The Minnesota Timberwolves certainly have the emotional roller coaster business down to an exact science. Even as fans begin to lose hope in the team, and the Timberwolves squander opportunities against inferior opponents, this team roars back to life against tough odds and sucks everyone back in.
The Timberwolves are fighting for their NBA Playoff lives right now. It’s such a tightly packed group in the NBA Western Conference that one game can place a team into the NBA Lottery, or out of the inevitable NBA Play-In. Right now, the Timberwolves are one of the teams whose recent success and failure on the basketball court have led to the team sinking into the NBA Lottery group, and then, through some stroke of luck and impressive play, rising back through the ranks to be positioned as an NBA Playoff team once more.
On this occasion, it was the Minnesota Timberwolves’ ability to claim an incredibly impressive win on the road against the reloaded LA Clippers that has rekindled the embers of hope for this team. This was not just a Clippers team at full strength, this was a Clippers team with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the recently signed Russell Westbrook. And this was a Minnesota Timberwolves team on the road without Karl-Anthony Towns.
Timberwolves upset Clippers
The NBA oddsmakers viewed this one as all Clippers, handicapping the Timberwolves anywhere from six to eight-point underdogs in this matchup. After the Timberwolves opened cold and ended the first quarter of play behind by seven points, it very much appeared as though that is exactly how this game would turn out.
Even as the Timberwolves fight on without Towns, they are not exactly without future NBA stars of their own. Young small forward Jaden McDaniels had an incredibly complete game, not only showing his smothering defense but putting up 20 points to lead the Timberwolves in scoring. The Timberwolves got 18 points out of Anthony Edwards and 16 points out of center Rudy Gobert.
Since signing on with the Clippers, Russell Westbrook has played well enough but has yet to help his new team to a victory. Conversely, the Timberwolves have now played to a 2-4 record since the NBA trade deadline, when the team surrendered PG D’Angelo Russell for the play of new PG Mike Conley and SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker (NAW). Alexander-Walker has quickly become a fan favorite with his circus moves on the basketball court, and a perimeter shot that continues to hover at 50 percent since joining the team.
The victory ends a three-game losing streak and restores the Minnesota Timberwolves to .500 with a record of 32-32. Conversely, the LA Clippers are now on their own three-game losing streak and have fallen to a record of 33-31.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will next face the LA Lakers on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Los Angeles before traveling to Sacramento to face the Kings on Saturday, March 5. The Timberwolves need every victory that they can claim, so this is a very important week for the team.