Star of the Game
Minnesota fell apart in game three, losing two 20-point leads. It is a testament to Memphis’ toughness, but it also highlights some major flaws in the Timberwolves organization. Luckily, D’Angelo Russell finally decided to show up, and lead the team with 22 points and 8 assists. Unfortunately, he shot 9/21 from the field and added three turnovers to that total. While this is an improvement for Russell, it is still below average for the max contract he is receiving.
When the Grizzlies go on a 15-0 run, and then an 18-0 run, maybe Coach Finch should call a timeout? Twice, Minnesota was able to build up a 20 point lead, and they just gave it right back with very little fight. The major concern though is Karl-Anthony Towns. With only 8 points (shooting 3/4) with 5 rebounds, Towns was effectively shut out of this game. The one bright spot is he managed to get 5 blocks, but that does not make up for this abysmal performance. In the last two games, Towns has had 10 fouls and 7 buckets. He is supposed to be the franchise player and considers himself to be in the same category as Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic (both of whom are MVP finalists). Towns’ play these last two games proves this is not the case.
Number of the Night
8. Finally, we’re seeing a bit of hustle from the spark plug Jarred Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has been quiet the last two games, but in game three he helped to shake things up against Memphis with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 steals. The young power forward has been one of the center points to Minnesota’s defense this season. Plus, his tenacious offensive battling has been essential to pushing the Wolves through some tough moments. If Vanderbilt continues to play like this, and the rest of the team matches that effort, Minnesota may still have a chance.
The Timberwolves will play Memphis once more at the Target Center on Saturday at 9:00 CST.
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