Timberwolves player grades from California road trip

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves
Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

Rudy Gobert

The last two games have been outstanding outings for Minnesota’s starting center. After receiving hefty criticism for much of the season, Rudy Gobert appears to be returning to form as a dominant force thanks in part to Mike Conley. He was a big reason the Wolves emerged victorious in both their games last weekend.

Against the Warriors and Kings, we witnessed a recurring phenomenon wherein opposing offensive players become hyper-aware of Gobert’s paint presence and simply refuse to attempt shots at the rim for fear of being blocked. This is one of the main reasons why criticism of Gobert’s relatively low block total this season is mostly unwarranted.

Rudy notched double-doubles in both games of the California road trip, including a monstrous 16 points and 16 rebounds in Sacramento. His free throw percentage improved over this stretch on higher attempts as well. This version of Gobert is the player the Timberwolves have needed, and he is showing up when it matters most.

Grade: A+

Naz Reid

Naz Reid. Is there anything more to say? The backup big man continued what has been a career year against the Warriors and Kings, scoring efficiently and providing all-around quality minutes for the Timberwolves.

Reid’s poster dunk against Alex Len on Monday night was certainly one for the highlight reels. It was the most emphatic bucket in a game where Naz scored 18 and knocked down two threes, one night after putting up 23 points on 10-for-17 from the field against Golden State.

It is becoming increasingly obvious how valuable Naz Reid is coming off Minnesota’s bench. His instant offense and versatility make him playable in nearly any lineup, and he will continue to be a major factor in the Wolves’ success.

Grade: A-

Kyle Anderson

Once an afterthought in Minnesota’s 2022 offseason, Kyle Anderson continues to solidify his case as the Timberwolves’ greatest free agent acquisition in team history. His veteran leadership and steady play has been an absolute game changer for this group.

Against the Warriors and Kings, he did what he does best: play smart, methodical basketball and put his teammates in position to be successful. Anderson’s five steals against Golden State was a game-changer, and his takeaway from Draymond Green in the closing seconds helped seal the win for the Wolves.

On Monday, his 50% shooting and 11 assists contributed to yet another masterful all-around performance from the versatile wing. The high IQ and discipline that a player like Kyle Anderson brings will continue to be a ceiling-raiser for Minnesota.

Grade: A 

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