The Minnesota Timberwolves are many things this season. They are amazing and they are frustrating. They are both hotly competitive and they are slothfully lethargic. This is a team that can defeat hot NBA teams, and yet can roll over and play dead on the very next night. Thankfully, the Timberwolves have traveled to and faced two California NBA teams making a late-season push for the NBA Playoffs.
First, it was the LA Clippers, a team that had just added PG Russell Westbrook to their roster. Then it was the LA Lakers, who was among the three-team trade in which the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up PG D’Angelo Russell and landed the Timberwolves PG Mike Conley Jr, and SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, as well as a trio of future second-round draft picks.
But it was a familiar face who has been getting hot of late. When the Timberwolves traded away DLo, some asked where would the offense come from. The answer appears to be from Rudy Gobert, at least in part.
Gobert golden touch
In the past five contests, the Frenchman has been hot on both sides of the basketball court. He has averaged 18.6 points per game on the offensive side while hauling in 12.8 rebounds and recording 2.0 blocks per game. All three statistics are significantly better than his 2022-23 NBA season average.
This was a Lakers lineup that did not feature team leader LeBron James. And, as expected, the recent injury to D’Angelo Russell prevented him from facing his former team in this contest. But while much is made of the Lakers’ short-handed lineup, Timberwolves post-game wrap-ups continue to gloss over the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to compete without power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns, a player who has been instrumental in scoring and contributing to the Timberwolves success in recent seasons.
While the Lakers were led by Anthony Davis’ 38 points, it was Gobert’s golden touch that earned him another double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, that turned the tide for the Minnesota Timberwolves. And it was the Timberwolves’ 38 points off the bench, led by Naz Reid’s 15 points and glue-guy Taurean Prince’s 13 points, that helped to seal this one away.
MTimberwolves try for a trio
The Timberwolves a team that just ended a three-game losing streak now finds itself on the crest of a two-game winning streak and is currently out of the NBA Draft Lottery discussion.
The Timberwolves are now at 33-32 and are above .500 once more. The team will conclude this four-game road trip by facing the Sacramento Kings (37-25) on Saturday, March 4 with the tip-off slated to occur at 9:00 pm CT.
The Minnesota Timberwolves need another road victory in California to ensure their NBA Playoff hopes are not dashed this season and to preserve a winning streak as they return home to Target Center.