Did the Minnesota Timberwolves win?

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The first thing that everyone wants to know the morning after is whether or not the Minnesota Timberwolves won the game. But before we dive headfirst into the post-game of the 2023-24 NBA season opener, let’s pause a moment to frame this game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves opened the 2023-24 NBA season in what could arguably named the worst possible venue.  You see, the Timberwolves have lost 18 straight games at Toronto, a horrific streak that is awfully difficult to reverse in any season opener. But this was particularly challenging because the Raptors were one of two teams who held a perfect preseason record at four wins and no losses.

The Minnesota Timberwolves (5-0) were the other NBA team that remained perfect in the 2023 NBA preseason.

What was the story throughout Game 1?

The Minnesota Timberwolves failed to perform at the perimeter. The Timberwolves trailed by two points at the half, and the team was unable to mount a sustained rally to complete a comeback win.  While the Timberwolves sharpshooters could only sink 25.8 percent of their shots from three-point range, the Toronto Raptors seemed to score at will.  The Raptors scored from three-point range at a 40 percent clip in this one.

Perhaps worst of all, the Raptors scored on 14 of 35 three-point shots, while the Timberwolves were only able to sink 8 of 31 shots.

This was not a great showing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite the fact that three Timberwolves ended the game with Double-Doubles:

  1. Anthony Edwards | 26 points | 14 rebounds
  2. Rudy Gobert | 15 points | 13 rebounds
  3. Karl-Anthony Towns | 19 points | 10 rebounds

this was not a solid game for the Wolves.

Only Anthony Edwards had the range in Game 1, nailing four of his seven attempted treys. That is in sharp contrast to Karl-Anthony Towns, who was only able to nail two of his ten attempts from beyond the perimeter.

The Timberwolves clearly suffered the absence of starting small forward Jaden McDaniels in this one. His replacement, Nickeil Alexander-Walker was clearly struggling throughout the game. In his 23 minutes played, he scored just two points, hauled in four rebounds, plus added two assists and one steal.  His (+/-) rating for Game 1 was an alarming -17.

94. 86. 97. 81. Final

The Timberwolves should welcome back Jaden McDaniels when they take on the Miami Heat at Target Center in three days.

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