Did the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Grizzlies?

Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are clearly a second-half-of-the-season sort of NBA team. This team was 20-21 at the halfway mark after half of the season had been played in the 2021-22 NBA season. And one year later, with an entirely new Timberwolves roster competing, the team reached the mid-point of the season with a record of? That was too easy, wasn’t it?  The Timberwolves were 20-21.

But this is not a woeful or dark article in the least. These Timberwolves have been very hot in the month of January 2023. So hot, in fact, that the team has a record of 10 wins and 4 losses since the turn of the new year. And, get this, two of those losses this month have come at the hands of two of the least challenging teams in the NBA: The Detroit Pistons (13-37) and the Houston Rockets (11-38).

When the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Houston Rockets on Saturday, January 21, 2023, the team had five games remaining. Winning three of those remaining five games was the gauntlet that I laid down for the team at the time. But the very next game, the Timberwolves lost to the very Rockets team that they had so handily defeated, and with four games remaining against the New Orleans Pelicans (26-23), the Memphis Grizzlies (31-18), and then two games against the Sacramento Kings (27-20), the chances of winning three games seemed remote at best.

But this is the Timberwolves team that finished out the 2021-22 NBA season with a run of 26-15. Better yet, the team appears to be up to the task this season. In fact, at the 51-game mark, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended the night at 26-25.

Kyle Anderson haunts his former team

The Minnesota Timberwolves have not gotten a lot of production out of point forward Kyle Anderson since he has been fighting off an injury. In fact, over the past three games, Slo-Mo has averaged 26 minutes but just 4.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, and 3.3 RPG. But he showed up in a huge way to take down his former team.

The Timberwolves were very active with ball movement, passing the ball effectively until it found its way to the open shooter. The Timberwolves seemed to have solved their perimeter concerns in this one, as they shot a respectable 37.1 percent from the arc while shutting down their opponents to just 24.2 from that distance.

The Timberwolves surprisingly jumped out to the early lead, and with 9:47 to go in the first quarter, never looked back. Rested, relaxed, or just determined, this is the type of performance that gives hope deep roots in the fanbase. Despite struggling against lesser opponents, the Timberwolves have rallied to overcome the odds and some of the best teams in the NBA this season.

Where do we go from here? Now, one game over .500, the Timberwolves know that every victory improves their potential NBA Playoffs berth. Does that matter to them? We’ll know before the month is up, as the Timberwolves must now face the very impressive Sacramento Kings twice. Two wins could propel the Timberwolves close to a Top-5 team in the NBA Western Conference.

Can this team string together a playoff run this season? Well, whether we want to believe it or not, that is exactly what the Minnesota Timberwolves are doing right now.

Final. 102. 211. 111. 86

The Timberwolves are over .500.

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