebounds and five assists. He did most of his scoring in the first-half, but had an efficient night that makes you wonder how high his ceiling as a prospect is.

Edwards is the best young player on the Timberwolves and the reigning Western Conference Rookie of the Month. He has scored 17+ points in each of his last six games, and looks to be a great long-term piece of the core.

Takeaway #3 – We’ve known this, but the bench has to get better.

Surely the second unit will improve once Ricky Rubio is able to run, right? Anyways, tonight, the only players that got consistent minutes off of the bench (outside of Russell) were Juan Hernangomez, Jordan McLaughlin, and Naz Reid.

Look, I know Naz Reid might be a long-term option as a backup big man, but Juan Hernangomez cannot be getting the second-most minutes off of the bench. That is just not a winning formula, even if he did play better than his usual self against the Celtics.

Next. Wolves: 3 trades to improve team. dark