The Minnesota Timberwolves (33-32) traveled to face the Sacramento Kings (37-25) on the last leg of their four-game California junket. The Timberwolves arrived with a two-game winning streak, and the Kings were riding high on a five-game winning streak of their own. While not necessarily a clash of NBA titans, this was a game of tough competitors, with both teams eager to claim a victory and solidify their NBA Playoff hopes further.
The Timberwolves, the needier of the two teams, had been learning new ways to win. The team’s top scorer, shooting guard Anthony Edwards, had been held in check of late. But this Timberwolves roster is far more talented than just one NBA All-Star shooting guard. The Timberwolves were led to victory against the LA Clippers by a phenomenal performance by SF Jaden McDaniels. The Timberwolves reset again and were led to the winner’s circle by center Rudy Gobert against the LA Lakers.
The toughest opponent for the Minnesota Timberwolves on this four-game expedition was always the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are nestled nicely into the NBA Western Conference third-seed, a perfect spot from which to strike in the upcoming NBA Playoffs and a lofty enough spot where the team is insulated from moving up or down in the standings from the results of a single game. So how did this team do?
Timberwolves Game Takeaway III: Gobert is gold after NBA All-Star Break
If you doubted Mike Conley’s impact on Rudy Gobert, we have some great news for you. In his past five games, Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been masterful. Gobert has averaged 30.6 MPG, 17.0 PPG, 12.8 RPG, and 2.4 BPG, and has been a far more aggressive force for the team on both ends of the basketball court.
It’s funny how well an NBA star can perform when he is not chided constantly by a teammate, isn’t it?
Timberwolves Game Takeaway II: This team is finding much better chemistry
The pre-trade Minnesota Timberwolves seldom felt like a team. Rather, it felt like a group of guys on the basketball court playing for the same team, much like an NBA All-Star team without so many stars. But in the recent turn of events, the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be enjoying contributions from almost everyone on the basketball court. And with the recent Timberwolves roster changes, even the bench is getting in on the action.
Against the Sacramento Kings, seven of nine players who saw action scored in double digits. It was a total team effort in this one, against one of the best NBA Western Conference teams. Yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves are sucking me back in again, lol.
Timberwolves Game Takeaway I: Anthony Edwards got his groove back
The Minnesota Timberwolves had to find ways to take some of the offensive pressure off SG Anthony Edwards. With the trade of DLo, opposing teams found success by focusing on Anthony Edwards and forcing other players on the Timberwolves roster to step up. Well, against the Sacramento Kings, they all did.
But I would not be doing my job if I did not point out what a masterful combination the Timberwolves’ backcourt made in this one. Anthony Edwards (27 pts, 4 RBs, 8 Asts and Mike Conley (24 pts, 3 RBs, 3 Asts) put tremendous pressure on the Kings all night. In fact, this was Mike Conley’s best offensive performance since joining the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves showed up and led almost the entire way in this one, only trailing by two points early in the first quarter.
The Timberwolves will return to Target Center on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, to host the potent Philadelphia 76ers. That will tell us a great deal about this Timberwolves team.