Final Score: Timberwolves: 107, Pelicans: 100
- I just had fun watching a Wolves game again. With the Jimmy Butler cloud lifted and the new guys being implemented, the Wolves played an energetic game throughout. Getting out to a 20+ point lead in the first half, the Pelicans came all the way back to take the lead midway through the fourth. However, Minnesota was able to overcome the comeback and close out the win at the Target Center.
- Closing Andrew Wiggins is back. Before Jimmy Butler arrived on set, Wiggins was the guy for the Wolves at the end of games. Well, with Butler gone, it appears Wiggins is back to being that guy. Towards the end of the game, Wiggins was playing with full energy on both ends of the court. Wiggins gave effort to soar in for offensive rebounds, and he threw down a THUNDEROUS slam towards the end of the game. While he was inconsistent throughout the game, a 4-9 performance from three and the extra effort at the end of the game was nice to see from Wiggins.
- Karl-Anthony Towns posted 25 points and 16 rebounds. Towns found himself in some foul trouble in the fourth quarter while guarding Davis, but KAT overcame the challenges and had a very productive game. Towns still turned the ball over five times, but his effort on defense and on the glass made up for that. One very notable play on defense occurred late in the fourth quarter when Towns rejected Davis at the rim.
- Josh Okogie needs to stay in the rotation when Rose is healthy. Okogie provided the Wolves with a huge punch off the bench tonight, especially at the beginning of the fourth quarter. When Rose returns, Thibs absolutely needs to find a way to keep Okogie in the lineup.
- The new guys know how to play. Their experience in Philly showed out in their first game. Covington made plays on both ends of the floor, sniffing out passes, and knocking down three long balls on offense. Saric was useful off the bench, especially in the first half. Saric recorded 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in his Timberwolves debut. As the newcomers continue to adjust to their new team, it will be fun to watch how they continue to gel in.
- Mirotic struggled from three in his return to the Pelicans after a brief absence. Mirotic connected on just two of eight attempts from three tonight, missing multiple open looks from downtown. While it was his first game back, Mirotic needs to knock those shots down for New Orleans to win games.
- E’Twaun Moore showed out. Recording 31 points on 13-23 shooting from the field and 4-8 from three, Moore was a pain for Minnesota all night. With Jrue Holiday struggling from downtown tonight, New Orleans got a lift from Moore.
- New Orleans didn’t make their trips to the free-throw line pay off. It’s tough enough to win games in the NBA the way it is, but, when a team shoots 61.1% from the charity stripe, it gets that much tougher.
- The Pelicans got just five points from their bench tonight. Remember when I said it’s tough enough to win games in the NBA the way it is? Yeah, getting five points from your bench won’t cut it.