Player grades from Minnesota Timberwolves’ win over Miami Heat
Let’s hand out a few player grades from the Timberwolves’ win.
Jaylen Nowell: A-
16 points (6-13 FG, 2-5 3P, 2-2 FT), one assist
The start of this contest was a great indication of Nowell’s feel for the game as a scorer. He missed a couple of jumpers upon entering the game, so he got out in transition for a few easier buckets to find his rhythm. Once he had some makes under his belt, he went back to the outside shot and continued to produce.
Nowell did very little else outside of scoring, but he continues to show that he is a versatile and reliable source of bench offense for a team that needs it fairly frequently.
“It took a whole lot of mental toughness,” Nowell said of the comeback effort. “Being down double-digits and we’re away, too… We knew they were gonna make their runs. They’re a great team.”
D’Angelo Russell: C-
14 points (3-13 FG, 1-6 3P, 7-7 FT), six rebounds, nine assists, one steal
Russell got off to a strong start by uncharacteristically attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line, but that quickly gave way to more typical contested jumpers. The bigger issue was turnovers; Russell was a prime contributor to Minnesota’s unfocused offense, giving the ball to Miami five times.
However, he cleaned it up in winning time, committing zero turnovers in the final 19 minutes. He also deserves credit for assisting on Beasley’s first two threes in the third quarter, clearly looking to get Beasley involved after a scoreless first half. It’s very plausible Beasley doesn’t make the crucial shot in the final minute without a conscious effort from Russell to get him involved.
Anthony Edwards: B
15 points (4-10 FG, 3-8 3P, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, one block
It was a bit strange to see Edwards do everything at a high level except score. He was perhaps Minnesota’s most locked-in perimeter defender and made more splash plays than any of his teammates on that end; he had a steal and a block that both led to Wolves buckets in their strong stretch to start the second half.
Edwards also hit the boards and provided a major playmaking punch without turning the ball over. It’s rare to see a player of Edwards’ young age and prodigious scoring ability provide one of these “fill in the gaps” performances, but he was shockingly adept at doing whatever it was Minnesota needed in the moment.
Next, the Timberwolves head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Monday night.