After the Minnesota Timberwolves (28-27) lost their latest game against a very beatable Orlando Magic (21-32) team, you would have had every reason to question whether or not that game was a foreshadowing of a new plummet out of the NBA Playoff scene and down into the depths of the ‘better luck next season,’ group of unlucky or just plain unsuccessful teams.
The Timberwolves had to regroup quickly, as the team hosted the NBA Western Conference-best, the Denver Nuggets (37-16), a team that not only leads the west but is neck-and-neck with the Boston Celtics in boasting the NBA’s best record of the 2022-23 NBA season.
The Nuggets are not the type of team that is easily defeated, but the Minnesota Timberwolves are a bit of an enigma this season. The Timberwolves lose to bad NBA teams but seem to have the ability to get up and compete against the NBA’s best. So how would this one turn out?
The Timberwolves entered this one on a high note, as the long-absent backup PG, Jordan McLaughlin, was scheduled to return. Meanwhile, the Nuggets sat a majority of their starters in the second game of a back-to-back, and that set the stage for what would follow:
Timberwolves take over from the start
The team stats for this one pretty much tell the story. The Timberwolves’ largest lead in the game was 34 points, while the Nuggets never led in the game. With the exception of rebounds, the Timberwolves dominated from buzzer to buzzer. The team was so lopsided that Timberwolves Coach Chris Finch played 13 in this one, even allowing rookies Josh Minott and Wendell Moore Jr. to pick up some playing time at the end of the game.
The lone blemish in this one was the fact that PF Kyle Anderson left the game early with back spasms, a nagging injury that limited him to just five minutes in the previous contest. Thankfully, the Timberwolves had more than enough depth in this one to handle his early exit.
While the Nuggets were without four starters, the Timberwolves continue to compete without starting power forward Karl-Anthony Towns. But this team has had a lot of time and opportunity to adapt and showcased just how far the team has progressed with a complete beatdown of the Nuggets.
The win was a solid one for the Timberwolves, who find themselves now in a tie with the Kyrie Irving-powered Dallas Mavericks. With the win, the Timberwolves have a 2-1 lead in their series this season. Both teams play for the fourth and final time in Denver on February 7, 2023.