Concern: SF Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Timberwolves 3-and-D expert Nickeil Alexander-Waiker has gotten plenty of work with the injury to starting SF Jaden McDaniels, but like many players who compete on a regular basis, not every game results in a new highlight reel. Against the New York Knicks, NAW was called for three fouls rather quickly.
While we cannot expect that Nickeil Alexander-Walker will get many starts for the Timberwolves once Jaden McDaniels heals, the fact that he struggled in this game has introduced a bit of a hiccup to a pattern of steady growth, improvement, and development.
Alexander-Walker only played 17 minutes for the Timberwolves against the New York Knicks, and by all accounts that was probably 10 minutes too much. He registered five points, one rebound, two assists, one turnover, and five personal fouls.
I might have graded a bit more leniently if he was thrust into a starting role at the last minute. But the truth is that he had a week of practice to prepare himself for this one, yet looked rustier and far less prepared than his previous start. Just an anomaly? Perhaps. But he cannot allow a repeat performance like that again, or his role will shrink rapidly.
Preseason Game 3 grade: D