What we’ve learned from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ preseason so far

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Two games into the preseason, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 2-0. Many questions still need to be answered, but so far, the Wolves are headed in the right direction. Minnesota made many changes this offseason, and like any other new team, it will take time to build chemistry during the span of an 82-game season. However, starting early is the best decision; preseason is the best opportunity to get the juices flowing.

The Wolves opened up the preseason against the Miami Heat, a game in which Karl Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and D’Angelo Russell all sat out. But Anthony Edwards did play, finishing with a game-high 24 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Edwards is entering his third season and has made a name for himself in the league. Against the Heat, he displayed his improved mid-range jumper and on-ball skills.

Timberwolves role players have stepped up

At the same time, seven-year NBA veteran Taurean Prince chimed in with 19 points and three rebounds, leading the Timberwolves to a 121-111 victory over the Miami Heat. Edwards played 23 minutes alongside Jaylen Nowell, who is expected to play a significant role for the Timberwolves off the bench this season. Nowell is a versatile guard who can create his shot with his ISO scoring ability.

Bench play is one area the Timberwolves wanted to improve, and Bryn Forbes is another player who stood out in their preseason opener, knocking down 2-of-3 from three-point range and finishing with 15 points. Forbes is known for his three-point shooting, but he also plays point guard. He is used to coming off the bench and knows what it takes to lead the second unit, which will come in handy during a long season.

Russell and Gobert can be a deadly duo

Guard D’Angelo Russell returned to the starting lineup with 3x Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, who made his Timberwolves debut vs. the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday.

Gobert logged 17 minutes and finished with five points on 2-of-4 from the field. Not the ideal outing from the big man, but he displayed how he can be effective at the center position without Towns. The 7’1″ Frenchman controlled the paint, set screens and led the team in rebounds with 12.

Gobert’s presence dramatically shifts how opponents will play and defend the Timberwolves going forward. Minnesota’s assistant, Pablo Prigioni, had this to say about Gobert: “He creates open shots for others. His screening in the pick-and-roll gets guys open all the time. That’s not on the stats, either. He’s having a huge impact on both ends of the floor.”

KAT returned to lineup vs. Clippers

Superstar Karl-Anthony Towns returned to the Timberwolves’ lineup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. He was previously dealing with a non-COVID illness but made a full recovery before the end of preseason.

Big KAT is the centerpiece that holds this offense and team together. After losing almost 20 pounds, Towns revealed he recently regained his strength to start walking again. He was no doubt excited to rejoin his teammates on the court.

The Timberwolves will continue preseason action against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday at 9:00 PM CST.

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