Timberwolves Prince proves to be royal pain to Trail Blazers

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The last time that Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Taurean Prince suited up was on November 23, 2022, as the Timberwolves won their fifth consecutive game. It was an impressive win against the Indianapolis Pacers as the Timberwolves climbed to perhaps the highest point of their season, a 10-8 record, and what appeared to be a prime vantage point for a second-half playoff push.

He has been out since then. Well, until he suited up for the Timberwolves’ 39th game, that is. The Portland Trail Blazers undoubtedly wish that he remained on the bench recuperating. Prince has been out for more than a month, but clearly showed no signs of rust or confusion.

Unlike the two previous games these teams played, the Minnesota Timberwolves were up to the task. And with Taurean Prince coming off the bench to score with surgical precision, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch was able to give his starting five meaningful breaks. In fact, every Minnesota Timberwolves who came into the game ended this game with a positive +/-.

Prince gives Timberwolves bench badly needed boost

While Prince scored 11 points, his five-of-six shooting from the floor and one of two from the perimeter were just what the doctor ordered for an ailing Timberwolves roster searching for wins. Best of all, it was a welcome return for the Timberwolves’ versatile frontcourt plug-n-play. And he helped rally the Timberwolves bench to shoot three-pointers with laser-guided accuracy. They scored on five of nine shooting in this one.

Backup center Naz Reid remains inactive, and the lack of frontcourt firepower has forced the Timberwolves to tap rookies Josh Minott, and Two-Way contracted players, Matt Ryan and Luka Garza. While all of the young players have given their all, there is no true comparison to the likes of a savvy veteran like Prince.

The Timberwolves were far more effective in this one, as they seemed to be a far more balanced team. As the Timberwolves defeated a tough opponent with the return of Taurean Prince, the hope is that as other players come back to the lineup and rotation, the Minnesota Timberwolves will improve even more.

106. 34. 113. 86. Final

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