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Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Timberwolves host the Memphis Grizzlies for the home opener at Target Center. The young Wolves are still searching for their first win, attempting to best a 2-1 Memphis team whose veteran core already struck down Minnesota in a disappointing season opener. The Grizzlies were also able to close out an exciting overtime game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday. Their sole loss of the season was to the New York Knicks.
PG: Kris Dunn #3
SG: Zach LaVine #8
SF: Andrew Wiggins #22
PF: Gorgui Dieng #5
C: Karl-Anthony Towns #32
PG: Mike Conley #33
SG: James Ennis III #8
SF: JaMychal Green #0
PF: Jarell Martin #1
C: Marc Gasol #11
Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic – out/season (recurring foot pain), Ricky Rubio – out (elbow)
Grizzlies: Chandler Parsons (knee), Brandan Wright (ankle) are out. Tony Allen (knee) is a game time decision.
The Wolves lost the season opener to the Grizzlies in excruciating fashion. After leading by 9 at the half, Minnesota played a disastrous 3rd quarter, with Memphis outscoring the team 26-16. The Wolves allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 11-24 from the 3-point line, a mind boggling statistic considering Memphis was ranked 25th in 3PA and 29th in 3P% last season. Mike Conley was able to score at will, shooting 4-5 from 3, while coming off the bench seemed to rejuvenate the seemingly ageless Zach Randolph. He led the team in rebounding with 11 and was a scoring spark off the bench.
There were a few bright spots on the Minnesota side of the ball, however. Andrew Wiggins showed off a new tenacious side, grabbing 7 boards and getting to the free-throw line a game high 14 times. He led the Wolves in scoring with 25. Zach Lavine slid in nicely at the SG spot, shooting 3-6 from behind the arc. Karl Anthony-Towns had as quiet a night as you can with a 21-4-5 line, doing the bulk of his damage during the first half. Lack-luster perimeter defense and insufficient 3 point shooting would prove to be their downfall. The Wolves lost 98-102.
The Wolves allowed 24 attempts from behind the arc in the two teams’ previous meeting. Look for the Wolves to shut down the perimeter, with particular care going towards Mike Conley and James Ennis III. It will be up to Dieng and Towns to shut down the paint this game. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are two big men from a bygone era, happy to bang bodies underneath. Towns ability to kick the ball out from beneath the basket should open up the floor for the likes of Lavine and Wiggins.
TV: Fox Sports North – Dave Benz (play-by-play), Jim Peterson (analyst)
Radio: 830 WCCO-AM – Alan Horton (play-by-play)
(All stats found on NBA.com and basketball-reference.com)