4 Timberwolves bigs need to show up big starting now

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

McD and KAT need to show up strong too

II: It’s obviously clear that small forward Jaden McDaniels impressed the Timberwolves organization with his stellar defense, but McDaniels cannot ignore the need to grow offensively this season. He got paid and paid handsomely, but in doing so, he may have forced the Minnesota Timberwolves to make a difficult decision at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.

Until that time, the Timberwolves roster needs him back in action as quickly as possible. He is a game-time decision for the first home game on the Timberwolves schedule, a clash against the Miami Heat on October 28, 2023, at 7:00 pm CT.  Even if he does see action, I would expect that the Timberwolves coaching staff will manage his minutes.

Even that will be enough to get the Wolves back on track. Nickeil Alexander-Walker merely needs a chance to pause and catch his breath, and McDaniels coming back online provides the ideal opportunity for the young wing to reset.  Meanwhile, the Timberwolves can benefit greatly from the smothering defense that McDaniels brings to every game.

KAT-alyst for success

I: Whatever else goes wrong this season, the Minnesota Timberwolves must insist on getting the optimal version of Karl-Anthony Towns. That was certainly not the case for the opening road loss against the Toronto Raptors.  In that game, all of the good mojo accumulated over the summer FIBA WC Tournament and preseason games flew out the window, and an uncertain and awkward version of KAT played in his place, reminiscent of the 2022-23 version.

Let’s not diminish the fact that KAT put up 19 points and 10 rebounds in the season opener. But in doing so, he only shot 32 percent from the floor, 20 percent from the perimeter, had a pedestrian shooting efficiency of 0.36 and an alarming scoring efficiency of 0.76.

Towns will not lead the team to anything but disappointment unless those numbers improve drastically. The truth is that the shots are there, Towns merely has to process what he sees more quickly, and then decide that he is going to score.

The Timberwolves need the win in their second game against the Miami Heat.  Let’s hope that they get on track.

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