There is plenty of basketball for Minnesota Timberwolves fans right now. The trick, you see, is knowing where to find it. So if you have already missed the action, I’m here to help you catch up.
After missing out on the action of Day 2 of the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition, when we found Minnesota Timberwolves SG Anthony Edwards and PD Kyle Anderson shining for very different reasons, let’s recap the remaining four Minnesota Timberwolves who are also competing for the World Cup.
In the first game of the day, Timberwolves PF Karl-Anthony Towns and Team Dominican Republic squad ended up victorious against future Timberwolves PG Matteo Spagnolo and Team Italy. The game ended in Team DR’s favor with a final score of 87-82, making the Dominicans the brand-new leaders of Group A
The victory will likely qualify Team DR to compete in the second round. However, the game wasn’t exactly decided by either of the two Timberwolves. It was KAT’s teammate Andrés Feliz who was absolutely on fire from the three-point line. Feliz scored seven out of his ten attempts from behind the arc. Towns scored the same amount of points as his teammate (24), alongside 11 rebounds, but even then, his game wasn’t anywhere near the quality we know he can reach.
For Team Italy, Spagnolo showed some great flashes in his first check-in on the game, but in eight minutes of play, he only managed to score four points and one rebound. Both teams are now scheduled to play on August 29, with KAT and Team DR facing Team Angola (3:00 am CT), with Team Italy squaring up against the hosts, Team Philippines (7:00 am CT), in a game that will decide who qualifies for the second round.
Up next came Team Canada and Timberwolves young wingman, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who only ended up playing for 15 minutes. That was a bit of kindness, as Team Lebanon struggled almost from the opening tip-off.
The game ended by a devastating margin of 55 points (128-73), with New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett leading the Road Warriors in scoring with 17 points. NAW had himself a better game than last time, putting up a solid 12 points and seven rebounds on 50 percent efficiency. Now Team Canada can look forward to the next game, against Team Latvia, on August 29, (8:30 am CT). A victory for Team Canada would confirm their dominance of Group H, after two consecutive blowout wins.
Team France: Oui, not me
Finally, also in Group H, Team France and Team Latvia went head-to-head. In a game that ended in a disappointing manner for Les Bleus, France lost by a stunning score of 88-86 against the northern European squad after squandering a lead in the fourth quarter. Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert’s performance was similar to last game’s, lacking the dominance we know he can achieve, on both sides of the ball. But the entire Team France roster really did not live up to expectations.
Team France, down 0-2, is officially eliminated from advancing further in the competition. Gobert scored nine points, only shooting once through 26 minutes of playing while grabbing seven rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.
Still, looks can be deceiving, as Team France was missing a playmaker, and that playmaker involved Gobert heavily in previous games. As for their final game of the tournament, Team France will face Team Lebanon on August 29 (4:45 am CT), in a game with nothing at stake, but what should be an easy win for Rudy Gobert and his team.
Tomorrow we’ll have more international hoops, with both Anthony Edwards and Team USA in action against Team Greece (7:40 am CT) and and Kyle Anderson and Team China taking on Teams South Sudan (3:00 am CT), respectively.