The Minnesota Timberwolves had a nearly perfect preseason, but that was not the case in the first game of the season. We pointed out three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that would be vital to the Timberwolves’ chances of winning on the road against the Toronto Raptors. In the first half of the season opener, the results have been mixed.
The Timberwolves need to win the rebound battle, have excellent ball movement, and ensure that Karl-Anthony Towns is quite active at scoring in this game. While the Timberwolves maintained a small but steady lead at the boards (32-24 rebounds), the Wolves were unable to sustain active ball movement. By halftime, the Raptors had more than double the number of assists than the Timberwolves (14 to 7).
Karl-Anthony Towns did find his shot, as both he and SG Anthony Edwards were the only two Timberwolves players to find double-digit scoring in the first half. Edwards also has nine rebounds to go with 18 first-half points, setting himself for a possible double-double in this game. KAT has been far less active on the boards, hauling in just two rebounds to go with 12 points.
Timberwolves perimeter is looking ugly in the opener
The Timberwolves struggled at the perimeter last season. Not only did the Wolves struggle to score from beyond the arc last season, but their defense was nearly non-existent as teams found almost automatic points shooting from the perimeter against the Timberwolves in the 2022-23 NBA season.
In preseason games, the Timberwolves found the range beyond the arc and the pesky Wolves defense found ways to clamp down on the opponents’ long-range marksmen. That is not the case in this one, as the Wolves are only shooting 20 percent on their three-pointers, while the Raptors are hitting nearly double that at 38.1 percent of their threes.
Perhaps most surprising of all is the lethargic performance from the Timberwolves bench. At halftime, the Timberwolves bench has just four points, six rebounds, and two assists, compared to the Raptors bench which has added 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The Wolves are surprisingly trailing by just two points in this one. Can the team regroup at halftime and win an important game on the road? Stay tuned.
Why not check out other interesting Minnesota Timberwolves articles during the second half of the game?
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